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In Just Kids, Patti Smith's first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work - from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.



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Patti Smith

Patti Smith is considered a poet whose energy and vision found its voice in the most powerful medium of our culture, music. As one of the early pioneers of New York City’s dynamic punk scene, she has been creating her unique blend of poetic rock and roll for over 35 years. She was born in Chicago in 1946, the eldest of four siblings and was raised in South Jersey. From an early age, she gravitated toward the arts and human rights issues. She studied at Glassboro State Teachers College and migrated to New York City in 1967. She teamed up with art student Robert Mapplethorpe and the two encouraged each other’s work process, pursuing painting and drawing while she focused on poetry.In February 1971, Smith had her first public reading at St. Mark’s Church on the Lower East Side, accompanied by Lenny Kaye on guitar. That same year she co-wrote and performed the play Cowboy Mouth with playwright Sam Shepard. Continuing to write and perform her poetry around New York, including at the legendary Max’s Kansas City, Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye combined their collective and varied musical roots and her improvised poetry. The independent single release, Hey Joe/ Piss Factory, featured Tom Verlaine. The trio helped to open up a restricted music scene that centered on CBGB’s in New York City. After recruiting guitarist Ivan Kral, they played CBGB’s for eight weeks in the spring of 1975 and then added drummer Jay Dee Daugherty. Smith described their work as ‘‘three chords merged with the power of the word.’’ Smith was signed by Clive Davis to his fledgling Arista label and recorded four albums: Horses (produced by John Cale), Radio Ethiopia (produced by Jack Douglas), Easter (produced by Jimmy Iovine), which included her top twenty hit Because the Night, co-written with Bruce Springsteen, and Wave (produced by Todd Rundgren).In October 1979, Smith retired from the public eye and moved to Detroit with Fred ‘‘Sonic’’ Smith. In 1980, they married, had two children and wrote songs together with no regret for the self imposed exile from show business. In 1988, they recorded Dream of Life (produced by Fred ‘‘Sonic’’ Smith and Jimmy Iovine) that included the classic anthem, People Have the Power, which the two wrote while she did the dinner dishes. It combined his White Panther polemics with her revolutionary spirit. It also marked her final collaboration with three of her closest companions, all who met with untimely deaths; Robert Mapplethorpe, who photographed her for the cover; Richard Sohl, who provided all of the keyboards; and her husband, Fred ‘‘Sonic’’ Smith who had composed the music.In the summer of 1995, with the help of old and new friends, Smith released Gone Again (produced by Malcolm Burn and Lenny Kaye), a highly acclaimed meditation on passage and mortality. In touring the album, opening for Bob Dylan, it also marked her



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