Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Soundgarden's Guitarist Kim Thayil: Profound Moments with a Living Guitar God by Xana La Funete

There are some people in your life that you just know you will always remember, it''s usually tied to an event or to another person, and I have as many people in my life that are not famous at all that I have these kind of significant memories of, some family of course, some of strangers I had moments with that were defining enough to remember always. Kim is one of those people. Profound maybe only to me, but hey, it's my website so ha ha! 

I have not seen or talked to Kim for years. A local bar called The Feedback is actually partially owned by him and I can see it from the house I live in, and I know he's around a lot but just haven't run into him for some reason, still, I like knowing he's close by...feeling his cool vibe makes West Seattle probably the coolest rock and roll neighborhood in the country, maybe even the world! 

I don't remember the first time I met him, I wish I did, but I do remember Soundgarden practicing in our living room when I lived with Chris. ( myself and my boyfriend Andrew Wood ) One of my favorite stories to tell is of one day when I came home from work and they were rehearsing, Andy must have still been at work, and I guess I was tired, so I fell asleep down the hall in our room with the door open.

Original photo by Charles Peterson 

 They played a few songs, and Chris came in my room walking with that tough rock stance, hair flying all over and looks in at me sleeping, I had my eyes like half open the way you do when you can hear footsteps approaching when your asleep, the natural reaction, and I guess Chris could tell I was pretty much zonked out, and he walks back in the living room and tells the rest of the band,  " we have to get louder " . I always secretly hoped that the love he witnessed between Andy and I somewhat influenced the title " Louder than Love " , that's what they had to do to wake me up,  play louder than love. 

My next significant moment was a night Andy ended up drinking when he was not suppose to, S.G. was playing for about 20 people at this office looking place downtown around Belltown, it was possibly a school or used for some sort of theater production because there were racks of costumes, so of course Andy had to go and put on the most ridiculous huge hat with flowers and entertain everyone, at one point I was the only one watching the band, can you imagine! Me and this leggy black girl were dancing in front of Chris ( I wont say headbanging because I'm not a Metal Head, but you get the idea, of course I was not " dancing " as in breaking it down, so anyhow it's not that Andy was drunk and I was pissed it was just that he kind of snuck a drink when he was not suppose to be drinking and I asked Kim to talk to him and they ended up in the corner all night giggling, smoking pot, I remember looking at Kim like, " thanks a lot asshole ". 

Andrew's shennaginan's were too funny for anyone to take his drug problem serious, apparently

Anyhow, I got over it, how can you stay mad at Kim? Mr. Peaceful just wanted his Andy time, and he wasn't letting no bossy girlfriend get in the way! 

So my favorite Kim memory is from when we were all working on the Cameron Crowe movie ' Singles ' . We were filming the Soundgarden part and you know there's always a bunch of takes when a bunch of people are involved in the filming, and they had to play the song about 20 times I think, Chris even lost the star ring of Andy;s I gave him that he wore on a necklace..we had to stop filming and have everyone look for it, we found it and he always wore it on a leather necklace after that, so anyhow I guess Kim was getting bored, and he goes " Xana, come here" I went over to his side of the stage and then he say's " hey you know how Cheap Tricks Rick Nielsen does that thing when he's playing " and he did the circular motion that is indeed the Cheap Trick signature guitar move, and he say's " We aren't really playing so I can do whatever I want, I'm doing that when they start filming" I was laughing and thinking of how much Andy loved Cheap Trick and how he would have thought that was really funny, so maybe in a subtle and " Thayil " ish way he was making up for the night I got upset that he didn't talk to Andy, because by that time it was too late.....

The last time I saw Kim was also significant, it was at the premiere of the documentary made, Malfunkshun, The Andrew Wood Story, I was not planning on going and got pretty much tricked into it, and so I was really nervous. It was at The Neptune in the university district. I was to nervous to talk to anyone so I wen't up to the balcony and went to the corner and peered over the edge, and looked at the full theater, literally everyone we all knew who was in town was there, but I saw this long black hair from behind, and it was like he felt my presence, because his head turned all the way around and looked directly up at me, and smiled. 

When I saw those big beautiful eyes looking up at me and smiling I knew it was going to be okay. 

So after the movie, we were talking on the street and a friend observed us ans later siad " He was so animated when he spoke to you, for a minute I thought he was going to hit you" ( my friend is a 1st class smarty pants ) what Kim was telling me was " Xana your free now, be free " 

I never worry anymore how often I see him, I have a feeling that even in the next life we will always recognize each other... because our love is loud, just how we like it. 

Siempre Contigo, Stargazer 


  1. Wow, Ms. Xana, I'm quite impressed!
    You are the owner of such unforgettable memories. It should never be forgotten! I love your translation of "Louder Than Love" title. Sounds like you were a big family, willing to help each other. It's amazing that every member of Seattle music scene was so connected and close to the others, for example like you and Kim.
    I wish I had been living in Seattle that time, so I could have felt this incredible atmosphere and thanked Andy for changing my views of love, people and so very other things.
    Love your stories,

  2. I feel like I've dug up a huge nugget of gold.

    1. cheers xana! thanks for sharin your memories,,,,,,,,care and respects!!

  3. Xana the holder of Seattle's vault. I don't know Kim personally but I can see the brightness all around him.

  4. Xana the holder of Seattle's vault. I don't know Kim personally but I can see the brightness all around him.

  5. Xana the holder of Seattle's vault. I don't know Kim personally but I can see the brightness all around him.


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