Arts Desk

Reviewed: Patti Smith’s Memoir Just Kids

pattismith"Evocations of time past need not be sentimental or even sad," writes Eve Ottenberg of Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids. "Some merely attempt to retrieve, however briefly, a lost treasure." In this case, that treasure is Robert Mapplethorpe, the influential and controversial photographer with whom the legendary punk singer once lived and worked. Mapplethorpe died in 1989. In her review in this week's City Paper, Ottenberg writes:

It is uncanny how early each recognized the other’s talents: She urged him to try photography; he pushed her toward rock music. “Nobody sees as we do Patti,” he told her. Dying of AIDS years later, he rued that they had never had children. Despite her romances with the playwright Sam Shepard and others and her eventual marriage to the MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, Smith and Mapplethorpe remained friends and mutual muses in a profound, psychological way—a chapter near the end is titled “Separate Ways Together.” “Robert photographed me wearing Fred’s flight jacket for the cover of our projected single ‘People Have the Power.’ When Fred looked at the photograph, he said, ‘I don’t know how he does it, but all his photographs of you look like him.’”

Read the full review here.

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