The beautiful moment Patti Smith and David Lynch interviewed each other
When two unbreakable creative forces collide for a pre-scheduled sit-down conversation anything could happen so, when Patti Smith interviewed David Lynch, the topic of discussion knew no bounds.
The meeting was recorded for BBC Newsnight‘s ‘Encounters’ series back in 2014 and, as the topics flowed from Blue Velvet to Twin Peaks, from writing music to recording it, the duo repeatedly referred back to their creative drive.
At one point, at the beginning of the conversation, Smith explains that her song Grateful was created instantly, a fully-formed piece of art that sprung into her mind as if it was destined to be created by herself. On the flip side, Lynch details how he was never so lucky to arrive at an idea in that instant: “I get ideas in fragments,” the filmmaker said. “It’s as if in the other room, there’s a puzzle… and the first piece I get is just a fragment of the whole puzzle, but I fall in love with this fragment, and it holds a promise for more,” he added.
When the conversation turned to Twin Peaks,Smith asked: “Did you have any idea when you were creating Twin Peaks how this would tap into the public consciousness?” Lynch, taking a moment to consider his answer, replied: “No idea. But the number one thing is do to what you believe in, and do it the best you can. And then you see how it goes in the world.”
Smith then described the show as a “gift” detailing how she felt more connected to the world of Twin Peaks, its art and the mysticism that surrounds it. “Fantastic, Patti,” Lynch replied sincerely. “Twin Peaks is a world and I love that world. It’s something that is like a magnet to go back in there.”
At the time of filming, Russian punk band Pussy Riot had been arrested for their symbolic protest having released their masked performance inside a church. This act of defiance, one that quite obviously touched the hearts of both Lynch and Smith, was discussed between the pair: “This kind of oppression and misunderstanding goes back to biblical times, taking young girls who have families and have hopes and dreams and putting them in prison for issuing a teenage prayer,” said Smith having met the all-female band in Chicago.
“One of the things they were saying to me was ‘Everyone wants us to speak to them but what are we supposed to say?’ I said ‘You should say that we are all you because of our belief system or trying to say something new, or against the church or corporations. We are all potentially in danger. Speak to the younger generation to think for themselves.’ These girls did something absolutely original, they are in my prayers.”