Sunday, October 05, 2014

Nico and Patti Smith

I did not know that Patti Smith and Nico knew each other. Patti Smith did not speak much of her acquaintance with the tall blonde, hipster femme fatale.

Came across this excerpt from a book on Nico recently though, where she spoke about her impression of Patti Smith, and Smith's generosity to her. It's a small human piece, but so touching.

“I had met Patti in New York, when she was a young poet on the scene. She was a female Leonard Cohen, when she moved from writing to singing, and I liked her because she was thin but strong. John Cale produced her first album, which was about heroin (Horses, 1975). Then I met her in Paris, and got to know her better. I felt like she could be a sister, because anyway she was the double of Philippe Garrel, and I liked to be together with her...

“Patti was very kind to me. Early in 1978 my harmonium was stolen from me. I was without any money and now I couldn’t even earn a living playing without my organ. A friend of mine saw one with green bellows in an obscure shop, the only one in Paris. Patti bought it for me. I was so happy and ashamed. I said, “I’ll give you back the money when I get it”, but she insisted the organ was a present and I should forget about the money. I cried. I was ashamed she saw me without money.”

- Nico: The Life and Lies of an Icon, Richard Witts

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