Girl in a Band: A Memoir
Girl in a Band: A Memoir
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story—a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith's Just Kids.
Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon opens up as never before in Girl in a Band. Telling the story of her family, growing up in California in the '60s and '70s, her life in visual art, her move to New York City, the men in her life, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, her music, and her band, Girl in a Band is a rich and beautifully written memoir.
Gordon takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and '90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the Alternative revolution in popular music. The band helped build a vocabulary of music—paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts. But at its core, Girl in a Band examines the route from girl to woman in uncharted territory, music, art career, what partnership means—and what happens when that identity dissolves.
Evocative and edgy, filled with the sights and sounds of a changing world and a transformative life, Girl in a Band is the fascinating chronicle of a remarkable journey and an extraordinary artist.
boy-passions. Whereas whatever I made up or imagined in my own head lacked that builder’s significance or invention, and the train set I presumed would someday magically appear must have died on the tracks on its way to me. Looking back, I was clearly devaluing what women did. How had that happened? Was it just that my parents placed higher expectations on Keller as the firstborn? Did I ask for, and in return get back, a little smile rather than any attention? Guys playing music. I loved music.
fight he’d had with Neil Young after the release of Neil’s records, Trans, and Everybody’s Rockin’. Geffen had sued Neil for violating his contract by releasing albums that were “musically uncharacteristic of Young’s previous recordings” or something to that effect. The suit was settled, finally, with Geffen apologizing. Right after we signed, Geffen sold the company, eventually founding DreamWorks with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg. It was the beginning of real corporate ownership for
as I looked down to where the towers once were and saw a big nothing. It felt like the end. The five of us, Daisy, Rob, their two children, and I, wound our way up the island, not knowing what streets we could drive on and what streets would be barricaded. Both FDR Drive on the East Side and the West Side Highway were closed. That day, Daisy and Rob took their two kids to Northampton, and I hitched a ride with them. That was it for them and New York. Lee and his family drove out to Long Island.
then layered on top of the canvas on the floor, spray-painted, then removed, the wreath becoming a masking, delineating blank, or negative space, where it had been placed on the surface. As part of the house installation, I flung a pair of leggings on the bedroom floor. Aaron, the Gagosian rep, was free to move them around if he wanted to. Kim Gordon Design Office is the way the show was credited, carrying on the name Design Office that I started back in the early eighties. A few days after the
because that is what those nights were. I’ll always remember the night JFK got elected, the party they threw, the charged sound of adult laughter and chatter. The Bentzens had first pulled into Klamath in 1953. Over the next few decades the region grew up around them, getting more and more crowded, with lumber companies taking out huge swaths of fir and pine trees, but the Bentzens prided themselves on being discoverers and originators and they pushed back. Klamath got so busy and populated that