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Woolgathering- Patti Smith

Woolgathering - Patti Smith

It is probably fair for me to point out that I'm extremely biased. Patti Smith is my all time favorite artist. I also find it difficult to write a lot as I would just be duplicating the anonymous review found here on Booklikes. But, I must repeat that in a time of cynicism, this book is like a spring breeze coming warmly off the gulf. It is loving, warm, hopeful and happy without being the least bit insipid.


My wife introduced me to Patti's first four albums ages ago and I'm so glad she did. The first; "Horses," is on Rolling Stone's all time top 100 list. My favorite and also my candidate for the best album of all time was "Radio Ethiopia." That changed later; when she did "Gung Ho." Now I can't decide which is number 1 and which is number 2.


Though I am hesitant to try to speak for the most genius of artists I'd like to point out a few things about her many people believe which are probably not true. While she is a champion of the LGB&T contingent, I believe that she herself is hetero. She would say the "issue" doesn't matter. It is clear that the love of her life was her husband, Fred Smith (same last name coincidental) who died of heart failure at age 45. Though she is called "The queen of punk," I think that title came about only because she rose to prominence when punk did. To me it seems obvious that her music covers many genres, but most often a throwback to the protesting, free loving sixties.


So, do yourself a favor and get this book. Its only 80 pages, actually less because it doesn't start until page 9; and the pages are tiny. I'll always be grateful to Patti as it was her words and music which got me through the most difficult parts of my life. I'm convinced that the best of universities will one day offer not one, but two courses on her.


I don't review much, but was compelled to do this one today, when a BL friend asked for recommendations of happy books. This was my best choice. Its joyous. I also got something out of it. I learned that Patti had a book out I had not known about; "M Train." I know that they have D trains, F trains, and other lettered trains in NYC. And I might be wrong, but I don't believe they yet have an M train. But, that would be just like Patti; so far ahead of her time.