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The 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time

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Patti Smith: 'Just Kids' (2010)


Patti Smith: Just Kids (2010)
Jorgen Angel/Redferns; Courtesy of Ecco/Harper Collins Publishers
2/25

An incredibly romantic portrait of two young hustlers in the big city: Patti Smith and her best friend, artist Robert Mapplethorpe, have to keep telling each other how great they are, because nobody else will believe it. The most amazing thing about this book is the warmth, the lack of bitterness – what Patti Smith seems to remember most about New York bohemia in the 1960s is all the moments of awkward kindness. Best scene: Allen Ginsberg buys Patti a cheese-and-lettuce sandwich at the Automat, because he thinks she's a pretty boy. When she breaks the news that she's a girl, she asks, "Well, does this mean I return the sandwich?" Ginsberg just keeps talking to her about Jack Kerouac while she eats – a gentleman as well as a poet.

Related:
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Neil Young, Patti Smith Discuss Future of Book Publishing
Video: Patti Smith on 'Letterman'


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