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Vibraciones Vol3, No.25 Oct ’76
Caspe 78, 1º1ª, Barcelona-10

Vibraciones, la revista rock de los 70, was a monthly magazine out of Barcelona covering the growing rock’n’roll scene. It ran from October 1974 to March 1982, publishing 90 issues in total. It was home to many of the best writers of the underground scene, including Mario Murillo and Diego A. Manrique, who for this issue wrote an 8-page feature chronicling the career of Neil Young. Patti Smith was interviewed about her place in the rock scene, to which she replied, “I’m a girl who really does what boys do. My physical appearance, my achievements and everything I try to achieve through rock is something heroic, like everything traditionally done by men; like Jim Morrison who tried to elevate the word, he was the academic poet of rock’n’roll. I feel more down to earth.”

Translated from Spanish:

Vibraciones: Where do you get so much strength to believe in yourself?

Patti Smith: Singing and acting have made me stronger. I have lost that childish stage fright that we all carry inside. I feel better able to take advantage of life. I enjoy sex more and all emotions, whether they are sad or pleasant. When I came to New York I had nothing, I was 20 years old, but I had no money, no friends, no future. But I felt happy and I believed in the struggle that every artist has to go through to earn a place where they can speak or transmit their emotions or their ideas. Sometimes when I feel depressed I remember that when I started I was nothing, and I didn't even know how to express myself.
Now things are different, I sell records and poetry. Life is hard but I always think from the positive side and not from the dark
side of the mathematics of Art. Having fame and money do not make me happy, when next to me there are people who do not have it. I have always been very lucky, also with the people who have surrounded me. For example Jane, my manager, is an angel. She trusts me, my poetry and my musical explosions and she inspired me from the beginning and gave me strength to achieve my desire to have a rock band. I don't feel so much pressured by my followers or by the demands of the industry, as fatigued and limited to do all the things I wanted. You know, free time goes so easily.

Vibraciones: What happens when you have to act and you feel cold or afraid. You take some stimulants?

Patti Smith: If I don't feel naturally stimulated, I try to solve the problem in some way…I think hashish has always been my drug of choice. I also like coke. Good hashish transports you, I like to chew it. I think there's something nasty about drugs too, I don't like to play with them, then feel like an idiot, banging my head against the wall…Actually I can't ingest a lot because I'm very thin and not strong, I can't overdo it otherwise it would kill me. I do not advocate its excessive use, I do not like to see people totally stupefied, drugs have their place and their function. The American Indians saw them as part of the spiritual rite of their lives. They are something spiritual that can bring you very close to God if you want it.

Vibraciones: Apart from rock, what other music do you like?

Patti Smith: I like reggae madly and also the folk music of each country, the ritual of the Buddhas, the African, the indigenous, the purer the better. They give me ideas to later insert them into my music. On my trip to Spain I will try to get to know folk music, as well as make friends and get to know the most transcendental places.