The blonde enigma from the band that spoke softly and carried a big noise tells her story, from art-chick beginnings to success to marital and musical catastrophe.
Sonic Youth fans were stunned when married co-founders Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon announced in 2011 that couple and band were no more; for 30 years, both seemed impervious to the usual marital strains. Gordon, who lost Moore to another woman, took it even harder, and the bitterness is there on the first page of this autobiography, her therapeutic self-assessment as an artist struggling to define herself in a male-dominated environment. Gordon scrutinizes herself as the daughter of a distant father and a mother who had sacrificed her ambitions and also as the masochistic sister of a cruel (and schizophrenic) older brother. It’s a history she carried with her when she headed from California to the No Wave underground of New York in 1980, where she met Moore, the lanky, punk-obsessed guitarist and soul mate who was already worshipping at the altar of CBGBs. Eventually, Gordon found herself submitting to his dominating personality. “The codependent woman, the narcissistic man: stale words lifted from therapy that I nonetheless think about a lot these days.” Of course, she also thrived—as a musician, visual artist, mother and icon. Gordon goes into intriguing detail on specific songs and doesn’t hold back on Moore or other figures, even ones with worse disasters than her own: “Courtney [Love] told me she thought Kurt Cobain was hot, which made me cringe inside and hope the two of them would never meet. We all said to ourselves, ‘Uh-oh train wreck coming.’ ”
Written with the same cool passion she brings to her lyrics, Gordon delivers a generous look at life inside the punk whirlwind.