Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"I Was Happiest When I Was Poor, Trundling through the World"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"I Was Happiest When I Was Poor, Trundling through the World"

Article excerpt

Thurston Moore was born in 1958 in Coral Gables, Florida. After dropping out of college to move to New York, he met Kim Gordon (his now ex-wife) and they formed the rock band Sonic Youth. He lives in London.

What's your earliest memory?

I'm a baby on hands and knees in a hallway in McKenzie, Tennessee, in 1959. My brother and sister, five and two years older respectively, are holding a brown leather shoe in front of me and saying, "Shoe!

Shoe! " It was somewhat obvious to me that their wish was for me to repeat the word after them. They are laughing, and I can see my parents sitting smiling on the couch behind them. I just laugh as there's so much fun and love in the room.

Who are your heroes? My childhood hero would have been any one of the superheroes in the comics I devoured: Spider-Man, Aquaman, Plastic Man. As an adult, my heroes were artists and musicians, which is what my father was, so he was my hero. Besides him, I'd say Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Patti Smith and Johnny Rotten. Today I have a whole set of new heroes.

What was the last book that changed your thinking? The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. I'm not sure how it came my way but I tore through it, as it elucidated all I imagined the real and irreal truths of human and spiritual existence were. It clarifies Buddhist texts into an approachable perspective. I would gift this book to my family, hoping it would assuage their unease of mortality.

What political figure, past or present, do you look up to? …

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