I had met Kim Gordon when she had first come out — she had been an art student studying with John Baldessari, the conceptual artist, and I met her very early on in New York, and we decided to write an article together on art, we did that. And then I was married at the time — it was a guitarist named Nina Canal, who was in this group called Ut, and she and Kim had worked together, and — but then all of a sudden Kim hooked up with Thurston, and then they found this other great guitarist named Lee Ranaldo, and they found a drummer. And Lee was a friend of mine also. And then they were playing at places like The Mudd Club, and I found them — the music great, and their stage presence was something really, really special. They were charming.
And they didn’t — they had gotten beyond this punk attitude, and they had taken it to kind of a new place — where people were throwing things on the stage as they always did in the punk thing, and Thurston would go “I want this garbage on the stage”, “What am I going to do?” but in a perfectly normal human voice, and not this kind of punk death kind of voice. And they were charming and everyone loved them.
And one night I was living in the East Village right across the street from the Hell’s Angels, on third street, between first and second. I was sitting on my stoop relaxing, drinking a beer. And then Sonic Youth came by and I said “Hey, where are you guys going?” “Oh, we have a gig tonight at the Pyramid Club.” And I said am I on the guest list? And they said “Uh eh, uh oh eh,” because Pyramid didn’t give that many guest lists, and I just laughed and said “Don’t worry about it.” And I said “Hey, you guys are doing really, really great,” because they were really getting quite well known at that point. And Thurston quipped, “Well, Rhys, you and Glenn had your chance, now it’s our turn.” And it was so funny, but that’s how things worked.