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Thurston Moore to Tell Sonic Youth Story in ‘Sonic Life’ Memoir

Former Sonic Youth singer-guitarist Thurston Moore will tell his side of how the band came together in his long-promised autobiography, Sonic Life: A Memoir, due out in October.

Sonic Life tells the story of my childhood and teenage years as I fell in love with music (for the most part unbridled rock & roll) and how it drove me to New York City, where I would co-found Sonic Youth,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “It’s an adventure that would take me around the globe throughout the 1980s, Nineties, and onward, engaging with the magic music of visionaries, artists, and wild angels turning the world on its ear.”

Moore goes on to say that the book is “the product of intensive research and deep dives into my memories and emotions.” It’s a tribute, in part, he says to the creative communities like punk and New York’s no-wave scene that influenced him.

The singer-guitarist is partnering with Miami’s Books & Books to launch the memoir, offering the store signed copies for preorder on their website, as a way to support indie booksellers. “There’ll definitely be more news to come soon — events, U.K. and international editions, and a slew of other surprises,” Moore wrote.

Colson Whitehead, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, wrote, “This is history — scuffed, slightly bent, plenty noisy, and indispensable.” Nell Zink, author of Mislaid, called it, “A raw, rollicking document.”

Moore’s book arrives nearly a decade after his former Sonic Youth bandmate and ex-wife Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band. In addition to writing about her time in Sonic Youth, the book contained passages about her art and the breakdown of her and Moore’s marriage.

In 2017, Moore told Rolling Stone that he hadn’t read her book. “I asked her publishers for an advance copy at the time, and they wouldn’t send me one,” he said. “So I was like, ‘OK. I know what the story is. I don’t feel the need to discuss my private world and my marriage publicly.’ … If I’m to pen a book, it would certainly be biographical with Sonic Youth, but I would have to write it without working in any salient personal stuff. I don’t feel a need to do that.”


Moore was born in Coral Gables, Florida in 1958 and grew up in Bethel, Connecticut. After meeting guitarist Lee Ranaldo playing avant-garde music in Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestra, he co-founded Sonic Youth in 1981 with bassist Gordon, an art-school grad, and drummer Richard Edson. The band’s unusual and noisy approach to rock on songs like “Teen Age Riot,” “Kool Thing,” and “100%” paved the way for the Nineties alt-rock explosion.

Moore and Gordon married in 1984 and separated in 2011 when Moore started a new relationship with book editor Eva Prinz, leading to the band’s disbandment that year and Moore and Gordon’s 2013 divorce. Since then, Moore has released six solo albums and records with Chelsea Light Moving, Pvre Matrix, and Twilight.

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