Thanks Patti.

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Patti Smith, courtesy of Google free images



When I was 15 years old I turned on my little transistor radio one night in my bedroom and tuned in to a crackling Radio Luxembourg. There was this song playing that just blew me away. I did not catch the title or the singer. Determined to remember it, I sang it over and over in my head until I found the record. It was ‘Because the Night’ by Patti smith. It has been my anthem ever since. At 17  I joined a band. Because the Night was the  first song that I learned and sang on my debut gig at the Willian IV  music pub in Truro Cornwall. I will always love this song, it was my coming of age.

Today, I have finished reading ‘Just Kids’ by Patti smith.  It is her telling of their story,Patti and  Robert Mapplethorpe. From their first meeting in New York city in the 1960’s up to Robert’s death in the 1980’s. It’s a lovely story of their deep love and respect for one another,  their staying together through trying, yet extraordinary times. Often homeless, sleeping wherever they could, sometimes a friend would offer some  floor space or a mattress. Patti tells of her coming to terms with Roberts homosexuality yet still they truly loved one another and stood by each other for support.

Then at one point they found themselves living in a room in the Chelsea hotel where Patti would sit in the corridor and watch the larger than life, the eccentric, the misfits and the wannabees pass by. they would hang out with a few of them and some became good friends.
It was the decade of Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and jimi Hendrix,  sex,drugs and of course  Rock n roll. Many of these now legends spending time in the Chelsea Hotel. I couldn’t help wishing that I was also sitting in that corridor next to  Patti Smith. I just know we would have had a great time.


Where the shrinking violets and the wallflowers reside

The awkward and the misfits finding comfort in their kind

The silent and the self possessed

on their own terms long for fame and fortune’s gaze.

Consciously aloof,

Hypnotically transfixed by the dragon’s fire

Slowly slowly the spotlight shifts

Their paths now lit

Little flowers dance in the burning flame of desire.


Dedicated to those shining lights no longer with us.

 Sally Eathorne 2015

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