Originally Posted by zelocia
I completely agree. I also think in ways Thurston's Sonic Youth material could be it's own book. I've read Goodbye 20th Century, Confusion is Next, the Sonic Youth chapter is Our Band Could Be Your Life. I own Sensational Fix, and I have not read it from cover to cover, but it is the only comprehensive Sonic Youth book in my opinion. I kind of wish Kim had discussed the band more in her memoir, but I also understand that she didn't want to do that. It would be interesting if Thurston wrote his own memoir though I highly doubt that he will.
I do not have Sensational Fix, and I'm goddamn ashamed of that fact. Certainly it's an essential for the superfan. I have Goodbye 20th and Confusion and a signed copy of Girl in a Band, but I don't own Sensational Fix. There's something wrong with that.
But I agree about the other books. They weren't, like, god awful, but I've read a lot of Nirvana bios and the like that tend to be sensational and overly dramatic. Not enough emphasis on the stories behind the songs, the time spent in the booth, production and recording decisions, etc. Goodbye 20th kind of had to offer more of this than, say, Heavier than Heaven, or Come As You Are, because at that time SY was an almost entirely drama-free band. No drug abuse woes or other big hot ticket items that people — for some reason — want to hear about more than the actual music. So it was decent in that regard, but I still thought it was a pretty poorly written book. Overly simplistic, and not in a journalistic way... just ... simple. Boring. Not great.
Girl in a Band was the most interesting because of the Kim's personal narrative voice. It was also probably the most well written, to be honest. But you're right, it really wasn't about Sonic Youth. It was about something non-musical in nature, and deeply personal. So, great as it was, it didn't hit the spot for pure SY fanboy reading.
I think they deserve better. A band like that deserves to have a massive literary presence, and a slew of thoughtful, intelligent biographies to pick from. The Beatles have this kind of library. Even Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground has a pretty damn good selection of bios to choose from. Sonic Youth deserves no less.