Kim Gordon’s ‘Girl in a Band’ Got me Hooked

Kim Gordon’s ‘Girl in a Band’ Got me Hooked

Kim Gordon and Hedi Slimane at the HBO Film Premiere of Gus Van Sant’s LAST DAYS. New York, NY, July 19, 2005. Photo: The Everett Collection / Shutterstock

So I read Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band (Feb. 24, Dey St./HarperCollins) and I couldn’t put the sucka down even though I wasn’t even planning on reading it. Heck, I’m so out of the loop I didn’t even know she had written a memoir until I was flipping through my February issue of Vogue in April—what can I say I’m behind on EVERYTHING—and there was an excerpt. I read the excerpt because it’s Kim Gordon and she’s all kinds of interesting, and I want to know more inside details about Sonic Youth and OMAIGA what if she talks about the divorce with Thurston Moore?

Next thing I knew I was downloading the book on my Nook because I don’t even have to leave my home to get it. I read it, and if this had come out when I was younger and child-free I would have read it in one sitting, sleep be damned. But I’m older and wiser more tired so it took me a few evenings to get through it.

Kim Gordon’s ‘Girl in a Band’ Got me Hooked

Book cover photo: Harper Collins

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. My enjoyment should be qualified though. I’m someone who has always been a fan of Gordon and of Sonic Youth but not like a die-hard fan that knows every little thing about them because I so don’t. I was lucky enough to have seen them once at The Warfield in San Francisco and it was so loud my body hurt. If it were any other band I would have left, but it was Sonic Youth so I sucked it up. I acted like I didn’t feel that the sheer force of noise coming at me didn’t somehow painfully alter the beating of my heart and pushed wadded up pieces of a makeup sponge into my ears. I sucked it up so that I could one day tell my grandkids I went to a Sonic Youth show at The Warfield.

Gordon can write and has been writing for quite some time. It’s one of her many talents, and it makes the book easy to read even though it’s not the most fluid prose. But it’s not like you would expect fluidity considering the source. It feels “honest” like she’s telling her version of the truth. She comes off as a “real” multifaceted, talented and imperfect person. The kind of woman you would want to talk to and know more about, but also the kind of person that might sometimes leave you a little cold or annoyed with her coolness. For example, there were times where she would phrase something in a certain way about art or her music or whatever that would give me the eye rolls because it was bordering on pretentious.

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For the most part it felt like I was reading the diary of a badass woman who happens to drop names like Danny Elfman, Henry Rollins, Michael Stipe, Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Sophia Coppola, Spike Jonze, Chloë Sevigny and so on infinity. Except she’s NOT dropping names because these really are the people who have come into her life of creativity.

Then there’s the whole legendary romance with Thurston Moore. Gordon and Moore were together for 30 years (married for 27, I believe). They have a daughter together. They were supposed to defy all odds and make it as a couple and go on to play dissonant music in some alternate heaven somewhere after death and then Moore had an all too earthly affair and it was messy, ugly and an all-too-real end to a love story that everyone wanted to have a happy ending. It was also the end of Sonic Youth.

So, I already told you I liked the book. I wonder if you would like it. If you’re a fan of Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth, you probably will.

Claudya Martinez

Born and raised in California, Claudya's world has always been bicultural. She started her creative life as an actor, many years later she became a mother, which changed her life in so many ways. Looking for a way to channel her creativity, she started a blog in 2009: Unknown Mami. It turns out that her entire life there had been a writer stuck inside of her trying to get out.