Ever since reading her book “Just Kids” a few years ago, I’ve had a girl crush on Patti Smith. I was always aware of her through her music in the 1970’s, as a teenager growing up during the punk era, strong women icons had been few and far between until then, but since her book I adore everything about her. From her way of dressing to the things she says and how she says it, she is one cool lady.
I was lucky enough to see her gig in Manchester a few years ago and at 67 years old she still has more energy and charisma than many female artists currently in the music business. It was with some interest that I read her views on women in the music industry, which seems to be a hot topic, at the moment, in her recent interview with the Independent.
I: What’s your view on the sexualisation of women in the music industry? Is it necessary for musicians to take their clothes off as often as they do?
P: “I can’t judge how another person does their work. Everyone has a choice and the music industry is much more open that it was when I was younger. Certain things are gone, others have developed, but everyone makes their choices. Pop music has always been about the mainstream and what appeals to the public. I don’t feel it’s my place to judge. I just look at things as a fan, I like or or I don’t like it. I love Rihanna’s song, Stay. I didn’t know much about it, but I found it so touching, so beautiful and it didn’t bother me that in her music video she sung it naked in the bathtub. I thought it was beautiful. I have bigger concerns that what pop stars are doing. I’m more concerned about our environment, what industrialists are doing to it. But I would always say to anyone, you make choices that are important to you. Don’t allow yourself to be exploited by something as fleeting as fame and fortune. If you’re presenting yourself in a way that important to you in communicating your vision, then so be it. No one should allow themselves to be exploited ever.”
She has recently written a lullaby for the film Noah, which stars Russell Crowe and in the interview, which you can read in full here, she talks about the possibility of making a film of Just Kids, which is the truly uplifting and heartfelt story she tells of her life with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It would make an amazing film if interpreted with as much sensitively as the book.