Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon: I Was Thrown In Disney Jail For Weed

By Lindsey Weedston 10/10/19

The rocker says her unique experience at the mega theme park highlighted how "consumerism is killing us."

Image: 
Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon
Photo via Wikimedia

Former Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon told a story of getting nabbed by Disneyland security for smoking cannabis on Tom Sawyer’s Island in an interview with The Guardian ahead of the release of her solo album.

Nabbed At Tom Sawyer's Island

According to Gordon, she and a friend lit up a joint on the pirate-themed island described by Disney as a “secret island hideaway,” when the security officers found them and hauled them off to “Disney jail”—a juvenile detention cell in a secret underground area beneath the park.

There, the musician recalls seeing “Mickey Mouse with a walkie-talkie” and being sexually harassed by one of the guards who asked her if her mother knew she was “not wearing a bra.” During this harrowing experience, Gordon was less concerned about being caught with marijuana than she was about justice.

“I was writing this paper in my head about Disneyland and how fascist it was,” Gordon said, having been in a political science class at the time. “It confirmed my beliefs about American consumerism... Consumerism is killing us.”

Gordon is no stranger to political discourse, having been a part of the famous punk band Sonic Youth for 30 years, playing songs like “Youth Against Fascism” and “Peace Attack.” In a 2016 interview with Billboard, she expressed her distaste for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign slogan and what it meant for the country.

“And now, with Trump saying ‘Make America Great Again,’ no one ever asked him what that means,” she said. “When was America great to you? The decay of Detroit and the auto industry.”

Aside from some early weed-smoking, Gordon didn’t have the same struggles with drugs that many musicians face, at least not publicly. She spent her time outside of the band acting, creating visual art, producing records, and dabbling in the fashion industry.

Solo Album

Her debut solo album No Home Record comes out on October 11 after she spent much of the eight years since Sonic Youth broke up in 2011 focusing on her career as a visual artist, which she always preferred to making music.

“Playing bass was never my desire,” she said to The Guardian. “It was a byproduct of wanting to make something exciting.”

Making art in a male-dominated field hasn’t been easy for her, however.

“There’s some unseen wall of faceless men that I have to climb over,” she said, “as if on a mission.”

The new album also explores political topics, including the “end of capitalism,” sexual harassment, Donald Trump, and forgiveness.

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Lindsey Weedston is a Seattle area writer focused on mental health and addiction, politics, human rights, and various social issues. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Ravishly, ThinkProgress, Little Things, Yes! Magazine, and others. You can find her daily writings at NotSorryFeminism.com. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindseyWeedston

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