In recent interview, Patti Smith talks about being raised JW.
From Interview magazine, in October. She has a new memoir, should be a good read.
[bold is mine, and yes! to whole thing, and especially the last sentence.]
((edit: turns out, at the very bottom, says the interview is from 1976! But book is new.))
SMITH: Exactly, because I was real religious when I was young. I wanted to be a missionary. I was a Jehovah's Witness for a long time and I was always going out to preach. I must have been so pathetic because I was so skinny. I had these Brownie socks. I was real proud of the Brownie logo. I wasn't even a Brownie. I just got them—hot Brownie socks! And this little brown and white checkered dress with smocking. And I'd had scarlet fever and I'd lost most of my hair. I just had little tufts, and my mother was always trying to hide it by putting these huge plaid ribbons on my head. I'd go out every Saturday and take my Watchtowers andAwakes! because I was real serious about it. I had this idea that the coolest thing that could happen to you was talking with God. My father was always talking about God, and I idolized my father, so I'd spend hours trying to have mental telepathy with God.
FALAISE MCKENDRY: As a stage towards God you could always aim for being President. Rock 'n' roll songs would be better than presidential speeches. What would you do if you woke tomorrow morning and by some mischance you were President of the United States?
SMITH: First thing I'd do would be to abolish organized religion. I'd break up the power of the Mormons in Utah. Then I'd get a Cabinet together. I think I'd make Lenny Kaye, my lead guitar, an ambassador to try and patch up relations with Jamaica, and then have some long talks with Bob Marley and see if we couldn't open up Rastafarianism so that it is not a racial religion because I think it's a great religion. It has dope and rock 'n' roll—what a great religion! I realize that people need something to believe in.
I mean, I always used to seek it from religion and then it just wasn't satisfying enough, so I moved to art
Just requested both her memoirs, Just kids, and M train, la bibliotheque. Great reading to start the new year, methinks. The Queen of Punk, some say. Rock goddess Poet xx
Big Patti Smith fan. Brilliant poet and rocker. Was planning to read M Train shortly. This post reminded me of that.
Seems like a quite a few ex-jw's became famous musicians. Poor kids, they must have had "spiritually weak" parents!
d4g - me, too! and you're welcome. Looking forward to the read.
eyeuse2b -- Patti seems to have poured her angst into her poetry.. we are all survivors! xo