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Patti Smith Documentary: Dream of Life - a UK review
The Quietus: "Life is not some vertical or horizontal line", she offers. "You have your own internal world and it’s not neat." The film - a fuzzy, hazy, monochromatic stoned mumble - follows this principle and works, by accident or design. (Though more of that live footage, with Smith aflame and spitting and testifying, would have been welcome.) "

Another documentary review: "Keeping up with Smith" by Wicked Local:
"The film is partially a study of her one-of-a-kind face, although it’s often hidden behind her long, stringy mop of hair. But when you can see it, she’s got the nicest childlike smile."

Mapping a Journey: The Films & Videos of Robert Frank in Nov at Anthology
"Although he's made over 20 personal films since 1959, it's symptomatic of Frank's subterranean career that his best known is still the Beat family portrait Pull My Daisy, co-directed with painter Alfred Leslie and narrated by Jack Kerouac. "Mapping a Journey" includes subsequent low-tech music videos (for New Order and Patti Smith)", for instance Summer Cannibals.

The African Twin Towers
Artinfo: "The African Twin Towers, the film the German film and theater director Christoph Schlingensief is screening at the Hebbel event, was shot in Namibia. The work features texts by Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek and music by Patti Smith".

The life and deaths of Patti Smith
The Observer (November 2nd 2008): "Has she never labelled herself? 'Never. I was a very awkward girl. Awkward teenager. A tomboy. I loved Peter Pan. I never related much to classic female things. When I was growing up, the big thing was teasing your hair and making your eyes look like Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Looking like one of the Ronettes. And it just wasn't interesting to me. I loved books; I read my childhood away. I was more interested in my interior world. On the other hand, I loved Ava Gardner. Jeanne Moreau. Joan Baez. Edith Piaf. And, in terms of rock'n'roll, after hearing Grace Slick as a teenager, anything seemed possible.' "

Patti Smith Q&A
San Francisco Chronicle (October 2008): "Q: How have you managed to stick around for so long without selling any of your songs to Dr Pepper commercials?

A: I don't think they were exactly knocking on my door. We all make choices. Believe me, I would like to write the hit of the world. It's not like I have any desire to be in the shadows. My vision isn't marketing. Some people want to sell 6 million albums. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not what I do. I'd rather look at a piece of work and say it's great rather than it's successful."

"Dreamy Patti Smith Visits SF, Enjoys Fans, Party, Shrimp"
Village Voice Media (October 2008): "Patti Smith greeted several hundred of the faithful before and after an afternoon screening last Sunday of the new documentary Dream of Life at the Lumiere, where the movie is continuing its run."

Patti Smith: Smelling like boys (and coming to Australia)
“I would rather smell the way boys smell,
Oh those schoolboys, the way their legs flap under the desks in study hall,
That odour rising, roses and ammonia, And way their dicks droop like lilacs…”

"Sure, it could be the new Kylie single, but probably only in an alternate universe where gay icon means something more than over-the-counter culture. Patti Smith’s Piss Factory came out in the mid-seventies and set the tone that colours her art these last thirty-odd years, be it through music, poetry, imagery, or just mouthing off. Smith’s influence is everywhere in music, from the sublime to the ridiculous – or from Michael Stipe to Madonna, depending on how you slice your icons, gay or otherwise." Read more at

Patti Smith and Her Band at Orpheum Theater
Great photos of the gig.

"The Patti Smith-Barack Obama Experience"
A review of the Orpheum Theater gig by LA Times: "She exhorted people to vote, and in a simple phrase that evoked the poet William Blake, whose words she sings, she exhorted Obama himself to ''just be good -- be a good man.'' And the biggest crowd-pleaser: Smith flung about a half-dozen Obama t-shirts, like a bride's bouquet, into the clamoring crowd in the front-row seats."

Patti Smith on Spin magazine (September 08 issue)
On reality TV
“I don’t like things like Behind the Music. I don’t have anything to offer VH1. I don’t have any controversy surrounding me. I don’t have any dark, romantic, self-destructive tales to tell. Yes, I’ve had to negotiate personal tragedy, but that’s not the kind of thing I’m going to let be exploited in a trashy reality show…I think it’s terrible what’s allowed to happen in our culture, with people being followed around by cameras. I’m not even interested in other people’s private lives.”

On the hunger for celebrity news
I’m an artist. I’m interested in how art gets made. I love Bob Dylan as much as I love Arthur Rimbaud. I even got to know him a little bit. But I’ve never read a book about him. I just want to know him on his own terms. I couldn’t tell you anything about Michael Stipe or Flea or any of my other friends except for the moments I’ve shared with them. People say the media is feeding the public’s hunger for celebrity news, but that’s the drug pusher’s mentality. I don’t think anybody would be pining for news about Angelina Jolie’s babies if it weren’t being given to them in the first place."

On the presidential candidate
“I feel about politics the same way I do about religion: I find the best I can from different things. I like Hillary. I support Ralph Nader’s decision to run. But Obama’s the candidate and we need to support him. I’m interested to see how he does. He’s young, he’s intelligent, and he’s modern. I’m none of those things."

On gender
“I never thought about gender. I never felt oppressed because of my gender. When I’m writing a poem or drawing, I’m not a female; I’m an artist. But we’ve always had strong women: Grace Slick, Tina Turner, Yoko Ono, Debbie Harry, Sinead O’Connor, Cat Power -- she’s a bit fragile, but she’s tough. Those are all strong individuals, Christina Aguilera’s a little piece of dynamite. But I’m more concerned with the work people do than their gender. When I was younger, I was pretty judgmental. Things had to be a certain way. Now I just want to see the work. It doesn’t matter who does it."

Patti and Flea to collaborate
Flea "is nearing completion of his first solo album." (--) "All this means that the Chili Peppers remain on hiatus – for "two years" says Flea – and the bassist is also nearing completion of his first solo album. It will be a mostly instrumental set, though punk poetess Patti Smith sings on some tracks."

EAT, photo show by Joe Stevens, through November
"Photos include black and white and color shots of Tom Waits, Bob Marley, Patti Smith, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Carly Simon and more; at Gracie's Diner, 165 Deer St., Portsmouth, NH."

Nuit Blanche in Paris Oct 4th
AFP: "Among the highlights of this year's White Night, rock icon Patti Smith takes over the Latin Quarter church of Saint Francois d'Assise for a music and text performance with her children."

london premiere of dream of life
Patti Smith Dream of Life - Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue, 13 Coventry Street, W1 21:30 on October 3rd 2008. More dates

As reviewed by Movieweb: "When people ask her "how does it feel to be a rock icon?" Patti Smith says she "always thinks of Mount Rushmore." Twelve years in the making, artist/photographer Steven Sebring's directorial debut takes a lyrical, stream-of-consciousness approach that is exactly right in his affecting portrait of the "rock 'n' roll Joan of Arc" (Stephen Holden, The NY Times) who can bring a crowd of devotees to their feet chanting "Glor-i-a!" as effectively as she can share her pain over the early death of her husband, Fred (Sonic) Smith and her brother, and the loss of her close friend Robert Mapplethorpe and of other artists she admires (Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs). Everyone knows that Patti Smith's music, poetry and politics are fearless, funny, raw and original. But Sebring also captures her physical presence - her gamine beauty - and a charming, self-effacing style that will take you by surprise and leave you deeply moved."

One Fast Move or I'm Gone: New film explores the 'Big Sur' years by Kerouac
From the film press release: "They gathered Beat luminaries -- Ferlinghetti, Joyce Johnson, Carolyn Cassady, David Amram. They gathered musicians-- Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Jay Farrar, hip-hop poet Sage Francis, Dar Williams, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. And there were others, from actors Donal Logue, John Ventimiglia and Amber Tamblyn to writers affected by Kerouac, including Sam Shepard, S.E. Hinton and poet Jack Hirschman. "

issue project room auctions in new york on september 18th
The Village Voice: "One of the best venues to see experimental artists in the city, ISSUE Project Room, will soon be leaving behind its old factory space near the Gowanus for some fancier digs at the 5,000-square-foot landmark theater at 110 Livingston Street in Brooklyn Heights, which was awarded to them by the city out of a pool of more than 100 top institutions. The only problem is: They have to raise more than half a million dollars in the next several months to renovate the space. Tonight, show your support for the future of experimental culture by bidding on one of the many works of art for sale by the likes of John Lurie, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Patti Smith, Vito Acconci, Cindy Sherman, and Vik Muniz. The evening also includes live musical performances by Duane Pitre, Ha Yang Kim, and Marc Ribot."

Melbourne International Arts Festival in October
The festival press release: "Legendary artist, performer, writer and musician, Patti Smith comes to Melbourne to perform two unforgettable concerts with her band at Hamer Hall. To coincide with this anticipated visit, the Festival presents the Australian premiere of Patti Smith: Dream of Life, a film by Steven Sebring, its accompanying exhibition Objects of Life; and a beautiful selection of Smith's own visual work in the exhibition Photography & Installation. In another outstanding event, Smith and Philip Glass come together in an inspired performance of poetry and music: Dedication to Allen Ginsberg."

The Lebanon gig reviewed
"You feel they are professionals, that they have done this a thousand times but you sense they aren't bored. The music sounds fresh. If people came to this show seeking a nostalgia act, they sure weren't thinking that now."

New York Times questions for Patti
"What are you working on these days? I am writing this memoir about Robert, a diary of our love and friendship. It’s called “Just Kids.”

Foreword by Rick Moody on Patti Smith's lyrics
The Guardian: "She was using the vocabulary of rock'n'roll as it already was.
What was different was the way she said it. What was different was the absolute commitment to the performance itself."

Patti Smith: Dream of Life in theaters in September 2008
Press release: The film "has generated critical acclaim, being hailed as a "spellbinder" (Premiere) and a "joy for anyone interested in pop culture of the past 40 years" (The Hollywood Reporter). "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" gets unusually close to its subject," said Reuters. "Experimental camera work and editing makes for a fittingly unconventional portrait of one of the pioneers of punk music."

Rizzoli will publish Sebring's companion book, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, in August. Integrating quotes and private transcripts with his photographs of Smith, Sebring traces the artist's extraordinary personal journey. The volume also includes never-before-published Polaroid's taken by Smith as well as other photos from her archives.

The Coral Sea, Live Album From Smith And My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, set for July 11th release"

It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll, Baby!
Pitchfork: "From June 20 through September 14, the Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium will be hosting the visual art exhibit "It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll, Baby!", featuring work by a wide variety of rock types, from Patti Smith, David Byrne, Yoko Ono, and Brian Eno to Pete Doherty, Nick Zinner, Jonsi Birgisson of Sigur Ros, and Devendra Banhart."

Polaroids: Mapplethorpe
An exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe's use of instant photography from 1970 to 1975 includes self-portraits, figure studies, still lifes, and portraits of lovers and friends including Patti Smith, Sam Wagstaff, and Marianne Faithfull. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, until September 7th 2008.

Village Voice about the exhibition

Patti Smith, Doctor of Letters
Patti Smith has received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in recognition of her success in the fields of music, literature and art from Rowan University.

Recent photos
Patti Smith attending Berlinale, Germany, in February and opening Land250 exhibition in Paris in March.

Augusten Burroughs memoir contribution
Chart Attack (April 2008): "Some prominent music artists will contribute songs to the audio book for the new Augusten Burroughs memoir, A Wolf At The Table: A Memoir Of My Father, which is due on April 29. The audio book, narrated by Burroughs (real name Christopher Robison), will feature music from Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse, Tegan And Sara's Tegan Quin, Ingrid Michaelson and Sea Wolf. The musicians read A Wolf At The Table and wrote songs as a response. You can hear three of the songs on Burroughs' website"

Patti Smith's exhibition in Paris in the press
Financial Times: "With Patti Smith there's always a story behind a story. This one begins in 1969 when a young waif, full of dreams of becoming a writer, an artist, perhaps both, visited Paris for the first time with her sister. For three months the siblings slept on the crowded floor of a small room on the sixth floor of an apartment at 9, rue Campagne-Première. For Smith, yet to experience the heady rush of punk music, it was the chance to sleep a few doors up from where two of her literary heroes, Rimbaud and Verlaine, once shared a billet."

The Observer: "This major show - she has never exhibited on this scale in Europe before - spans the years 1967 to 2007, and consists of short Super-8 films, photographs, drawings, notebooks, installations, recordings and personal objects that possess a talismanic quality for Patti Smith."

Reuters: "Since 1967 I have been drawing and writing and doing visual arts, film and photography," the American singer told reporters at a press preview of the show this week. "It's the beginning of a dialogue between me and the people to show the diversity of my open door welcoming people into my world."

Bloomberg: "I mean, I struggle with everything. I'm not technically gifted,'' she confesses. "You feel so excited, and then you feel like you're not good enough.'' Smith says she will do a new album "sometime, I don't know when'' and has written a couple of songs with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers."

AFP: "In rock'n'roll I speak out on human rights, or against war. In other fields of art I express my own inner world which is not political."

Associated Press: "Smith has gotten her son and daughter, Jackson and Jesse, involved in the show. Jackson is to spend a few afternoons hanging out at the exhibit, strumming the guitar and chatting with visitors. Jesse will play piano Friday as her mother reads from Woolf’s writings, part of a series of evening events and concerts to coincide with the exhibit."

TIME: "Hopefully if you create something fine, people will relate to it, so you're communicating with people, and you're not in a void. On the other hand, because you're always creating and transforming, art always separates you, always."

Awake From Your Slumber: Ralph Nader & Patti Smith
On YouTube

Lincoln Center’s American Songbook gig reviews
The New Yorker: "Smith’s performance seemed to be less about remembering a lost love and more about willing one back into existence—or perhaps asserting that a true love never needs much summoning."

The New York Times: "For some musicians the ordinary rules just don’t apply. I would call the intangible quality that makes ignoring them possible purity of soul. More than artistic integrity, it has a mystical component and requires the listener to make a leap of faith."

"Patti Smith rocks Rowan"
Gloucester County Times: "Smith has come a long way since graduating from Deptford Township High School in 1964. She studied art at Rowan University then known as Glassboro State College for two and a half years before moving to New York City in 1967. "When I went to New York, I wanted to be an artist," Smith said. "I got into music by accident."

"When I was younger, of course I wanted to leave," she said. "I wanted to travel, and I have. When I come back, I feel a deep affection for this place."

Patti Smith on songwriting at BBC Radio 2
"Mark Hagen chats to Patti about her writing, collaborating with Bruce Springsteen and what makes a really great song."

Patti with Youssou N'Dour
Info with thanks to Andrew F Wilson: "Benetton has sponsored a new recording of Youssou N'Dour's song Birima in support of its campaign "Africa Works", promoting micro-credit in Senegal. The recording has been re-arranged by Youssou N'Dour "with the extraordinary participation of Patti Smith, Simphiwe Dana, Irene Grandi and Francesco Renga". Patti sings a verse towards the end of the song. The recording can be purchased from iTunes."

Patti Smith festival in Italy
Bologna, April 4th - 6th 2008. Featuring the new documentary by Steven Sebring, concerts, Patti Smith with her band performing live on April 4th and 5th...

Objects of Life
An exhibition by Steven Sebring & Patti Smith at artMbassy in Berlin in February 2008. The press release in German

Sundance Film Festival Award to Patti Smith documentary
Steven Sebring & Phillip Hunt's documentary Patti Smith Dream of Life received the Excellence in Cinematography Award.

"Land 250" exhibition at the Fondation Cartier: March 28th - June 22nd 2008
"The Fondation Cartier is hosting a major solo exhibition of the visual work of American artist and performer Patti Smith. Drawn from pieces created between 1967 and 2007, it strives to provide an insight into her lyrical, spiritual and poetic universe. Her expressive voice serves to magnify the installations created specifically for the exhibition: a synthesis of photographs, drawings and films."

"Singer takes liberties with lyrics, and more"
The Washington Post review on the 9:30 club gig: "More than three decades after she shook up the rock scene with her raw, electrifying blend of street poetry and garage-rock passion, Smith remains a mesmerizing and potent presence."

Patti's performance at Portoferraio
With thanks to Andrew for the information: "Patti performed at Portoferraio on the Isle of Elba on 16 December 2007, accompanied by Tony Shanahan and Giovanni Sollima." There is a 7 minute TV video-clip from the concert on this website (please scroll down the page for the gig material)

Patti Smith in Hollywood
Photos of Patti live on May 3rd 2007.

Time Out London interview with Patti
"The new generations have more power potentially than anyone dreamed of to make change; they could bind together through modern technology, get millions of their brothers and sisters and overturn our government. It’s a question of motivation: do they look at each other having sex on their mobile phones and on their websites? Or are they going to use technology creatively: write their own music, share their ideas and analysis of their times?’

Qana at Bath Film Festival in November
"Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos) documented the aftermath of the attack on the village of Qana in southern Lebanon, where many of the victims were children. Paolo Pellegrin / Patti Smith’s collaborative piece titled ‘Qana’ laments a mother’s loss to the ravages of war. The installation is erected in the sparse beauty of Walcot Chapel."

Patti Smith: A dream of life
Rome Film Festival will present the long-awaited documentary on Patti Smith by Steven Sebring. Films clips and photos are available at Sebring's website.

Patti Smith to play live TV broadcast from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
On Friday, July 27, 2007 from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (One Key Plaza on Erieside Ave) in Cleveland, Patti Smith and Her Group will be performing a LIVE concert for CBS The Early Show.

Milan honored Patti Smith for her work
UPI (July 2007): "Patti Smith was honored Monday by the Italian city of Milan for her work in the music industry, as well as her peace and human rights activism. Dubbing Smith the "punk rock poet laureate," city officials presented the 60-year-old singer and painter with a plaque and a bouquet of white roses, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. "I'm very happy to be in Milan, my favorite Italian city," remarked Smith, who wraps up her two-and-a-half-month European tour at the Milan Jamming Festival Monday night. "Italian crowds have always shown great affection for me," Smith said, adding she was "really impressed" by the attendance at recent Italian anti-war protests."

Smells Like Teen Spirit
Patti Smith's video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' can be viewed on the Spinner website.

"Patti Smith talks new LP, Rock Hall, inspiration"
Pitchforkmedia: "(White Rabbit) was the heavy song to do (on Twelve), it was most difficult to hit the notes, it was most difficult to try and keep step with her. I tried to make it more of an atmosphere piece, because I couldn't possibly match the height of Grace Slick. So it's really like a salute to her. Even though there's only one woman on the record, she rules."

Conversations: Patti Smith
Salon: "No willy-nilly collection of personal favorites, "Twelve" is a summation of Smith's feelings on the current state of the world -- a passionate mix of frustration and hope." (--) Right now in America, we're a nation of disenfranchised people. All of us are victims, no matter if we're right wing or left wing, of the terrible mistakes of the Bush administration."

Listen to a podcast of the interview

"I feel responsible as an American citizen"
AP: "Rocker Patti Smith said Friday her concern for the hundreds of men imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay compelled her to record a song about a former detainee. ''I feel responsible as an American citizen,'' Smith said in a phone interview from New York. ''It's a terrible injustice, and I think it will be a stain upon us when history examines this period.'' Smith's ''Without Chains'' focuses on Murat Kurnaz, a German-born Turkish citizen who said he was kept under fluorescent lights for 24 hours at a time and complained of being beaten at the U.S. military detention center in southeast Cuba. Many detainees are held there without the opportunity to face trial."

Listen to the track on Patti's website

Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe
According to, it's a documentary by James Crump exploring the relationship between the photographer and his lover and patron, the photo collector and curator Sam Wagstaff. The film includes interviews with Patti Smith, Richard Tuttle, Dominick Dunne and others.

Also another new documentary, Corso: The Last Beat (2007), features Patti Smith.

Popwatch: "I was told Jesse sings on the album and that she plays piano, and that Patti's son, Jackson, plays guitar on Twelve but was back in Detroit working with his own band. The album notes also reveal that Sam Shepard plays banjo on Patti's version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," accompanied by his son, Walker."

Read the press release with more details + track listing

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: should artists take laurels from institutions?
From Patti Smith's comment from The Guardian: "Last night I joined REM, the Ronettes, Van Halen and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On the eve of this event I asked myself many questions. Should an artist working within the revolutionary landscape of rock accept laurels from an institution? Should laurels be offered? Am I a worthy recipient? I have wrestled with these questions and my conscience leads me back to Fred and those like him - the maverick souls who may never be afforded such honours. Thus in his name I will accept with gratitude. Fred Sonic Smith was of the people, and I am none but him: one who has loved rock'n'roll and crawled from the ranks to the stage, to salute history and plant seeds for the erratic magic landscape of the new guard."

Watch the induction ceremony + photos

Patti Smith interviewed in 2004
The interview was first published in the Italian rock magazine JAM.

Patti Smith: willing to take the risky, ragtag way
The Boston Globe: "(About choosing the cover songs for Twelve) I had a list, and I ended up doing five of the songs on the list, some because I love the artist, some because I love the lyrics. And some just happened because I dreamed I recorded them."

Patti Smith's new album out on April 17th (Jan. 9th 2007): "Patti Smith has announced she'll cover songs from the likes of Nirvana, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, among others on a forthcoming album. "It has been a real adventure doing these songs. I've always wanted to do a cover record, but I didn't think I had the range. But now, I feel really on the top of my game." The album is set to feature guest appearances by Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, Television guitarist Tom Verlaine, and Black Crowes' Richard Robinson, as well."

Celeb Boomers: 3 Things to Do Before Death
Newsweek (Jan. 22nd 2007): "Smith will release her 11th album in March, the same month that she will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—30 years after the release of her seminal album "Horses." Known as the "poet laureate of punk," Smith continues to be an influential force in music.

"If we take care of ourselves and stay focused, we can accomplish all of our dreams."


- Learn serious horse riding from the polo club in Buenos Aires.
- Ride across the Pampas of South America.
- Read the Bible, Torah and Qur'an."

Patti Smith is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock Radio: "After several years of eligibility, Patti Smith has finally been chosen to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Smith has been eligible since 1999, because she released a single titled "Hey Joe" back in 1974, even before she got her first record deal. When we caught up with the punk poet yesterday (January 8th), Smith was thrilled, and surprisingly at a loss for words, about the honor: "I'm actually really happy. I mean, it's such an honor..."

A meeting with Patti Smith
Swedish author Peter Lucas Erixon met Patti, and here's what happened...

Patti Smith: American Artist
This beautiful 1970s photograph book was published in October 2006.