Patti Smith at Harold Washington Library | Bleader

Patti Smith at Harold Washington Library


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Patti Smith, Paris, 1969
  • Linda Smith Bianucci
  • Patti Smith, Paris, 1969
Punk-rock poet Patti Smith achieves a rare two-fer in this week's Reader: a Critic's Choice in both Music and Lit & Lectures.

The Lit part: Smith will read from Just Kids (Ecco), her remarkable new memoir of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in New York in the late 60s and 70s, on Sunday at 2 PM at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State.

The title comes from this anecdote early on in the book:

One Indian summer day we dressed in our favorite things, me in my beatnik sandals and ragged scarves, and Robert with his love beads and sheepskin vest. We took the subway to West Fourth Street and spent the afternoon in Washington Square. We shared coffee from a thermos, watching the stream of tourists, stoners, and folksingers. Agitated revolutionaries distributed antiwar leaflets. Chess players drew a crowd of their own. Everyone coexisted within the continuous drone of verbal diatribes, bongos, and barking dogs.

We were walking toward the fountain, the epicenter of activity, when an older couple stopped and openly observed us. Robert enjoyed being noticed, and he affectionately squeezed my hand.

"Oh, take their picture," said the woman to her bemused husband. "I think they're artists."

"Oh, go on," he shrugged. "They're just kids."


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