True Currency | Dear Kim Gordon: Thank You
I just finished reading your book Girl in a Band, and it kind of feels like you and I just had a long, intimate conversation about your life.
I was done the book in 2 days. I couldn’t put it down. I read it when I walked through the subway stations. I read it at the diner where I work, ignoring customers and their incessant demands for more coffee.
I had no idea you were a music writer, like me, back when you were young and living in New York. You were also broke like me, play music like me, and have considered yourself an artist since childhood like me. I wonder how many other young females read your book and felt more alive, more relatable, more powerful and more sure of themselves and their struggles after reading such a real account of life.
To call Girl in a Band just a book would be limiting. Just like calling Body/Head just a band, or calling your installations just an art show, since I feel like everything you do reaches further than rock bands, words or music.
I love how, in your book, you mention so many bands and films, as I now have a long list of artists and musicians to explore and be inspired by.
I love how you also don’t trash talk anyone, but write honestly and objectively about your experiences with people who you interacted with, both positive and negative.
I love your influence on this world, females especially. The word role model sounds trite, but when you give females a blueprint that is so resilient, we have no choice but to pay attention. (If we have a clue, that is.)
That you are so transparent in Girl in A Band just makes you seem stronger and cooler. Reading this book was like looking through your family photo albums or sitting down with a coffee and a smoke and getting to ask you the nosiest questions without pissing you off.
Girl in A Band is the hugest compliment to everyone who knows and loves you.
I can’t write this letter without mentioning your relationship with Thurston Moore, because he was such an integral part of your life and music. That you were totally betrayed by your husband after 20-odd years of being together was really hard to read about. I guess because females are shaped to expect Happily Ever After. I guess because inside, we’re all cynically expecting the bottom to drop out anyway.
It really fucking pisses me off, actually. I guess I expected more from him, but what the fuck do I know about it, I’m just a fan looking in on something I can only speculate about.
Anyway. Almost went off on a man-bashing tirade. Girl in a Band doesn’t do that, though. Kim, you tell your stories with grace and dignity, respect and honesty. You tell it how it happened, leaving no room for self-pity or silliness.
Though the chances of you reading this are highly, highly unlikely, I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for respecting us enough to tell us about yourself, for sharing some cool stories, for telling your side, for giving us a strong, vulnerable, artistic, interesting woman to admire and model our own fragmented lives after, for raising a cool daughter, for making some weird beautiful music and for being an artist that is both timeless and thought-provoking, inspiring and strange.
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