It’s Patti Smith’s birthday today. At 65 she’s solidified herself as one of the most important counter culture icons and continues to thrive. We could go on ad nauseum about her body of work but what we keep noticing and coming back to is how much the camera absolutely adores Patti. Few would argue that Horses is one of the greatest album covers of all time- and so much of it has to do with Patti’s relationship with Robert Mapplethrope, but with Patti there is more to it… she’s always been very conscious of her image- everything from her hair to her clothes. More importantly she engages the camera- she has this magnetism that compels you to stare at her. It’s almost impossible to find a bad picture of Patti- like seeing her perform there is something that happens when she interacts- she becomes a vessel, a conduit, for something greater, something otherworldly and powerful.
The first time we saw Patti it was a hot, disgusting August day in New York. She read “Piss Factory” and we were covered in goose bumps. She closed her eyes and covered Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and transformed the song and herself.
At 65 Patti shows no signs of slowing down- she’s set to release a new studio album this year- (her 11th)) and is working with Tom Verlaine of Television, which we are extremely excited about.
If ever you want to spend a good New Year’s Eve in New York City forget Times Square- get yourselves some tickets to see Patti ring in the New Year/ celebrate her birthday at the Bowery Ballroom.
Happy Birthday Patti- you’ve been one of our heroes since we were kids.