When Patti Smith released her ground-breaking Horses album back in 1975, I was in love. Not only with Horses and every incredible song on it, but also with her. Needless to say, I picked up every album she has released since then including her covers set, twelve (2007). The only album that didn’t thrill me as much as anytbing else she’s made was Dream of Life. (These days, I’ve come to appreciate it more as we’re in a PS drought.) For some reason it didn’t resonate with me as much as her previous albums had, or anything since.
And now it’s been five years since Banga. I know that’s slightly over the halfway mark between Dream of Life, and her powerful Gone Again album. That expanse represents eight years of hibernation of one of our great artists!
The other day I was listening to Outside Society, her 2011 retrospective (not perfectly compiled). It was then that I realized that we’re without some Patti Smith. Like a junkie, I began to seriously miss what I could/should be hearing.
During her ascension, I saw her several times in concert. One time was at Park West. She was delayed at the start time. I sat at a table up close. I certainly didn’t want to miss her introduction but nature was calling hard. So, I chanced a quick run. It would become a lucky chance.
While doing my business, she walked into the restroom, apologized to the occupants, and moved into a stall. Stunt, of course, but I loved it. I waited at the door until she came out and touched a hero (to me) as she walked past. So, one of my tales of closeness to an artist I loved.
It’s time for Patti to issue another album. I need it. I recognize the need of retirement. I do. But I also recognize my need to be intellectually stimulated. With her kind of artistic delivery, a new Patti Smith album would be welcomed, indeed!