Thurston Moore

Kim Gordon

Lee Ranaldo

Steve Shelley


Chan Marshall

Thurston Moore

Thurston Moore, born 25 July 1958, Coral Gables Florida. Grew up in Bethel, Connecticut.
Enroled at Western Con. State but instead decided to move to New York. There he started
a punk band, The Coachmen, together with J.D. King and John Miller. Thurston then became
interested in the No Wave scene and especially in the music of Glen Branca. After the
Coachmen broke up in 1980, Moore started the Arcadians with Ann DeMarinis, Dave Kaey
and Kim Gordon. From this band Sonic Youth emerged. Moore is now married to Kim
Gordon. Beside his work for Sonic Youth, he is involved in many side projects. He is a
member of the Dim Stars and brought out a solo album titled Psychic Hearts.

Thurston's Story:
In '77 I was nineteen living on East 13th Street in New York and paying,
or trying to pay, $110 a month rent. I was bonkers, alone, with no
social life. I met this girl and became obsessed with being in love with
her. She was fucking this older writer poet guy who lived in my building
on the top floor. I would hang out my window from afternoon to evening
hoping and waiting for her to turn the corner. One day she knocked,
came in and I knew we were gonna have to be together forever. Five
minutes later the writer guy knocked and walked in all innocent and
smiling and I realized the two of them had plans that day and she said
"OK, see y'later!' and I was like, "OK" and then I blanked out. It wasn't
so tragic cuz I did eventually score some quality time with her (she was
Swedish!) but too many stupid hours were spent walking from the East
Village to Tribeca, back and forth, chanting punker mantras of unrequited
desire, hoping to run into this incredible on-the-loose girl. I moved to New
York early '77. I had planned it for the last couple of years. I fantasized
about it constantly. My fantasies were fueled by the progressive
development of punk. It was David Johansen to Patti Smith to John Cale
to the Ramones to the Dictators to Punk Magazine to New York Rocker to
Rock Scene to St. Mark's Place to Bleeker Bob's to Manic Panic to Gem Spa
to Max's to CBGB, etc, I was playing in a Television/ T.Heads-influenced
art-rock band called the Coachmen. They were Rhode Island School of
Design graduates (same school David Byrne went to) and they were older
tan me (early 20s). I met the leader guy in my hometown record store
and he told me he was moving to New York to start a punk band. We
pen-palled and I moved in and joined them. Sid was on the loose. Someone
stabbed Nancy a week or two prior and Sid was bombing around town. He
would come see Judy Nylon at CBGB cuz he was friends with her. We
(The Coachmen, the only friends I had) would go to the gig cuz we knew
the drummer and the place would be pretty empty. Judy wasn't super
popular but she was rad, doing a real slow punky version of 'Jailhouse
Rock. But fucking Sid would walk in and sit right near us. He was the
skinniest. His skin was totally white. And he had those looks and
mannerisms that you knew he just had to have. My dream was to start a
band with him that would totally kill. He was down and out and I was
ready to immerse myself in him. Total punk rock. But I was in an art-
rock band. He was into heroin, murder and weird sex from after-hours
hell. When he died it was one of the most intense moments of my life. I
watched the TV reports like it was Kennedy being assassinated. I collected
and have to this day every newspaper clipping there was (unfortunately
the was a newspaper strike in New York which limited the amount of
super schlock coverage).
I used to walk around the streets looking for pennies so I could save up yo
200 of them and then go to St. Mark's Cinema (2nd Ave. & 8th--the Gap's
there now) and see the second-run double-feature. The audience was a
mixture of artist downtowners, East Village Puerto Rican dudes,
luminaries (Divine, Richard Hell, etc.) and new-wave loners (myself).
The lobby was a cloud of cigarette and pot smoke. I remember Richard
Hell sitting down with his then girlfriend Susan Springfield and I got up
and sat in front of them as if I was a dishevelled poet punk hoping to
impress them. I met Richard many many years later and he had no
recollection of this. I spent a glorious March weekend with the Swedish
girl I was obsessed with and I figured she would just stay in my
apartment forever from that moment on but she left Monday morning
wearing my overcoat. She actually said she'd be right back but she never
returned. I ran into her a couple of weeks later and she refused to address
the issue and I told her I needed my coat back. I actually almonst cried in
front of her and told her I loved her and all I wanted was a girlfriend to
live with and all the while a fire engine was screaming past us. She knew
what I was saying and just kind of smiled compassionately because of all
the noise around us. We were both a little embarrassed. I lived on 13th
street between A & B. In 77/78 there weren't so many skinny white
kids in the area and I'd get harassed and chased sometimes. The only
person I was aware of living on that street was Lydia Lunch. At first I
was anti-Lydia because there was an interview with her in Soho Weekly
News where she called Patti Smith a barefoot hippie chick and Television a
bunch of old men playing wanky guitar solos. Seeing as how punk rock
defined itself by trashing Led Zep, Floyd et al, I was amazed there was this
new punk person trashing Patti Smith! I moved to New York to fuck
Patti Smith and now Lydia was saying Patti was most definately uncool.
Patti had moved away anyway. And Television was over. And the Void-
Oids were over. I saw Lydia standing on the corner of 13th and A and she
had a nose ring. Nobody had nose rings in those days. I thought she was
exquisite. Later I saw her on the platform of the L train at 1st Avenue. I
came barreling down the stairs through the turnstile and nearly ran her over.
She stared at me very wide-eyed and I continued on. I became good
friends with Lydia many years later and she told me she was obsessed
with tall skinny white guys at the time and we were bot of age and
demeanor where something wild could've definately developed. Who knows
what would've happened if I had become Lydia's lover at 18.
The Coachmen broke up and I decided to play the guitar as if I existed in a
pure state of mind and could attack it with flowing mindful sensitive
energy/expression. I knew nothing of jazz, free-jazz, or any studied
musical concept of improvisation. I had a ratty skinny-lapel suit jacket
(all East Village poor-boy punk rockers had one) and no job. I jammed
with this girl Miranda who asked me after our first session, "Do you
always play like that?" I wasn't sure. It was new to me. She said her
best friend was this beautiful artist named Kim. They played music
together in a group called CKM which was the two of them and the
drummer Christine Hahn from Glenn Branca's trio The Static. I was duly
impressed and even more exciting was that they were trying to get Nina
Canal from UT to play with them. Kim wore glasses with flip-up shade and
had an Australian sheepdog named Egan. She had an off-center ponytail
and wore a blue and white striped shirt and pants outfit. She had
beautiful eyes and the most beautiful smile and was very intelligent and
seemed to have a sensitive/spiritual intellect. She seemed to really like me.
I definately liked her but was scared as always to make a move. I was
afraid to kiss her. We walked around a couple of times. One night it got
late and we were eating at Leshko's and I think she wanted me to ask her
over. I only lived up the street. So we parted. She would take the subway
staying at gallery owner Anina Nosei's place. Before she split she actually
touched my arm (!) and said "See you later." She moved into a raw
railway apartment on Eldridge Street below Grand Street. The artist Dan
Graham lived upstairs and had aquired the place for her. She invited me
over one evening and I played this beat up guitar she had. I knew the
guitar because it belonged to an associate of the Coachmen gang who left it
at Jenny Holzer's loft where Kim had stayed and somehow it was passed
on to her. All she had was the guitar and a foam rubber cushion for
sleeping. That night was the first time we kissed.