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With her enthralling memoir, Kim Gordon makes an entirely new type of noise

Kim Gordon’s never been one for oversharing. Despite three decades in the public eye—as the bassist for Sonic Youth, a fashion designer, an actress, a visual artist and a model in a 2013 Saint Laurent campaign—Gordon’s remained the epitome of indie-rock cool thanks in part to her apparent distaste for attention. Until now. 

Gordon’s memoir, Girl in a Band, boldly exposes her life, from a 1960s Southern California childhood through her career in Sonic Youth and her messy split with former band mate and husband Thurston Moore. So, what finally got Gordon to open up? 

“It wouldn’t have occurred to me to write a memoir until people started asking,” the 61-year-old says. “After the success of Patti Smith’s Just Kids, I started to get approached by editors, and I was at the point in my life where I was starting to look back.” 

There’s plenty to reflect upon. In addition to her accomplishments, Gordon’s lived a fascinating life—she’s dated Danny Elfman, toured with Neil Young and produced a record for Courtney Love—and she covers it extensively in her account.

“I just wanted to get things out,” she says of writing publicly about her private affairs. Ever the rocker, she adds, “The more conventional parts of writing were what I found to be really boring.”