Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’ will be a Showtime miniseries

Patti Smith

Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids,” about her early days in New York City with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, will be made into a miniseries by Showtime.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Iconic rocker, iconoclastic poet and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith will see her memoir “Just Kids” brought to screens by Showtime, the cable channel announced Tuesday.

“Just Kids” tracked Smith’s early days in New York City with lover/best friend Robert Mapplethorpe. It was the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the two young bohemians lived on the edge before each found their main calling. Future rock star Smith worked in a bookstore, writing poems and creating collage-like art; Mapplethorpe was not yet the highly collectoble, controversial photographer he’d become.

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It’s a story of “a life consecrated to art” as our book critic David L. Ulin wrote. “Their story is their own, of course, but also reflective of anyone who ever moved into some marginal neighborhood to be a poet or a painter, who ever gave over his or her experience to creativity.”


In the press release about the TV deal, Smith stated, “A limited series on Showtime will allow us to explore the characters more deeply, enabling us to develop stories beyond the book and allow a measure of unorthodox presentation. The medium of a television limited series offers narrative freedom and a chance to expand upon the themes of the book.”

But Smith, a dedicated bibliophile, isn’t giving up on books. In October she’s publishing “M Train,” her sequel to “Just Kids.”

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