Sunday, April 1, 2012

Memories and Memoirs

Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, is book that's been on my to-read list for sometime now.  Not that I'm a huge Patti Smith fan or anything, but I'd heard a lot about the book and knew I wanted to get to it at some point.

There was a segment on CBS's Sunday Morning about Smith this morning.  The piece was a look back at her life, starting with her early years playing music in New York.  She spoke of her relationship with Robert Maypole, one that began during those early years and continued until his death in 1989. 

What I found most intriguing about the story came at the end of the segment.  Patti was telling of the terrible year she had in 1994 when she was faced with the death of not only her husband, but her brother and keyboard player as well.  Not surprisingly she found it difficult to do much more than get her kids off to school each day, it wasn't until she picked up a Polaroid camera and took a random photo that she started to find the creativity that had been buried under her depression.

In February of 1995 Michael Stipe, lead singer of REM, reached out to Patti.  He called her on Valentine's Day; they had never met and didn't know each other personally.  However, he could empathize with the loss she was feeling, that first Valentine's Day without her husband.  He asked if she would be his Valentine.

It was a sweet story, one that not only reminded my about a book I wanted to read, it also reminded me how much I like Michael Stipe and REM. 

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