Patti Smith


There were days, rainy gray days, when the streets of Brooklyn were worthy of a photograph, every window the lens of a Leica, the view grainy and immobile. We gathered our colored pencils and sheets of paper and drew like wild, feral children into the night

Patti Smith, 'Just Kids', 19 January 2010

Patricia Lee ‘Patti’ Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 30 1946. She moved to New York in 1967. With debut album Horses, released 1975, she became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement. Called the ‘Godmother of Punk’, her work is widely considered a fusion of rock and poetry. Her most widely known song, ‘Because the Night’, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard hot 100 chart in 1978.

In 2005, Patti Smith was named a commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On November 17, 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. She is also a recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.