Patti Smith’s new book is “a train of thoughts” that stop at 18 stations along the 68-year life. Somewhere along the way came Horses to – debut album which she plays in its entirety on the Way out West.
The cover is black and white, grainy. Patti Smith sitting at a cafe table with his head in his hand and the graying hair in cap. Here, at the Cafe ‘Ino in southern Manhattan, the journey begins in her upcoming autobiography M train.
From Manhattan, the journey goes on, not always along a straight track but by non-chronological crackdown: the artist Frida Kahlo home, on a stormy Rockaway Beach and right into Michigan, where Patti Smith lived family life, beyond music during the 80′s.
– I like to write about myself and my past, but it is also a little different. So self-conscious. You have to balance, says Patti Smith about work on the book.
Today, she is vacant in Berne. When we have put on, she should continue to write, “I do every day.” Maybe take a walk.
Patti Smith’s last autobiographical book Just Kids, which identifies the 60′s and 70′s New York, and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, became a bestseller – completely unexpected, according to her. The book differs from the M train. And partly to the speech – she wanted to write Just kids so that anyone could take it to heart, while the M train is more experimental – but also the driving force. Robert Mapplethorpe asked her to write Just Kids day before he died.
Did you feel the same with the M train, you needed to write it?
– No, I just wrote. I had no plan, and that was what made it interesting but also difficult. I sat at a café and wrote about a dream, and decided to just keep writing, no outline, no plan.
One of the central characters in the M train is Patti Smith’s late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith. It’s been twenty years since he died, but she describes it as he “always with me.” She is still keen to protect him.
– I have written many songs for him, but nothing about him, for he was very, very private. I had to think about what I wrote to assure me that I gave the reader a sense of him without invading his privacy.
Patti Smith released her debut album Horses in 1975. Several of the songs she wrote the poems already 20 years old. To celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary, she plays it in its entirety on a few selected locations during the year, including at the Way Out West in Gothenburg – a city that she loves to return to.
– I felt it would be nice to present the album as a small gift in concert. I still have the same guitarist and drummer now and we are a very reliable tape. We are not a band putting on a show, we’re just a rock’n’roll band and we can deliver the album with strength and authenticity of the soul.
What is your relationship with your debut album Today?
– I understand that. I know what my purpose was, I can still relate to it.
You return to your debut and write about your past. Are you a nostalgic person?
– In a way, yes. I am sentimental and superstitious. My most nostalgic moment from when I was ten or eleven. I read books and went into the forest with my dog. It is a place that I can still relate to. I still go away for myself to read books. I still feel like that girl, and I’m glad that I can preserve her. It is important to continue to be enthusiastic about life, people, ideas, possibilities. The enthusiasm, it is the one that connects me to the youth.
Facts: Patti Smith
Name: Patricia Lee Smith.
Background: grew up in New Jersey. Moved to New York in 1967. devoted himself to poetry, art, music and music journalism before she released her debut album Horses in 1975. Has since released eleven albums, the latest Banga , came in 2012. Gave out the acclaimed autobiographical book Just Kids in 2010.
Born: 1946 in Chicago.
Current: With a concert at the Way Out West on Saturday 15 August, where she plays the debut album Horses in its entirety. Is publishing the book M train in the autumn. Recording music with his two children Jackson and Jesse.