Selected Patti Smith clippings and items

Last Updated: 13-Apr-2002

This random collection of images and articles is just an attempt to make available Patti-related clippings and junk I've managed to hold on to over the years. I have no permission from any publisher for the use of anything I've lifted here, and will take anything down if requested by copyright holders. I have a page now with as many credits and copyrights as I could salvage from some of these publications.

Recent additions
As always, the most recent additions on the list below are indicated with:

In 1971, Patti's voice appeared in a short film called Robert Having his Nipple Pierced. The "Robert" in question is her friend and co-conspirator Robert Mapplethorpe, renowned photographer. A production still emerged from it featuring a bare-breasted woman, who looks very much like Patti Smith, who has Robert's arm draped over her shoulder.

Warning: Both Robert and his woman friend are shirtless. Just don't go there if this shocks you.

An early supporter of Patti's, Lisa Robinson wrote a quick blurb about Patti's one-time transformation into an Alphabet City Edith Piaf in a 1974 edition of Eleganza, her column in Creem magazine. (Picture included)

A personal favorite of my shopping finds from recent years is a copy of this Sire Records sampler, a 1978 promo LP issued in the UK which features Patti's version of Hey Joe from the A-side of her first single, originally released in 1974 independently by her friend Robert Mapplethorpe. Sire reissued the single in Europe in 1977, after Patti gained some international notoriety, but in later years, on CD compilations such as Sire's Just Say Yesterday and ROIR's The Great Singles Scene only the B-side (Piss Factory) was ever available.

Two articles by Charles Shaar Murray which originally appeared in the NME. One is a review of a 1975 CBGB's show and the second is a longer piece published in '76 which includes face time with Patti.

Two 1975 conversations with Lisa Robinson were cobbled together to assemble this interview-like story, which is just an introductory paragraph, followed by lots of free-floating Patti at her best. This Hit Parader story was called Patti Smith talks better about her thoughts than anybody.

Remember the Creem Dreem? Well, Patti once had the honor. See Patti dressed only in a Stooges album cover.

On the way up...

This mass-market magazine feature (a publication called In the Know??) displays Patti's acumen and self-promotional savvy. She always knew her audience, and this is a prime example. Even if you're not interested in her over-the-top pronouncements, check out the image of all the PSG in a big ol'bed, monkeying around. Those goofy guys!! The top of this article features Patti complaining about the butchering done to her first Arista single in the UK, "Gloria"/"My Generation"

..and down again

While opening for Bob Seger in Florida in 1976, Patti got carried away during "Ain't It Strange" and whirled her way (like a dervish, natch) to a concrete floor. The recovery was neither straightforward nor easy. This 53K black and white .GIF of Patti doing physical therapy paints a thousand words.

Post-recovery, the PSG played some scattered dates including a CBGB's engagement and a free outdoor concert in Philadelphia on Labor Day 1977. Right before heading back into the studio to record Easter, the PSG played a planetarium benefit in New York City. Patti thought it would be a good idea to open with a reading of "yum yum the stars are out".

Patti weaves an autobiographical tale of a trip to Cologne in the Fall of 1977 into her review of David Bowie's "Heroes" album. This originally appeared in Hit Parader magazine in 1978.

Back with a new album (Easter) which was getting the full star treatment from Arista's PR machine (here's an example of a full-page ad) Patti was pushing a new book of poetry, Babel. Among the promotional duties was interviews with local press people, and this 1978 story from the Philadelphia Inquirer is filled with her ruminating on her local connections and more.

Circus Magazine, one of the longest-running glossy rock magazines, ran a positive story about her career upswing shortly after the release of Easter (even dutifully referring to Allen Lanier as Patti's roommate). Written by longtime supporter Fred Schrurers, Patti cuts loose on a lot of topics. Severely edited, but still a great picture of her obvious enthusiasm.

Mr. Schrurers raved about the Easter album in his review for Circus.

Lisa Robinson continued with unwavering support. A series of 1978 stories and interviews were dutifully published in her magazine Hit Parader, including "I am one of the best dressers in rock and roll", Patti Smith Communicates, and an interview with Lenny Kaye by guest interviewer L.N. Tucholski.

Billy Altman conducted an interview with Lenny Kaye right after the PSG's Spring '79 show at the Palladium. If you have the 2-CD Swingin' Pig bootleg of the PSG's August show at CBGB's (see the title Live at CBGB's on the babelogue bootleg page), you can hear Patti tease Lenny and read from it between songs. The Palladium show served as the source for two live B-sides the PSG released in 1979. A third live track was supposed to appear on a promo 7" single, but that never happened.

As the 1970s (and the Patti Smith Group) wound its way down to one of the few graceful punk-rock retirements, it was documented in blurbs placed in Hit Parader by Lisa Robinson. Contentious to the end, these clippings document a Patti Smith who stated, among other things,
If it gets too out of hand or if too many people start gettlng too many ideas about me, or the demands have nothing to do wlth our earliest desires, I wlll move on to something else.
To sum it up, there's also a clipping from the 5th Anniversary issue of the New York Rocker, which appeared in 1981. Lenny Kaye chats briefly and we get filled in on what the boys in the band are up to post-Patti.

In 1980, Trouser Press honored Patti with her own scrapbook: a centerfold devoted to memorabilia, ticket stubs, backstage passes, etc. Included among the debris was a yellow legal pad sheet with an early draft of a poem which would be refined and later emerge in Early Work 1970-1979 under the title true music. This page offers a look at the sheet, and a side-by-side comparison of the two versions.

The year 1988 brought about a first stab at a comeback after nine years in hiding. After several false starts, Patti released the Dream of Life album (as well as a newfangled CD in a longbox), and despite warm press coverage, promotional events, many interviews, and a video which did run on MTV at least once, there was no overwhelming response in the marketplace. From that era: A 1988 Interview with Tower Records' house rag, Pulse!, portraits from the record reviews published in Rolling Stone and the Village Voice, and a prose piece, February Snow, a tribute to friends passed on which Interview published in 1992, but some of which covers the time frame of the recording of Dream of Life.

And although I didn't get my hands on it until 1999 via eBay, which kind of violates the spirit of the page you're reading, here's a look at a promo CD for the song Looking for You.

Her 1993 review of Edmund White's bio of Jean Genet

A review by Robert Hilburn of a 1995 California reading, originally appearing in The Los Angeles Times.

1997 advertising
Patti started making like a rock star in 1997 to promote the peace and noise album, and embarked on a real headlining US concert tour. On this page are two print ads which ran to promote appearances in the Philadelphia area.

Patti, the second Century
Patti and band played two year-end concerts in December of 1999 which featured a lot of the then-unreleased album Gung Ho. Folks waiting in line were given a free promo CD which featured New Party, a song from Gung Ho, and an unreleased live track from 1998. According to the cover, it was issued to commemorate the last shows of the Century. With the release of Gung Ho in March of 2000, another promo CD with live tracks from 1998 appeared as a purchase incentive.

Patti and Arista go separate ways
After 25 years at Arista Records under Clive Davis' wing, Patti delivered her eighth album to the label under her eight-album contract in March of 2000. Even after the split was made public in May, ending speculation about the fate of one of Arista's most prestigious (but underperforming) artists, support continued in the form of print advertising and a gorgeous promo CD for the song Lo and Beholden.

In March of 2002, Arista released Land (1975-2002), a 2-disc career retrospective featuring studio recordings, fan-selected "hits", rare outtakes, poetry readings, and live band performances. One of the new songs on it is Patti's cover of Prince's When Doves Cry, for which this promo CD was released. Another promo CD, with two versions of the new work Higher Learning, was released for distribution as a free bonus for folks buying Land (1975-2002) from select retailers. At Patti's pair of year-end concerts in NYC, December 2001, this flyer was passed out advertising the release.

Another bonus, right on Land itself, is a "hidden track" at the end of disc 2: a recording of Patti singing Tomorrow from the Broadway show Annie. The recording took place at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA on Mother's Day, 1979.

Written by non-professionals - me - these reviews of some performances I've been lucky enough to attend since 1993 were put up on USENET and/or written to the Patti mailing list called babel (now housed at

The page includes a 1975 photo of PS with Bob Dylan taken by Danny Fields. Last updated with the 1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert.


patti smith on the Web
[ Arista's last-known Patti Smith website | Gung Ho 2000 |
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