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patti smith :: Blog

Today in Rock: Patti Smith is Born

Friday, December 30: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Patti Smith

Born on December 30, 1946, Patti Smith grew to become a bohemian New York poet and punk rock artiste whose 1975 debut album, Horses, stood in daring, unapologetic contrast to the slick, arena-rock ready production and pretension of the era. Smith's street poetry and her group's garage-band aesthetic formed the foundation on which the later punk rock explosion was predicated. Smith was raised in southern New Jersey, employed in a factory and studied to be a teacher before making the paradigm shift to the art of writing and rock and roll. 

When she arrived in New York in 1967, she connected with fellow art-boho misfits, including photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, playwright Sam Sheppard and music scribe Lenny Kaye. She and Kaye brought music and poetry together, giving Smith's poignant perspective a soundscape to build upon. It was the seed for the Patti Smith Group, which formalized their union of poetry and rock with a nearly two-month house gig at CBGB in early 1974. Early on, Smith turned to American record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis.

"When I came to Clive, I was really awkward, arrogant, couldn't really sing. I had pretty clumsy movements," said Smith ...


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From Springsteen to Strummer: A Tour of the Museum from a First Time Visitor

Thursday, January 28: 12 p.m.
Posted by Caryn Rose

Guest blogger Caryn Rose shares her thoughts with us about her visit to see the Rock Hall’s special exhibit From Asbury Park to the Promised Land and her first tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It’s a funny thing to have watched Bruce Springsteen sitting at the Kennedy Center, with his rainbow ribbon award around his neck, and find yourself standing in front of that very award just a few weeks later, in his exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s even odder that that ribbon is in a room along with the legendary Esquire, and that you can get close enough to the guitar (inside its case, of course!) that you can see that the legend is true, that there’s more glue than wood in some places. It’s in a room with the very jeans that adorned the very ass that graced the cover of Born In The USA, the original handwritten lyrics to “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (with the “freeze out” written in wriggly letters I assume was meant to convey ice), the very flannel shirt that was on the cover of The River (the cuffs so ...


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