Kim Gordon, if you are from Mars and did not know, was the bassist, singer, and guitarist of the band Sonic Youth. In recent years, her and her longtime husband and bandmate Thurston Moore split, ending the band’s long career. As a female bassist, I already admire Kim for many reasons. That’s why when I heard she wrote a memoir titled, “Girl in a Band” it didn’t take much convincing before I drove to Barnes and Nobles to pick it up. Kim is very intelligent and has lived probably one of the most interesting musical lives, so I could not even begin to imagine what type of stories would be included. I was pleasantly surprised.
I won’t give anything away, as there are many snippets of interesting encounters and conversations. So I’ll just put it out there that when someone grows up in California during the time of Charles Manson and is in a popular band during the 90s grunge explosion, there is bound to be a few tales.
The novel is split into two parts: Kim reflecting on her childhood and growing up, and then an analysis of her life during and after Sonic Youth. Her inner musings on why she probably is the way she is contains both the comedy and sadness that the harsh reality of life brings. It doesn’t go into her development as a bass player at all, which was a slight disappointment, but it’s 100% Kim. Her intelligence, personality traits, and sass shine through in each page… not to mention the book’s first chapter is called “The End.”
Overall, I didn’t get from the book what I anticipated- which was refreshing. This is not meant to be a Sonic Youth book. I put it down knowing more about Kim herself, but also began to parallel her life views and experiences to my own and started to analyze what is truly important to me. I guess whilst reading an introspective revelation you begin to have one yourself. Definitely pick it up if you get the chance.