I've got no idea how the recent generation of scrappers view Patti Smith, or if they even know who she is. They should. When she first appeared, or at least when most people outside of New York became cognizant of her, she was an indication the things were about to change. It was 1976, and the Ramones already had an album out, but outside of that there wasn't really much that was different from the arena rock that dominated the first half of the seventies, much less punk rock; nothing widely available anyway. So her first LP, Horses, was a welcome change. She already had one 45 out, "Hey Joe" b/w "Piss Factory" released in 1974, but it was on the independent Mer Records, and few people had access to it, or had even heard of it.
Consider this, the A side her first major label 45, "Gloria" was produced by John Cale. The flip, a live cover of "My Generation", had Cale on bass, doing a respectable job of reinterpreting John Entwistle's bass clusterfuck from the Who's original, Smith adding some guitar noise with a Fender Duo Sonic, allegedly once owned by Jimi Hendrix, and was produced by Allen Lanier from Blue Öyster Cult. Those are some pretty impressive factoids for a major label debut. In 1976, if you were bored with all of the rock star shit, Patti Smith instantly became your cool older sister. You can bet there are plenty of people who still think of her as that. I know I do.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Patti Smith - Gloria mp3 at Synthesis Radio (?) 1976
Patti Smith - My Generation (live) mp3 at Ohio.edu (?) 1976
Patti Smith - Hey Joe mp3 at Rose Burlingham (?) 1974
Patti Smith - Piss Factory mp3 at Now Hear This (?) 1974, Tom Verlaine on guitar
Patti Smith Group - Horses/Hey Joe at YouTube 1976 Old Grey Whistle Test
Patti Reads. Patti Sings - Old post with a bunch of good stuff