TIMELINE // Patti Smith

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Patricia Lee Smith. Author. Poet. Musician. The punk rocker. Patti Smith poses for a portrait on May 7, ’71 at the legendary Hotel Chelsea in New York City, New York. Photo by David Gahr.

“We are in 2013, and I know my age. I’m old enough to be a lot of the audience’s grandmother. But essentially I think of myself as a worker: I’m communicating with people. When I was young, I communicated with people through ideas and humour, and I still do – you can do that at any age. A more sexual communication, OK, that has changed, absolutely. Not that I don’t have any sexuality, it’s just not paramount in the way I communicate with people. But there are moments when I’m on stage when I don’t feel any different than I did. At all! I still feel as awkward, I still feel as enraged, I still feel, you know, as flawed. I don’t feel like I’ve improved. I know that I’m not as – not that I was ever beautiful, but I was certainly better-looking when I was younger, and a little sexier, or more interesting to a young feller. I still feel a strong connection with the audience, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t want people to spend £20 or £30 to come see us if they’re not going to get something out of it.”

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