Posts Tagged ‘Patti Smith’
Seriously, three cheers for the old guys. In an era where hype machine blog year-end top ten lists are often chock-full of buzz band debut albums, let us not forget that Rolling Stone is sometimes right. 2012 has seen great albums from the likes of baby boomer mainstays Dr. John, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Cliff. Despite their age, these artists have somehow managed to adapt their style to the contemporary music world while still creating a product that is very much their own.
In a recent New York Observer article, Patti Smith is credited as suggesting New York City is no longer the place for young artists looking to make it. She says, “New York has closed itself off to the young and struggling…New York City has been taken away from you.” And for those of us who’ve been there or are there now, we know the cost of living and the high rent is not very welcoming for young artists who are not already independently wealthy or who are not willing to toil away at some full time job with the hope of having free time and energy to devote to their chosen art.
The New York City of Smith’s National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids stands in sharp contrast to her appraisal of the city today. The focus of the memoir is on Smith’s friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The two met by chance in the summer of 1967 and quickly became inseparable, making a vow to always be there for each other until they could stand on their own. The title comes from a lovely anecdote where in Washington Square Park a woman told her husband in reference to Smith and Mapplethorpe, “Take their picture. I think they’re artists,” and he responded, “Oh go on. They’re just kids.” At the time, the husband was right—they were just kids, but kids who were on the path to becoming famous artists.