Thursday, December 31, 2009

patti smith: dream of life

late last night i watched a truly wonderful documentary, 'Patti Smith: Dream of Life" on PBS. it was created over an 11 year peiod by the artist's long time friend fashion photographer/filmaker Steven Sebring. patti smith is not an artist that i knew very much about until now, although i did know that she was extremely close to photographer robert mapplethorpe. the film itself is a piece of art, a bit of a valentine to the artist herself, and i loved it! patti as narrator gives the film an extreme close up of who she is as a human and the journey of her family, life, and career. at one point, she tells a charming story of how in the beginning of her career, not knowing how to play a guitar nor tune one up, she devised a ruse to get a musicians to do it for her. she lived at the time in the chelsea hotel where she hung out for hours showing everyone her "really cool guitar". inevitably, someone like bob dylan would be captivated by the 1930's era guitar patti was given as a gift from writer sam shephard, and tune it right up for her. now that's chutzpah! patti smith has turned me into a new fan, and made me want to be a rocker..that is for sure.

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