I did a fair amount of train travel the past week or so and consequently had an hour or two each day to kill while I travelled from London to my mum's house. So I did a lot of reading.
I picked up Kim Gordon's autobiography on a whim. I haven't been the biggest fan of Sonic Youth over the years, but I was aware and interested enough to pick it up and was glad I did. To be honest, I wasn't ready for the honesty, insight and depth that I uncovered. Silly of me really, a girl in a band with her husband for three decades, why wouldn't there be depth and insight, but somehow I didn't figure it that way. Of course, the fact that her marriage ended and the band broke up only added dimension to an already interesting story of one woman's encounter with art, music, New York and being in a band.
For instance, this is what she had to say about California, where she moved with her family when she was five years old,
"I've always felt that there was something genetically instilled and inbred in Californians--that California is a place of death, a place people are drawn to because they don't realize deep down they're actually afraid of what they want. It's new, and they're escaping their histories while at the same time moving headlong toward their own extinctions. Death and desire are all mixed up with the thrill and the risk of the unknown. It's a variation of what freud called the 'death instinct.'"
Not your usual rock biography fodder. The book is filled with nuggets like that. It's also filled with pain and heartbreak over betrayal, adultery, divorce and the loss of so many things. Whether you know Kim Gordon or Sonic Youth is not necessary to enjoy this book--it's a book that is more than the sum of it's expected parts.