2003 / page three
Jonathan: Aside from your increasing
commitment to politics, which speaks for itself and is inextricable from your
work, have you noticed a change in your perception of yourself as an artist since
those early days of Piss Factory?
Patti Smith: If I
did not notice a sense of evolution in my work and in myself, I would be in big
Mary: Do your kids think you're totally uncool
or do they appreciate who their mother is and what she has done for music and
Patti Smith: I can't speak for my kids.
Hopefully I have been a good mother. That is all I am concerned about in terms
of their perception of me.
Bob: William Burroughs and
Keith Richards, two very different kinds of artists, both seem to have influenced
your work, and I'm interested in what it is that attracts you to them: do you
see them as having anything in common, and how specifically has each of them influenced
you? Could you somehow be seen as the illegitimate offspring of Bill and Keith?
Smith: I got my haircut from Keith Richards and my overcoat from William.
And my blood from my own father.
Peter: As your daughter
becomes older and more independent, how do you foresee this affecting your career
with the Patti Smith Group? Do you foresee this leading to a more active performing
and recording career?
Patti Smith: The Patti Smith
Group ended in 1979. And I have never been interested in having a career. I have
worked with my present band since Gone Again, and we are work driven, not career
Amy: Whenever I read interviews you've done,
I am amazed at all of your knowledge on so many subjects, in particular writers.
I want to know so much, want to read so much, but I feel like I will never be
able to acquire enough to satisfy me. Do you ever feel satisfied or is there always
something next on your list?
Patti Smith: I am excited
that there is always something new to learn. I hope that I will never be satisfied.
Steve: I saw Noam Chomsky speak on linguistics once, and he answered many detailed, specific
questions from the audience about narrow points in government and binding theory.
For a final question, someone asked him, "What is freedom?" A great
question for a great mind to run with, and his answer was informed by his linguistic
theory and study of cognition. So my question for Patti is: From your point of
view as a musician, an artist, and a poet, what is freedom?
Smith: To define freedom for oneself, with respect for ones fellow man.
Patti Smith interviews and other website specials