Often referred to as the "godmother of punk," Patti Smith has lived a full life and contributed a dutiful load to the evolution of music in the 20th century. Getting her start in the mid-1970s, during the gestation of punk rock, Smith combined her adept spoken word work with simple, no frills, three-chord song progressions to create a realized proto-punk sound. But her songs weren't about causing havoc; rather, they were about elevating yourself and gaining an education to contribute something vital to society. Smith is still at it and even though her old New York City haunts (Max's Kansas City and CBGB's) have withered away, the iconic singer/songwriter is still going strong.
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