Gordon actually came to my first band's first show, where we covered him in blood! He was a lovely, lovely fella. We bonded because he had some sort of spiritual epiphany in my (then) hometown. He was a strange mixture of religious preacher (Baptist, if I remember correctly) and worldly bawd.
The Femmes were such a great, great live band. Gordon really felt that he was doing the Lord's work onstage, which made the experience very intense.
There is a sort of parallel to Morrissey, in fact, because they were unpopular within the music industry (only lukewarm support from their label), but they were beloved by people who loved music. Also, tunes like "Country Death Song" took honest chances and upset people, which is always a good thing.