tagCelebritiesHow Patti Smith Got Punk

How Patti Smith Got Punk


This story was inspired by two photos of Patti Smith, both taken by Robert Mapplethorpe.

It didn't matter what anyone else thought. Robert thought she was gorgeous.

She was skinny and had a mop of black hair, which she never combed. She had cheekbones that he would have killed for. She had huge dark eyes that took in new experiences the way a sponge soaked up water. She carried around a copy of Rimbaud's Illuminations, the New Directions paperback with the grainy blown-up headshot of the teen genius on the cover, which she'd lifted from a bookshop; a bottle of cheap scent had broken in her bag one day and the book had got soaked, and now it smelt like the madame of a Latin Quarter whorehouse. Patti loved that, Rimbaud in Smell-O-Vision. She wrote her own poetry and chanted it in cafes to anyone who would listen and a few that wouldn't.

She was a gangling kid from Jersey, barely in her twenties, who had this dream of forming a band and singing songs, and Robert didn't really have the heart to tell her that her voice was awful. She was ridiculously operatic. Anyway, Robert wasn't that interested in rock. He was interested in Patti. Where did she get this intensity, this half-crazed self-belief? She really thought she was going to start a revolution with nothing but a sheaf of poems and a cheap guitar. He took a Polaroid of her one day, in which she looked like two people at once.

The whole right side of her face is lit by a harsh visionary gleam. A pale eye burns into yours. Focus on just that half of her face, and she seems to be smiling at you, promising something intimate and terrible. But the other half of her face is shadowed, her left eye wanders off into the corner, a lock of hair falls down over her brow - she'd tied her hair back that day and it always wanted to escape - and she looks young and vulnerable and a little apprehensive, a wide-eyed farmgirl from some podunk town in Jersey who'd gotten in way over her head. Okay, now: uncover both sides and look at her face as a whole. It's frightening. It doesn't add up, she doesn't add up, she's a walking contradiction. Robert was quietly proud of the picture. Apart from anything else, it made her look like somebody who one day would be remembered for something.

Robert told her fairly late that he was gay. She was shocked, which he thought was hilarious. She was even more shocked when he told her stories about the leathermen and the sling and the other stuff he got up to. She wanted to go to one of the bars he hung out in, but he wouldn't take her. He said that she'd annoy the customers by getting on a table and reciting Piss Factory or whatever. She still carried herself too much like someone who wants to make an impression. Robert thought of some of the bulldykes he knew; they'd have Patti for breakfast and have room left over for a cheerleading squad. He told her that. Patti flew into a snit and he didn't see her for three days.

She came back, though. The ice thawed and they got shitfaced together on wine, sitting on the fire escape in the heat of the night with Coltrane ascending in the background. It was sweltering. Patti was wearing a man's white shirt that was all the way open and a pair of black trousers. Her black tie was dangling between her small breasts.

"Why do you always wear that?" he asked.

"A uniform," she shrugged. "You need one in this city."

"It makes you look like a boy."

"Good," she grinned, that huge toothy, gummy grin that split open her face. "I wanna be a boy. A soldier boy. Like the girl in that folk song, the one who just wants to play the drum so she joins the Army disguised as a boy."

"What happens to her?"

"Oh, some girl thinks she's a guy and falls in love with her, and 'course she has to own up to being a girl, and they chuck her out. It's fuckin' tragic." She cackled and drank some more wine.

"The handsome cabin boy," smiled Robert.

"Yeah, there's a sailor's version too."

"Imagine real sailors finding out that the cabin boy's a girl! Jesus, they'd fuck her senseless if they hadn't already."

"But from the front this time," said Patti. "She'd get the best of both worlds." They laughed, then fell silent. Patti became aware that Robert was eyeing her.

"What are you lookin' at?" she asked in her best street-kid voice.

"Just imagining you as a boy," he said.

"Arthur Rimbaud," she said, raising her glass in a toast. "Walkin' from Charleville to Paris and stopping at an inn for a plate of ham and a mug of beer. He flirts with the waitress. She's called...Isabelle. No, wait, that's his sister's name. She's called...Edwige!" She laughed like an idiot and slapped her thigh. "She's older than him and has big tits and she takes him into the hayloft for a fuck. He's fourteen years old."

"You read too much."

"Yeah. Well, forty miles down the road he meets a squad of soldiers and they gang-bang him," Patti said quietly.

"Really?" said Robert, suddenly interested. Patti shrugged.

"He wrote a poem about it. So he definitely imagined it. He never mentions it anywhere else, though."

"So he was a punk after all," said Robert.

"What did you say?" said Patti with a curious look.

"A punk. You know, the kid in jail who gets gang-banged by the older guys."

"I didn't know it meant that. They're startin' to call some of the bands in CBGB punk bands. The Ramones, guys like that."

"Probably because they don't know what it means."

"I dunno," Patti said. "I heard that Dee Dee Ramone useta be a rent boy. Johnny said you'd meet him in the street with some guy and he'd go, 'Oh, uh hi guys, have you met my...my uncle?'"

Robert burst out laughing. Patti grinned, and twirled her wine glass in her hand.

"I wonder what it's like," she mused.


"A gang-fuck. What would it be like to be taken over like that. To lose control."

"It's...nice," he said.

"You've done it?" she asked, with that wide-eyed, gee-whiz expression.

"A few times."

"Tell me what it's like," she said, sitting up eagerly.

"Oh Patti, give it up. You're the one who's good with words. I can't describe it. It's...intense. Scary."

She stared into the middle distance for a moment. Sounds of traffic and smells of exhaust fumes and spicy cooked grease hung heavily in the air. Patti's gaze moved across the New York skyline. For a moment, she looked very young and very innocent. Her pirate earring glittered in the light from the window.

"Do you wanna try it?" he asked quietly. She glanced at him.

"You can arrange it?" she said.

"You can arrange anything in this town as long as you have the right phone numbers," he grinned.

She held his eyes for a moment, then smiled and put on her best tough-girl expression.

"Keep it as a surprise," she said. "Don't tell me when. Just do it. Sometime in the next coupla weeks."

Robert wasn't deceived. He knew how scared Patti was. It was one thing to move up to the big city and have a bunch of one-night stands and a fling with an underground playwright and think yourself a Bohemian. It was something else to accept that you are going to be totally taken over by a bunch of strangers.

For the next few days, Patti found an erotic tension suffusing every aspect of her life. Every look, every gesture, every man in the street might be the beginning of a sexual adventure that she both feared and longed for. Coming home late from a bar, she would glance into every alleyway in case Robert's friends were down there. If she was performing in a club she would scan the faces in the crowd to see if any of them were looking at her with that secret understanding that she was to be made into their bitch. It got to the point where she almost couldn't bear the waiting any longer.

Then one afternoon, she came back to the loft after picking up some stuff from the corner deli. She opened the door and there was Robert with three good-looking, heavily muscled men, two white, one black. The black man was bald. They were all wearing black leather pants and jackets. They were all staring at her.

Patti felt like backing out the door. Her guts turned to liquid and she looked at their faces. Robert was smiling at her. All three men had pleasant, unreadable expressions.

"Hey, kiddo," said Robert. "Put that stuff down and shut the door. You're not going anywhere for a while."

Patti put the paper bag on a side table and closed the door. She turned again and faced them. She was wearing her usual gear, suit pants, a white shirt with a black tie and a black vest, unbuttoned. Her boots were scuffed. She was a good head shorter than any of the men. She felt weak and fragile and stupid. What had she said it for? It was red wine bravado. She'd tell Robert that she'd changed her mind.

"C'mere," said the black man. Patti went up to him, unable to look him in the eye, feeling like a schoolgirl being called to the front of the class.

"Look at me," he said in a calm, deep voice.

Adventure, she said to herself. You're a sailor, you're a pirate, you're a fuckin' buccaneer! Do as he says!

She looked at him. He appeared to be totally hairless. He was looking down at her dispassionately.

He's disappointed I'm not a boy, she realised.

"You wanna be our little punk?" he said. "You want to hand over your skinny white ass and be our little bitch-boy, right?"

"That's right," said Patti, and she was appalled to hear the tremor in her voice.

"You're not gonna need these, then," said the black man, and he took Patti's vest off her. She wasn't sure how he did it, but he seemed to shuck her of her clothes in seconds, slipping her shirt off her and then sliding her pants and her old black panties down over her hips. The two other men were kneeling by her, untying her boots, and she stepped out of them.

And just like that, she was naked in front of them. Patti was skinny and her ribcage showed. Her hips were narrow and her bottom was small and round. She didn't shave her legs, or her pubes, or her armpits. Her body was pale in the late afternoon light.

The black man pushed her over on her back, so that she lay on the bed looking up at him. He unbuttoned his leather pants and pulled out the biggest cock Patti had ever seen.

"Oh my God," she breathed. Robert stood a little to one side, watching. The man lifted Patti's bare legs way up, placing them on his shoulders, then he held out a hand. One of the other men produced a tin of Crisco and he slapped a handful of it in the black man's palm. Patti watched in mounting alarm as he reached down and smeared it between her naked buttocks.

"What are you gonna do?" she asked fearfully, knowing the answer.

"I'm gonna fuck you up your ass, bitch-boy," said the black man. She tried to move her hips, but the black man placed his left hand on her belly as his right hand smeared the cold, greasy Crisco over her anus, popping some of it inside her with the tip of his finger. Then, before she had time to protest, he positioned the tip of his thick cock at her anal opening, then leaned in and pushed.

"AaaaaAAAAAUUUHH!" Patti moaned, as his unbelievable girth split her painfully. Then he was pushing up inside her, filling her bowel. She thought she was going to faint. She closed her eyes and took deep breaths. Jesus, a couple of minutes ago she'd been walking the streets and thinking about that gig with Lenny on Tuesday and how she was going to have a good big pastrami sandwich on rye with French's mustard, and now she was naked on her back amongst strangers, and the only thing that existed was his terrible thick cock shoved right up inside her virgin ass.

"Aw, bitch-boy," said the black man with a sneer in his voice, "can't you show me nothin' but surrender?" And he began to pump his cock in and out of Patti's ass.

Fucking get into it, she told herself. It wasn't that hard. It was sudden and it was frightening but she was taken over by it. This was it, she was Arthur Rimbaud, she was Oscar Wilde, she was a teenage street-punk getting broken in by his new jocker, she was dirt and she would never be anything else and she was a fallen angel pierced by an archangel, writhing on the tip of his sword. Patti had never known a feeling like it, her body had never before known the grace to be won in total submission. It wasn't a sexual experience, it was a spiritual one. She existed for him insofar as she let him do to her whatever he wanted.

He put his hands under her hips and, still inside her, he pulled her up so that her pelvis and lower back were off the bed. She let her arms fall to either side of her, and her head fell from side to side as his body pummelled and tunnelled into her. One of the other men supported her with his hands under her back, and she was lifted off the bed completely. Her head hung upside-down, her eyes closed, her mouth hanging open. She looked like she was being crucified.

Robert could not resist any more. He unzipped his pants and took out his cock, then he held her head in place and put his cock in her mouth. Immediately, she closed her lips around it and began to suck and lick him. Her tongue curled itself around the helmet of Robert's cock. Patti took Robert all the way into her mouth and sucked on him, groaning as the black man urged himself into her rectum.

She was still the only one of them who was naked. Her frail white body rippled and shook as they fucked her mouth and anus simultaneously. Robert felt himself about to come, and he pulled out of her. Patti didn't open her eyes but went "Ahh!" in protest, then he came, his semen spurting in ropy white strands over her chin and throat and naked chest, and she made a deep moan.

The black man gripped her hips hard and drove himself into her. She screamed. He came in her ass, then slowly withdrew from her. She was shaking. He let her down gently on the floor. She lay on one side like a flower, her slender limbs curled around herself.

"You took it good, little punk," said the black man. "But it ain't over yet."

"Oh Jesus..." Patti gasped, her eyes tight shut, her narrow ribcage rising and falling.

"Ken," said one of the white boys, "can I try her?"

"Sure," said the black man. Patti felt herself being lifted off the floor and stood on her feet. She forced herself to stand on her shaky legs. The men withdrew from her, as if out of respect.

She looked at Ken, the black man. He was examining her curiously, his gaze roving up and down her white body.

"Whaddya want from us, white girl?" he asked softly. Patti knew her Brando movies. She also knew how ridiculous she was, shifting her weight onto one leg and resting a hand on her hip, cocking her head, trying to smirk when her eyes were still moist and she could barely stand.

"Waddya got?" she said. Her mouth was dry. It didn't come out nearly as cool as it had sounded in her head.

"Oh, man," chuckled the other white guy. Ken shot a glance at him, and then looked at her.

"You ast for it, you gonna get it, bitch," he rumbled. "We doin' this as a favor to Robert. I don't normally do favors for bitches. 'Cause frankly, you ain't my type. But we can take this as far as you wanna go."

"I wanna be a punk," Patti said in a quavering voice.

"Kneel," he said, without a beat. Patti knelt, and looked up at him.

"Go ahead, Adam," he said. The more slender of the two white guys stepped in front of her, and took his cock out of his pants. Patti knew what to do.

She took it in her hands and kissed it, running her tongue over the tip and taking him into her mouth. As soon as her lips had closed around his shaft, he grabbed her hair and started fucking her mouth. There was no other word for it. She was just a hole for his enjoyment. She could barely keep her tongue in contact with his cock, and concentrated on keeping her lips tightly shut around him. Her scalp ached as he jerked her head back and forth, but she kept in contact with him. It seemed to go on forever. Surely he must be about to come! She opened her eyes and saw Robert, standing apart with his cock on his hand, watching Adam fuck her mouth, jerking himself off. She knew he was getting off on watching her let them do this to her. The thought excited her and she reached down between her legs, touching her clit...

"Yo! Adam!" said Ken. "Bitch is touchin' her pussy!"

"What the fuck," muttered Adam, and pulled his cock out of her. She whimpered with the suddenness of it. He yanked her to her feet and dragged her over to the wall. There was a couple of old high school lockers lined up against it, which she and Robert kept their stuff in. Adam threw Patti against the lockers and she gasped. He spun her around so that she faced them, and then she felt him pulling her naked hips into the warmth of his leather-clad crotch, and his stiff prick parting her buttocks and driving up against her anus. "NO!" she screamed, instinctively, feeling that she wasn't ready, but he was ruthless and ungentle. Her breasts were squashed flat against the cold metal and his cock eased itself into her anus, driving deep into her. This was different. Patti splayed her hands out against the metal of the lockers and pushed her hips back onto him, impaling herself on his cock. It slid up into her ass and she groaned with lust. Now she was not being passive, she was a partner, it was quick and dirty and nasty and she wanted him to come in her. He put his hands on her tits and pulled her down onto him, hard, making her squeal.

It didn't take long. In a few dozen quick strokes he was coming in her ass and she was sweating and her face was red with exertion. He pulled her away from the lockers, still pierced by his cock, and then he let her fall to the ground.

She lay helpless on her belly for a moment, heaving great lungfuls of air, then she felt the third man getting astride her hips and he was taking no time about driving his long, thick prick into her poor abused ass. "Oh God," Patti groaned as he penetrated her. She did her best to raise her hips up to meet him but she was feeling drained and spent. She just accepted the last man as all she deserved, to be the surrogate boy for these men who would have preferred her not to have breasts and a pussy and a woman's heart and a woman's soul, who did no more than what she had wanted them to do, to make her into their punk, their little screaming moaning whimpering bitch-girl, eager to take cock in any place but the one place she had had it before.

Then a man was sliding on his knees before her, his bare legs smelling of sweat and deodorant and cologne, and his cock was pushing at her lips. She accepted him in, she didn't even know who it was anymore, she just wanted them to fuck her any way they wanted so that she could look them in the eye. The man tunnelling into her ass put his hands over her eyes, and that seemed a final indignity, a final way of showing her that it didn't matter who she was or what she could see or taste or smell, all that mattered was how this felt. And it felt awful, and overwhelming.

She was making muffled whimpers as the third man came deep inside her ass, then almost simultaneously the man fucking her mouth grabbed her hair and pulled her head into his crotch with a moan, and he was coming in her, his semen spurting against the back of her throat so that she had to fight not to gag. She swallowed desperately as the acrid, salty cum flowed own her gullet. She felt warm liquid hitting her bare back and realised that one of them must have been jerking off, watching her. Then strong fingers were reaching under her and stroking her pussy and she went "MMMFFFF!" in surprise and a kind of agony - surely they weren't going to try and bring her off too, that was, no, that was too much, she wouldn't be able to bear it - but the fingers were finding her wet pussy lips and stroking up them and a thick forefinger was sliding inside her and she was shaking all over.

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