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Todd Rundgren
Patti Smith's memoir of a rock-poet
Patti Smith's memoir of a rock-poet

Nostalgia is never more suspect than when the person romantically harking back is too young to have experienced the era firsthand. But reading Patti Smith's memoir "Just Kids," a tender recollection of her coming of age as a singer-songwriter alongside her artistic soul mate, the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, I couldn't help envying the cultural ferment of the late '60s, early '70s and wondering how we could recapture some of the dirty magic. The generation that followed was my lucky lot. No swinging '60s or hippie '70s for me. The Reagan-Bush years — marked by trickle-down economics, two epidemics ( AIDS and crack cocaine) and crime...

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