Patti Smith - Quotes

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As I grew up, one of my strongest allies has been my sister.

As I grew up, one of my strongest allies has been my sister.

Some of us are born rebellious. Like Jean Genet or Arthur Rimbaud, I roam these mean streets like a villain, a vagabond, an outcast, scavenging for the scraps that may perchance plummet off humanity's dirty plates, though often sometimes taking a cab to a restaurant is more convenient. ---->>>

Polaroid by its nature makes you frugal. You walk around with maybe two packs of film in your pocket. You have 20 shots, so each shot is a world. ---->>>

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

Bringing good news is imparting hope to one's fellow man. The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times.

Bringing good news is imparting hope to one's fellow man. The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times.

I have great respect for my parents. I got such beautiful things from both of them. It doesn't mean that we didn't have our rough times, but they were remarkable people who were open-minded, creative and hard-working, and had great senses of humor.

I have great respect for my parents. I got such beautiful things from both of them. It doesn't mean that we didn't have our rough times, but they were remarkable people who were open-minded, creative and hard-working, and had great senses of humor.

Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn't serve anyone, and it's painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you're magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to other people, so they can experience something of that person. ---->>>

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. ---->>>

To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It's freedom. ---->>>

The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times. ---->>>

If I've learned one thing in life, it's not to be so judgmental of other people. ---->>>

Sometimes you're doing really well, then, after three or four years, everything inexplicably crashes like a house of cards and you have to rebuild it. It's not like you get to a point where you're all right for the rest of your life. ---->>>

I think I'm constantly in a state of adjustment. ---->>>

As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag. ---->>>

Music television is all about the media-oriented version of what it is to be a rock star; it's not about what Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix were about - which included great images, sure, but they had spiritual and political and revolutionary content, too. ---->>>

I'm an intuitive musician. I have no real technical skills. I can only play six chords on the guitar. ---->>>

An artist may have burdens the ordinary citizen doesn't know, but the ordinary citizen has burdens that many artists never even touch. ---->>>

I've said this over and over, but I'll say it a million more times - I'm concerned more about the death of a bee than I am about terrorism. Because we're losing hives and bees by the millions because of such strong pesticides.

I've said this over and over, but I'll say it a million more times - I'm concerned more about the death of a bee than I am about terrorism. Because we're losing hives and bees by the millions because of such strong pesticides.

Even as a child, I knew what I didn't want. I didn't want to wear red lipstick. ---->>>

Good news doesn't necessarily have to be a positive thing. Bringing good news is imparting hope to one's fellow man. ---->>>

You can't carve up the world. It's not a pie. ---->>>

My style says, 'Look at me, don't look at me.' ---->>>

I personally am not interested in people trying to pigeonhole me. ---->>>

Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand. ---->>>

I want to be around a really long time. I want to be a thorn in the side of everything as long as possible. ---->>>

Maybe I'll be 48 and die in the gutter in Paris. ---->>>

I never felt oppressed because of my gender. When I'm writing a poem or drawing, I'm not a female; I'm an artist. ---->>>

I would rather write or record something great and have it overlooked than do mediocre work and have it be popular.

I would rather write or record something great and have it overlooked than do mediocre work and have it be popular.

The thing is, it's not uncool to worry about people who seem like they're going on the wrong path. There's nothing cool about being self-destructive.

The thing is, it's not uncool to worry about people who seem like they're going on the wrong path. There's nothing cool about being self-destructive.

In the period where I had to live the life of a citizen - a life where, like everybody else, I did tons of laundry and cleaned toilet bowls, changed hundreds of diapers and nursed children - I learned a lot. ---->>>

I'm not afraid of terrorism at all. I'm afraid of loss of our freedom, loss of mobility, loss of global comradeship. ---->>>

All I've ever wanted, since I was a child, was to do something wonderful. ---->>>

An artist is somebody who enters into competition with God. ---->>>

I always enjoyed doing transgender songs. ---->>>

I don't think the area of Jerusalem should be part of a Jewish state; it belongs to all people, to Christians and Muslims and the Jewish people. ---->>>

I had a really happy childhood - my siblings were great, my mother was very fanciful, and I loved to read. But there was always financial strife. ---->>>

My mother had no end of tragedy in her life. She would make herself get up and take a deep breath and go out and do laundry. Hang up sheets. ---->>>

People have the power to redeem the work of fools. ---->>>

I know I'm a strong performer. I'm not an evolved musician. ---->>>

I wanted to go to Portland because it's a really good book town. ---->>>

I was raised in rural south Jersey, and there was no culture there. There was a small library, and that was it. There was nothing else. ---->>>

It was no hardship to me to spend long hours reading and writing. ---->>>

When I was younger, I felt it was my duty to wake people up. I thought poetry was asleep. I thought rock 'n' roll was asleep. ---->>>

I'm not a very analytical person. ---->>>

I've always believed in having a sense of balance and stealth. ---->>>

If I have any regrets, I could say that I'm sorry I wasn't a better writer or a better singer. ---->>>

My sunglasses are like my guitar. ---->>>

Everyone has a creative impulse, and has the right to create, and should. ---->>>

I came into music because I thought the presentation of poetry wasn't vibrant enough. So I merged improvised poetry with basic rock chords. ---->>>

I'd just make sure with anything I say I know what I'm talking about. ---->>>

The thing I've always liked about performing is that I decide what I want to wear, whether I want to comb my hair. ---->>>

I'm a worker. I do the work to communicate, and I want people to embrace it, and when they do I'm happy. ---->>>

I've always thrived on the encouragement of others. ---->>>

People called me the godmother of punk, but I never name myself anything. ---->>>

The new artists coming through were very materialistic and Hollywood, not so engaged in communication. ---->>>

We tried not to age, but time had its rage.

We tried not to age, but time had its rage.

From very early on in my childhood - four, five years old - I felt alien to the human race. I felt very comfortable with thinking I was from another planet, because I felt disconnected - I was very tall and skinny, and I didn't look like anybody else, I didn't even look like any member of my family. ---->>>

Since childhood, it was my dream to go where all the poets and artists had been. Rimbaud, Artaud, Brancusi, Camus, Picasso, Bresson, Goddard, Jeanne Moreau, Juliette Greco, everybody - Paris for me was a Mecca. ---->>>

Nothing is a hobby - each discipline is its own world with its own high standards. Of course, every artist has 'minor works' that they do, but I don't think I have any 'minor disciplines.' ---->>>

It's no secret - I love detective fiction. One of the reasons I love being in London is because I like to watch all the shows on TV. I watch them all. ---->>>

It's not that I have compromised or anything, but it's always been important to me to take good care of myself and be a good example. I'm not much a role model in terms of hair care, though. ---->>>

My mother and father had so many ups and downs and stayed with each other and helped each other. My mother took in ironing and she was a waitress. My father was working in the factory and he did people's tax returns. ---->>>

Why do people want to know exactly who I am? Am I a poet? Am I this or that? I've always made people wary. First they called me a rock poet. Then I was a poet that dabbled in rock. Then I was a rock person who dabbled in art. ---->>>

Hopefully if you create something fine, people will relate to it, so you're communicating with people, and you're not in a void. On the other hand, because you're always creating and transforming, art always separates you - always. ---->>>

I don't stay in one discipline because it's more lucrative than another. In fact, the most successful thing I ever did was 'Just Kids,' for which I had absolutely no expectations. ---->>>

I was never a singer; I can't play any instruments; I had no training. Plus, I was brought up in a time when all the great rock stars were male. I didn't have any template for what I was doing. I did what I did out of frustration and concern. ---->>>

I've always looked the same. Since I was a child, I hated having to deal with my hair. I hated having to change my clothes. As a kid, I had a sailor shirt and the same old corduroy pants, and that's what I wanted to wear everyday. ---->>>

Since I was a child, I hated having to deal with my hair. I hated having to change my clothes. As a kid, I had a sailor shirt and the same old corduroy pants, and that's what I wanted to wear everyday. ---->>>

The issue of gender was never my biggest concern; my biggest concern was doing good work. When the feminist movement really got going, I wasn't an active part of it because I was more concerned with my own mental pursuits. ---->>>

I didn't know Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse, but I was affected by both of their deaths because I admired their work so much and mourned their youth and work they would never produce. ---->>>

Somehow I started introducing writing into my drawings, and after a time, the language took over and I started getting very involved with the handwriting and then the look of the handwriting. ---->>>

Truthfully, I don't really think of myself as a photographer. I don't have all the disciplines and knowledge of a person who's spent their life devoted to photography. ---->>>

I have a daughter who's 11 years old. Maybe she'll grow up independent and really really heavy and become a movie star and she'll play me in my life story. ---->>>

People came at me with all sorts of offers, wanting to make me into a hard-core Cher. I had no desire for any amount of money to be reformed for someone's vision, because in the end, that's what you got: your clay in someone else's hands. ---->>>

When I was young, I knew William Burroughs really well. And William's secret desire, which he never quite did, was to write a straightforward detective novel. ---->>>

I felt alien my whole life, but I didn't feel alien because of my gender. Other people made me aware of my gender. ---->>>

I like gettin' old. ---->>>

My parents had three kids right after the Second World War, and we were all sort of sickly. Then I had a fourth sibling, with very serious asthma. The medical bills... So my parents always struggled. ---->>>

As an artist, I used to think that my responsibility was to do good work. But I had to learn from the '70s on that being a public figure presents another aspect of responsibility. ---->>>

Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine. ---->>>

An artist wears his work in place of wounds. ---->>>

My mother answers all my fan mail. ---->>>

Everyone thinks of God as a man - you can't help it - Santa Claus was a man, therefore God has to be a man. ---->>>

Artists are traditionally resistant to labels.

Artists are traditionally resistant to labels.

I'm not saying I wasn't flawed or amateurish. But you can never say I did anything to appease the music business. ---->>>

No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist. ---->>>

What I really like is an intelligent review. It doesn't have to be positive. A review that has some kind of insight, and sometimes people say something that's startling or is so poignant. ---->>>

I dreamed of having a book of my own, of writing one that I could put on a shelf. ---->>>

A day doesn't go by where I don't create something. ---->>>

Besides me wanting to be an artist, I wanted to be a movie star. ---->>>

I am not really certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur. ---->>>

First of all, anybody who has lasted 30 and went through the 60's is really a survivor. ---->>>

Horses pretty much broke as a record in England.

Horses pretty much broke as a record in England.

I was so unhealthy as a child, and at least three or four times my parents were told to get ready, that I would not make it. ---->>>

My father was a dreamy fellow - he read Plato and Socrates and watched Phillies games. ---->>>

What I say should always be prefaced with this: I'm not really politically articulate. I just try to be like Thomas Paine: what is common sense? So when I say these things to you, I am speaking from a humanist point of view. I just look around and see what's wrong. ---->>>

I loved books; I read my childhood away. I was more interested in my interior world. ---->>>

I never thought I was gonna live to 30. ---->>>

I wrote every day. I don't think I could have written 'Just Kids' had I not spent all of the 80s developing my craft as a writer. ---->>>

If I feel any marginalisation, it's because the things that concern me aren't so important to other people. ---->>>

Let's just say that I think any person who aspires, presumes, or feels the calling to be an artist has a built-in sense of duty. ---->>>

Well, I'm not one of those people who needs the limelight. If I'm performing, that's what I'm doing. If I'm not, I don't long for it. I don't need the approval of an audience, or applause. ---->>>

I don't think public life in and of itself can destroy you. I think it's the way people react to it, and some people are more sturdy than others... I don't think any one faction can be blamed for a person's self destruction - a certain amount of that has to be innate. ---->>>

I had to learn, really, how to rein in my energies and discipline myself. And I found it very very useful. I rebelled against it at first, but it's a good thing to have. ---->>>

For Christmas every year, my mother used to give me those cheap little diaries that would tell your horoscope and provide a little blank slot for each day. ---->>>

I learned a lot from Arthur Rimbaud. People talk about how he wanted to be a seer and do that through the derangement of the senses. What they forget was that he also advocated, sternly and austerely, that one must be able to go through all that - and then articulate it. ---->>>

My father's mother was from Liverpool and she had this very beautiful English china. I only wanted to drink my cocoa out of my grandmother's cup and saucer. ---->>>

One of my great goals when I first started taking photographs or showing them publicly is that people might want one for over their desk. That's my goal. ---->>>

What I wanted to do in rock 'n roll was merge poetry with sonic scapes, and the two people who had contributed so much to that were Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

What I wanted to do in rock 'n roll was merge poetry with sonic scapes, and the two people who had contributed so much to that were Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

In 1974, when I started working with the material that became 'Horses,' a lot of our great voices had died. We'd lost Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, and people like Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. ---->>>

Usually when I go to a place for the first time, unless there's something historical or spectacular that nature has to offer, the first thing I like to do is see what's on the minds of the people. ---->>>

I don't think the Palestinian people or Afghan children or some other things I'm concerned about are at the top of other people's agendas - not right now, when America is going through such a recession and people are suffering across the board financially. But I think all that will change. ---->>>

More than anything, that's been the thread through my life - the desire to write, the impulse to write. I mean, it's taken me other places, but it was the impulse to write that led me to singing. ---->>>

People wouldn't know this about me, but I adore ball gowns. I love their cut, their architecture and the thought of the hands of so many seamstresses working on them. ---->>>

When I stopped performing for 16 years and lived in Michigan and was married and raising my children, I wrote about four or five books. I haven't published them. ---->>>

A lot of children don't have a developed aesthetic. I did. I made early choices in life, even about cloth; I liked flannel and not polyester. ---->>>

C'mon, I mean who didn't listen to 'The Who' in the 60s? ---->>>

Then I read Little Women, and of course, like a lot of really young girls, I was very taken with Jo - Jo being the writer and the misfit. ---->>>

There are so many great 19th-century photographers, and it's really my favorite period, but the amateurs did such beautiful work. ---->>>

When I was young, all I wanted was to write books and be an artist. ---->>>

A lot of my audience are in their 50s. But they want me to pretend to continue to be pretending. ---->>>

Americans just don't know what being a movie star's all about. ---->>>

Christianity made us think there's one heaven.

Christianity made us think there's one heaven.

I always wanted to be an artist, writer and poet since I was seven, and one has to live long enough to evolve as an artist and do one's finest work. ---->>>

I didn't begin my life in 1975 with 'Horses.' I recorded 'Horses' in 1975, but was drawing in Paris in 1969. ---->>>

I had a handful of records, but when I was 11 years old, I liked Puccini as much as Little Richard. They both made sense to me. ---->>>

I'm not really a nostalgic person. ---->>>

I've lost lots of men in my life, besides my mother, which is a whole different loss. ---->>>

I've written a lot of prose. I just haven't published it. ---->>>

If your label won't let you have the cover you want or sing the songs you want, then leave! ---->>>

In fact, I thought my calling was to be a painter. ---->>>

Mohammed personally mapped out seven heavens. If he got to seven, you know there's more. ---->>>

My mom loved rock 'n roll. My father hated it. We couldn't play it when he was around. ---->>>

Rock n' roll is dream soup, what's your brand? ---->>>

Sure I destroyed my guitar at every concert, but it was okay, because I'd always get a shiny new one the very next day. ---->>>

What a model of an artist was for me was an artist who worked. Picasso was the ultimate model, because the work ethic he had. ---->>>

If I'm taking a picture of Brancusi's grave, I know that there's something of him, of his mortal remains, beneath my feet, and there's something beautiful about that. ---->>>

My parents were very well read. They were both New Englanders, not highly educated, but they had a sophisticated... they were both very humanistic, and they were sophisticated readers. ---->>>

Ornette Coleman is a real musician. He takes all of the things he's thinking about in the world - which is a whole universe upon universe - and translates this into music. ---->>>

The moment of creative impulse is what an artist gives you. You look at a Pollock, and it can't give you the tools to do a painting like that yourself, but in doing the work, Pollock shares with you the moment of creative impulse that drove him to do that work. ---->>>

When I stopped performing for 16 years and lived in Michigan and was married and raising my children, I wrote about four or five books. I haven't published them. I just haven't gotten around to it for several reasons. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 12-30, 1946
Birthplace: in Chicago, Illinois
Die:
Occupation: Musician

Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses. Called the "punk poet laureate", Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Her most widely known song is "Because the Night", which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen (wikipedia)