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Kim Gordon
Kim Gordon
While some of the basic facts about Kim Gordon's life are a little fuzzy, there's nothing fuzzy about her influence on the music scene. Sources differ concerning the date and place of her birth, with some claiming she was born in 1953 in Rochester, NY, while others state that she entered the world in 1958 in Los Angeles, CA. None, however, deny her influence over rock, or the varied activities that have led some to describe her as a renaissance woman. Interestingly, she didn't start out as a musician and didn't even study music. Gordon, who plays bass for Sonic Youth, records as a solo artist, leads the band Free Kitten, and also is part of the band Harry Crews, earned a degree in fine arts from Los Angeles' Otis College of Art and Design during the early '70s. She headed to New York a decade later. There she established a group called CKM, contributed to Artforum magazine, and participated in the Anover Art Festival. There she met Thurston Moore, the man who would join her and Lee Ranaldo to form Sonic Youth. She and Moore wed in 1984, and a decade later had a child, Coco Hayley Moore. In 1991, Gordon helped produce the album Pretty on the Inside for Hole. She headed to Lollapalooza with her band Free Kitten two years later, and branched out into directing in 1994 with music videos for "Divine Hammer" and "Cannonball" by the Breeders. She expanded her talents again a year later in New York when she launched a line of clothing she dubbed X-Girl, which she sold in 1997. Rolling Stone acknowledged her influence that same year when the magazine included Gordon in a feature titled Women in Rock. By 1999, the renaissance woman of rock began crafting a solo album and modeling in advertisements for Calvin Klein. VH1 acknowledged her influence by including her in its list of 100 Greatest Women of Rock. Although in interviews she has seemed leery of giving herself wholeheartedly to the cause of feminism, her songs often have decidedly pro-feminist themes when she addresses such issues as sexual harassment, rape, and the casting couch. She also addressed anorexia in a number titled "Tunic (Song for Karen)," which refers to the ordeal endured by Karen Carpenter, a woman who was just as prominent in the music world in her day as Gordon is now. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi
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