Patti Smith: Advice to the young

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“Build a good name”, rock poet Patti Smith advises the young. “Don’t worry about earning a bunch of money, be concerned about doing good work. Keep your name clean. Eventually your name will become it’s own currency”.

The American singer, poet and photographer Patti Smith (b. 1946) is a living punk rock legend. In this video she gives advice to the young:

“Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned about doing good work. Protect your work and if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency. Life is like a roller coaster ride, it is never going to be perfect. It is going to have perfect moments and rough spots, but it’s all worth it”, Patti Smith says.

Interview by Christian Lund, the Louisiana Literature festival August 24, 2012, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Edited by Honey Biba Beckerlee and Kamilla Bruus.

Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner.

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

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Louisiana Channel is a non-profit video channel for the Internet launched by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in November 2012. Each week Louisiana Channel will publish videos about and with artists in visual art, literature, architecture, design etc.

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Supported by Nordea-fonden.


mysticwritr says:

Patti Smith gives such poignant yet simple advice to the young, but I think
it speaks to anyone who realizes their potential in this world as a human
being. This shining star of a human poet has lived.

Tyler Cole says:

This is honestly the most inspiring video I have watched… I always come
back to this video for her words of wisdom

christian fliegendruck says:

‘ye know, my name is Smith’. she is so fresh!

Piotr Wajner says:

beautifully said, worth watching !
Patti Smith also explains one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about
technology and want to contribute to its development: *”technology
democratizes self expression”* and lets make sure it stays this way…

Guy Frederick says:

Patti Smith: #advice to the young:
Sound advice for young and old

Natasza Szymanska says:

really compelling

Gregory Nathan says:

To be around Bruce Springsteen, Sam Shepard, William S. Burroughs, and the
list goes on for the best part of her beginning you can not go wrong.

Lisergic Queen says:

Such an inspirational speech! It almost made me cry…there’s still hopes,
after all!! Thank you patti ♡

CyndyNeg says:

i have loved her for forever….

Steven Parker says:

I love this beautiful candid, grounded advice on living life and being a
human being from #PattiSmith . I would have loved to have heard this as a
teenager. Enjoy 🙂 #wisdom

Chris Richter says:

I love this beautiful candid, grounded advice on living life and being a
human being from #PattiSmith . I would have loved to have heard this as a
teenager. Enjoy 🙂 #wisdom

Jane Millerick says:

Patt Sm th: Adv ce to the Young …

Karya Su Ceylan says:


toad tribble says:

This has changed everything

Inez Patino says:

This is great advice for anyone. Thanks Patti!

Kathleen O'Nan says:

Wonderful view on what technology can do in terms of struggle for

Bret Helm's Life On This Planet Blog says:

Beautiful words of wisdom.

TheLuminous01 says:
andrea anzani says:

she’s a great communicator, as usual.
the only thing i reproach her is agreeding to participate in the most
shameful festivals, like sanremo in italy, and accept the most improbable
collaborations, like the italian band “la casa del vento”. i find it in
contrast with the statement “keep your name clean”, imho.

Megan Hussey says:

Amazing woman; I love how the interviewer just sits and lets her speak,
soaking in her wisdom with the crowd,

elgojira says:

Beatiful Patti!

Emily Lovett says:

She’s so beautiful in every possibile way. Wonderful woman.

Kieran Cooper says:
Cee Vu says:

I fucking love her. 

Seekarr says:

I feel a little bit more pretentious this morning :P

weewilly2007 says:

what did you see when looking, or was it falling over the edge? were you
pushed? and if so, who did it and why? Some say that culture is a test with
one key factor being who you take advice from. Did you manage to grow up in
the long drop? Are there feelings sometimes that it may have been better to
have not survived? When it’s just to face an inquisition and the firing
squad at the end of the day, or at best, a sympathetic, though
uncomfortable crowd? Who may not even want to hear the truth! There must be
a big bold, take away message in there somewhere right? Something that can
be simplified, packaged and shipped out to the rest of the World yet again.
Smacks of subversive moralizing if you ask me. What about the push for
increased automation in pursuit of american supremacy post WW II, which
called for reduction in work force. So that such travelling circuses (
social circles and artistic movements) were used like rakes to thin out the
field, something that the young, restless and probably unstable would be
most susceptible to (so goes some theories anyway). But why let them go to
complete waste either, when they can serve as liabilities and losses for
others to generate even more gains with, or better yet, turn those losses
into profits by sending them out on tour. An iteration of the destructive
feminine aspect, minus lipstick and heels like more archetypal sirens,
vamps or Jezebels? The Old Virginia Woolf Gambit the more disapproving
might say

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