Patti Smith Quotes

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Patti Smith

Smith performing at Provinssirock festival, Seinäjoki, Finland, June 2007
Background information
Birth name Patricia Lee Smith
Born (1946-12-30) December 30, 1946 (age 70)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Origin Woodbury, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres

Punk rock[1]
art punk[2]
proto-punk[3]
art rock[4]

Occupation(s)

Singer-songwriter
poet
visual artist
author

Instruments

Vocals
guitar
clarinet

Years active 1971–present
Labels

Arista
Columbia

Associated acts

Tom Verlaine
Blue Öyster Cult

Website pattismith.net

What I wanted in life always was to write something as good as 'Pinocchio.' I wanted to write. I wanted to evolve. I wanted to grow.
Patti Smith
I was studying Francis of Assisi for quite some time, when Benedict was still the pope. And I was studying it for a song that I did for my last album, 'Banga.'
Patti Smith
I think I'm constantly in a state of adjustment.
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
A lot of my audience are in their 50s. But they want me to pretend to continue to be pretending.
Patti Smith
All I've ever wanted, since I was a child, was to do something wonderful.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I know that some people have different personas for the different things they do, and I'm not criticizing that – maybe it's a good thing – but I'm the same old person, so I take everything in stride.
Patti Smith
It's taken me other places, but it was the impulse to write that led me to singing. I'm not a musician. I never thought of performing in a rock n' roll band. I was just drawn in. It was like being called to duty – I was called to duty, and I did my duty as best as I could.
Patti Smith
I remember when the Bic pen was controversial. They came from France. They were cheap, and when one was out of ink, you threw it away; you didn't dip it into more ink.
Patti Smith
Pop music has always been about the mainstream and what appeals to the public.
Patti Smith
Nothing will stifle your human evolution more than fame and fortune.
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.
Patti Smith
I was born in 1946, so I was born on the tail end of when everything was deemed important. You made things to last. If you came from a poor family, there was only one can opener.
Patti Smith
I have bigger concerns than what pop stars are doing. I'm more concerned about our environment, what industrialists are doing to it.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
My daughter is one of my greatest inspirations. She's an environmentalist, she plays piano, she's raising money for the earthquake victims in Nepal. Every day she surprises me and teaches me something.
Patti Smith
As I grew up, one of my strongest allies has been my sister.
I dreamed of having a book of my own, of writing one that I could put on a shelf.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
Everyone has a creative impulse, and has the right to create, and should.
Good news doesn't necessarily have to be a positive thing. Bringing good news is imparting hope to one's fellow man.
Patti Smith
The thing is that any sophistication I have, aesthetically, comes from 'Vogue' and 'Harper's Bazaar.' In the '60s, I never missed an issue, even if I had to steal to get them.
Patti Smith
I don't believe any artist who says, 'I had to do that because DJs will tell me I can't play that music. I will lose my job.' Well, lose the job and create a new job. If your label won't let you have the cover you want or sing the songs you want, then leave!
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
An artist wears his work in place of wounds.
Mohammed personally mapped out seven heavens. If he got to seven, you know there's more.
Patti Smith
My parents were very humanistic, but where we lived was not the cultural center of the world. Hardly. So I came to New York for two reasons: to find my own kin and also to get a job. And that's what I came to New York for in '67.
Patti Smith
I always wrote. 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.
Patti Smith
Horses pretty much broke as a record in England.
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I want to be around a really long time. I want to be a thorn in the side of everything as long as possible.
Patti Smith
The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times.
Patti Smith
I'm not a very analytical person.
When I was young, all I wanted was to write books and be an artist.
I sang 'O Holy Night' with the Vatican orchestra, but also a Blake – a lullaby that William Blake wrote for the Christ child, and I set it to music, and the Vatican orchestra played the music.
Patti Smith
The thing is that as you grow through life, the pursuit of art and the pursuit of new ideas, all these things keeps your mind elastic.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
Americans just don't know what being a movie star's all about.
We have such a great depth of human history in all of the arts, whether it's opera or mathematics or painting or classical music or jazz. There's so many things to study, new books to read, and certainly always ways to transform old ideas and to come up with new ones.
Patti Smith
My mom loved rock n' roll. My father hated it. We couldn't play it when he was around. He liked classical music and Duke Ellington.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
It was no hardship to me to spend long hours reading and writing.
I was raised Jehovah's Witness. I was in Bible school at five or six years old, but I wouldn't say that we were a religious family.
Patti Smith
Rock n' roll is dream soup, what's your brand?
I have a lot of energy, and I like to work.
I haven't had the most thrilling lifestyle. I was a pretty good dresser, but I would have a pretty boring 'Behind the Music.'
Patti Smith
I loved being a rock and roll star, but it wasn't what I wanted in life.
Patti Smith
My style says, 'Look at me, don't look at me.'
I wanted to go to Portland because it's a really good book town.
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.
Patti Smith
There are so many great 19th-century photographers, and it's really my favorite period, but the amateurs did such beautiful work.
Patti Smith
My son and daughter lost their father quite young, so we keep him present with us. It's just a daily practice.
Patti Smith
There is hardly a place in New York that you can't walk a block and a half and get a cup of coffee. Believe me, I've been all over the world. There's no place like that but New York City.
Patti Smith
I didn't love Jim Morrison 'cause he was self-destructive. I loved him because of his work. Because of the way he merged poetry and rock-and-roll. Because he did something new.
Patti Smith
I just do my work, and I work every day, and my ambition is just to do something better than I last did.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I was a lower middle-class kid. My family had no money. There was no room in our small house where there were already four kids, including myself, living.
Patti Smith
My father was a dreamy fellow – he read Plato and Socrates and watched Phillies games.
Patti Smith
I'm a worker. I do the work to communicate, and I want people to embrace it, and when they do I'm happy.
Patti Smith
You can't carve up the world. It's not a pie.
I am not really certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur.
Patti Smith
If your label won't let you have the cover you want or sing the songs you want, then leave!
Patti Smith
I came into music because I thought the presentation of poetry wasn't vibrant enough. So I merged improvised poetry with basic rock chords. That was my original mission.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
First of all, anybody who has lasted 30 and went through the 60's is really a survivor.
Patti Smith
I personally am not interested in people trying to pigeonhole me.
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I'm an intuitive musician. I have no real technical skills. I can only play six chords on the guitar.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I'm not part of any movement; I don't like being fettered.
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.
Patti Smith
Artists, musicians, scientists – if you have any kind of visionary aptitude, it's often something that you don't have a choice in. You have to do it.
Patti Smith
I was a sickly child, not very strong physically. I wasn't really the greatest in school. I didn't really excel in anything particularly. But I was happy with who I was.
Patti Smith
It was always my belief that rock and roll belonged in the hands of the people, not rock stars.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
My mission is to stay healthy and productive and serve as a good example.
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.
Patti Smith
The only thing I daydreamed about was being an opera singer. But I was so skinny and so pathetic that that sort of wasn't going to happen.
Patti Smith
I voted for Obama. I was very happy when he won. But Obama hasn't really been able to effectively do anything that has made me… He hasn't helped the environment. He didn't close Guantanamo Bay. He went deeper into Afghanistan.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
My dad got a job in a factory in Philadelphia, so I was raised in Germantown in a sort of a barracks for soldiers. They had housing for temporary housing. And then my parents saved money and bought a little house in South Jersey, built on a swamp.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
An artist is somebody who enters into competition with God.
I didn't begin my life in 1975 with 'Horses.' I recorded 'Horses' in 1975, but was drawing in Paris in 1969.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
The reason we did 'Land of a Thousand Dances' and 'Gloria' on 'Horses' was because I liked repetitious, three-chord rock songs, but I didn't understand that I could write my own. I didn't realize that you could use those chords a million times.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I get irritated with the world. I get irritated with politicians. I get very irritated with governments and with corporations, but in terms of imagination – my imagination is always fertile. I'm either thinking of my own things or constantly engaged by the things that other people do.
Patti Smith
You're not a rock n' roll person four hours a day or even when you're on stage. It's become the rhythm of your whole life.
Patti Smith
I've always believed in having a sense of balance and stealth.
I would rather write or record something great and have it overlooked than do mediocre work and have it be popular.
Patti Smith
I know what that tastes like, to be a rock-and-roll star – to have a limousine, to have girls screaming when they see you, girls trying to cut my hair, get a piece of me. But I don't walk around with a concept of myself as a rock-and-roll star, and certainly not as a musician, because I really can't play anything, except primitively.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.
Patti Smith
I come from a working-class family, and I've been working since I was 13, from babysitting to blueberry picking to factory work to bookstore work. And of course, being a mother and homemaker, the hardest work of all.
Patti Smith
Besides me wanting to be an artist, I wanted to be a movie star.
I've lost lots of men in my life, besides my mother, which is a whole different loss.
Patti Smith
People have the power to redeem the work of fools.
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I liked being on stage; I just didn't like the theatrical aspect of being in front of people.
Patti Smith
I was quite an insomniac. I rarely slept as a child. Having God to talk to at night was nice.
Patti Smith
If you feel good about who you are inside, it will radiate.
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.
Patti Smith
Robert Mapplethorpe asked me to write our story the day before he died. I had never written a book of nonfiction, and so it took me almost two decades to write that book.
Patti Smith
The thing I've always liked about performing is that I decide what I want to wear, whether I want to comb my hair.
Patti Smith
I come from a real working class background, and I didn't know anyone sophisticated – except I saw Edie Sedgewick once at the Art Museum in Philly. She had these black leotards and little black pumps and this big ermine cape and all these white dogs and black sunglasses and black eyes. She was classy!
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
When I was a young girl, I'd love giving book reports.
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. I like 'Detective Frost.'
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I work to Glenn Gould in the morning and go to sleep listening to Parsifal.
Patti Smith
My siblings were a bit younger than me, and I was always entertaining them and making up stories.
Patti Smith
My mom loved rock 'n roll. My father hated it. We couldn't play it when he was around.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
People called me the godmother of punk, but I never name myself anything.
I always enjoyed doing transgender songs.
I think we have a creative impulse where suffering can magnify our work, but so can joy. You can be in love and write the greatest love song ever. Sometimes I think too much suffering makes it difficult to do one's work.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I try not to give too much advice, really, because people have to do their things their way. I got lots of advice when I was young, and I ignored most of it – the good and the bad.
Patti Smith
I'd just make sure with anything I say I know what I'm talking about.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
In the '60s, I used to love rock magazines; I'd cut out pictures of Bob Dylan and John Lennon.
Patti Smith
Everyone thinks of God as a man – you can't help it – Santa Claus was a man, therefore God has to be a man.
Patti Smith
I was actually born in Chicago, and then when I was a toddler, my parents moved to Philadelphia.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
If I've learned one thing in life, it's not to be so judgmental of other people.
Patti Smith
I knew William Burroughs really well, and I was always star struck being around him. I adored him.
Patti Smith
Of course, every artist has 'minor works' that they do, but I don't think I have any 'minor disciplines.' Each discipline I approach as a major undertaking that I put my whole self into.
Patti Smith
As a citizen, hopefully I'm humanist. As an artist, I'm free.
I don't believe people playing rock n' roll should have crowns. We're not kings and queens. Anybody can play it.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I love playing the Fillmore. I love the walk from the hotel and climbing up those old, iron stairs that lead to the stage. I imagine Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors and all those other great bands climbing those same stairs.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I never thought I was gonna live to 30.
The cult of celebrity in the '60s and '70s was really more reserved for movie stars or high socialites. Paparazzi didn't care about Janis Joplin.
Patti Smith
No matter what anybody thinks about any of them, every record I've done has been done with the same amount of care, anguish, pain, suffering, and joy.
Patti Smith
I'm always writing. And, I mean, I always counsel people when they call me a musician: I really do not have the skills of a musician. I really don't think like a musician, though I love music and I perform and sing.
Patti Smith
I had this idea that the coolest thing that could happen to you was talking with God. My father was always talking about God, and I idolized my father, so I'd spend hours trying to have mental telepathy with God.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
My mother answers all my fan mail.
I felt alien my whole life, but I didn't feel alien because of my gender. Other people made me aware of my gender.
Patti Smith
For everything bad, there's a million really exciting things, whether it's someone puts out a really great book, there's a new movie, there's a new detective, the sky is unbelievably golden, or you have the best cup of coffee you ever had in your life.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I've always thrived on the encouragement of others.
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.
Patti Smith
New York is a great city. There is no question of that. It's such a diverse city. I've walked down the city and heard four or five different languages simultaneously. I think that's beautiful.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
The Bible is very resonant. It has everything: creation, betrayal, lust, poetry, prophecy, sacrifice. All great things are in the Bible, and all great writers have drawn from it and more than people realise, whether Shakespeare, Herman Melville or Bob Dylan.
Patti Smith
Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.
If I have any regrets, I could say that I'm sorry I wasn't a better writer or a better singer.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
Even as a child, I knew what I didn't want. I didn't want to wear red lipstick.
Patti Smith
When I did 'Horses,' I never expected to make another album.
We didn't have the phrase 'style icon' when I was young, but I have to say, I really copied Bob Dylan when I was younger: a little bit of Bob Dylan or a lot of Bob Dylan and the French symbolist poets – I liked how they dressed – and Catholic school boys.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
When I was a child, I was certain that I could remember what it was like to live on Venus; I could remember what it was like to live in the American Plains. I could remember. And it's ancient memory. We all have it. It's just that some of us access it more than others.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I had a penchant myself for doing several things at once. I wanted to draw, write, speak.
Patti Smith
My sunglasses are like my guitar.
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.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
When I was young, I was offered my first recording contract in 1971 and was offered quite a bit of money if I would change my character and be a '70s version of Cher.
Patti Smith
I've written a lot of prose. I just haven't published it.
You can't change the world; you can't fix the whole environment. But you can recycle. You can turn the water off when you're brushing your teeth. You can do small things.
Patti Smith
I was in musical comedy. And I did very well, but the memorization killed me. I'm not good at memorizing, and it gave me a lot of anxiety. I hated the makeup. I hated all that pancake makeup. I didn't really like dressing for parts.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
'M Train' is as close to knowing what I'm like as anything. I don't know exactly what the book is about. All and nothing, I suppose.
Patti Smith
C'mon, I mean who didn't listen to 'The Who' in the 60s?
I loved books; I read my childhood away. I was more interested in my interior world.
Patti Smith
The new artists coming through were very materialistic and Hollywood, not so engaged in communication.
Patti Smith
In fact, I thought my calling was to be a painter.
As I go through life, I can see why my mother directed me that way, or why my father counseled me in that way. But some things you're open to when you're young, and some things you need to find out for yourself. I think that that's pretty universal.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I'm a human being, I'm a friend, I'm a mom, I'm a writer, and I'm an artist. I do play electric guitar and all of that, but in the end, I'm just a person.
Patti Smith
I'm not saying I wasn't flawed or amateurish. But you can never say I did anything to appease the music business.
Patti Smith
As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag.
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.
Patti Smith
I get up, and if I feel out of sorts, I'll do some exercises, I'll feed my cat, then I go get my coffee, take a notebook, and write for a couple of hours.
Patti Smith
No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist.
Patti Smith
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.
Patti Smith
I'm not really a musician. I'm a performer, and I love rock n' roll. I've embraced rock n' roll because it encompasses all the things I'm interested in: poetry, revolution, sexuality, political activism – all of these things can be found in rock n' roll.
Patti Smith
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
Patti Smith
A day doesn't go by where I don't create something.
I am still a very optimistic person. I continue to do work with joy.
If I feel any marginalisation, it's because the things that concern me aren't so important to other people.
Patti Smith
Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine.
When I'm writing a book, I don't have any responsibility to anyone. I'm solitary. I'm writing on my own. I write by hand. And I write every day. I mean, it's part of my daily discipline.
Patti Smith
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.'
Patti Smith
We never threw a record together. Each record was done really seriously, as if our life depended on it.
Patti Smith
We tried not to age, but time had its rage.
I'm not afraid of terrorism at all. I'm afraid of loss of our freedom, loss of mobility, loss of global comradeship.
Patti Smith
Artists are traditionally resistant to labels.
I like revisiting my early work, and people like to hear it. I don't make people suffer through any experimentation or new material. When I go see an artist, I want to hear the songs that drew me to them, so I do the same.
Patti Smith
I know I'm a strong performer. I'm not an evolved musician.
I've always felt outside of things; I've always felt different.
An artist may have burdens the ordinary citizen doesn't know, but the ordinary citizen has burdens that many artists never even touch.
Patti Smith
I like really hot coffee, not too strong.
I like gettin' old.
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.
Patti Smith
Robert Mapplethorpe, I met in 1967. He was a student at Pratt, though even as a student a fully formed artist. We went through many things in our life together. He became my loved one, then my best friend.
Patti Smith
Throughout my life, I happily deferred to family, companions, children.
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.
Patti Smith
I remember the first club we played in San Francisco. There were a lot of people on motorcycles standing around outside, and I had trouble getting in. I didn't have any ID, and the guy at the door wouldn't let me in, even though I told him I was gonna be singing in there.
Patti Smith
Maybe I'll be 48 and die in the gutter in Paris.
Christianity made us think there's one heaven.