Have you ever noticed how stars always have photos taken of them during, “the early days”… phases of their lives that always seem to exude their potential fame and ever expanding souls? Like the person who was taking the picture just knew that one day their snapshot would help explain how this person was able to achieved fame. There always seemed to be someone along the way to document them as they evolved into greatness. You know… Rock Star X (pictured here with promoter) Circa 1975.
This thought struck me as I read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. I read a review of it that really piqued my interest and I bought it. Turns out, it was very very good. Less about Patti Smith and her music, and more about her love and life with Robert Maplethorpe. Not the two talents I pictured together. There was a real sweetness to her writing though and their story was very interesting, full of the influence of the times. In it, there were a few pictures, and one was Patti and Robert standing on the balcony of their room at a hotel where they lived.
It made me think about the picture itself and the timeline of fame. The photo was probably just of two friends as a snippet of time. In the context of looking back though it becomes an artifact of fame.
I still only have “Horses”, but I now respect her more.
It occurs to me as I write this that I wish I could have paid more attention to the details of my life with music. I wish I took it for granted less and understood more how it created me. I wish I could remember all the albums that I got from Columbia House, which Led Zeppelin song I heard first or when I got my first bootleg or which Neil Diamond albums my father had.
Sometimes you just don’t know which details will be important later.
This blog may not be all the details, but it is my way of remembering, my early day’s photo.
I’m the photographer.