Patti Smith. Robert Mapplethorpe. Born in 1946, the two budding artists met in New York City, long before the 21 year olds achieved their eventual fame – before Smith earned her creds as the “godmother of punk,” and before Mapplethorpe put his unique stamp on American photography. Their long-lasting friendship was documented in Smith’s bittersweet memoir, Just Kids, which won the 2010 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Above, while appearing at The New York Public Library, Smith recounts the day she met Mapplethorpe as a youngster. Now 64 years old, she also elaborates on this story (and more) during a lengthy interview on NPR’s Fresh Air. Stream the audio right below…

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