117 Comments
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Thank you for the support Hamish. I would love to do part 2 in California!

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I would love that too!

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A Queen of all things verse

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How about "She is 76 AND still rocking hard" instead of "BUT."

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That is a good edit. I’ve made that change. Thank you.

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Thank you, Hamish. I consider part of my work to change the narrative on growing older in this country, and words do matter. Enjoyed this article on Patti Smith.

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Even though I'm her age, I know nearly nothing about Patti Smith. I find her observations to be downright refreshing. She has a balance to her observations that seems to have very nearly disappeared from modern "discourse".

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Hamish, this is a surprising and quite wonderful conversation......Patti Smith's TWITTER remark kills me:

“This is like writing haiku poetry.” I tried it once or twice and I said, I can’t do this. I just can’t do it. I don’t want to talk to people with 18 words. And also, I don’t want them talking to me. So I never did that.

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It was a good one for sure :)

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Many artists, musicians, thinkers, even much younger than her, keep similar notebooks with words, phrases, snippets of songs, impressions, ideas. From Carl Jung to Jeff Buckley, those notebooks are true gems.

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No, I don’t have those fab notebooks. I’m a boring lawyer. But I’ve loved a few genius men who did have them.

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I do that. Just to make notes. it's always annoying when I don't have it and I want it.

I hardly ever read them. Jotting notes, unless they are data, reinforces things in my mind.

I used to call my notebook my PDA when people had those.

I have an orange furry Tigger notebook, a gift, and a lovely hard cover notebook with graph paper that my daughter bought me, others. I love my notebooks.

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It’s enriching looking at life from the perspective of someone who was at the heart of the biggest cultural revolution of our modern world. She reached everything young people aspire to in 2023: making a meaningful contribution to the world, creating relevant art, pushing the boundaries, fame, exposure etc. But it feels like it was done in a different spirit. Not for the sake of fame, money, exposure. But for the joy of creating, contributing, adding value. I agree about Twitter and I’m 35 years younger.

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I think a substantial portion of musicians / artists do their work for the right reasons even today - at least to start with. They're just more easily corrupted than Patti Smith and her peers.

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art is not yet lost, but could be soon forgotten - Patti reminds me of the richness of creativity :)

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I don't think art is going anywhere - though it's changing

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totaly agree with all words written here :)

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Mar 16, 2023Liked by Hamish McKenzie

Love her and this homage to her work and her kind soul.

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well said :)

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Hamish - hands down, my favorite interview that you've done! I was born in '53, so I should know Patti's music better, but I don't. The greatest compliment I can give a person is to say they seem authentic, and that was my takeaway about Patti Smith. So many gems here - I especially loved hearing her talk about her writing and life in general. She has the soul of an artist, to say the least. and has earned the title of a wise woman.

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Authentic and soul of an artist - yes. A life well lived

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So many amazing quotes in this interview. I’ve loved Patti Smith forever and relate so hard to her take on writing and art 💕 thank you for this!

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Patti Smith was both the first rock concert I ever attended (1976, back when I was in high school) and is also the most recent (May 2022). I feel really fortunate to have grown up with a cultural icon that I’ve been able to connect with emotionally and intellectually, learn and be inspired by my whole life. “Just Kids” is a fantastic book, too.

Thank you for this interview. I really like the fact that you got her to talk about such contemporary issues as the impact of social media on art and culture. That said, I will also venture a critique of Patti. I think she is too much into the 1960s-era “everything meaningful in art has to be new and come from the next generation.” There’s a place for that, but there’s also a place for preserving traditions and transmitting cultural knowledge across generations.

Rather oddly for a rock star, Patti Smith did that for me in my youth. Her enthusiasm for Blake, Rimbaud, Ginsbergh,etc. motivated me to check out their work, which I wouldn’t have done at such a young age otherwise. Through doing that, I felt a connection across the generations of artistic work, knowledge, and expression.

It would be nice if Patti could understand herself in this sort of more conservative way as well. Because she is really about respecting and conserving the work of artists, writers, and poets from generations past, and always has been. It makes her own work that much more rich and inspiring. And now she’s part of our cultural legacy, too.

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Members of one of my favorite bands, Toto, have a similar attitude to Smiths. Music IS an art form and needs to be respected as such. It's funny how what was once old is new again, especially the glorious 70's.

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Wowzers - seeing Patti live back when must have been amazing, and now!

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Now that’s a philosophy of life I really relate to.

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hooray i woke from yesterday

just precious !

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Something about hearing Patti Smith’s voice takes me to my Midwestern roots and ties it to my dreams of making a break in NYC. It’s all right there in time and space, maybe once or never. And then another continent chimes in with your accent, Hamish. Loving your posts.

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reverence for the past, patience and acceptance of the present, hopeful and trusting of the future, whatever it may be. A true one, Patti.

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We need more active voices and active doers like Ms. Smith....Rock on, Patti! Rock on!

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Agree with her thoughts on cancel culture. We need to slow down, think, talk intergenerationaly, and be accepting of ALL points of view, not just the woke ones. I write a lot about cultural matters at my Substack: https://open.substack.com/pub/jrichardson?r=1oao9o&utm_medium=ios

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Patti is the best Xx

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