As usual there are so many books and so little time. Here are three books from female rock and roll pioneers that I hope to read this year.
Patti Smith National Book book award winning “Just Kids” transports the reader to NYC in the late 60s and early 70s when Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe were trying to figure out what is art and how they fit into the artistic world. M Train; the “M” standing for mind, is a collection of true short stories. It’s not exactly another memoir but reflections on irredeemable loss, memory, travel, crime, coffee, books, and wild imaginings and give us a little more insight into the psyche of Patti.
When I heard Chrissie Hynde interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast she seemed like some sort of rock and roll Forest Gump as she was seemingly at every rock and roll historic event happening in London. From Jimi Hendrix shows to The Sex Pistols and Joy Division to The Clash she was there first hand. And of course she’s got her own band The Pretenders going and I still consider their debut one of the best rock albums of all time. Reckless: My Life As A Pretender contains stories of rock star boyfriends, rock star deaths, rock star babies, controversial viewpoints and I just want to immerse myself in all of it.
I think there’s no denying that if there was not a Patti Smith or a Chrissie Hynde there would not be a Sleater Kinney. Then again, Sleater Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein seems so determined to create her own niche that she probably would have found her way to eventually become the indie rock star/indie actress/indie author that she is today. In any case, her path to success is worth documenting and worth admiring. As Carrie proved this year, Sleater Kinney and her show Portlandia are still as vital as ever. I expect her book Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl to be in the same league as her music and show.