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10 August 2011

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Sorry to hear you had an overdose of "Because the Night". Did you know that Bruce Springsteen co-wrote the song? It is one of my favorite Patti Smith songs. Her version is not as smooth as Natalie's. When Patti Smith sings, she means every word she is singing. I know someone whose sister's incessant playing of James Taylor has made him loath any JT song.

I don’t really read non-fiction (I just like your blog). But this is a book I will check out some day. I have long had a mild obsession with Patti and the 1970’s punk rock New York scene. A great (non-fiction) book that combines all of this is "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk."

Ruthiella,
Thanks for the history re: the punk music book. Not really my style of music, but I've learned from reading this Patti Smith book not to discount what I personally don't think I'll be interested in.
If you are a Patti Smith fan, DEFINITELY check out this book. I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.

I also knew darn little about Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe when I started this book, and I loved it. Her writing style and her honesty and her unusual story -- all these things combine to make a remarkable book.

Unruly,
Wasn't it incredible? I'm usually not into the big word-of-mouth books but I'm sorry I waited so long on this one. I'm going to wait a year and read it again--and meantime I've been checking out Mapplethorpe exhibit books. I'll have to get Smith's "Horses" CD too, just to listen to it.
Why did you pick up this book if you weren't fans of either of the principal characters?
p.s. re: Smith's honesty, incredible. Remember the story where Allen Ginsberg helped buy her a sandwich because he thought she was a pretty boy? Takes a self-confident woman to bounce back from that one as well as she did (I won't tell the rest of that anecdote because it really should be read.)

Citizen -- Confession: When it won the National Book Award, I decided it must be *something*, so I checked it out, fully expecting to bail out if I didn't like it. But I liked it! Lots.

The Ginsberg anecdote is pretty remarkable. I was stunned by how many "names" she encountered, and I loved how most of those episodes were seemingly random. Her life is just plain interesting.

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