Patti Smith Forced to Explain Her Hair to NYT

Patti Smith; who doesn't love her? (Even though the last time I saw her show, she forgot half her lyrics onstage and appeared totally stoned. Rock and roll!) Thing is, however, is that the media has been tremendously unimaginative in the last twenty or so years when writing about a lady who is equal parts artist, rock star, and stay-at-home mom. "Punk poet" and "godmother of punk" are the standard descriptors that have been in use since 1977. Deb Solomon mostly sidesteps that trap in this week's New York Times Magazine, asking instead: What's up with her hair?

"You seem to cultivate a kind of wild-child mystique, even in your appearance. For instance, why don't you use hair conditioner?

I do use conditioner!

I'm surprised. You're the queen of split ends.

That's very funny because I've just cut about eight inches off my hair because it was just too ratty-looking.

Seriously, are you trying to cultivate any sort of image, androgynous or otherwise?

I'm disinterested. I've always looked the same. Since I was a child, I hated having to deal with my hair. I hated having to change my clothes. As a kid, I had a sailor shirt and the same old corduroy pants, and that's what I wanted to wear everyday."

But Patti has it right: the only way to respond to a hair-attack is with good humor.