kim gordon’s account of sonic youth’s worst set proves everyone has bad days

Even legends have less than legendary moments.

by Amy Campbell
12 September 2016, 2:10am

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Among her many talents, Sonic Youth front-woman Kim Gordon is pretty great at telling stories. As part of a keynote speech at last week's Bigsound music conference in Brisbane, the artist imparted plenty of wisdom and shared a couple of memories, including the first time Sonic Youth played an acoustic set live. According to Kim, it really didn't go to plan.

The gig was part of a 1970s benefit concert organised by Neil Young's charity the Bridge School, which his son Ben — who suffers from cerebral palsy — was a member of at the time. Sonic Youth had never played an acoustic set before, and Gordon admitted she had pre-empted disaster. So when her guitar refused to produce sound on stage she swore into the mic, smashed the instrument and stormed off in rage. Arriving backstage, Gordon was greeted by Young's son Ben, who casually rolled up to her in his wheelchair and said, "everyone has a bad day sometimes." 


Text Amy Campbell

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