Road Movies is poetry by the guitarist of the seminal punk (and beyond) band Sonic Youth, who paved the way for the explosion of Nirvana and punk on to the mainstream music scene in the early nineties. They are arguably the most influential rock band of the late 1980's, and are living legends today.
Road Movies is the literary equivalent of the dark and noisy waters of Sonic Youth's early work. His words mirror the beauty that can be discerned in the band's emotive walls of noise. As the title suggests, large parts of the book are inspired by time spent on the road with Sonic Youth. His words evoke the strange suprises and almost out of body clarity that occurs during travel.
Interspersed with grainy photographs of road side fireworks stands, cigarette machines, and tractor trailer wheels, the book recalls the everyday things that, when taken out of context, become absolutely extraordinairy. In this way he tells, in flashes reminescent of the absolute freedom attained in the literature of Kerouac and Bukowski, the story of one restless mind's journey across and through America.
Sonic Youth spent most of the 80s sleeping on floors, driving used vans, touring across a neurotic America and the globe beyond. Before they became part of the national bloodstream, they created an underground swell, encouraging adventurous listeners to jack into their matrix of pantonality, feedback, and chiming scree. All the while, Lee Ranaldo was drinking in the landscape, the clubs, the people; recording a journal of this wild ride.