Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon Has Some Harsh Words For Courtney Love And Billy Corgan In New Memoir

Michael Nelson | February 3, 2015 - 4:34 pm

Kim Gordon’s memoir, Girl In A Band, is out next month, and while I personally haven’t read the thing, what little I’ve read about it suggests it’s going to be totally fascinating. The new issue of Vogue includes an excerpt, in which Gordon offers some details about her move to New York City in 1979 — her impressions of the city, her living situation — as well as the first time she met her eventual bandmate/husband/ex-bandmate/ex-husband Thurston Moore:

He was very tall and skinny, six feet six, he told me later, charismatic and confident-seeming, with pillowy lips.

It’s a pretty intense piece of writing, and you should check it out, even though it will break your goddamn heart.

The Guardian published some stuff from the book, too — decontextualized, so you don’t get the full impact of Gordon’s prose, but there are some great revelations in there too. Among them, Gordon’s thoughts on Courtney Love:

No one ever questions the disorder behind her tarantula LA glamour — sociopathy, narcissism — because it’s good rock and roll, good entertainment! I have a low tolerance for manipulative, egomaniacal behavior, and usually have to remind myself that the person might be mentally ill.

I just love that phrasing: “tarantula LA glamour.” I’m gonna borrow that one. Gordon also offers some thoughts on Love’s relationship with her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Billy Corgan, and his band the Smashing Pumpkins:

Courtney asked us for advice about her ‘secret affair’ with Billy Corgan. I thought, Ewwww, at even the mention of Billy Corgan, whom nobody liked because he was such a crybaby, and Smashing Pumpkins took themselves way too seriously and were in no way punk rock.

Does that not validate, like, every single one of Billy Corgan’s fears ever? It’s BRUTAL!

Love, incidentally, had this to say in the essential grunge oral history Everybody Loves Our Town: “I read Kim Gordon going in the NME, ‘Yeah, Buzz [Osborne] has some theories on Kurt’s death dah dah dah that I agree with.’ It’s like, Kim, I can’t wait to see you at the Marc Jacobs store. I’m gonna stick my boot so far up your withered ass! Jesus Christ.”

Girl In A Band also covers the affair that ended Gordon’s marriage…

No one could understand how Thurston, who always had a good nose for the user, the groupie, the nutcase or the hanger-on, had let himself get pulled under by her. I did feel some compassion for Thurston … but that’s a lot different to forgiveness.

Anyway, between the Vogue excerpt and the Guardian piece — both of which are well worth your time — I’m really stoked to read Gordon’s book. That is a truly unique life right there, and I’m glad she’s sharing it.

Girl In A Band: A Memoir is out 2/24 via Dey Street Books.