In January 1977, while on the Radio Ethiopia Tour with the Patti Smith Group, I had a severe fall. I was obliged to stay immobile, in a cast, until Spring. This was a positive time however, because, with the support of my band members and the help of Lenny Kaye and Andi Ostrowe, I was able to gather my words and thoughts into the body of work in this book.
Our philosophy at that time, as a rock and roll band, permeates much of this writing. We believed that rock and roll was the art of the future, the peoples art, and in its pureness one could find universal communication. Much abandon went into our work and also much discipline, so much so that the members of the group called me, with fondness, the field marshall.
One must take in account that these writings grew from the climate of the seventies. And the fields we ran thru, in art and dream, were free of guilt and suffering. May you enter these fields in the same spirit. In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. And may you proceed in life with the clarity and courage of a soldier crossing a mine field, with balance and care. For nothing is more precious than the life force and may the love of that force guide you as you go.
[Babel Japanese Edition was published on Jan 15, 1994, by
Shichosha publishing co.
It is still available at the bookstores for 2600 yen.
It says the letter enclosed with this intro was dated on Oct 1, 1991.]
Copyright © Patti Smith 1994