Quotes from Girl in a Band

Kim Gordon ·  273 pages

Rating: (17.5K votes)


“Still, I’ve always believed—still do—that the radical is far more interesting when it looks benign and ordinary on the outside.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Someone once wrote that in between the lives we lead and the lives we fantasize about living is the place in our heads where most of us actually live.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“The only really good performance is the one where you make yourself vulnerable, while pushing beyond your familiar comfort zone.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“I like being in a weak position, and making it strong.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“In “Shadow of a Doubt,” I was trying to describe the connection you feel when your eyes meet another person’s. You project all kinds of things on those eyes, feel them seeing into and past you, sometimes feel the sex behind them too.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band



“For me performing has a lot to do with being fearless. I wrote an article for Artforum in the mideighties that had a line in it that the rock critic Greil Marcus quoted a lot: “People pay money to see others believe in themselves.” Meaning, the higher the chance you can fall down in public, the more value the culture places on what you do. Unlike, say, a writer or a painter, when you’re onstage you can’t hide from other people, or from yourself either.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“At the end of the day, women are expected to hold up the world, not annihilate it.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Today, when I think back on the early days and months of Thurston’s and my relationship, I wonder whether you can truly love, or be loved back, by someone who hides who they are.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“That stage in life when older people assume that just because you've graduated college you know who you are, or what you're doing, and in fact most people don't.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Everything people call fabulous or amazing lasts for about ten minutes before the culture moves on to the next thing.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band



“I spent a lot of time vacillating between wanting to be seen as attractive, being terrified by too much attention, and wanting to succeed and fit in without anyone’s noticing me.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Guys playing music. I loved music. I wanted to push up close to whatever it was men felt when they were together onstage—to try to ink in that invisible thing. It wasn't sexual, but it wasn't unsexual either. Distance mattered in male friendships. One on one, men often had little to say to one another. They found some closeness by focusing on a third thing that wasn't them: music, video games, golf, women. Male friendships were triangular in shape, and that allowed two men some version of intimacy. In retrospect, that's why I joined a band, so I could be inside that male dynamic, not staring in through a closed window but looking out.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“The girl anchors the stage, sucks in the male gaze, and, depending on who she is, throws her own gaze back out into the audience.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“For me performing has a lot to do with being fearless.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“I’ve always felt uncomfortable giving people what they want or expect.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band



“I wanted deliverance, the loss of myself. The capacity to be inside that music. It was the same power and sensation you feel when a wave takes you up and pushes you somewhere else.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Families are like little villages. You know where everything is, you know how everything works, your identity is fixed, and you can't really leave, or connect with anything or anybody outside, until your physically no longer there.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“All that young-girl idealism is someone else's now.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“I remember how the book talked about the pressure to please and be perfect that every woman falls into and then projects onto her daughter. Nothing is ever good enough. No woman can ever outrun what she has to do. No one can be all things - a mother, a good partner, a lover, as well as a competitor in the workplace.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“But I would make it through “Death Valley.” Lee, Thurston, and I, and then just the two of us, stood there. My about-to-be-ex husband and I faced that mass of bobbing wet Brazilians, our voices together spell-checking the old words, and for me it was a staccato soundtrack of surreal raw energy and anger and pain: Hit it. Hit it. Hit it. I don’t think I had ever felt so alone in my whole life.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band



“Every woman knows what I'm talking about when I say girls grow up with a desire to please, to cede their power to other people. . . everyone knows about the sometimes aggressive and manipulative ways men often exert power in the world, and how by using the word empowered to describe women, men are simply maintaining their own power and control.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Back then, and even now, I wonder: Am I “empowered”? If you have to hide your hypersensitivity, are you really a “strong woman”? Sometimes another voice enters my head, shooing these thoughts aside. This one tells me that the only really good performance is one where you make yourself vulnerable while pushing beyond your familiar comfort zone. I liken it to having an intense, hyper-real dream, where you step off a cliff but don’t fall to your death.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“but I couldn’t decide if I was a courageous person in real life or whether I could only sing onstage. In that way I haven’t changed much in thirty years at all.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“In England, people had been loudly proclaiming the death of the guitar and the birth of the synthesizer, but Sonic Youth and other American guitar bands started to create a buzz.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“I give Iggy credit for deconstructing the very idea of entertainment.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band



“Hardcore groups were singing songs about Ronald Reagan. I wasn't interested in this and preferred to sing about the darkness shimmering beneath the shiny quilt of American pop culture. I suppose you could say that Sonic Youth was always trying to defy people's expectations.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“The other song we did was my cover of “Addicted to Love.” There used to be a sort of karaoke booth on Saint Mark’s, where anyone could go in and record themselves. I chose “Addicted to Love” because I liked Robert Palmer’s video, with its background cast of zombie models identically dressed and holding guitars. I took the tape with the canned version of the song back to the studio, and we sped up the vocal to make it sound higher in pitch. Later I brought the cassette mix to Macy’s, where they had a video version of the karaoke sound booth. You could customize a background while two cameras filmed you. For my backdrop I picked jungle fighters, and I wore my Black Flag earrings. The entire bill came to $19.99, and in a slick, commercial MTV world, it felt gratifying and empowering to pay for the whole thing with a credit card.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Klamath was all about fishing and socializing and cooking and eating, and waking up the next day to start over again.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


“Joy Division was scheduled to play at Tier 3, but Ian Curtis killed himself a week before the gig.”
― Kim Gordon, quote from Girl in a Band


About the author

Kim Gordon
Born place: in Rochester, New York, The United States
Born date April 28, 1953
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