Punk rock's only poet, Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith's music was seen as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan. If that hybrid remained distinctly uncommercial for much of her career, it wasn't a statement against accessibility so much as the simple fact that Smith followed her own muse wherever it took her -- from structured rock songs to free-form experimenting, or even completely out of music at times. Her most avant-garde outings drew a sense of improvisation and interplay from free jazz, though they remained firmly rooted in noisy, primitive three-chord rock & roll. She was a powerful concert presence, singing and chanting her lyrics in an untrained but expressive voice, whirling around the stage like an ecstatic shaman delivering incantations. A regular at CBGB's during the early days of NYC Punk, she was the first artist of the bunch to get a record deal and release an album, even beating The Ramones to the punch. The artiness and the amateur musicianship of her work both had a major impact on the Punk Movement, whether in New York or England, whether among her contemporaries (Television, Richard Hell) or followers. What was more, Smith became an icon to subsequent generations of female rockers. She never relied on sex appeal for her success -- she was unabashedly intellectual and creatively uncompromising, and her appearance was usually lean, hard, and androgynous. She also never made an issue of her gender, calling attention to herself as an artist, not a woman; she simply dressed and performed in the spirit of her aggressive, male rock role models, as if no alternative had ever occurred to her. In the process, she obliterated the expectations of what was possible for women in rock, and stretched the boundaries of how artists of any gender could express themselves.
Its going down tonight in this town
Cause they stare and growl
They all stare and growl
I take a scar everytime i cry
Cause it aint my style no it aint my style
Going down to the gravel head to the barrel
Take this life and end this struggle
Los Angeles come scam me please
Emptiness never sleeps at Cliftons 6 am
With your bag lady friend and your mind descending
Stripped of the right to be a human in control
Its warmer in hell so down we go
They say this is the city
The city of angels
All i see is dead wings
City Of Angels-Patti Smith
poet, musician. books include seventh heaven, witt, and the coral sea. lead singer of the patti smith group. widow of fred smith.
patti smith wrote the song "ask the angels" which the distillers covered in their self-titled first album.