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Sonic Shock

Monday, October 24, 2011

After 27 years of marriage, the coolest couple in rock recently announced they are separating. We hear how Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth shaped the way a generation of rock fans thought about balancing creativity and edginess with marriage and parenthood. Plus: a closer look at how other artistic couples with personal and professional partnerships. Joining us in studio are contributor Elissa Schappell and Rachel Sussman, a marriage and family counselor.

Have you been part of an artistic relationship that was both professional and personal? Tell us how you were able to make it work. If the romantic relationship ended, what happened to the artistic collaboration? Leave a comment.

Gwen Stefani


Elissa Schappell and Rachel Sussman

Comments [16]


I think Elissa Shappell should continue to talk to herself through her blog. It was real annoying to hear her talk about Sonic Youth in the past tense. Kim and Thurston are separated, obviously going through a rough patch in their marriage. But they're not divorced and their not dead.

Oct. 24 2011 02:51 PM
J from 'slope

I liked George Harrison's wife's comment on when people asked her what was the secret to a long marriage
she responded:
"Dont get Divorced"
simple and complicated
best wishes to T ,K and C

Oct. 24 2011 02:38 PM
Eva from NYC

What about No Doubt? I went to a concert in the early 2000s and when Gwen was singing about her break-up with Tony it was awkward and yet totally riveting since of course he was playing right there next to her. It's pretty great the way they turned the experience into some incredible music and just kept right on going.

Oct. 24 2011 02:36 PM
Justin Lees

The important thing here is Monogamy is just a word. There is no such reality. This is not a bad thing. It just is. Romance and love as such lasts as long as it does. It could last 30 years.....or not. Monogamy is like perfect weather. So you either accept all weather as perfect ( ie not being monogamous = all weather), Or you live in denial and expect all the weather to be one way only.
Sorry for being wordy. If a perfect marriage in one that lasts, the Bill and Hillary Clinton have the perfect marriage. They ARE still married,and monogamy is not necessary or realistic.

Oct. 24 2011 02:34 PM
Ted in Atlanta

I also wonder how many co-ed bands can really not have either some kind of sexual tension or have a current or former relationship going on there. Seems like most I can think of, i can also name check the couple.

(Arcade Fire... If that ended, will they go on? Will one or both create new bands? Hmmmm.)

Oct. 24 2011 02:31 PM
Phil from Park Slope

We're not rock stars, but my wife and I work together as directors and photographers. We are a great collaborative team creatively, and we're relatively successful, but the fact that neither of us has a "real job" (with 401k and a health plan) makes our lives feel a little unplanned, and it's difficult to picture starting a family when you're constantly figuring out where the next gig comes from. Good on anyone who can do it! I think it is more and more common.

Oct. 24 2011 02:29 PM
lili from brooklyn

I had one of the best breakup I know... my ex and I are still close friends, I am his son's godmother and his wife is now a friend. We sometimes still work creatively together. We just know each other so well, its precious to keep each other in our life.

Oct. 24 2011 02:28 PM
Sera from Ridgewood

First, who cares.

Second, I met my husband being in a band together, and we were friends for a couple of years before we started dating, and now we're married. The music thing died out, after we played gigs together, and now the marriage may die out too.

Oct. 24 2011 02:27 PM
Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

at525, you forget that marc anthony is a popular singer who regular people listen to and whose tunes are catchy. In other words: no Soundcheck material.

Oct. 24 2011 02:26 PM
Alistair from Inwood

Sorry hipsters, now Sonic Youth is as lame as Fleetwood Mac.

Oct. 24 2011 02:23 PM
art525 from park slope

This kind of handwringing over a musical couple breaking up seems more apropo for a discussion of Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony or maybe Justin Beiber and whoever he is coupled with. And the idea that Mz Shappell needed to emulate them and have the validation of the Sonic Youth's couple to get married and to have children makes me think maybe she shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. Pretty silly stuff.

Oct. 24 2011 02:18 PM
Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

Pathetic woman critic who needs some pop musician couple to guide and justify her life.

Oct. 24 2011 02:17 PM

You didn't want to be called "square" or boring "breeders" and had to look at the Sonic Youth couple for your life decisions? Wow, how shallow ... no less shallow than the preppy conformist cliques that you probably raged against in your youth.

Oct. 24 2011 02:15 PM
ted in atlanta

Wow guys, that's a huge drag! I had not heard. But if you have to end things, I like the way another wayward rockstar did it; the Jack White end-of-marriage celebration party for he and his ex-wife-to-be. I thought that was extremely appropriate; why not appreciate all the good times.

Oct. 24 2011 02:14 PM
Siouxie from Bronx

Like neither Thurston or Kim. Don't care.

Don't see how their separation is deserving a segment?

Oct. 24 2011 02:10 PM
ken from NYC

Michael Jackson - Lisa Marie Presley

Bob Dylan - Cassandra Wilson

Oct. 24 2011 01:53 PM

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