6 Awe-Worthy Excerpts from Kim Gordon’s Memoir (and They’re Not All about Lana Del Rey!)
Kim Gordon is back with a vengeance. Rising above post-breakup misery after her notorious split with former Sonic Youth band mate Thurston Moore, Gordon is releasing her own memoir.
Girl in a Band goes inside No Wave rock artist Kim Gordon’s psyche, detailing her split from Thurston upon realization of his infidelity as well as the band’s final show, which took place in South America after they already ended their relationship.
We’ve compiled notable excerpts, including a jab at Lana Del Rey.
When we came out onstage for our last show, the night was all about the boys. Thurston double-slapped our bass guitarist Mark Ibold on the shoulder and loped across the stage, followed by Lee Ranaldo, our guitarist, and then Steve Shelley, our drummer. I found that gesture so phony, so childish, such a fantasy. Thurston has many acquaintances, but with the few male friends he had he never spoke of anything personal, and he’s never been the shoulder-slapping type. It was a gesture that called out, I’m back. I’m free. I’m solo.
…They say when a marriage ends that little things you never noticed before practically make your brain split open. All week that had been true for me whenever Thurston was around. Maybe he felt the same, or maybe his head was somewhere else. I didn’t really want to know, to be honest. Offstage he was constantly texting and pacing around the rest of us like a manic, guilty kid.
I got my first job in the art world as an assistant in a gallery Larry Gagosian ran with Annina Nosei, inside a loft on West Broadway in SoHo. Needless to say I couldn’t type, or, for that matter, do much of anything, except Larry knew I was interested in art. I was probably the least qualified person ever to hold down a part-time reception job, but Annina herself was a portrait of inconsistency as to when, and until what time, she and Larry needed me to be there. I was a disorganized person pretending to be an organized one. I couldn’t take dictation or file. I’d deliberately never learned in order to eliminate the awful possibility of ever toiling nine to five as some guy’s secretary or gal Friday. I could barely get it together enough to answer the phone.
…We were slowly getting to know each other. I remember the two of us walking down Eighth Street together early in our relationship, holding hands, on our way to a movie—it could have been The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That night I felt so happy, and so close to him, as if in this dirty, scrappy, adopted place he and I were the only two people who existed within a perfect moment. Soon after that, I started playing music with him.
…When Sonic Youth started, I really made an effort to punk myself out, to lose any and all associations with my middle-class West L.A. appearance and femininity. When I first arrived in New York, the composer Rhys Chatham would always say to me, “You know, Kim, you’re always going to look middle class.” To be more punk, he was implying, you had to be somehow uglier, as if there was an authenticity to be found in looking like an underdog. What Rhys meant, I think, was that I was who I was.
Today we have someone like Lana Del Rey, who doesn’t even know what feminism is, who believes women can do whatever they want, which, in her world, tilts toward self-destruction, whether it’s sleeping with gross old men or getting gang raped by bikers. Equal pay and equal rights would be nice. Naturally, it’s just a persona. If she really truly believes it’s beautiful when young musicians go out on a hot flame of drugs and depression, why doesn’t she just off herself?