Patti Smith and Mapplethorpe: Bohemian Rhapsody

The rocker Patti Smith looks back on her youthful love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe

Gerard Malanga

Smith and Mapplethorpe in New York City in 1971.

To see Patti Smith at her most indispensable, go to YouTube and watch her perform "Horses/Hey Joe," a medley that peaks with the immortal directive "Go, Rimbaud! Do the Watusi!" Rimbaud? Watusi? Yes! Anybody who sees the link between the most delirious of French poets and the dumbest of '60s dance crazes is onto something.

Smith is 63 now and ready for her memoir. But the story she's chosen to tell isn't about the rock-star years. It's a coming-of-age tale about a shy Jersey girl who falls in love with a lapsed altar boy from Long Island with "tousled shepherd's curls."...

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