Patti Smith: life and works of the rock poet

Italian universities confer a Patti Smith honorary degrees in literature, collaborates with the combat folk group of Arezzo Casa nel vento, inaugurates the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin: in short, it seems that Italy has adopted with great honor and pleasure to Smith. Icon like few of the world rockin 70’sAfter having written large pages of modern history to music and words, he retires from the stage to devote himself to his family, sporadically releasing a few records: the guide to Patti Smith’s masterpieces and the fundamental stages of his life.

Patti Smith biography

Today we often see Patti Smith still engaged in several concerts, many of which are in Italy: tireless and full of the spirit that the soul from the beginning, of which at least the historic album of Patti Smith Horses, brings activism and support for civil rights around the world, as well as great music. Wanting to talk about what of Patti Smith is the biographyyou may be wondering: where was Patti Smith born? The American artist, whose full name is Patricia Lee Smith, is originally from Chicago. And again, when she was born, how old is Patti Smith? She was born on December 30, 1946, so she turns 75 at the end of 2021. Together with her family, consisting of two sisters, Linda and Kimberly, a brother, Todd, and her parents Grant and Beverly (mother who, among other things, is a jazz singer), moved from Chicago to some towns near Philadelphia and New Jersey, the latter place of origin of Bruce Springsteen.

Patti Smith singer

The experience of Patti Smith as a singer begins when she is 28, in a completely independent way: first through poetry to music and readings, then with some singles, until the turning point, represented by the meeting with John Cale, founder of Velvet Underground together with Lou Reed, in the 1960s. Cale produces them Horses, the most passionate and visionary album by Patti Smith, which definitively launched her in the musical panorama of the period, also making her gain important combinations with Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison. Smith’s solemn poetic style causes someone to start calling her the priestess of rock.

Who is Patti Smith’s husband?

The love life of the singer is most famous for the one who gives Patti Smith is the companion from the beginningthat is the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe: the artist often portrays her and contributes to taking some historical photos of Patti, who still today are an icon in the collective imagination. The two live in a room of that Chelsea Hotel became another symbol of the history of punk rock and the bohemian life of American creatives, until Mapplethorpe falls in love with gallery owner Sam Wagstaff and the two contract AIDS, the plague that creeps silently especially between the 70s and 90s .

Meanwhile, the singer finds her stability and gets married: who is Patti Smith’s husband? This is the guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith (the classic line says: “she married him so as not to change surname”). The two even retire from the stage to devote themselves to family life, just when she is at the peak of success. With the husband Patti Smith gives birth to two children: Jackson and Jesse. For Patti Smith the children they begin to represent the fulcrum of his life, so much so that he actually returns to the scene only since 1994, after the death of his beloved companion. Son Jackson is now with The White Stripes drummer Meg White while Patti Smith and daughter Jesse repeatedly demonstrated their closeness to Italy during the period of the pandemic, also dedicating a concert to our country hard hit by the health emergency.

patti smith biography

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Patti Smith songs

What are the songs by Patti Smith who made history? Let’s try to deepen the question by taking into consideration his most significant records, published between the second half of the 70s and the end of the 90’s.

Patti Smith – Horses

The aforementioned disc by Patti Smith Horses represents in its debut with a bang in 1975: produced by the Arista records label with the collaboration of John Cale, it is considered a milestone in the history of music as it pioneers the movement punk, not only from a musical point of view, but also from a cultural point of view. The album cover is a photo taken by Robert Mapplethorpe that contains the reference to a work by Frida Kahlo. The song featured on the Patti Smith Glorytakes up that of Van Morrison changing, however, the text in a punk key.

Patti Smith – Radio Ethiopia

After Horses arrives the following year, in 1976, for Patti Smith the album Radio Ethiopia: the abstract and visionary figure of the singer-songwriter is increasingly evident, as well as all the wild and feverish qualities in singing that give Smith the nickname of priestess and shaman of rock. The cover is a shot, this time not by Mapplethorpe, but by the artist and friend of Patti Judy Linn while the reference to Ethiopia is due to the last refuge of the poet Rimbaud.

Patti Smith – Easter

Two years after the first two, in 1978, Patti Smith publishes Easter, album of the definitive consecration. It is a less raw work than what has been recorded up to now, thanks also to collaborations with some already established artists. For example, the emblem song enclosed in Easter is one of the most famous hits of Patti Smith like Because the nightwritten by Bruce Springsteen and then adapted by his colleague, to whom the piece is sold.

Patti Smith – Wave

In 1979 Patti Smith with Wave definitively takes the path of political and social involvement, also embracing mystical themes: inside the disc there is a photo of Pope Luciani with the phrase “music is reconciliation with God”, while in songs by Patti Smith like Dancing barefoot it refers to both the tragic love between Amedeo Modigliani and the painter Jeanne Hébuterne, both to that towards the neighbor. In Broken flag the theme is that of patriotism and then return to feelings with the song by Patti Smith Frederick, dedicated to her husband. 1979 is also the year of great concerts, including those in September in Bologna and Florence.

patti smith singer

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Patti Smith – Dream of life

We take a leap in 1988 with the work of Patti Smith Dream of life: now that the artist is married she has changed her priorities and lives away from the scenes. This record is written entirely with her husband and guitarist Fred: the flagship single for Patti Smith is People have the powera protest song that seeks to spread the pacifist, democratic and revolutionary spirit of the 60’s to the generations that have not lived them.

Patti Smith – Gone again

Another leap, this time up to 1996: the albumen that after several years, and even after some mourning (the death of her husband, of a trusted musician of her group, of her brother and of Mapplethorpe) marks the return of Patti Smith with Gone again is a dark and acoustic record, with a piece of Bob Dylan, Wicked Messenger.

Patti Smith – Peace and noise

The last album of the 90s for Patti Smith is Peace and noisewith which the end of inspiration for the American singer and poetess is felt a little.

Patti Smith – the 2000s

With regard to Patti Smith in the 2000shis production adds four more discs to the list: Gung Ho (2000), dedicated to the figure of Ho Chi Minh, Trampin ‘ (2004), in which daughter Jesse appears, Twelve (2007), a record of covers ranging from pieces of Jimi Hendrix ai Nirvana and Banga (2012).

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