Former Sonic Youth guitarist and co-founder Lee Ranaldo turns 68

Sonic Youth are still regarded as the most successful Alternative Rock band of all time

Former Sonic Youth guitarist and co-founder Lee Ranaldo turns 68

Lee Ranaldo was born on February 3, 1956 in New York. Ranaldo is a founding member of Sonic Youth, that he co-founded with Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon on 1981. The band became one of the most influential Alternative Rock bands of all time, transitioning successfully from the New York Underground music scene to the mainstream. Sonic Youth reached the pinnacle of their popularity during the early 1990’s when they were credited as helping to develop the Alternative Rock music revolution leading it into the mainstream, including the Grunge Rock bands. One of Nirvana’s, specially Kurt Cobain, biggest influences, Sonic Youth suggested Geffen to sign Nirvana, which the label did. The two bands toured together in 1991 through Europe, and some of the performances and tour footage can be seen on documentary film “1991: The Year Punk Brooke”. Together with Sonic Youth, Ranaldo released influential Alternative Rock albums such as “Sister”, “Bad Moon Rising”, “EVOL”, “Goo”, “Dirty”, “Jet Set Trash And No Star”, “Daydream Nation” and “Washing Machine”. Ranaldo’s guitar technique along with Thurston Moore played a large role on the signature sound of Sonic Youth, on some of their most popular songs such as “100%”, “Dirty Boots”, “Kool Thing” or “Sugar Kane”, Ranaldo’s and Moore guitars harmonize together creating the semi-chaotic band’s sound. Sonic Youth disbanded amicably in 2011. Since then, the guitarist has collaborated with several artists and created many solo projects. He has produced albums for artists including Babes in Toyland, You Am I, Magik Markers, Deity Guns, and Dutch art rock-ensemble Kleg. He has edited a volume of tour journals from the 1995 Lollapalooza tour written by himself, Thurston Moore, Beck, Stephen Malkmus, Courtney Love, and others. A visual artist, he also has had some exhibitions with his visual arts and video works in combination with Sonic Youth related art (posters, flyers, album covers, etc.). This took place as gallery and museum shows in Porto, Halifax, Miami, Tampa, Vienna, Prague, Gent, Bratislava, Auckland, Salt Lake City and in Brooklyn and at the VOLTA fair in Manhattan in 2015.

Watch Sonic Youth performing “100%” and “Kool Thing” live in 1992 at USTV plus an interview with the band

Listen to a compilation featuring some of the very best Of Sonic Youth

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