Once a band achieves iconic status, the reasons (perceived or real) for disbanding multiply quickly (nowhere to go but down creatively, don’t wanna sully the rep, egos begin conflicting, etc.). But, by example, Sonic Youth have withstood all that: integrity in tact (Starbucks flak notwithstanding), startlingly creative, still cooperative. And yet, Thurston regrets not having ended SY in 1990 (and then come back for lucrative reunion). Here’s a Moore quote pulled by SPIN:

The Pixies reunion was a real success, and Dinosaur Jr. seems like a big success, and both those bands play as good as they ever did. Mission Of Burma blew my mind when they came back. But a band like us never did break up. Which was to our own detriment. What would have happened if we did break up after (classic 1988 double album) Daydream Nation – or even after (1990′s) Dirty – and had gotten back together two years ago? You’d be interviewing me at the Chateau Marmont as I’m waiting for my limousine. We probably would have made so much money. This was our biggest career faux-pas – not breaking up.

Sad, but true — walking away earlier would’ve kept people Youth deprived, and a reunion would’ve incited teen aged riots everywhere. Still, maybe they won’t get that big payout, but they’ve given us so much great stuff to listen to post-Dirty. You got your legacy in one hand, and your checkbook in your other. What to do?

UPDATE: SPIN’s the source of Thurston’s quotage, if you want a little context.

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Comments (11)
  1. evan  |   Posted on Aug 30th, 2007 0

    DIRTY was in 1992 btw. GOO was 1990.

  2. dannygutters  |   Posted on Aug 30th, 2007 0

    the quote appears to be tounge in cheek

  3. i’m positive they’ve made a shitload of money by staying together all this time. in fact, i bet they’ve made much more than those reunions have overall.

  4. anonymous  |   Posted on Aug 30th, 2007 0

    Contactmusic seems to have omitted an important detail from their post: http://www.spin.com/features/magazine/2007/08/0709_thurston_moore/

  5. anonymous,

    you’re right. intro to his statement that they left out kind of changes the whole tone of the quote.

  6. just another case of taking someones quotes out of context. in any case, i wouldn’t lose any sleep worrying about thurston bank account.

  7. Tony G  |   Posted on Aug 30th, 2007 0

    You could break up now, Thurston, and then get back together in a couple years when Kim is 65.

  8. That would mean no Murray Street! *gasp!* *choke!*

  9. Sarah  |   Posted on Aug 31st, 2007 0

    What is it about Daydream Nation that Sonic Youth fans find so fascinating? I consider myself a fan but would have had them quit after Evol, nothing after that really lit me up. I know this isn’t the forum for a question like this but, maybe somebody could provide me a link that explains it perfectly.

  10. John  |   Posted on Sep 1st, 2007 0

    “I consider myself a fan but would have had them quit after Evol, nothing after that really lit me up.”

    Well, then you’re a fan of Evol, but not the band per se. I’m more into Goo, Dirty, Murray Street, and Rather Ripped myself, but all of their CDs have at least one or two tracks that I’m very grateful were ever recorded. What a great band.

  11. Amanda  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2007 0

    Sarah,
    True, a lot of longtime Sonic Youth fans absolutely love Daydream Nation. For me it’s because no one else was making sounds like that in 1988 or taking it ‘to that level’ for that matter. Hearing the album 10, 20 years later I’m sure it wouldn’t have that same effect.
    My guess is you were born in 1988.

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