Why Patti Smith Matters by Caryn Rose is #9 in the Music Matters series; primary sources include Bruce Springsteen, who spoke with the author about Smith and "Because the Night."
Thanks to Caryn Rose and her silver pen, each copy from Backstreet Records includes a custom bookplate signed by the author
Patti Smith arrived in New York City at the end of the Age of Aquarius in search of work and purpose. What she found -- what she fostered -- was a cultural revolution. Through her poetry, her songs, her unapologetic vocal power, and her very presence as a woman fronting a rock band, she kicked open a door that countless others walked through. No other musician has better embodied the "nothing-to-hide" rawness of punk, nor has any other done more to nurture a place in society for misfits of every stripe.
Why Patti Smith Matters is the first book about the iconic artist written by a woman. The veteran music journalist Caryn Rose contextualizes Smith's creative work, her influence, and her wide-ranging and still-evolving impact on rock and roll, visual art, and the written word. Rose goes deep into Smith's oeuvre, from her first album, Horses, to acclaimed memoirs operating at a surprising remove from her music. The portrait of a ceaseless inventor, Why Patti Smith Matters rescues punk's poet laureate from "strong woman" clichˇs. Of course Smith is strong. She is also a nuanced thinker. A maker of beautiful and challenging things. A transformative artist who has not simply entertained but also empowered millions.
A Backstreets contributing writer for 20 years and the author of Raise Your Hand: Adventures of an American Springsteen Fan in Europe, Caryn Rose is a longtime music journalist whose work has also appeared in Pitchfork, MTV News, Salon, Billboard, the Village Voice, Vulture, and the Guardian. Her essay on Maybelle Carter was included in Woman Walk the Line.
University of Texas Press, 5x7 softcover, 248pp