Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kim Gordon Opens Up in New Memoir

I first learned of Kim Gordon when I was a teenager, poring over the pages of Sassy magazine, which I immediately subscribed to after getting the premier issue free in the mail in March 1988. As one of the founders of the experimental rock band Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon came across as the epitome of cool.
Kim Gordon.
Image via www.ontheragmag.com

Gordon played guitar, bass, and sang in the band, and she just seemed like an all-around badass. As the 1980s segued into the 1990s, a new music emerged from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and got the attention of the mainstream media, which called it "grunge." Many in the new music scene cited Sonic Youth as an influence, and some looked upon them as mentors. Soon, Kim Gordon came to be seen as the "Godmother of Grunge."

Years later, I saw Sonic Youth play what would be - unbeknownst to all - their last show in the United States. The show was in August 2011, at an outdoor venue that was right on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a stunningly bright and beautiful summer day, and concert-goers were kept cool by a steady breeze blowing in off the East River. Once the sun set, Sonic Youth emerged from the sides of the stage and played an amazing set. No one in the audience that night would have ever guessed that trouble was brewing among the bandmates.
Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore playing in Sonic Youth in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, August 2011.
Photo courtesy of the author of this blog

Shortly after that New York concert date, news reports surfaced that Sonic Youth were breaking up after 30 years together as a band. Rumors swirled that behind the breakup were marriage problems between Gordon and her husband and Sonic Youth bandmate and cofounder, Thurston Moore, who was believed to have been having an affair with a younger woman. The news not only shattered fans of the band but also admirers of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, who were long viewed as an indie rock "It" couple by many. It was a weird time.

Gordon will be talking about that weird time and brighter periods in Sonic Youth's history in her forthcoming memoir, Girl in a Band. "Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon truly opens up in Girl in a Band. Telling the story of her childhood, her life in art, her move to New York City, her love affairs, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, and her band, this is a rich and beautifully written memoir. At the heart of the book is the examination of what partnership means - and what happens when it dissolves," reads one description of the book.
The cover of Kim Gordon's forthcoming memoir, Girl in a Band.
Image designed by CHIPS-NY.com/via the interwebs

To be published by HarperCollins imprint Dey Street Books, the memoir is further described as an "atmospheric look at the New York of the '80s and '90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, as well as the Alternative revolution in popular music that Sonic Youth helped usher in, paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts." It will be released on February 24, 2015, according to the HarperCollins website, and will be available in hardcover for the retail price of $27.99. Fingers crossed that Kim Gordon will go on a book tour to promote it.

To keep up with Kim Gordon's current goings-on, follow her on Twitter HERE.

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