Monday, July 24, 2023

Courtney Love dishes the gossip on 90s indie rock, plus my favorite Hole songs

Courtney Love and daughter Francis Bean
Writer Jim DeRogatis doesn’t disappoint with his Courtney Love essay in his excellent book Milk It. He of course comes right out of the gates saying Love would never top her band Hole’s album Live Through This, which, in my mind, is nowhere near as accomplished as the band’s next album Celebrity Skin.

I do agree with DeRogatis that Love sounds a lot like Joan Jett. The music is a “skillful synthesis” of the formula laid out by Louie, Louie: quiet, loud, quiet, loud, big ending. 

Hole’s first big American show after her husband Kurt Cobain and her bassist Kristen Plaff both died was in Chicago, “sandwiched between forgettable openers Marilyn Manson and over-hyped headliners Nine Inch Nails.” Love destroyed her guitar and amp and jumped into the crowd. The show was deemed a cathartic success and kicked off a shining time for Love and her band’s popularity.

Interesting gossip nuggets from the article include:

  • She hated Vanity Fair for writing that she did heroin while pregnant (she clarifies it was only in the first trimester). 
  • Love said Billy Corgan helped her through tough times and adds that he told her his Mellon Collie album was Gen X’s The Wall. She also claims the Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream LP is all about her.
  • She said Trent Reznor was a homophone and, like his friend MTV’s Kennedy, a Republican. 
  • She lived in Elvis Costello and his wife’s house for a while when she was 18. 
  • She said Kurt hated Eddie Vedder. 
  • She said Kurt admitted to having a crush on Kim Deal, and also possibly Juliana Hatfield. 
  • She likes to project as crazy in interviews because, she says, in business, you do that and people write you a check. 
  • She says she heard Tom Petty used to stab a knife into the table when he wanted to make a point with people.
  • She claims there was once a poll “in some women’s magazine” that said she was second most likely to go into politics behind Tom Hanks. (That didn’t pan out very accurately.)

And finally, although obviously not part of DiRogatis' essay, my top 6 favorite Hole songs are:

6. Awful (Celebrity Skin, 1999)
5. Violet (Live Through This, 1994)
4. Doll Parts (Live Throught This, 1994)
3. Celebrity Skin (Celebrity Skin, 1999)
2. Miss World (Live Through This, 1994)
1. Malibu (Celebrity Skin, 1999)

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