Patti Smith is one of pop culture's true originals. The 1975 release of her debut album Horses signalled the start of a career full of passionate commitment, abrupt gear changes and unlikely collaborations which continues to flourish well into the 21st century.Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Shepard and Bruce Springsteen are just a few who have become associated with the Patti Smith legend. She has toured with Bob Dylan, opened for the New York Dolls and duetted on record with R.E.M., written songs for movies and still produces albums off arresting originality. Nick Johnstone, respected music journalist and long time fan, unravels the story of the girl from Chicago who mixed poetry, underground theatre, jazz and rock, and who played a key role in shaping the New York punk scene of the mid-Seventies. From the home town experimental poems through street performance in Paris to high times in New York's Chelsea Hotel, from the quiet years in suburban Detroit with husband Fred 'Sonic' to her ascension to iconic status, the Patti Smith story is full of unexpected twists and turns.Nick Johnstone makes fascinating sense of a complex creative and produces a compelling insight into the life and times of a woman who has always refused to compromise.