Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore has shared his memories of the days that followed Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain taking his own life.

In an extract published in The Guardian from his autobiography Sonic Life, which is released this week (October 24), Moore recalls receiving a phone call from Sonic Youth’s booking agent Bob Lawton that confirmed the news on the morning of April 8, 1994.

“It hadn’t been looking good in the preceding months: the overdose in Rome, reports of Kurt missing in action around Seattle, the intervention by his friends and family,” Moore wrote. “Reportedly Kurt had taken his life three days ago, before being discovered by a worker installing security lighting at his Lake Washington house.”

Sonic Youth playing live, with Kurt Cobain watching their performance from stage left, on September 26, 1992 in Castaic, California. (Photo: Lindsay Brice/Getty Images)

“Kim [Gordon, Moore’s then-wife and Sonic Youth bandmate] was at a photoshoot for the X-girl clothing line that she had co-founded with her friend Daisy von Furth at Daisy’s apartment farther downtown,” he continued. “She was nearly seven months pregnant and happy. It pained me to do so, but I called Daisy’s apartment and broke the news to her – then she went silent.”

“She couldn’t speak. In the silence, I could sense her weeping. Like every one of us, she had loved the boy.”

In a more positive recollection, Moore also shared a memory of hanging out backstage with Cobain and Courtney Love in Miami’s Bayfront Park Amphitheater in November 1993.

“Frances Bean Cobain was just over a year old at the time,” Moore wrote. “She hung with her nannies backstage, running around, grabbing whatever she could off deli trays, beautiful and full of light, both Courtney’s and Kurt’s features visible in her expressive face. My mother sat watching as Courtney told Frances to settle down, opened a juice bottle for her, and put her on her lap for a bit of mother-daughter knee-bouncing and laughter.”

““You’re a very good mother,” my mom remarked. Courtney jolted still, taking in my mother, her eyes wide. It was so unlike the accusations that Courtney and Kurt had been dealing with in the press, the two of them always depicted as drug-addled monsters. Courtney breathed deeply and said an appreciative “thank you”.”


Moore, 65, recently had to cancel his US book tour, due to a “debilitating” health condition. “It utterly bereaves me to pass on the news that I have been advised by my medical team here in the UK to cancel my upcoming USA book tour. For years I have been dealing with a longstanding health condition, though it has never seriously stopped me from touring and recording.”

Sonic Life was officially announced in May this year, though the Sonic Youth co-founder told NME in 2020 that he had written a book during the COVID-19 pandemic.