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Patti Smith: Straight, No Chaser

Nick Tosches, Creem, September 1978

WE ARE SITTING in the Tropical, the darkest bar in New York. Outside on Eighth Avenue it's late afternoon. In here it's midnight on the outskirts of Mayaguez. There is a day-glo Madonna next to the cash register. Above her head is a sign: Absolutely No Credit This Means You. Patti orders tequila and I order gin. Since we are speaking English and are not drunk, we are the object of many crypto-Hispanic stares. The barmaid pulls at the hem of her brassiere through her t-shirt, then pours herself a shot.

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