April 20, 2004

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine

"I don't consider writing a quiet, closet act. I consider it a real physical act. When I'm home writing on the typewriter, I go crazy. I move like a monkey. I've wet myself, I've come in my pants writing." -- Patti Smith

* Manifesto: You Can't Say Fuck In Radio Free America, by Patti Smith, first published in the March 1977 edition of Yipster Times. excerpt:

"We believe in the total freedom of communication and we will not be compromised. The censorship of words is as meaningless as the censorship of musical notes; we cannot tolerate either. Freedom means exactly that: no limits, no boundaries...rock and roll is not a colonial power to be exploited, told what to say and how to say it. This is the spirit in which our music began and the flame in which is must be continued. Radio Ethiopia is a symphony of experience...each piece a movement...14 movements...14 stations.

"There is silence on my radio...

"They are trying to silence us, but they cannot succeed. We cannot be 'trusted' not to pollute the airwaves with our idealism and intensity. W(New) York has proved unresponsive at best to the new rock and roll being born under its ears...a music having worldwide cause and effect...injecting a new sense of urgency and imperative. Radio has consistently lagged behind the needs of the community it is honor-bound to serve. We do not consider paternalistic token airplay and passive coverage to be enough. FM radio was birthed in the 1960's as an alternative to restrictive playlisting and narrow monopolistic visions. The promise is being betrayed."

* Smith reviews the Velvet Underground's 1969 Live. excerpt:

"That's why I love this record so much. It goes beyond risk and hovers like an electric moth. There is no question no apologizing there is just a trust a bond with time and god their relentlessly relaxed method of getting it on and over the land of strain. Like Rimbaud we rebel baptism but you know man needs water he needs to get clean keep washing over like a Moslem. Well this drowning is eternal and you dont have to track it lambkin you just lay back and let it pour over you. Dig it submit put your hands down your pants and play side C. "Ocean" is on and the head cracks like intellectual egg spewing liquid gold (jewel juice) and Lou is so elegantly restrained. It nearly drives me crazy. The cymbal is so light and the way they stroll into 'Pale Blue Eyes' not unlike Tim Hardin's 'Misty Roses' the way it comes on like a Genet love song.

"And I love the way Lou talks like a warm nigger or slow bastard from Philly that THING that reeks of old records like golden oldies. A chord so direct it eel fucks you in the heart. I write Smith Corona electric resting on a huge speaker pulsing 'Heroin.' It makes my fingers vibrate. Anything electric is worth it. We are the true children of Frankenstein we were raised on electricity. On the late show the way the white light strobed his body over and over like sex and speed and all the flash it takes to make a man. "Heroin" moving on and in like a sob.

"And its all past Lou just doesnt shoot anymore. And I dont know if hes dead center like he was in Texas 69 I dont know where he is at all. It doesnt matter this set stands in time like a Cartier gem. The only criticize I got is the eyes the cover eats shit. Music like this so black and white so 8 millimeter should have been wrapped in the perfect photograph -- a Mapplethorpe still life: syringe and shades and black muscle tee. L.R. + V.U. 69 are a kool creem oozing soothing mesmerizing like hypnos scooping wind down pain mountain. This double set is completely worth it not a bad cut always with it. It will relax you help it all to make sense the Sixties ended in a sea of warm puke delicate enough to be called art. And it was LIVE man with a few scattered rounds of slack applause a product as perfect as the mutualated victim. Theres no difference between after the murder and apres the perfect perform. And if Lou dont remember how it felt to shell it out you will not soon forget how it feels to hear. When the musics over and you turn out the light its like . . . coming down from a dream."

* J.P.

unlucky katie marie
what she gonna do
it's only monday
she's got six more days to get through

she gotta wait and listen
but then she'll set you straight
she knows the ethics of the road
been on it since she's eight

well they take her
they shake her
they rock her
they rape her
and when they're done they drive her down
far as san jose
then she has to fill the time there
unlucky katie

unlucky katie marie
where she gonna go
it's only monday cross the border
she got six more days to go

well she's lonely tonight
and though she lives outside the law
though she'd take on any greaser
she got no mexican numbers
she can call

Oh unlucky Katie Marie
lays in bed alone
wishing it were friday
wishing she were stoned

Copyright © Patti Smith 1971


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