Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Patti Smith on Patti Smith

Interviews and Encounters

Aidan Levy



In stock
Ready to ship


Chicago Review Press
18 January 2021
Patti Smith on Patti Smith includes some of Smith's most iconic moments in the media, and some that have never appeared in print, each as insightful as they are unrehearsed From the moment Patti Smith burst onto the scene, chanting 'Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine,' the irreverent opening line to Horses, her 1975 debut album, the punk movement had found its dissident intellectual voice. Yet outside the recording studio - Smith has released eleven studio albums - the punk poet laureate has been perhaps just as revelatory and rhapsodic in interviews, delivering off-the-cuff jeremiads that emboldened a generation of disaffected youth and imparting hard-earned life lessons. With her characteristic blend of bohemian intellectualism, antiauthoritarian poetry, and unflagging optimism, Smith gave them hope in the transcendent power of art. Her interview archive serves as a compelling counter narrative to the albums and books. Initially, interviewing Patti Smith was a censorship liability. Contemptuous of staid rules of decorum, no one knew what she might say, whether they were getting the romantic, swooning for Lorca and Blake, or the firebrand with no respect for an on-air seven-second delay. Patti Smith on Patti Smith is a compendium of profound and reflective moments in the life of one of the most insightful and provocative artists working today.
Edited by:   Aidan Levy
Imprint:   Chicago Review Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 228mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 152mm
Weight:   984g
ISBN:   9780912777009
ISBN 10:   0912777001
Series:   Musicians in Their Own Words
Pages:   544
Publication Date:   18 January 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Aidan Levy has written for the the Daily Forward, JazzTimes, and the Nation. He is the author of Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed. He lives in New York City.

Reviews for Patti Smith on Patti Smith: Interviews and Encounters

The interviews housed in this book evoke the beautiful arc of Smith's career. From groundbreaking punk pioneer to latter-day disruptor, Levy highlights the importance of her voice not only in performance but also in prose. A comprehensive reference for those wanting to experience Smith on the page if they can't see her on the stage. --Eric Wendell, author of Patti Smith: America's Punk Rock Rhapsodist Revealing and poignant moments abound . . .[a] readily devoured addition to the superb Musicians in Their Own Words series. Singer, artist, and writer Smith is an ideal subject. --Booklist Patti Smith tore through the music world like a dervish in the '70s, quoting Rimbaud, Jagger, and Whitman with equal verve, blowing up gender stereotypes and notions of class while making music that fused high and low culture. She was word obsessed, and Aidan Levy is up to the task of curating those words, via interviews spanning her days as a young, fierce poet, to the serene, post-punk memoirist of today. --Susan Whitall, author of Joni on Joni and Fever: Little Willie John's Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul Here is Patti Smith: wise-cracking and meditative; funny and profound; flippant, provocative and wise. What a treat it is to read these interviews, lovingly and expertly curated by Aidan Levy. Fans and scholars alike will drink deep from this collection, which covers every aspect of Patti Smith's artistic life: from her days as an aspiring poet in the early 1970s to the years of alt rock stardom, and from her resurgence as a musician and author in the late 1980s and 1990s to her post-millennial incarnation as a highly respected memoirist, cultural commentator and political activist . . . More now than ever, we would do well to attend to Patti Smith, both on the page and on the record: this collection gives us the artist in full. --Philip Shaw, author of Patti Smith's Horses Aidan Levy has done us all a big favor by brilliantly contextualizing five decades' worth of Patti Smith's outrageous, hilarious, and consistently surprising interviews. Here is a Smith who practically hijacks the interview so she can turn it into a performance, a talk-poem, a shamanic possession, an improvisation as breathtaking as one of Charlie Parker's best. Patti Smith on Patti Smith proves Smith's tough-talking madcap shtick is as good as her Horses. --Daniel Kane, author of Do You Have a Band? Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City Revealing and poignant moments abound...[a] readily devoured addition to the superb Musicians in Their Own Words series. Singer, artist, and writer Smith is an ideal subject. --Booklist

See Also