It's hard to say who my biggest influence is. So many inspired me, changed me, raised me, fucked with my perception of reality and let me know I was not the only freak on a planet of Stepford Wives, but let's talk about Patti Smith.
When I was 12, I saw her do "Gloria" on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. She disturbed me. She was the most defiant woman I had ever seen. No make up. No bra. Unshaved. Singing about another chick. This one had circumvented everything by which other women had silently agreed to abide. She didn't care about seeming sweet or pretty or nice or fuckable. It was dirty, like the insides of a real person. It was raw power, reckless abandon, there was a knife in her voice.
To me, Patti Smith is about taking risks. Things I've learned from her: Go out on a limb. Don't try to control every element of a song or a show. Let chance have its way with you. Risk embarassment or impefection in order to allow spontaneity to run its course. Be proud. Have guts. Kill, kill, kill. Love, love, love. Blah, blah, blah.
Recently I saw her show at the Wiltern Theatre. She started the show with "Piss Factory," "Sixteen and time to pay off..." I cried like a baby.
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