Later this month, Kim Gordon will release Girl in a Band, a new memoir chronicling the singer’s life and storied music career, including her role in Sonic Youth and highly publicized breakup with frontman Thurston Moore. In anticipation of the book’s February 24th street date, a number of illuminating quotes and excerpts have been released to the public, many of which reveal some fascinating, and even controversial, tidbits about Gordon and her many rock star compatriots.
The newly unveiled quotes see Gordon recalling the first time she met Moore, as well as the “incident” which led to the dissolution of their marriage. She also noted how, upon first meeting Courtney Love in 1990 (Gordon co-produced Hole‘s Pretty On The Inside), she believed Love was mentally ill. Gordon also had some harsh words for Love’s “secret” boyfriend at the time, Billy Corgan, calling the Smashing Pumpkins frontman a “crybaby.” Additionally, she reflected on the difficulty of being a female singer early on in her career. Check out the quotes below.
On Love’s possible mental illness:
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 behaviour, and usually have to remind myself that the person might be mentally ill.
On Billy Corgan and 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.
On meeting Moore for the first time and their early years together:
The rhythm guitarist was special. He was very tall and skinny, six feet six, he told me later, charismatic and confident-seeming, with pillowy lips.
He had a glow about him I liked, and he also seemed extremely sure about what he wanted and how to get it too, though it was more a quiet self-confidence than anything brash.
There was something wild, but not too wild, about Thurston. His guitar-playing may have been free and untamed but we came from similar middle-class academic backgrounds.
On the “incident” which ended her marriage (she found texts between Moore and another woman):
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.
On the difficulties of being a female singer:
When the band first started, I went for a vocal approach that was rhythmic and spoken, but sometimes unleashed, because of all the different guitar tunings we used. When you listen to old R&B records, the women on them sang in a fierce, kick-ass way. In general, though, women aren’t really allowed to be kick-ass. Female singers who push too much, and too hard, don’t tend to last very long. They’re jags, bolts, comets: Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday. But being that woman who pushes the boundaries means you also bring in less desirable aspects of yourself. At the end of the day, women are expected to hold up the world, not annihilate it.