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Read Patti Smith’s poignant tribute to late great playwright, actor and poet Sam Shepard

Patti Smith has shared a touching tribute to the late Sam Shepard in The New Yorker following the renowned playwright, actor, and poet’s death last week.

patti smith and Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard and Patti Smith at the Hotel Chelsea in 1971 by David Gahr

Read My Buddy, Patti Smith’s touching, elegant written tribute to renowned playwright, actor, and poet Sam Shepard, who died late last week.

A spokesman for Shepard’s family announced his death on Monday, citing complications from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as the cause. He was 73.

In her essay, titled My Buddy, Smith recalls memories and anecdotes of their travels together and her perception of Shepard’s nature:

“Sam liked being on the move. He’d throw a fishing rod or an old acoustic guitar in the back seat of his truck, maybe take a dog, but for sure a notebook, and a pen, and a pile of books. He liked packing up and leaving just like that, going west.

He liked getting a role that would take him somewhere he really didn’t want to be, but where he would wind up taking in its strangeness; lonely fodder for future work.”

Smith and Shepard shared a well-publicised romantic relationship in the early 1970s and collaborated on many occasions, mostly notably on the 1971 play Cowboy Mouth.

“We were friends; good or bad, we were just ourselves,” she wrote. “The passing of time did nothing but strengthen that.” 

Read the beautiful tribute here.