Sunday, March 18, 2007

MUSIC | Patti Smith and Hall of Fame

While we're on the topic of music, Patti Smith (one of my personal heroes) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Yes, as long as I'm still breathing, we will see posts on Patti Smith.

Her opening lines for "Gloria" (from the 1975 album, Horses) heralded her arrival as punk rock goddess:

"Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine"

These are the very lines that made me take notice and fall in love with Patti Smith, her music and mission. She is more than a performer/artiste; she is Punk Rock Prophetess. She was more than the nihilistic self-destruction of Sid Vicious and his likes. For me, Patti Smith's mission was about defiance against institutionalised authorities, rebellion as activism. Her purpose was admirable and even now she has not lose her idealism in pursuing what she believes in.

In an interview with Patti Smith on her induction, Smith explains the famous opening lines:

Did you have any idea in 1975 that the opening line of 'Gloria' would become as famous as it has?
[Laughs] No. First of all, I wrote the poem for 'Gloria' in 1970. I was brought up a Jehovah's Witness and I had a strong religious education and a very good Bible education. I left organized religion as a teenager because I felt it was too confining. When I wrote 'Gloria,' it wasn't really anti-Christ -- who I really admire -- it was anti the idea that everything was set up for us and we had to fall into a certain behavior based on how things were organized for us. If I was going to do things wrong, I didn't want anyone having to die for my sins -- I was going to take responsibility. It was really about personal and mental liberation. A writer called it a declaration of existence. To this day, I think that's the best description of that song, although I probably would not write the same lyric now because I've gone through a long process of evolution.

Also read what Patti Smith has to say about the induction into the Hall of Fame in an Op-Ed article for The New York Times.

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