Friday 2 January 2015

Book Review: 'Just Kids' by Patti Smith

Just KidsJust Kids by Patti Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Just Kids' was narrated in such an upfront, candid way. Conversational tone remains consistent throughout. Simple storytelling. This is our beloved American rocker. Talking to us. That alone carries a certain high voltage energy! Have you seen her live? I have. So it helps to know someone whose music you love, is telling you about themselves and giving you an interior window to their life and heartbeat. She really lets us in!

I was impressed (and not wholly suprised) by Patti Smith's ability to tell her story in a captivating way. I knew already she carried around a journal and wrote her young life down. Many of those journal entries are included in this book, plus photos, and deepens our experience of a young pre-celeb Patti Smith. The cross-pollination of musicians to writers occasionally comes off well. Nick Cave even wrote a pretty good book of fiction. In this case, I feel it comes off spectacularly. I was born in the 70's, so Patti was a legend already by the time I was teenager. I really like her music, but I feel I relate better to the musicians closer to my age who remind me of modern versions of her, like P.J. Harvey. An autobiography was just what my heart needed to get closer to Patti Smith by her personal reflections and recollections.

Now add to the mix some more source energy! Here we have a fresh perspective of NYC at the height of rock-n-roll. And from the vantage point of one of its fresh new stars! A vibrant setting indeed. And the cast of characters could not be more fascinating. Her empathic nature. The way she connected with others. Her humility. I am drawn to her because she keeps her ego in check. I have always been drawn to her, and now I know why. The chick is humble. She is conscious. She walks through life mostly unafraid, and definitely affected.

This book is worth reading. Patti Smith has had a helluva life. She walks us through the heartbeat of a killer scene in America! When maybe the culture was a little less jaded. We get inside her All-Stars and at street level. Thanks.   - K @

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