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It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation.
Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.
Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
A natural writer
Patti employs a poetic economy with her words that drives the story along nicely.
Her memory for the details of that long ago era is remarkable, helped, no doubt by the diary that she kept all those years.
She is a true artist that never sold out for fame or money. Her performance of Because the Night with Bruce Springsteen this year at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was the highlight of an already stellar show.
Patti, please bring on Volume 2 when you are ready.
Fantastic story of two artists in the making!
This book is an amazingly well-written story of two artists who see things differently from the rest of us. While their careers took wildly different paths, their love and support for each other endured. Patti Smith, the god mother of punk, and Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer and provocateur extraordinaire … a fascinating look into their lives before they burst onto the NYC art scene. One of the best books I've read this year!
Wow and wow and whoa -- I'm a child of the early 70's and was so deeply moved by the Patti Smith I never knew I didn't know. I hope she reads this and knows that her tales of being a kid ("kid"?) with Robert should be school reading requirement all over the country. My love for this book leaves me wordless. An unfamiliar place for me. Hope Patti reads all of these - SHE'S the beautiful work of art in this universe. Patti I wish I knew you....