M Train, Patti Smith

Patti Smith is an addict. Yes folks, it is true. Call it what you want- aficionado, enthusiast, lover, but it all boils down to one obsession: coffee. Patti Smith loves coffee. Her daily rituals, travels and memories in some shape or form revolve around coffee and where to score her next cup.

I hold no judgment. I too am a coffee drinker and have at least one cup on work days. I like my coffee black, so that it can not hide behind masks of cream, sugar, and syrup. Are you a decent brew or aren’t you?

Above coffee drinking, apt titles for this book would include, A Day in the Life of Patti Smith, Demystifying the Inner Workings of a Culture Icon’s Mind, or Patti Smith: Human and a bit of an Introvert. For sure, some people may find her daily rituals strange or too pedestrian for a rock legend, but honestly it made me feel a little less alien, as I identify with some of her quirks and tendencies as a writer and as a person. We know “Patti Smith” on stage, but here is the ‘day in, day out’ life of Patricia. Here we find Smith still working on her craft, not wanting to clean her house, ruminating over the words of the cowboy spirit guide in her dreams, procrastinating while watching TV detective dramas, obsessing over an author or subject of choice, going days talking to more inanimate objects than people, using the post office instead of email, drinking watermelon juice from a street vendor in Mexico (bad idea, don’t do it), randomly meeting other cultural icons like Bobby Fischer, and losing things everywhere!

My favourite parts of this book actually revolve around the memories of her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith. You catch the sweet breath of love surrounding these two people and how they transformed each other’s worlds from the inside out, just by being themselves. Time holds no relevance for their love story. As such, this book has no real agenda, it simply meanders through the poetic paces of Smith’s mind.

Music Corner:

  1. One of the greatest love songs I’ve ever heard is in fact “Frederick”, Patti’s ode to Fred. It is simple, beautiful, celebratory, and honest.
  2. “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, referenced in a story where Patti and Fred find the single on a portable record player tucked in the closet of a rented cabin. This song has also been referenced by my father, as having one of the best drum solos of all time.
  3. And to conclude, here is a fun little coffee video. Now you can enjoy your musical scales with your coffee! (Physics)! I think Patti would approve.

Books Read: 1



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