Live with Patti Smith

Mortality is a thing for which we don’t have a direct cure, but rather preventative measures.

Like it or not our days are numbered. Frankly, we’ve never quite been able to see the downside to an inevitable end date. Can you imagine looking into the slack-jawed face of the mildly racist checkout clerk as she begins to frame some judgemental comment about the fact that you already reek of gin and you’re buying cheap German wine at 8.30am, every day for all eternity? There’s a reason why ‘a fate worse than death’ is an axiom.

As a result of our incurable mortality, we have all developed certain coping mechanisms. Some get married, some have a collection of yachts none of which they’ve ever captained all named some version of ‘Sally’s Hot Tits’, some drink, and some pump out other humans. Some prostitute their own legacy. Like Patti Smith.

Following a run of concerts at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland as a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger’s words, “Anything is possible: after all, it’s the year of the monkey.” For Smith, inveterately curious, always exploring, the year evolves as one of reckoning with the changes in life’s gyre: with loss, ageing, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.

Riveting, elegant, often humorous, illustrated by Smith’s signature Polaroids, Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times. She will be discussing her new book live in conversation with Live Talks Los Angeles.

You’re going to die. We’re going to die. Patti Smith is going to die.

The choice we all have is whether we’re going to go quietly or not. Patti Smith has chosen not. But then perhaps when you’ve got the voice responsible for Because the Night, the world is better off when you decide to go loudly.

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