Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Just Kids, by Patti Smith
This book is great. Smith's writing is beautiful and her observations are blunt but nostalgic. I did not know much about Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe for that matter (other than that she was a punk icon and he was a controversial photographer), but this book tells the story of their intense relationship as they were in the process of discovering what kind of artists and what kind of people they would become. Keith Richards, in Life, briefly describes his childhood and learning the guitar, and then almost immediately he is in The Rolling Stones and they are becoming a huge success and he is playing with all of his heroes. Smith and Mapplethorpe, living in the Chelsea Hotel, are similarly surrounded early on by giants in the arts community, but it takes them a good deal of personal struggle to figure out where they fit within that community.