December 19, 2012
Patti Smith’s sequel to Just Kids
by Nick Davies
Musician Patti Smith won the National Book Award for Nonfiction two years ago for her memoir Just Kids, which was primarily about her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Now, she tells Billboard, she’s planning to write another memoir, focusing on different aspects of her life.
While Just Kids centered on Smith and Mapplethorpe’s relationship and his artistic ambitions, Smith says that her new book will bring the focus back to her own work and life, dealing at least partly with the same timeframe. Of the upcoming project, she says:
[The next book] is in more of the ‘Just Kids’ vein and even in the similar time period, but shifts more to family, Fred [Smith], music. So it’s a different perspective… “I don’t have a big rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll story to tell. I think I have maybe a better story. Through rock ‘n’ roll I traveled the world, worked with my late brother (Todd) and, best of all, that’s how I met Fred. It changed my life in many unexpected ways, so I have my story to tell.
Smith has been busy with other projects lately — she’s bringing her photography exhibit, “Patti Smith: Solo Camera” to museums, heading to Toronto next, and she’s touring to promote her album Banga, and doing a charity concert in Detroit on December 16, a Christmas Jubilee that her son Jackson organized. Between performing and writing, Smith’s schedule will be packed solid for what she’s anticipating will be “a year of work.” But she’s still going strong and ready to tackle the challenge, joking to Billboard, “I just reached social security age, but I’m far from retiring.”
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.