I did not read for a long time after Miles died. I read a lot, so it was unusual for me not to read at all. I did not even try. I did not have the will nor the desire. It meant nothing to me.
The first book I read was Just Kids by Patti Smith. It is about her life as a young woman in New York trying to break into the music world as a performer and writer. She and the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe were close friends. They lived together and supported each other. They were part of the same scene, coming up together, struggling and eventually succeeding in their own ways.
The book spoke to me– a young man learning to be a photographer, learning the craft and equipment and figuring out how to succeed in the art world. The people spoke to me. Patti Smith is a great writer and she made me appreciate youth and how to look back through the lens of experience to see yourself as what you were but did not believe yourself to be at the time, just a kid. It meant a lot to me.
There are dozens of good Patti Smith songs I could choose, but I am choosing this gem of Patti Smith on a kids show singing “You Light Up My Life.” It really displays her talents as a powerful singer.