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Two Times Intro: On the Road with Patti Smith Hardcover – August 30, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When singer Patti Smith toured in 1995, for the first time in almost 20 years, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe tagged along as tour photographer. Two Times Intro is the resulting photo diary--as Stipe calls it--and it's filled with his moody black-and-white prints and Polaroids (taken with an ancient camera by Smith guitarist Oliver Ray) that capture a specific mood of Smith's as she moves through the shifting, impersonal spaces--taxis, concrete backstage areas, empty theaters--of life on tour. Stipe is a long-time Smith fan, as he recalls in an essay in the book: he "bought her first album the day it came out. It was mind-blowing--emotional and imperfect, swirling, B&W." His photographs of Smith and her band mates display the same emotional intensity and incongruity that her music originally stirred in him. The layout, executed completely in black and white with echoes of imperfections like torn Scotch tape, creases, and torn edges seemingly photocopied onto the page, gives readers a sense of watching an ancient black-and-white television--scratchy, static-filled, impenetrable, and mysterious, but also somehow comforting. All of this is evocative of both Smith's music and her lyrics, and in that it is a strange but fitting homage to her. Stipe intersperses throughout the images musings about Smith by the likes of William S. Burroughs, who calls her "a shaman--that is someone in touch with other levels of reality," Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, and long-time friend and fellow musician Lenny Kaye. Ultimately, the book is not a photographic triumph but it should be very compelling to Smith and Stipe fans alike. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

In reverse of Defiance, Michael Stipe's photo-journal of Patti Smith's celebrated return to touring promises a woman coming out of mortal isolation. Though it's a Ray gun design, it has an Interview feel: famous people looking at other famous people and -surprise! - at themselves. Like Ginsberg's snapshot chronicles of his Best buddies, it throws up a democra-punk vibe without ever questioning how cool everybody is. Still, Patti's image burns into pictures with weird radioactive mystery, and Thurston Moore's all-too-brief note reminds you he's a far better writer than singer. More of each, please. -- Spin, J.C., May 1998

Some of Stipe's photos are pointlessly blurry; others are exquisite.... -- Entertainment Weekly, Margot Mifflin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617750239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617750236
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 10.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. TOM TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book includes not just black and white photographs shot by Michael Stipe while on the road with Patti Smith, but also many polaroid photos taken by Patti Smith's guitarist Oliver Ray. Oliver Ray's photographs are designated by a little "O" near his photos.
While Stipe certainly has some real gems here, he doesn't demonstrate complete mastery over his camera equipment, which to my knowledge was a Leica M6. Many of the images here are blurry and/or out of focus. But that is ok, it evokes a certain frantic 'on the road touring with a rock band' style.
Oliver Ray's Polaroids are on the other hand, wonderful. Taken with a cheap Polaroid Land Camera 100 (circa 1960s) using instant Polaroid 667 black and white 'peel-apart' film (which is still sold), Ray achieves stunning results especially when you understand the' limited featured' camera he worked with. This book is an interesting study for anyone who is as fond of Polaroid photography as I am.
If you are an R.E.M. and Michael Stipe fan, or a Patti Smith fan, then of course you will enjoy this book. However if you are seeking true pristine photographic works of art, look elsewhere. Most of these images evoke a more 'grunge' (for lack of a better word) feel. There is some great prose by Stipe, Ray, and many others including Patti Smith. And, there are many famous people depicted including the likes of Allen Ginsberg.
One note about my copy of the book-after just one reading, the binding fell apart and the first quarter of the book fell apart into separate pages from the book. This was very dissappointing and should not have happend under normal reading...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As you can see I came to this book as one who appeciates Stipe's gift with words and wanted to see how his photography shaped up. I was not disappointed. Emotive, non-linear, these are words Michael Stipe is used to seeing in his reviews, and this one is no different just because it is visual rather than musical. Who needs focus? Any fool can point an automatic, take a snapshot. What is wonderful about this book is that Stipe's love of his subjects, the reverance and passion shows through. He has a natural eye for the beautiful and for the grotesque and the pictures are almost organic in composition. We are too linear in our thinking. Stipe makes us look in directions we forgot were there. He frames those things we take forgranted and fail to notice in what was, for him, everyday life. I didn't come looking for the clinical, artfully-lit style of Mapplethorpe. I wanted a piece of unadorned reality through someone else's lens, and that's what I got. Stipe and Ray (Smith's guitarist). The poetry's rather beautiful, also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Michael Stipe should be commended on this great book of photography being on the road with Patti Smith. What I find truly wonderful is his love and admiration of his dear friend Patti Smith. I am truly moved by this work. I am a fan of both Smith and Stipe. I too like Stipe have been blessed and inspired by Smith's poetry and music. The words included in the book are worth reading. The photos are terrific and presented in an artistic way. It allows the reader (or viewer) to see what is special about Patti Smith, her band, and friends in ways not seen before. It is a great addition for fans of both Patti Smith and REM.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer P. Hough on April 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A couple of things I've learned being an REM fan are that 1) things don't have to be logical to make sense and 2) that beauty is in the eye of ME, not the beholder sitting over there somewhere (of COURSE, everyone is their own "me" but that's just common sense). And I think this book is beautiful. If you love logic, or perfection for perfection's sake, don't bother, but if you want to look at something that's a bit different, see some images that it takes a mind like Michael Stipe's to think up, then I heartily reccomend it to you. The writings are fascinating as well. I almost felt like it gave me a bit of a peep hole into this group of people, to read some of their thoughts, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Bromberg on June 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Michael Stipe's surprisingly incomplete photo essay of Patti on tour is a minor disappointment, akin to discovering an old photo album with the more important events -- the ones you'd really like to see -- obviously missing from the book. What's there is intriguing but doesn't reveal a lot, and the out-of-focus style Stipe uses isn't artful, just simply affected. Somewhere in Michael's garage, and Oliver Ray's basement, there are some great photos of Patti-the-shaman, as Mr. Burroughs describes her. I hope they don't get water-damaged in that cardboard box along with the discarded Polaroid camera.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw this in a bookstore, I passed on buying it because the photographs are absolutely awful. But I'm a huge Patti Smith fan, and when I read a review saying that it was worth getting just for the text, I took the bait. Bad move. The text isn't bad, but no big deal. And again the photos are just terrible, "arty" in the very worst way-- badly framed, mostly out of focus, uninteresting shots to begin with. Considering the opportunity Stipe was afforded, this is a real shame.
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Format: Hardcover
Book Title: "Two Times Intro: On the Road with Patti Smith"
Author: Michael Stipe
Published By: Akashic Books
Age Recommended: 17 +
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

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Review: I am always fascinated by books of photography and some of my favorites are those that catch the famous in times of normalcy. This book by Michael Stipe of REM is one such book. Not only devoted to his great love of one of the most amazing female artists of all time, but also a phenomenal capturing of photographs taken throughout the tour; all the behind the scenes awesomeness that you rarely get the chance to see.

This book also contains some of the best memories from some of Patti's greatest fans and peers. A great coffee table book and one that can bring back some of your own memories of Patti Smith and where you may have been the first time she captured your soul with her shamanic prescience as it drift through the speakers of a nearby radio on a hot summer day.

Synopsis: This book comprises Michael Stipe's intimate and evocative photos of Patti Smith, on tour in 1995, along with other cultural celebrities who appeared with her, such as Allen Ginsberg. In addition to text by Stipe, William Burroughs, and Patti Smith, there is also commentary from Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lenny Kaye, Tom Verlaine, and more.

Read more: [...]
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