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Patti Smith- Icon or Annoyance?

Patti Smith the quintessential NY heroin seems to be making way too much news lately.  I really never understood the fascination with her.  I find her music to be droll and annoying but perhaps 'back in the day' she was quite the hipster.  Yeah, lets say that.

Now of course 40 years later shes making sure we all know shes around.  Do I sound a bit venomous?  I don't mean to, I just really never hopped on her band wagon and a local event has just got me angsty.

Connecticut's Wadsworth Athenaeum will be hosting Patti Smith: Camera Solo

Here is the official info:
Exhibition Dates: October 21, 2011 – February 19, 2012

The pioneering artist, musician, and poet, Patti Smith (b.1946) has made her mark on the American cultural landscape throughout her 40-year career, from her earliest explorations of artistic expression with friend and vanguard photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the 1960s and 70s to her profound influence on the nascent punk rock scene in the late 1970s and 80s. This fall, we will premiere Patti Smith: Camera Solo, the first large-scale presentation of her visual work in the United States in nearly ten years. The exhibition will include seventy photographs, one multi-media installation and one video work.

Basically she was friends with a great photographer so she must feel worthy of this.  I've been friends with amazing musicians and writers and even chefs and never had the narcissistic urge to claim to have the same talent.  Also- can someoen please tell me what contribution Smith had to 80s punk?  Im a bit lost there.

This exhibit in itself is not the information that pissed me off.  Rather it is the $125.00 performance indicated in this quote:
Join us to celebrate the opening of Patti Smith: Camera Solo with an intimate, one night only performance by the legendary Patti Smith in the museum’s historic Aetna Theater. Tickets to this performance include a reception with Patti Smith in Avery Court from 6 – 7 PM featuring an open bar and passed and stationery hors d’oeuvres. The performance will begin at 7:30 PM. Smith will be accompanied by longtime band member, Lenny Kaye, on guitar and her daughter, Jesse Smith, on piano.

Thats insane  $125.00 for a has been acoustic set in an atrium and a pig in a blanket?  How punk!

Wait it gets more annoying there is a book signing:

On the opening day of Patti Smith: Camera Solo, the artist will be present for a book signing in Avery Court. Patti Smith will sign one item per person. Per her request, please do not bring a guitar to be signed. You may bring one item to be signed, or purchase the exhibition catalogue from our shop. If you have questions please contact us at (860) 278-2670. Access to Avery Court for the book signing is free with museum admission.

How I want to bring a giant guitar for this beast to sign.  Seriously what the hell? Maybe shes afraid someone will ask her to play it and she'll be found out to be a has been fraud.

Will I check out the exhibit?  Maybe. Will I ever appreciate Smith for her contributions to life?  Never.


  1. William Pakos on June 24, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Your comments annoyed me at first, until I read it further. After reading further, it was evident you just are not Informed with her contributions, or appreciate the evolving music scene of the NYC music scene in the early 1970’s. First of all, Patti Smith became recognized for her writing, and contributions to the NYC punk scene far before Mapplethorpe got recognized for his genius! Her seminal record Horses, was ground breaking for its time, and her performances in the early days legendary! You just don’t get it, and that’s ok, because not everyone will appreciate and or understand art, music and cultural phenomena’s as others. However, to right an article with such condemnation for her without being informed of her contributions to art, and music are just silly, and spoken like an ignorant person.

    • Eloise on October 22, 2022 at 6:49 am

      um William, the writer has a right to her opinion. just because you love PS doesn’t mean everyone does. get over it.

  2. Marina on April 16, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Spot on. She is a parasite.

  3. Basing K on November 14, 2022 at 7:23 am

    I totally agree. Her instagram poetry is so pretensions it makes me want to scream.

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