Of course meeting Patti Smith is probably the greatest moment of my life (there have been others) and if I ever lose my mind, I will fight to cling onto those brief minutes I spent with Patti. I apologised for the battered state my copy of Just Kids was when I handed it to her for her to sign. She replied with, “That’s how it is supposed to be.” I’ve read it more than 10 times. It isn’t just a book; it is some kind of guidance for life. She signed my copy of Auguries Of Innocence looking quite shocked that I had a copy. I nearly gave my copy away to someone a few years ago as a gift; I’m glad I didn’t.
Aged 67, Patti is everything I hope to be when I grow up. I’m 40 years younger than her- by no means do I know enough. I never will. Ever. None of us will. But what I do know, I learnt from Patti. You can be tough but can also have a fragile way with words. Be passionate about SOMETHING and don’t compromise yourself. She taught me more (and still does) than any teacher ever could.
10 years ago my auntie and uncle went to New York. They went to a registry office, and got married. That night they went to Patti’s birthday show. To me, that’s the perfect way to get married, and to celebrate getting married.
Happy Birthday Patti.
This one is for you:
With my questionable views and an awkward tongue,
With my hazy eyes and unsure mind,
I found a tender home in your words.
I found my own silent meaning amongst my raging mind.
My heroine brought it all to life.
With a handshake, my faith was restored.
My “thank you” held more meaning than those simple words could ever hold.
I’ll remain on the outside, at my most comfortable,
Treasuring the brief moment we had.
I got to look into my idol’s eyes,
And they tell us not to idolise.
But you’ve been my constant guide.
I can have my moments of feeling uncomfortable in my skin,
Then I remember all that you’ve taught me.
People DO have the power.
And NOBODY died for my sins.
*I wrote this on the tube to work this morning at half 7..sorry!