Patti Smith by Victor Bockris
An Unauthorized Biography

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"Patti Smith" came to New York at the age of nineteen, determined to become someone. And she did -- with a vengeance. Patti's intensely dramatic style, her sensuality, and her outrageous acts set her apart from other performers of the 1970s. She was an astonishingly bold and powerful artist. In "Patti Smith," Victor Bockris, the much-respected biographer of Lou Reed and Keith Richards, and Roberta Bayley present the first full-length biography of one of the most revered female rock artists of all time -- as well as a fascinating portrait of the frenzied New York scene in which she rocketed to fame. From her roots in New Jersey to her reemergence after the death of her husband in the 1990s, this remarkable biography documents Patti Smith's life within the larger context of the ebullient artistic climate of the 1970s and examines her influence on the generation of women artists who followed. Bockris and Bayley explore Patti's complicated and intriguing relationships with Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Shepard and her friendships with Bob Dylan, John Cale, Lou Reed, and many other avant-garde musicians and artists, placing her at the heart of the New York art scene. But as quickly as she rose to acclaim, she did the unexpected: She dropped out of sight and moved to Detroit to marry and raise a family. Filled with little-known stories and anecdotes about some of rock's most famous names, Bockris and Bayley's stunning profile of this cultural icon confirms what ingrid Sischy wrote in an article in "Interview" magazine: "[Smith] gives us something that music and words are supposed to but, in fact, rarely deliver: the power to transport ourselves."

About Victor Bockris

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Victor Bockris is the internationally acclaimed author of ten nonfiction books, which are all in print around the world. He is the poet laureate of the New York Underground, where he is currently writing a new book about William S. Burroughs and a memoir of working with Andy Warhol.
Published September 14, 1999 by Simon & Schuster. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Lou Reed and Keith Richards biographer Bockris offers the first full-length portrait of —70s rock icon Patti Smith, a woman whose charismatic live shows and uncompromising music earned her the moniker "The High Priestess of Punk."

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Patti Smith : An Unauthorized...

Publishers Weekly

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Sometimes called the godmother of punk, Patti Smith is one of rock 'n' roll's great stories of self-creation. Growing up as an androgynous misfit in Philadelphia and New Jersey, Smith developed a hero

Aug 30 1999 | Read Full Review of Patti Smith : An Unauthorized...

Publishers Weekly

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The biography scrupulously cites negative as well as favorable reviews and comments on Smith and her work, covering (for example) the 1978 controversy over her use of the word ""nigger."" Like most writers on punk and performance poetry, Bockris and Bayley seem to prefer the young tough of Patti ...

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