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Patti Smith


Patti Smith is born in Chicago, Illinois.


Patti Smith migrates from New Jersey to New York City, where she befriends musicians, artists and playwrights and works on her poetry.


Patti Smith performs with guitarist Lenny Kaye for the first time at a poetry reading with musical accompaniment at St. Marks Church on New York’s Lower East Side.


Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye join forces for a “Rock ’n’ Rimbaud” performance in New York, sewing the seeds for the Patti Smith Group.


The Patti Smith Group begins a regular gig at CBGB’s, performing four nights a week for almost two months.


Patti Smith records her first single – “Hey Joe” b/w “Piss Factory” – at Electric Lady Studios in New York. It is released on the Mer label and later re-released on Sire Records.


Patti Smith’s epochal debut album, Horses, is released on Arista Records. It will reach #47, but that middling chart position gives no sense of its ultimate impact.


Radio Ethiopia, the second album by the Patti Smith, enters the album chart, where it will peak at #122.


While performing “Ain’t It Strange” while opening for Bob Seger in Tampa, Florida, Patti Smith falls offstage, cracking two vertebrae. The injury sidelines her for a year.


Easter, the third album by Patti Smith, enters Billboard’s album chart, where it will peak at #20, resurrecting her career following a year-long recovery from injury.


“Because the Night,” recorded by Patti Smith and cowritten with Bruce Springsteen, enters the Top Forty, where it will peak at #13.


Patti Smith releases Wave, her fourth album, produced by Todd Rundgren, which will reach #18 – her highest showing. Smith, however, will not record again for nearly a decade.


The Patti Smith Group goes into retirement following a tour-ending gig at a Florence, Italy soccer stadium.


Patti Smith and guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, late of the MC5, are married and settle down in Detroit to raise a family.


Dream of Life, Patti Smith’s first album since 1979’s Wave, is released. The spiritually suffused set is highlighted by the anthemic “People Have the Power,”


Richard “DNV” Sohl, keyboardist for the Patti Smith Group, dies of heart failure.


Fred “Sonic” Smith, guitarist for the MC5 and Patti Smith’s spouse, dies of heart failure.


Patti Smith releases Gone Again, an elegiac album that mourns lost love ones while deriving strength from their memories.


Peace and Noise, Patti Smith’s seventh album, enters the charts for an abbreviated one-week stay.


Patti Smith releases her eighth album, Gung Ho, and will launch a national tour in April.


Land (1975-2002), a two-disc Patti Smith retrospective, is released.


Strange Messenger, an exhibition of drawings, silk screens and photographs by Patti Smith, opens at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.


After a quarter century on Arista Records, Patti Smith signs with Columbia on the birthdate of French poet Arthur Rimbaud.


Patti Smith’s Trampin’, her first album for Columbia Records, is released.


Thirty years after its release, Patti Smith performs Horses in its entirety with her band at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The performance will serve as the bonus disc on the Legacy Edition reissue of Horses, released in December 2005.


Patti Smith is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 22nd annual induction dinner. Zach de la Rocha is her presenter.

Patti Smith