The music industry describes Patricia Lee “Patti” Smith as a great godmother of punk. Patti Smith has carved herself out a rock and roll star with her works bearing lots of inspiration as well as transformative dimensions. She was born in North Chicago in the year 1946. Her pieces address major societal issues of concern as well as bring impact on performance of rock and roll music genre. Most of Smith’s celebrated songs include the intense, orgasmic beat poet rock of Gloria, heart swelling people have the power, dancing barefoot, the enduring romantic, Because of the night, co-written by Springsteen. Patti Smith has been in the music industry for over 35 years now.
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It is considered that Patty Smith came up with her beyond periphery concerted poetry music as a heartfelt rebellion against the prevailing social as well as cost-effective systems that moulded her musical pieces. Her words, although originally written in rock and roll give perfect metaphors to reflect on as far as contentious life issues are concerned. In one of her works, Smith argues that, “We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, and we feared it floundering in mire of spectacle, finance and rapid technical complexity” (Ashbrook). Such pieces of work instigated transformative thinking by the people listening to such works about the existed structures. Smith states that it is not fair to align yourself with the wealthiest people in society while the majority less advantaged become more and more impoverished.
Apart from music, Smith expresses her thoughts as well. In her National Book Award winner Just for kids, Smith writes of a transformative experience at the age of 12 of a family bus trip to Philadelphia Museum of Art. She admits being shocked at the brutal esteem of Picasso, seeing “languorous Modiglianis” for the first time ever and subjects of Sargent and Thomas Eakins. Smith admits that this trip transformed the manner in which she perceived the ability of human kind to create artistic works. She learned that being an artist meant seeing what others did not. This experience, she admits, transformed her perception of art her personal life greatly (Ashbrook).
In the year 2006, Smith pioneered two protest songs that proved transformative. The songs revealed an emotional indictment of America’s and Israeli’s foreign policy. One of the songs “Qana” talked about Israeli’s airstrike on Qana, a Lebanese village. The other song “Without Chains” talks about a Turkish citizen, Murat Kurnaz born and raised in Germany jailed at Guantanamo Bay for four years. Smith is quoted saying, she wrote those songs directly in response to events she felt outraged about. She describes these as injustices against children and young men and women being incarcerated. She is gutted by the fact that she pays taxes and yet the government gives millions of dollars to countries like Israel, cluster bombs and defence technology and the bombs were aimed at innocent citizens at Qana. She describes this as terrible and a violation of human rights (Jury). These two songs proved transformative on the people’s perception about the US foreign policy.
From the above discussion, it is clear that Patti Smith’s works, both music and written, are transformative in nature. The works carry both self-transformative approach as well as society transformative roles. The trip to Philadelphia Museum of Art transformed Smith’s perception about art, making her recognise that in art one needs to see things from a dimensions that other people do not see. Her indictment of US and Israel foreign policies necessitated society to transform their perception about the two nations’ foreign policies.