Godmother of Punk

Patti Smith, the “Godmother of Punk,” was an extremely influential singer-songwriter and poet in the punk rock movement. She took America by storm with her fusion of poetry and rock n roll.

What struck me about the interview with Patti Smith was how she viewed her talent. She admitted to not having as good a voice as her friends, which I found odd, considering that singing was her livelihood. She then followed this comment by adding that singing is not about having the perfect singing voice. To Patti Smith, music is more than just singing. To her, it is an art that demands more of the artist than just singing words in a way people like. Patti Smith epitomized this philosophy and her energy, personality, and lyrics attracted her huge fan base- not her amazing voice.

Another notable idea shared by Patti Smith in her interview was that she desired to create music that was not as glamorous and materialistic as the other music of her time. Smith’s goal was to produce significant music that sent a message. She wanted to help people who felt marginalized by society for being different. Her lyrics offered a helping hand to the homosexuals and nonconformists.

Patti Smith was more than just a singer; she was a performer who brought her true self to the stage. Her music had substance and purpose. Smith’s objective to make her first album and then return to normal life was never realized; which is fortunate, because without her, the world would have missed out on one great artist.

-Robin Cohen