It's a strange conundrum: The bassist Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, a group known for its outlier, nearly-but-not-quite mainstream music, took a hard written swing at Lana Del Rey, who is also in a musical category that is hard to define. Kim Gordon wrote her memoir, Girl In a Band, in which she deals with some of her artistry as a musician and some of her philosophies on the world, including Lana Del Rey. So what was her suggestion to Del Rey in the memoir prior to its publication? That she commit suicide. Yes, you read that correctly. To quote the original draft of the book, Kim Gordon says that Lana's views on feminism and a penchant for gang rape scenes means she should do away with herself since Gordon feels she glorifies that type of action.
"Today we have someone like Lana Del Rey, who doesn't know what feminism is, who believes it means women can do whatever they want, which, in her world, tilts toward self-destruction, whether it's sleeping with gross older men or getting gang-raped by bikers. Equal pay and equal rights would be nice. Naturally, it's just a persona. If she really truly believes it's beautiful when young musicians go out on a hot flame of drugs and depression, why doesn't she just off herself?"Unkind at best, downright sociopathic at worst -- but the most interesting thing is that those words never made it to publication by the book's publisher Harper Collins, according to Gigwise. The released version had quite a modified paragraph on Lana Del Rey. The revision removed "gang rape" and any suggestion of suicide. According to Pitchfork, the words have been toned down considerably.
"Does she truly believe it's beautiful when young musicians go out on a hot flame of drugs and depression, or is it just her persona?"While it's not uncommon for a book to be edited before its final release, that is quite a change of wording and content. Publisher Harper Collins hasn't commented on the change, but Kim Gordon herself has. In an even stranger twist, she said that she wrote the words to protect Francis Bean Cobain, the daughter of late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. Cobain killed himself when Francis was very young, and admitted she was offended by a comment that Del Rey had made in an interview last year. Del Rey had said that "I wish I was dead already." The context of those words have been interpreted in different manners by different people, but Francis said she was offended and felt that Del Rey was "romanticizing suicide." Kim Gordon said she felt the need to come to Francis Bean's defense.
"Poor Frances took her statement in some literal way and didn't realize that [Del Rey] was actually just playing around with her persona. She took it to heart."Gordon also says she's more annoyed that people are obsessed with what she wrote and want to see catfights than she is over the fact that people were offended by that passage in her book. According to the Huffington Post, she said "There's something that's just kind of dumb about Twitter."
Readers, what do you think about Del Rey's proclamation and Gordon's response?
[photo courtesy of directlyrics.com]