Patti Smith: “I didn’t feel I was embarking on a career”

“I didn’t feel I was embarking on a career. The main mission in Horses was that rock’n’roll in 1974, at least in America, was going through a difficult transition. The ’60s was like the Renaissance. You had Hendrix and Morrison and Lennon and Neil Young and Grace Slick and Janis Joplin and the Stones, The Animals, you can go on and on, all the great R&B artists. And then many people died, and the culture was shifting into opulence and decadence.

“I was young, but I felt our cultural voice was in jeopardy and needed an infusion of new people and ideas. I didn’t feel like I was the one, I didn’t consider myself a musician in any way, but I was a poet and a performer, and I did feel that I understood where we were at, what we’d been given and where we should go, and if I could voice it, perhaps it could inspire the next generation.

“I did Horses as a bridge, a touchstone, for the future, and if that sounds presumptuous, what’s more presumptuous than youth?”

– Patti Smith in MOJO Magazine