Patti Smith

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Stephen Holden

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 151

Over the past three years, Patti Smith … has developed into a New York legend. Onstage …, she exudes an inimitable aura of tough street punk and mystic waif, in whose skinny, sexy person the spirits of Rimbaud and William Burroughs miraculously intersect with the mystic qualities of Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, the Stones, the Velvet Underground, the Marvelettes and Mary Wells, to name but a few…. Her improvised raps, often very humorous, combine graphic sexual fantasy with surreal, extraterrestrial visions of violence and supernatural redemption, delivered in ungrammatical streetwise diction whose rhythms she instinctively elevates into stream-of-consciousness poetry….

I hesitate to say it, but I will: Patti Smith is the best new solo artist I've seen since Bruce Springsteen. She seems destined to be the queen of rock & roll for the Seventies. (p. 62)

Stephen Holden, in Rolling Stone (by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. © 1975; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission), Issue 193, August 14, 1975.

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