After graduating high school in 1964, Smith immediately went to work in a factory, a short experience she hated so much that she titled the song about her time there as 'Piss Factory
', which was her first single alongside the song 'Hey Joe'.
While Smith is most celebrated for her music and poetry, she has been making photographs since the early '60s, and drawings and paintings since the late '60s, years before cutting her first single, "Piss Factory
," in 1974.
Yet the dishevelled star loathes both her iconic status and the title often bestowed upon her of the Godmother Of Punk - odd considering her first independent single was the provocatively-titled Piss Factory
Shakespeare's child, Rimbaud's avatar, Ginsberg's friend, Burroughs's buddy--and there are photos of Hendrix, Joan of Arc, Bob Dylan, Pope John Paul I, Kurt Cobain, Jackie Onassis all through the book--Patti worships heroes, paradigms mostly who embody various sides of herself: the sexy, defiant, poetic, rude, ass-kicking rocker of "Piss Factory
," "Because the Night," "People Have the Power," and an anthem of the sixties that she just happened to write in 1988.
Almost thirty years have passed since Patti Smith burst out of South Jersey, with a poem--"Piss Factory
"--that declared, "I'm going to be somebody, I'm going to go on that train and go to New York City, I'm going to be so bad, I'm going to be so big, I'm going to be a big star, and I will never return."