Patti Smith

  • Aired:  12/13/10
  •  | Views: 30,170

Patti Smith gives advice to young people who decide to throw away their lives and become artists. (7:01)

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A 70'S PUNK

ICON WHOSE BOOK "JUST KIDS" WON

THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD.

YOU CAN BUY IT AT A BARNES &

NOBLE WHERE CBGB USED TO BE.

PLEASE WELCOME PATTI SMITH.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) 2348

HEY, MS. SMITH, THANK YOU SO

MUCH FOR COMING ON.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: NOW, THE C.V. HERE

IS QUITE INTERESTING TO THE

UNINITIATED.

YOU ARE A WRITER, A PERFORMER,

AN ARTIST.

YOU'RE SEMINOLE ALBUM HAILS IN

THE TOP 100 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME.

YOUR MEMOIR NOW IN PAPERBACK

JUST KIDS FOLLOWS YOUR LIFE IN

THE LATE '60s AND EARLY

'70s.

IT WON THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD.

ALL RIGHT.

( LAUGHTER )

THAT'S A HELL OF A...

>> GUILTY.

>> Stephen: AND YOU STARTED

OFF, YOU AND MAPLETHORP STARTED

OFF SLEEPING IN THE STREETS.

>> WELL, I WAS.

ROBERT HAD A LITTLE PLACE TO

SLEEP.

>> Stephen: AND HE WASN'T

TOSSING YOU A BONE?

>> I HADN'T MET HIM YET, BUT I

CAME TO NEW YORK CITY LOOKING

FOR A JOB.

AND I DIDN'T HAVE ANY MONEY

UNTIL I GOT A JOB I SLEPT WHERE

I COULD.

AND NEW YORK SEEMED LIKE A

REALLY SAFE PLACE TO ME.

( LAUGHTER )

>> Stephen: REALLY, 1970'S NEW

YORK SEEMED LIKE A SAFE PLACE?

>> WELL, IT WAS 1967.

>> BECAUSE THE POLICE WERE NICE

AND ALSO NOBODY BOTHERED YOU.

I WAS FROM A RURAL AREA THAT HAD

NO LIGHTS AND IT WAS DARK ALL

ALL THE TIME.

NEW YORK CITY THE LIGHTS WERE

ALWAYS ON AND THERE WAS ALWAYS

ACTION.

>> Stephen: WHAT WAS NEW YORK

LIKE BACK THEN?

THERE WERE NO STARBUCKS.

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR MacYAW

TOES?

>> I DON'T LIKE ALL THAT STUFF.

>> Stephen: YOU LIKE MUSIC.

THERE WAS NO IMTUNES.

WHERE DID YOU GET MUSIC?

>> WE SANG A CAPPELLA.

IN THOSE DAYS, RIGHT AROUND THE

SAME TIME THE DINOSAURS WERE

WALKING, WE SANG A CAPPELLA, WE

LISTENED TO THE JUKEBOX AND THE

RADIO AND WE DRANK BLACK COFFEE

AND WE HAD NO CREDIT CARDS WITH

A NUMBER FIVE ON THEM.

>> Stephen: NO CHANCE TO LOSE

THEM.

SOMEONE SAID YOU'RE THE MOTHER

OF THE PUNK ROCK WORLD.

THAT MUST BE A DIFFICULT FAMILY

TO RAISE.

BECAUSE THEY'RE

ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN, AREN'T THEY?

>> FIRST I WAS QUEEN.

THEN I WAS THE PRINCESS.

-- I WAS THE PRINCESS, THEN THE

QUEEN.

THE OLDER I GET, THE MORE MY

NAME CHANGES.

I THINK I'M ALL THE WAY TO

GODMOTHER OR GRANDMOTHER AT THIS

POINT.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINK PUNK

ROCK IS STILL ALIVE OR DO YOU

THINK THE PEOPLE DOING IT NOW

ARE POSERS?

>> I THINK MOST ART IS A PUNK

ROCKER.

I THINK IT'S A STATE OF MIND.

ANYBODY CAN BE.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU STILL

ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: AREN'T YOU A

AUTHORITY NOW.

YOU'RE A WINNER OF A BOOK AWARD.

THAT'S THE MAN SAYING YOU'RE THE

MAN, PATTI SMITH.

DO YOU WANT THE TAKE THAT AWARD

AND SAY, I DON'T [BLEEPED] WANT

IT.

>> I LIKE MY AWARD.

>> Stephen: YOU DO?

>> I LIKE IT.

AS AN ARTIST, I KNOW WHO I AM.

I KNOW WHAT I WORK FOR.

I WORK TO DO... I TRY TO DO GOOD

WORK AND GIVER THINGS OF MERIT

TO THE PEOPLE.

I DON'T WORK TO WIN AWARDS, BUT

IF I GET ONE, I AM REALLY HAPPY.

>> Stephen: ME TOO.

I GOT MY EMMY OVER THERE, MY

PEABODY.

I GOT A GRAMMY.

YOU GOT A GRAMMY.

>> NO, I NEVER GOT A GRAMMY.

>> Stephen: I HAVE A GRAMMY.

>> I DON'T WANT A GRAMMY.

>> Stephen: THAT'S BECAUSE YOU

NEVER WON ONE.

THEY'RE GREAT.

THEY'RE NO NATIONAL BOOK AWARD.

SO YOU WROTE SONGS AND POEMS FOR

SO MANY YEARS.

THIS IS AN ENTIRE BOOK.

I MEAN, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN WRITING A SONG AND A

BOOK.

DID YOU GET TO THE END OF PAGE

ONE AND GO, WHEW, I'M EXHAUSTED?

>> THE DIFFERENCE, WRITING THE

BOOK WAS LIKE WRITING A SONG IN

A CERTAIN WAY BECAUSE WHEN YOU

WRITE A SONG, YOU HAVE YOUR

LISTENER, YOU HAVE THE PEOPLE IN

MIND, AND WHEN I WAS WRITING,

THAT I JUST WROTE, IT WAS LIKE

WRITING A MOVIE FOR THE PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: BUT WHAT ADVICE...

>> ARE YOU OKAY?

>> Stephen: I'M JUST TRYING TO

FIGURE OUT... WHAT ADVICE WOULD

YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG PERSON WHO

IS TRYING TO BECOME AN ARTIST,

WHO IS TRYING TO DECIDE, I'M

GOING TO THROW AWAY MY LIFE AND

BE AN ARTIST.

( LAUGHTER )

>> Stephen: BECAUSE IT REALLY

IS.

YOU'RE ROLLING THE BONES WHEN

YOU'RE AN ARTIST.

>> THERE'S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF

SACRIFICE.

>> Stephen: YOU MAY NOT GET

OFF SLEEPING ON THAT SUBWAY.

NOT EVERYBODY GETS NATIONAL BOOK

AWARD.

>> YOU HAVE TO WORK REALLY HARD.

YES, I THINK THAT VAN GO AND

WILLIAM BLAKE DID NOT GET

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD.

>> Stephen:, NO THEY DIDN'T.

>> BUT I JUST AM HARD WORKER AND

I GUESS I'M LUCKY.

>> Stephen: IS THAT THE

DIFFERENCE?

IS THAT WHAT YOU WOULD TELL A

YOUNG PERSON?

WOULD YOU SAY COME TO NEW YORK?

IS NEW YORK STILL FRIENDLY?

>> I THINK NEW YORK IS ONE OF

THE GREATEST CITIES IN THE WORLD

AS FAR AS DIVERSITY, BUT IT IS

NOT WELCOMING TO THE YOUNG

ARTIST.

IT'S VERY EXPENSIVE NOW.

IT'S SHIFT ITS PERSPECTIVE.

I THINK THAT'S A SAD THING.

IT'S STILL A GREAT CITY, BUT I

THINK, YOU KNOW, BEING AN

ARTIST, YOU HAVE TO BE READY TO

SACRIFICE.

YOU HAVE TO BE READY, IT'S LIKE

BEING A MOTHER.

YOU HAVE TO... IT'S A FULL-TIME

JOB.

>> Stephen: THAT'S WHY I'M

FATHER.

( LAUGHTER )

BECAUSE I'M NOT INTO THE

SACRIFICE PART.

BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT LIVING WITH

ROBERT MAPLETHORP.

HE WAS A SOMEWHAT CONTROVERSIAL

ARTIST, CERTAINLY IN HIS OWN

TIME, EVEN MORE NOW THAT THE

COUNTRY HAS BECOME MORE

CONSERVATIVE.

DO YOU EVER WORRY HE MIGHT TAKE

A PHOTOGRAPH OF YOU ON THE

TOILET AND THAT MIGHT END UP AT

THE MET?

>> YOUR TOILET BACK STAGE IS THE

WARMEST TOILET I HAVE EVER...

IT'S A HEATED TOILET.

>> Stephen: IT ALSO BLOWS ON

YOUR PRIVATE PARTS.

IT IS A JAPANESE TOILET.

WE HAD IT INSTALLED FOR THE

GUESTS.

>> WELL, I DIDN'T ANSWER YOUR

QUESTION, BUT I'M SURE IF ROBERT

WOULD HAVE SHOT ME ON A TOILET,

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BEAUTIFUL, IT

WOULD HAVE BEEN CLASSIC, BUT HE

DIDN'T AND WE HAD A VERY COLD

TOILET, UNLIKE YOURS.

>> Stephen: WELL, I'M GLAD WE

COULD WARM PARTS OF YOU UP

TONIGHT.

PATTI SMITH, THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR COMING.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) PATTI

SMITH.

THE

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