My three-year-old noticed the framed album cover of Patti Smith hanging on the wall. It’s been hanging there, right above the TV, for his entire life, but I guess he just now saw it. It’s the one of her “Easter” album from 1978, where she is showing some armpit hair. It’s a little memorable, I guess. I remember seeing it in my dad’s music room when I was a kid too.
What followed was a three-day-long conversation with a three-year-old about Patti Smith. It included some dancing, some guitar-playing, and some temper tantrums. You know, the usual. A typical day in our house.
Day 1, while watching TV:
R: Who dat, Momma?
Me: That’s Patti Smith. She is a musician. Wanna hear her music?
R: Yes. [Listens] I like Patti music. She come our house?
Me: No, she doesn’t come to houses. She just makes music for us to hear.
R: Please? Maybe someday? In two days?
R: I like Patti music. [Dances. Gets guitar.] You like Patti music, babies?!
Day 2, first thing in the morning:
R: I want to hear Patti music!
Me: Ok, go pee-pee first.
R: Patti come our house now?
Me: No, sorry.
Day 3, sometime during the babies’ naps:
R: Can we listen to Patti?
Me: When the babies wake up.
Me: Because the music would wake up the babies.
R: We need to go in the car to see her. She’s far away. We can go on Wednesday. We can see her ‘nother day. Yeah momma.
Me: I don’t know where she lives.
R: We have to get there. We can get there later. We can go later. Maybe she’s at her house.
Me: Where’s her house?
R: She’s far away.
Me: What would we do when we got to her house?
R: We have to get there, to the right. Go right. We need to see her one time.
Me: Would she play music when we got there?
Me: That would be pretty cool.
R: Yeah, that would be pretty cool. I could bring my guitar. To sing too. I want to see Patti on the ‘puter. Let me sit on your lap. Show me Patti now. That would be pretty cool to sing with Patti. I can play guitar with her.
[We google some Patti Smith pictures.]
Me: See? There she is with a microphone. There she is with a guitar.
R: I want to see more Patti! MORE!!!
Me: No, we’re all done. I have to go clean up now.
R: [screams] I’m NOT all done! I want to see Patti again! NEVER!
Me: Don’t yell at me.
I have seen Patti Smith perform at least twice. Maybe three times, but I have a terrible memory. One of those (two or three) times, I was in the front row at the 9:30 Club in DC. She kicked the microphone stand over on purpose, and some geek next to me picked it back up for her. Then, she pretty much kicked him. In the face. With her Doc Martens. Holy wow, best day of my teenage life. Then she picked her nose because she said the boogers made her off-key.
Patti, if you’re reading this, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!