Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

by Patti Smith

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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:43 am

This one’s ended much too soon for me! When the tidbits were being discussed I was off the grid completely for a couple weeks, and when I was back in civilization, I was busy getting my eldest off to college. I really wanted to comment more on some of those, but let me just say “thank you”. The tidbits were wonderful, as always. And firefly, thank you so much for sharing your very personal experiences in NYC at that time. I found that one in particular really set the scene for me and, whether intentional or not, I think that tidbit also set the musical backdrop perfectly - the backdrop against which “punk” rock was born.

So I guess I fall into the “adoring fan” category :lol:, which is probably the reason I first read the book a few weeks after it was released. I found the bits about famous musicians and life at the Chelsea and Max’s interesting – especially the one about Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson and “Me and Bobby McGee”, as Janis is another of my favorite artists and that’s my favorite song by her. And as a former 1980’s, self-proclaimed, punkrocker wannabe :lol: – and as a fan of the multitude of musical subgenres that followed: New Wave, Hard Core, Modern Rock, Synthpop, Post Punk, Goth, Folk Punk, Pop Punk, Industrial, Grunge, Emo, etc., I’m continually fascinated with the NYC 70’s CBGBs scene that gave birth to it all. The influence that those handful of artists had on the next 30 years of rock and roll is really very hard to overstate. As for drug use and lifestyle, well, my jaw didn’t drop nearly as much as it did when I was reading Keith Richard’s autobiography.

But honestly, all of the above really just became side notes in what I found to be, quite simply, the most beautiful love story I’ve ever read. The way Patti and Robert encouraged one another, inspired one another, supported one another, and when it really got tough, outright carried one another… To think of a love so deep, a friendship so tightly bonded, a spirit so kindred, that it could endure despite enormous outside pressures working against it… well, it just warms my heart and brings a tear. Love doesn’t always happen in the traditional sense. I think it’s amazing, beautiful and inspiring that they recognized what they had and found a way to hold on to it through all the years.

Patti's prose was a joy to read, and her ability to tell a non-traditional love story was amazing. Certainly anyone else trying to tell this story would have fallen flat because, well, "Nobody sees as we do, Patti." But Patti gave us the chance to see - a tiny little glimpse looking through their eyes - and what I saw was beautiful.

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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:28 pm

Ramblin, thank you for the very kind remarks concerning my tidbit on New York City. I have to say that researching that one really took me back, especially once I figured out I could actually listen to the old radio shows from years ago! Luckily my kids were away that weekend -- I literally played the shows nonstop the entire time! And I agree, that era, with all its related social problems and harsh economic conditions, created the perfect breeding ground for so much music that followed. I truly feel blessed to have been a New Yorker in those downtrodden but magical times.

By the way, if you'd like a good book on the 1970s and the burgeoning scene in music (punk, Latin, jazz, disco, and hip hop) pick up this one. I used it as background on my punk tidbit and it was a great resource and helped bring that time back to life for me: Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever by Will Hermes, 2011.

I also wish to thank you for your excellent and thought-provoking responses to our questions. Really enjoyed every post you made.

I've heard that Patti is working on a second volume of her memoir, this one to concentrate even more on the development of the music. Can't wait. As you, I was a very early purchaser of Just Kids, also within weeks of its release. She is indeed a wonderful writer and the book is a magnificent last gift to her friend Robert.

Hope to see you onboard next time. :yes:
"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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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:47 pm

With regard to drugs: Frankly New York City in the 1970s was filled with drugs. It didn't matter where you lived or what crowd you were part of, drugs were sold, bought, used, abused and all sorts of variations in between. It was updown, downtown, in the Village, in Harlem and Bed Sty, up in the Bronx and available on every street I lived during those years. It was a different time. Many survived it well, others didn't. Like anything that can be abused, drugs eats into the lives of some and leaves others totally unscathed. I lost a brother to Hepatitis C. He lived in the suburbs, not the city. He was a construction worker, not into my a city lifestyle at all. Frankly, it was an innocent time when there were many young people, many new possibilities and no one could predict what the outcome would be decades down the pike.

While Patti mentions her friends, like Jim Carroll, who fell victim to drugs, it is not a focus of the book at all. She was never a drug user herself; nor is it something her prose ever supports. Rather, she, like me, simply couldn't live in those days in NYC and not be aware and somehow impacted by drugs.
"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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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby Liz » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:23 am

RamblinRebel wrote:But honestly, all of the above really just became side notes in what I found to be, quite simply, the most beautiful love story I’ve ever read. The way Patti and Robert encouraged one another, inspired one another, supported one another, and when it really got tough, outright carried one another… To think of a love so deep, a friendship so tightly bonded, a spirit so kindred, that it could endure despite enormous outside pressures working against it… well, it just warms my heart and brings a tear. Love doesn’t always happen in the traditional sense. I think it’s amazing, beautiful and inspiring that they recognized what they had and found a way to hold on to it through all the years.

I know. :tear: And it makes me cry to think about it. Their relationship just really touched my heart deeply.
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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:29 am

fireflydances wrote:Ramblin, thank you for the very kind remarks concerning my tidbit on New York City. I have to say that researching that one really took me back, especially once I figured out I could actually listen to the old radio shows from years ago! Luckily my kids were away that weekend -- I literally played the shows nonstop the entire time! And I agree, that era, with all its related social problems and harsh economic conditions, created the perfect breeding ground for so much music that followed. I truly feel blessed to have been a New Yorker in those downtrodden but magical times.

By the way, if you'd like a good book on the 1970s and the burgeoning scene in music (punk, Latin, jazz, disco, and hip hop) pick up this one. I used it as background on my punk tidbit and it was a great resource and helped bring that time back to life for me: Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever by Will Hermes, 2011.

I also wish to thank you for your excellent and thought-provoking responses to our questions. Really enjoyed every post you made.

Thanks, firefly. :blush: I'll check out the Hermes book - sounds very interesting! And yeah, that old radio show you posted was really a trip! It brought me back too - of course I didn't listen to her specifically - but it certainly brought back the memories of what music was like then (catching some of the song intros and endings), and what you might find on the air, especially late-night.

fireflydances wrote:I've heard that Patti is working on a second volume of her memoir, this one to concentrate even more on the development of the music. Can't wait.
:-O Really!!? Wooo-hooo! :bounce: :snoopydances:

fireflydances wrote:Hope to see you onboard next time. :yes:
:hope: :hope: :hope: Me too.

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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby shadowydog » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:54 am

Interesting news story came out this morning about Timothy Leary's papers and research being made available to the public. Hope they get posted. They say it provides a good insight into the counterculture movement that Patti was a part of.



What a trip: Timothy Leary's files go public in NY


By ULA ILNYTZKY

From Associated Press
September 18, 2013 6:41 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — A trove of Timothy Leary files, much of it previously unpublished, could shed new light on the LSD guru, his controversial research into psychedelic drugs and the emergence of the 1960s counterculture.

The New York Public Library, which acquired the vast archive for an undisclosed sum from the Leary estate in 2011, is making the material available for the first time Wednesday to scholars and the public.

The archive "is the missing link in every attempt to piece together an account of research into Timothy Leary and the emergence of scientific research into psychedelic drugs and popular drug counterculture," said Denis Berry, a trustee for the Leary estate.

Leary, who coined the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out," was one of the most polarizing figures of the counterculture. He advocated the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs including LSD and psychedelic mushrooms. Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley and other noted figures frequently visited Millbrook Estate in upstate New York where Leary continued to conduct his psychedelic experiments after being fired as a psychology lecturer at Harvard University.

He spent several years in prison and lived in exile for several years in the 1970s. He died in 1996.

The files, filled with never-published correspondence and manuscripts from leading scientific, artistic, literary and cultural figures of the day, "will force a reworking of the current narratives on Leary, his role in LSD research" and the counterculture, Berry said.

The archive contains drug session reports, completed questionnaires and letters relating to the various organizations Leary formed to continue his drug research after Harvard, including the International Federation for Internal Freedom, Castalia Foundation and the League for Spiritual Discovery.

Among the highlights is a neatly typed description from 1966 of the psychedelic training courses Leary conducted at Millbrook and a 1975 letter he wrote from prison to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" author Ken Kesey in which he says, "I think the time has come for me to go public about what I've been doing and learning."

These and the many unpublished manuscripts and letters from prison provide a rich source for research, said William Stingone, the library's curator of manuscript and archives.

John McWhinnie, a rare-book dealer who appraised the archive for the Leary estate, said in his report that the archive "details a program into psychedelic research that was akin to (Alfred) Kinsey's research into human sexuality."

The archive embraces the lives and thoughts of all the players associated with the scientific and popular movement of LSD and drug counterculture, said McWhinnie, who died last year.

McWhinnie was an associate of bookseller Glenn Horowitz, who eventually brokered the sale of the archive to the Public Library.

Among the collection's many photographs is one of Leary standing at a chalkboard in the 1950s giving a lecture on his first book, "Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality." The book marked his reputation in the field of clinical psychology before he went to Harvard to begin his research with psychedelic drugs.

Among other things, it contains some 1,000 floppy discs that deal with Leary's intense interest in cyberculture and the development of computer software for his self-help games.

For now, the library has no plans to make the archive available online
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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:21 pm

I've been thinking some more about this over the last few days, so I will stir the pot a little more.

I was married in the mid-sixties. In 1971 my fourth child was born, giving me four children ages 3 1/2 and under. In the seventies I was washing diapers -- lots of them!!! -- in a $25 used washer the store told us to "bring back if it didn't work." My seventies were filled with formula, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese, dealing with a kindergarten child who misplaced his shoes when it was time to go to school, and struggling to make ends meet while my young husband started a business. I read bedtime stories to my precious audience every single night. I was singing "C is for cookie" not something like Horses.

It is probably no wonder I do not connect with Just Kids.

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Re: Just Kids Question #25 - It's a wrap

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:23 pm

No one connects with everything. And that's fine, you know. It would be very boring if all of us had the same opinions, likes and dislikes. Nothing to talk about.
"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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