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Patti Smith
Patti Smith giving a motivational speech on Japanese TVvia

Watch Patti Smith give a motivational speech on Japanese TV

In this 1978 clip, the music icon tells each generation to embrace the present and do everything that won’t kill you

Feeling sluggish? Or worse, a little bit useless? Maybe you’ve had a lacklustre, disappointing year and you can’t be bothered for the next. Or maybe you’ve found yourself in the grips of an existential crisis, buried under the realisation that you’re a mere blip in an infinite universe, and ultimately everything you do or say is futile. If that’s the case, fear not: Patti Smith is here to put some fire up your ass.

In this 1978 clip from an interview in Japan, the music icon tells listeners to live life to the fullest. “I believe this planet hasn’t even seen its Golden Age,” she says. “I’m here right now and I want right now to be the greatest time. This is my Golden Age. This is our Golden Age. I’m not there in the past, I’m not there in the future – I’m right here. This is the time to make it great.”

“If each generation would realise the time to be great is right now when they’re alive…the time to flower is now…. anything is possible.”

The interview comes three years after her seminal album Horses, the same year as her commercial breakthrough Easter, and a full three decades before she would win the National Book Award for her beautiful autobiography Just Kids. So, y’know, she’s worth listening to.

Watch the video below: