Wearing the hats of critic, musician, compiler, and producer over the course of his long career, Lenny Kaye is an undervalued contributor to the genesis of punk rock. As guitarist of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye's primitivist noise and capacity for loosely structured improvisation made him the perfect accompanist for punk pioneer Smith's earthy free-verse poetry. With his work assembling and annotating Nuggets, the seminal double-LP compilation of '60s garage rock and psychedelia, Kaye also united and codified a musical movement that had mostly slipped under the radar, and exerted a powerful influence on punk and its back-to-basics, D.I.Y. spirit.
Kaye was born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ, and as a teenager played in the sort of garage band later documented on Nuggets. Under an alias, Kaye fronted the local combo Link Cromwell & the ... Read Full Biography