The beautiful thing to me is I got to see this artist in her prime..and it's like if you grew up watching say Mickey Mantle play in his prime trying to discuss him with someone who only has the stats to look and never got to see the true power that he was. Same goes with Patti Smith for me..I was one of many lucky people to see her develop from the 45 rpm Piss Factory to Horses to Because the Night to Frederick to Gone Again and all in between.Some of which I truly love and some of it I truly don't...but I still read her poetry and still check out what she is into because over the years she has led me to so many artists that I would never have known existed. She is one of those artists that I believe you can love or dislike but she has always been hard to ignore. Her path thru life has been hard and she has shared that pain, and joy with us whenever she has the time to record it. I'm so happy that she is in the R&R Hall of fame because if for nothing else her influence on the music of a generation of artists. I met her years ago in a record store called "Bleeker Bob's" in NYC when Horses had just been released and we fought for the last copy of an import single [I won I was a better customer] and I got to tell her that I thought Horses would make her a star..she laughed and said that wasn't what she wanted to be..she said she wanted to be alive and she smiled and asked for the 45 since I liked her record,I told her no and still have the 45..she smiled,she has a truly beautiful smile and said thanks anyway..That night she was playing in one of the clubs,I can't remember which one and after the show I was greeted by her and she had this huge grin on her face when she saw me and pointed to the artist whose record wer were fighting for..He was standing next to her and I laughed she was a star and alive....
I share your feelings about Patti. I, too, was fortunate enough to see her twice in concert, though I never met her "in person" as you did.
I did meet one of her old band members, a guy named Ivan Kral, who opened a video shop in New Brunswick NJ years back and we discussed the concerts. That was fun. I'm not surprised that Patti was a kind and pleasant person in your exchange, because despite her tough appearance and gritty music, she always seems to have a sweet temperment and after performing (on TV appearances I've seen)always seems to say something to her family,etc.
My brother is the one who made me familiar with Patti. He became a big fan years back and would write poetry and send it to her, and she always took the time to respond to him.
I'm looking forward to her new album....I not only like the material she produces, but I love her unique voice.
Years and years ago, she made an appearance on a children's television song. When the host said she was going to sing "you light up my life" my first thought was "this song doesn't seem right for a singer like Patti". Boy, was I wrong. It was a beautiful and unusual renditon of that sugary sweet song. I think she can sing anything.
Hmmm ... in her prime! I wonder about that. I saw her 3 nights ago in Melbourne in a great theatre built for comfort and acoustics. She and Lenny and the band were so awesome that I wondered if she might have been better than when I first saw her in London in 1977. That gig thrilled me but the depth and timbre of her voice was quite sensational at age 60. Redondo Beach, Birdland, Dancing Barefoot .. Do yourself a favour if you get a chance to see her again.