Set your calendars for about two years in the future: Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore is set to release a memoir in 2023.
Titled Sonic Life, the book will chronicle the guitar legend’s entire musical career, including experiences with his first band The Coachmen, his role in pioneering alternative rock, and the dissolution of his most famous band.
“From his infatuation and engagement with the 1970s punk and ‘no wave’ scenes in New York City, to the 1981 formation of his legendary rock group, to 30 years of relentless recording, touring, and musical experimentation, birthing the Nirvana-era of alternative rock, and beyond, it is all told via the personal prism of the author’s intensive archives and research,” reads the official synopsis.
Moore told Vulture last year that he was beginning to write the memoir for his own Ecstatic Peace Library publishing company and hoped that the pandemic would help him finish collecting his stories. Evidently, that wasn’t the case, and it’s probably not a good sign that his new deal with Doubleday/Faber gives him at least another year and a half to get it together. Hey, writer’s block is tough, I get it.
The memoir will be the second from a Sonic Youth member after bassist Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band was released back in 2015. That book details Gordon’s own transition from art to music once she met Moore in the late ’70s, her role as a pioneering female figure in alternative rock, and how the crumbling of her marriage to Moore resulted in Sonic Youth’s breakup in 2011.
Girl in a Band shed new light on the dynamics of the band in their final days. In it, Gordon characterises Moore as a recidivist who would not cease an extramarital affair that compromised both his marriage and Sonic Youth. The band’s last shows were strained and difficult, with none of the band members socialising or even talking and no one saying goodbye. It’s a sad note to end one of the most legendary bands of all time, but Gordon makes no bones about who is to blame.
Perhaps Moore’s book will be a counter to the narrative put forward in Girl in a Band. He’s still a beloved alternative icon, and certainly has a treasure trove of experiences that can make compelling literature, but other than touring with Nirvana and writing ‘Teen Age Riot’, the most fascinating draw of his new memoir will almost certainly be how much he chooses to discuss the end of his marriage and the subsequent implosion of Sonic Youth.
The memoir, Sonic Life, will be released sometime in 2023.