Patti Smith at Coney Island in 1996, from the documentary “Patti Smith: Dream of Life.”
If you weren't able to snag a ticket for Patti Smith And Her Band's three-night run at the Bowery Ballroom (culminating in what's bound to be the best New Year's Eve concert on the LES) you can catch the premiere of “Patti Smith: Dream of Life,” on PBS tomorrow night (which also happens to be Ms. Smith's 63rd birthday) as part of their POV Series. The documentary was filmed over 11 years by the fashion photographer Steven Sebring.
It follows Smith's personal reflections over the decade after she lost her husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5, and explores
her many art forms and the artists who inspired her — William
Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Robert Mapplethorpe and Michael
Stipe. The film won the Excellence in Cinematography award at Sundance and looks to be pretty fascinating. Read an exclusive interview she did with Filter Magazine in 2008 here.
If that's not enough Patti Smith for you, her related art exhibit, “Objects of Life,” opens at the Robert Miller Gallery on Jan. 6th, and beginning Jan. 19, Ms. Smith
will visit bookstores around the country in support of “Just Kids,” an
autobiographical account of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, her close friend and fellow inhabitant of the Chelsea Hotel in New York in the late 1960s and ’70s.
Talk about legendary local roots, as The NY Times put it in their feature,
Patti Smith burst onto the cultural landscape in the early 1970s with
poetry readings in Lower Manhattan and several-times-a-week musical
performances at a new downtown club called CBGB. Her 1975 debut album, “Horses,” is now viewed as a rock ’n’ roll classic.