Daily Archives: January 24, 2010

Patti Smith Remembers Life With Mapplethorpe


20100115 Me 19 by Npr
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More than 40 years after she first moved to the city, Patti Smith is enough of a New York icon that despite her less-than-ostentatious manner — she arrived alone at NPR’s New York studios wearing a knit cap and scuffed snow boots — some people who see her on the street stop her to say hello.

It wasn’t always that way. She first arrived in the city at 20 years old, an aspiring artist with a passion for French poets and American rock ‘n’ roll. Smith recounts those years, and in particular her relationship with the provocative photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, in a new book called Just Kids.

“Sometimes [people] seem to think I came out of the womb, you know, cursing, with an electric guitar,” Smith tells NPR’s Deborah Amos. “I think it’s important for people to realize that we were all young, all naive, and also we had lived in a time that had magic.”

Smith met the 21-year-old Mapplethorpe on her first day in the city, and Just Kids is the story of their romance, friendship and creative bond. She and Mapplethorpe met in the summer of 1967, both children of religious upbringings, both influenced by ideas about art and outsider culture. Smith writes of staying up late to paint and listen to records in their shared apartment on Hall Street in Brooklyn, but when they first became friends, they were so poor, they sometimes slept on the street.

“You know, I wasn’t a stranger to hard times. I used to read the Bible — well, I still do, but when I was young I read the Bible quite a bit — and by Christ’s example, he embraced poverty,” Smith says. “So, all of my role models, whether it was the disciples, or John the Baptist or Arthur Rimbaud, slept under the stars.”

Smith dismisses the notion that the godmother of punk reading the Bible might strike some as a surprise.

“I don’t know why,” she says. “The very first word on my very first record is ‘Jesus.’ “

The line, in its entirety, is, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” Smith says the negation doesn’t much matter.

“I still invoke him as an entity to reckon with.”


Read on via NPR

Patti Smith

Photo by Gerard Malanga


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The Road to Interzone


The Road to Interzone is a partially annotated bibliography of the reading of William S. Burroughs. (…) In 2000, I set out to catalogue every published literary reference Burroughs made throughout his career. The document you hold in your hands is the result. It stands as a testament of an obsession and more importantly, the raw material for an investigation into what John Livingston Lowes called: ‘the shaping spirit of the imagination,’ the source materials of what was to become Burroughs’ literary legacy and the skeleton for an interpretation of the operational processes of influence and the function of artistic inspiration. (…) The Road to Interzone seeks to identify the literary influences that made WSB’s legendary canon of work possible.” 

—Michael Stevens

“A fascinating and richly helpful piece of literary archeology, tracing as broadly as possible the sources William Burroughs had available to him as he wrote. Both the title and the method echo the classic Road to Xanadu, John Livingston Lowes excavation of Coleridge’s reading: Coleridge, like Burroughs, being more than a little interested in drugs. It is a work for which all Burroughs students should be grateful.”

—Larry McMurtry


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The Moose & Pussy Issue Five


The Moose & Pussy Issue Five (The Moose & Pussy Vs. The Sexless Marriage), will be launching on Tuesday, January 26th at the Mercury Lounge at 56 Byward Market Square in partnership with Place Records’ electronic music night. Artists include pH and Adam Saikaley.

So come out for an evening of sexy readings and rad beats in a venue that looks like something out of a David Lynch film, starting at 9pm. Facebook Event here.

Contributors include: Jessica Azevedo, Andrew Battershill, Danielle Blasko, Tanya Decarie, Kira-Lynn Ferderber, Barbara Foster, John Grochalski, Jeremy Hanson-Finger, Jenna Jarvis, Kristel Jax, Kasandra Larsen, Stephen S. Mills, Katie Moore, Pippa Rogers, Ken Shakin, Rachael Simpson, Christine Sirois, Chris Weige and, last, but not least, Rotem Yaniv.

The Moose & Pussy

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