Patti Smith’s Tips For Success

Photo by Patti Smith.

In an interview with Canada’s The Globe And Mail, Patti Smith offered five tips for success.

Tip #1: Cher is already Cher

“Early on in my career,” Smith told the paper, “I got a lot of different offers. There was one producer who saw me do a sort of musical poetry reading. i guess I was funny and I had a wry sense of humor and he had this idea to shape me into a seventies-style Cher. Of course it was an honor that someone wanted to invest time and money in me, but this guy had a specific vision for me and it wasn’t what I wanted to do. People often get tempted by success, celebrity, but I’ve always tried to sidestep the opportunities that aren’t in keeping with my personal vision. Everyone has to make a living – I worked in a factory, I was a really bad waitress – but in terms of your art, that’s not something your should compromise. You might think you will only compromise for a while, but that’s not the way it works.”

Other tips:

#2: Be selfish every day.

#3: Screwing up is good for the soul.

#4: I’m a girl…get over it.

#5: There’s no “I” in performer.

To hear what Smith had to say about the last four tips, head to The Globe and Mail.


About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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