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INTERVIEW

Patti Smith & Thurston Moore: sonicXsmith

(Excerpt from the interview with Patti Smith,
by Thurston Moore, “recorded late night
in a hotel in lowell, ma 10/6/95 and the next day
in the back seat of a car driving to boston”
)


t — — how would lester bangs have conducted this interview?
p — — lester wrote a really nice article about us a long time ago called stagger lee was a woman. but then he turned against us because he felt we sold out with radio ethiopia. everybody thought we sold out. they thought we turned into heavy metal. and meanwhile that record sold 30,000 copies cuz nobody would rack it cuz it said ‘pissing in a river’ on it.
t — — 30,000…is that good or bad?
p — — it’s pathetic.
t — — was that more than horses?
p — — no. it was really a failure.
t — — it was a weird record with that silver-grey photo..
p — — judy linn took that photo.
t — — it was odd for its time, a major label record like that. it seemed like a very mc5 influenced record. there was nothing like it at the time.
p — — i remember lenny talking about one of the songs being influenced by ‘black to comm’. i had never even heard of the mc5. they didn’t have them in south jersey. lenny turned me on to them. lenny introduced me to fred. fred was standing in front of a white radiator with a navy blue coat, the coat which appears in the song ‘godspeed’. “walking in your blue coat, weeping admiral”—that’s fred.
t — — i remember a little item in creem back then about a love letter you sent fred.
p — — yeh, it said, “light and energy enclosed!’ i couldn’t believe that they found out about that. i’ll tell you when we met him – march 9th, 1976. that’s a long time ago, almost twenty years ago..
t — — how are your children?
p — — i really love my kids. i like them around me. they can really drive you nuts and they’re such a responsibility but it’s so wonderful to watch their little  things. it’s like a movie you can never see again, you watch it as it’s happening and you think it’s always gonna be like that and then…..
t — — and then you go see ‘kids’.
p — — ha ha—or one of your kids turns into ‘kids’.
t — — did you ever have any aspirations to be a movie star?
p — — no, but i wanted to be in a godard movie and he actually asked me to be in a movie but i had just stopped working with the band and i was in a period of contemplation and i couldn’t, but i did have that honor. i wanted to be jo in little women. i’d like to be in a movie, it would have to be an honorable movie or an honorable part or jeremy irons would have to be in it.
t — — jeremy irons??
p — — yeh, he’s really good. and his wife is really good, sinead cusak.
t — — are you into basketball?
p — — i never was until i moved to michigan. the first year i lived in michigan the big college battle between larry bird and magic johnson happened. and that was a great series. me and fred were living in the cadillac hotel and we sat on the floor and i didn’t know what i was watching and i said to him, “you’re not into sports, are you?”. i really got into detroit pistons. i loved dennis rodman. i loved james edwards, i loved that detroit team. i thought that in sports you stayed a team like being in a rock band – i really believed that. i just took it for granted that sports teams were like rock bands. you know, you don’t like trade your bass player….. i didn’t know they did stuff like that and i fell so in love and i really got to know the team, i knew their names and nicknames and stuff and then they got rid of them. i couldn’t believe it. they won two championships and then they went nuts and got rid of them all, and they were great. i loved that team, that piston team. i cried when everyone was traded. and i loved the u of m team.
t — — what do you think of the whole debate on censorship in concern with parents being offended by pornographic lyrics?

malanga

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