Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Godmother of Punk...and Ultrarunning

Listening the other day to Public radio, I heard an interview with Patti Smith, who was referred to as the Godmother of Punk.

Hmmmm...didn't know that title existed.

Then that reminded me of a post I did a couple years back, and in searching through my archives, it seems that the post actually ran 5 years ago.  I've come to the realization that when you get older, your time perception gets all hosed up.  So if I think something happened about 2 or 3 years ago, i should double that and make my guess at 5 years, and I'd probably be right.  That would have been the case here.

But, back to music.  In that old post I discussed various music royalty, to which I must now add Patti Smith (I should tell you that the original discussion 5 years ago took place at a wine tasting at the Adams County Winery in PA, so perhaps the talk was somewhat propelled by the fruit of the vine).

Here's the 5 year old list, now with Ms. Smith added at the top:

Godmother of Punk:  Patti Smith
Godfather of Punk:  ??

Queen of Soul:  Aretha Franklin
King of Soul:  ??

Godmother of Soul:  ??
Godfather of Soul:  James Brown

Queen of Pop:  ??
King of Pop:  Michael Jackson

Queen of Rock:  ??
King of Rock:  Elvis Presley

Queen of Blues:  ??
King of Blues:  BB King (maybe?)

The Queen:  ??
The King:  Elvis Presley

Looks like we need more queens.  Somebody brought up Queen Latifah, but we just didn't know how to categorize her.  Ditto for Prince, since his (current) name is itself a royal moniker.

Note also that in the radio interview much was made of the fact that Patti Smith had guts as a pioneering woman in the music industry.  Hmmmm--and that's the second Hmmmm in this post--guts.  Guts.  GUTS.

My mind leaped elsewhere with that word, which normally does not come up very often in conversation.  I, of course, immediately thought of the 70s runner Steve Prefontaine, about whom Runners World set the stage:

In 1975, at the age of 24, Steve Roland Prefontaine died in a single-car accident. At the time of his death, he held every American record from 2,000 to 10,000 meters and was a favorite to win at least one gold medal in the 1976 Olympics

But back to the subject of guts, about which Pre once famously said:

A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.

 One final note from the University of Oregon web site, so you contemporary runners may know just how big a deal Pre was back in the day:

He owned every (8) American record between 2,000 and 10,000 meters and between two miles and six miles. He also held eight collegiate records while at Oregon, with his three-mile (12:53.4) and six-mile (27:09.4) still standing. During his career, he broke his own or other American records 14 different times, broke the four-minute barrier nine times, ran 25 two-mile races under 8:40 and 10 5K races faster than 13:30.

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