Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

by Patti Smith

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Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:00 pm

Just Kids is filled with absolutely memorable characters. Some were at the very beginning of their arch to success; others wandered along the periphery of life, still fascinating in their pursuit of unique adventures.

Name one person in Just Kids that you found especially interesting and describe just what the draw was for you.
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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:03 am

It certainly was filled with lots of characters it was almost like a modern equivelent of a Charles Dickens book. As to a favorite I don't think I had one other than Patti herself. I think I found that most interesting that she was able to be amongst all these people and be one of them too.

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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Buster » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:21 pm

It was a huge cast of characters - and while I enjoyed hearing about the people Patti actually hung out with, the thing that fascinated me the most was when she wrote about the artists and writers who influenced her. Many of those books were on my bookshelves.

That said, I think I was most moved by her achingly poignant descriptions of Joplin.

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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Liz » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:33 pm

I found both Patti and Robert the most fascinating for all sorts of reasons that we will probably discuss at some point, so I won't get into that.

So, other than Patti and Robert, it would be Janis Joplin. But I can't tell you if it's because of some things I learned about in my research or because of something I read in the book. What really intrigued me was her mention of Kris Kristofferson singing Me and Bobby McGee to Janis, while Patti sat on the floor taking in the entire thing, and also Patti writing the song for her. I found myself wanting to know more about Janis.

I also found Loulou de la Falaise (a friend of Robert's who lived at the Chelsea) fascinating (pg. 155). I happened upon her accidentally while researching something else. I wish I had chosen to do a tidbit on her.

Sorry, I know that's more than one. I am never good at choosing just one. :biggrin:
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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:00 pm

I know, I know, it was my question and I said "one" person, didn't I? Such a challenge!

Basically this comes down to who would I want to know. Who would I want to say, "Oh, yes, I know him too!"

Harry Smith. I've decided knowing Harry would sort of be like knowing the Mad Hatter. That kind of weird cheerfulness, you know? He knew so much about so many wonderfully arcane things. He's a genuine Chelsea original. One of those creative types, visionary. Geesh, and then the alchemy, wow. Yeah, definitely Harry.
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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:06 am

The other thing I found fascinating was her knowing people that Johnny was later connected with or people that had some connection with Keith Richards, either directly or indirectly like LouLou de la Falaise who I believe is the aunt of Marlon Richards wife.
I agree about the interesting parts about Janis, in the past she was someone I was kind of interested in I've read abit about her long ago and over the years. One of those talents that was lost early.
I had to look up who Harry Smith was during my reading, in fact I think I had to look up quite a few people becasue their names meant mothing to me and Patti talked about them as if they were well known so I guessed they must be important in some way.

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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Buster » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:04 am

Harry Smith. I've decided knowing Harry would sort of be like knowing the Mad Hatter. That kind of weird cheerfulness, you know? He knew so much about so many wonderfully arcane things. He's a genuine Chelsea original. One of those creative types, visionary. Geesh, and then the alchemy, wow. Yeah, definitely Harry.

He was one of my choices, firefly - If your question had been "which character would you most like to hang out with?", my answer would have been Harry Smith. And like Gilbert's Girl, I didn't have any idea who he was before I read Just Kids.

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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Buster » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:41 pm

Something that just amazes me is how many creative and famous people Patti knows. I understand how once you start hanging out with the greats, it just snowballs -friends of friends and all - but how does one actually get accepted into the initial circle? She made it sound as if you just hang around in the right places, eventually you'll get noticed and accepted...somehow I doubt that would work out for me :)

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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Buster wrote:Something that just amazes me is how many creative and famous people Patti knows. I understand how once you start hanging out with the greats, it just snowballs -friends of friends and all - but how does one actually get accepted into the initial circle? She made it sound as if you just hang around in the right places, eventually you'll get noticed and accepted...somehow I doubt that would work out for me :)

I agree I thought when I started reading that chapter that I'd missed something she kind of launched into it without explanation really and started talking about someone I can't remember who it was now, Ginsburg or Burroughs? and I thought when did she get so intimate with that person she only just started the chapter. Maybe back then it was easier maybe all you had to do was hang around the right places.

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Re: Just Kids Question #6 - Favorite Characters

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:20 pm

Buster wrote:Something that just amazes me is how many creative and famous people Patti knows. I understand how once you start hanging out with the greats, it just snowballs -friends of friends and all - but how does one actually get accepted into the initial circle? She made it sound as if you just hang around in the right places, eventually you'll get noticed and accepted...somehow I doubt that would work out for me :)


I think it's a matter of two things -- brains and cajones. The latter brings you in contact and the former determines whether or not you are invited back. The other thing is that many of the people Patti was hanging around with years ago weren't yet famous, or at least not the icons we see them as today.

So much boils down to believing you can do a thing and then rabidly going after it. We like to put a wall around people who have become famous musicians, artists, writers, etc. We are ready to accept that they "had it" and we don't. I think belief in yourself, in your abilities, is the single greatest determinant of success. It keeps you pushing and learning and striving.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies


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