July 11, 2010

Love.


I saw Courtney Love perform at a party last September, and since Hole became my favorite band, I’ve regretted not familiarizing myself with it before that night, which I could’ve made much more special. Still, I don’t think I could’ve gotten attached to Hole at that time the same way I am now. At some point during the second half of 8th grade, I became sadder and angrier; to this I do not credit teenagerdom, or angst or any hormonal whatever, just learning, and not the kind that I was supposed to be getting from school. This is when it became necessary for me to talk my way into the computer room during art class to listen to “Northern Star” instead of researching whatever I said I would research and to bring my cassette player to gym class so I could silently confide in Live Through This while sitting out. Now, I don’t know if it was actually necessary, but the computer room was comfort and the tape was security, and has become a fixture in a red backpack I almost always have with me outside the house. I just need to know it’s there, and that coiled up inside are my thoughts and feelings and truths, like a reel of fortune cookie slips. Hearing them can be like when you’ve been sitting in silence and then are startled at the sound of your own voice, but in this case its someone else’s voice, and they’ve articulated what you wanted to voice perfectly, at times without having to be very articulate at all. To confront this voice is to feel free, for at least 38 minutes and 23 seconds. For at least 38 minutes and 23 seconds, these thoughts and feelings and truths don’t make my mind feel like a living room littered with scabs, and I can find a comfortable place for them.

Courtney herself is a different story. While her music is something I already feel connected to, she’s more aspirational. Yes, aspirational. I count her as one of my role models. Yes, role model. Not that I plan to go her route in many areas of life, and like everything and everyone in culture, you look at your own morals and figure out what you can take from the subject. But man, would I like to have the strength to be raw and loud and careless. She has one leg up on the speaker and one hand strangling a guitar and lipstick running from her mouth, sprawled out and messy like her lyrics, and mascara smudged from a dirty and painful and possibly quite real view of things. Her voice drawls, and spits, and her lyrics crawl, sometimes to beg and sometimes out of vulnerability, and sometimes in a way that is creepier and, if it sticks to you, is like an itch. Raw and loud and careless. And angry. Thank God someone is.

Every night of the past couple months, I have fallen asleep with Live Through This in the cassette player next to my pillow. I know in a muscle memory kind of way how many grains of silence I have to get through before hearing the haunting riff that begins “Violet.” I know exactly when my chest will tighten and I’ll be reminded of the line from Almost Famous about loving a band so much it hurts; usually during the chord progression right after the intro to “Miss World,” then as layers of melancholy promise hold on to each other as Courtney sings the album’s title during “Asking For It,” and always as she barely breathes out the first line to “Doll Parts.” On worser nights where I'm not out by the end of Side A, Side B's opener is so rough it blocks out everything, and then I'll have shut down by the bridge of "Softer, Softest." Since "Rock Star," the last track on the album, is the one I hear the least, it only exudes more power when I do listen. One of these days I'll take what I know from Courtney and have the strength to really scream it when I play it on guitar, not that kind of thing where you start to scream it but then it becomes this kind of silent stage whisper, even though there's no audience, and you're really just being a coward.

This is where every person with whom I’ve argued about Courtney Love will say that the Courtney I love shut down 15 years ago, along with the end of the Live Through This tour, when she hung up the babydoll dresses and ran a brush through her hair. But the Courtney who inspires me is still strong and raw and loud and careless, voicing thoughts and feelings and truths, and pissing people off in the meantime. This all seems to be constant for her. On Friday, it was 46 years since it all began.

I’m not a music critic. I don’t know music. But I do know that Courtney Love changed my life. Hole, for sure, but mostly Courtney. Happy birthday, and thanks.

182 comments:

Sandra Azwan said...

http://bysandraazwan.blogspot.com

--Sanam-- said...

I cant agree with you in this instance tavi,as personally,im not the biggest fan on Courtney.And teenerdom? haha,when did that become a word :D

but im loving the blog,keep up the good work :D











StopAndStareStyle - btw,posted my SECOND EVVVER look on here lol,so i'd love to hear your feedback.It would be much MUCH appreciated :D

Ben said...

Am I the second to comment? I used to think hole was a magazine when I saw it on your blog befor...

Ben said...

guess I'm not. my blog is Ben's style corner for people looking for more blogs to read.

Bella said...

I love Courtney. Though I think the beginning to the end of the Live Through This tour were my favorite years music-wise, I love the song 'Mono' from her America's Sweetheart album. I have always liked her because she is (though in some ways comparable to other artists) her own person. And to your large array of socks, Tavi?

YES. I have lots of socks but they are usually used to make people mad because of my rad fashion sense. Take THAT random people!

You are pretty awesome, Tavi.

-Bella

p.s. I need to come up with better adjectives.

superqueen said...

Courtney has been one of my heroines since my youth, along with her former pal Kat Bjelland, Kathleen Hanna, PJ Harvey, Kim Gordon and some more. I spent my youth in the 90s obsessively listening to "Pretty on the Inside" and "Live Through This"; I saw her performing live at Reading Festival in 1995 and she was more than stunning. When "Celebrity Skin" came out and she became testimonial for a Versace campaign, we all knew part of her magic was gone. Yet she is still one of the strongest rock personalities out there and "America's Sweetheart", though quite commercial, proves it. In my mind she'll forever be the bad girl dressed as a good girl, singing "Miss World" and "Doll Parts", with an obsession for long-lost childhood and innocence.

sarah said...

i love this. love, love, love. one of my things about life is that it needs to be lived, and people like courtney love are living it, if nothing else.

Lee said...

Tavi, I love music but until you shot the Courtney inspired pics of you in the Miu Miu S/S10 I'd never felt the need to listen to Hole. I had in fact not heard much about them, possibly because Courtney's huge public presence overshadowed the sheer brilliance of the music. Now I can safely say they are my favorite band, so thanks for sharing them with me.

Love the blog

Indigo said...

I agree! love to Courtney!! x

H. Riley Johnson said...

Great post. Courtney Love is an incredible woman who doesn't get an OUNCE of the respect she deserves. She has been my biggest inspiration/idol/hero since 10 years ago when I was 6 years old. My dad gave me "Live Through This" replacing whatever millennial pop bullshit was in my CD player at the time. That album single-handedly shaped the way I am today.

Amy Thibodeau said...

I feel really conflicted about Courtney Love. On one hand, I too love Live Through This - I loved it when it came out years ago and I still love it today. I also really appreciate her unabashed dishevelment - like most of us she isn't pulled together but unlike most of us, she doesn't pretend that she is.

Where I struggle with her is in how shitty she's treated people who have been so crucial to her career and life from other musicians to her own daughter. Granted no one really knows what goes on in personal relationships, but I feel really sorry for Frances Bean. Courtney is a drug addled escapist and like all addicts, she is selfish and cruel to the people who love her. I also genuinely believe she is mentally ill.

I don't know what I'm trying to say really except that I love her music and relate to that angsty place but that I think romanticizing misery is wrong. She is addicted and mentally ill - I can't imagine she would wish her lot on anyone.

Thanks for the post - I'm going to listen to Live Through This now. :)

Zara said...

I have never really listened to Courtney Love, but this post still moved me. Thank you.

Ana said...

Courtney used to be such a heroine for me, that was until I saw that photo of her with Hugo Chavez. The woman I admired so much, with the man who had hurted and divided my country. I never saw her the same way.

inked said...

That's cool that you have a love for Courtney Love .. people have a huge impact when they are their own character. you yourself has inspired me in a way I couldn't explain. <3

Author said...

Courtney is definitely someone who commands a large presence - both on stage as well as off. Musically, brilliant - just wish she would be able to keep it together off-stage.

Definitely an icon of her generation - who speaks of the angst each generation feels in a quickly changing world as well as identity... yes - Live Through This is great.

Hello Amber! said...

I had the good fortune of seeing Hole live in Ottawa on Friday, Courtney's 46th birthday. Of course, it's not quite the same without the classic lineup, but Courtney is still Courtney and she continues to inspire me, as she did the first time I listened to Hole (in elementary school in the mid-90s). I love the way people continue to discover Live Through This over and over again. It's a shame that media coverage (often sexist) of her antics sometimes overshadows her talent, but the fact that she still refuses to back down, shut up or go away only serves as further proof that she is more than she is made out to be. I don't even really have the words to describe my admiration of her, but I'm glad you've managed to find yours.

blukats said...

Perhaps it's the idea, what she represented back then, and not the person?

I think that comes off as a more realistic and humanistic way of viewing it. Since she as a person hasn't been such a good role model.

BTW, have you ever listened to The Gits?

Kali Venable said...

Great tribute there. I guess I am not a huge fan of Courtney Love but I totally get why someone would be, due to the fact that she is so raw and doesnt have a care in the world for what other people think about her.

www.TheLevelHeadedChild.blogspot.com

Baby said...

I liked this post.
Please post more about music!:)

WendyB said...

Adored Live Through This when it first came out. (I was chasing her for an interview for the paper I worked for, as I recall. It never worked out, alas.) Like/love her other music too. Sadly, her substance abuse and treatment of her child are so bad that it really does detract from her music for me. Her Behind the Music special showed how she suffered from neglect/abandonment/abuse as a child and now she's inflicting that on someone else. She seems to have a lot of denial about it and wants to think she's a media martyr because she's some kind of tough rock bitch. Come on. The criticism comes because she's fucked up onstage and writing incoherent rants about her OWN DAUGHTER online. It's a shame. I adored her in the early-mid '90s. I feel like she could pull it together still if she really wanted to, but apparently she doesn't want to.

Miss Sofie said...

I'm not really sure about how I feel about Courtney Love, but the way you write about her makes me love her :)

beewaits said...

I saw Hole earlier this year and the experience just reminded me of how much I love Courtney. Sure she is still crazy as a bag of cats but man, that woman gave it her all. She brought people on stage to sing with her, stripped down to her slip and just just had this amazing charisma and stage presence, it was unreal.

Claire
x

www.beewaits.blogspot.com

RGR said...

Live Through This is more important to me than ever right now. I love Bikini Kill and Bratmobile for the same reasons that you've described. But I love Hole because songs like "Miss World," and moments like Go on take everything, take everything I want you to have given me a set of vocabulary--verbal or otherwise--to describe and mold a lot of issues I deal with--issues of body, femaleness, control, and how angry and confidenceless I am in the face of these issues. That is why Courtney matters to me.

And I can't stomach any argument against her behavior, regardless of the truth they carry, because no one's throwing the same accusations of character against Kurt Cobain. They were/are both selfish drug addicts who happened to also do good things, but only one of them is widely detested for those very actions. I don't need to tell you why this is.

Courtney is a feminist hero not necessarily even because she is a Strong and Feminist of her own choice, but because she is a public example of a way of coping with things we have to cope with all the time. And god bless you for that, girlfren. God bless Courtney Love.

Echo said...

i've always hated how Hole has been kind of linked with Nirvana, and come up as a lesser, tag-along band. I don't care what people say about Courtney Love these days; she is raw and brave, her music angry and painful and beautiful in a way that is real and not exaggerated.

i'm glad you have her right beside you when you need her. everyone should have a band like that, who somehow saves your life with a song or a lyric or guitar riff.

oliwia said...

although i'm not that into Hole's music, i do love Courtney. it started few months back, when i've read this article, which was pretty much a story of when it all screwed up in her life. her courage, her belief in herself, her getting up and being even stronger and more confident, well, it really makes me go through the day. recently the days full of fear are just going away. it gets easier knowing that Courtney did it, after all that happened to her, the people who abandoned and hated her. and i can do it too one day, be confident and strong, like there was no past, simply get through. such a cliche i'm saying here, but so true to me. so thank you, Courtney

agata said...

gonna see Hole live in august!

J said...

Hey Tavi, I have been following your blog for a long time, this is my first comment!

I could not agree with you more on Courtney. I remember being about 16 and discovering "Live Through This." I moved to a new school around this time, and it really (without sounding pretentious) answered a lot of questions, and stopped me feeling so lonely and angry. Like you, Courtney is such an inspiration to me, for the fact that she really doesn't care about what others think, and she's not afraid to say what she's thinking.

It's been a year since I left High School and Hole is still one of my favourite bands of all time. I was really lucky, as I saw Hole live in London, which was amazing!

Anyway, I'm prattling on now. I really enjoyed the blog post, you're a very talented writer! Also, I really love this version of "Asking For It" featuring Kurt, and I hope you enjoy it too. (If you haven't already heard it.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeJfymyaRbY

Dark Pony Designs said...

"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" was my "Live through This". There is something necessary about knowing those hisses and clicks front to back. A journey that takes you away.

Nice post.
Thanks,
Robin

Kaysens nye klæder said...

WOW! Don't know what to say.. You write so very good!

www.kaysens.blogspot.com

Darcy said...

I love everything about this post. I recently downloaded Live Through This and wish I had been listening to it has an 15 year old, but 24 will have to do.

daddylikeyblog said...

This is such great writing, Tavi. Rock on, sister.

Chloë said...

Wow, that's pretty intense. I've never heard a 'hole' song, but now i feel i should. It sounds like i'm missing out big time

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I was a kid when Kurt died, and actually ended up listening to Courtney's music before I ever heard Nirvana. It didn't sink in so much the first time around, but right after I switched schools and had such a hard time at the new place that I had panic attacks, it was all I could stand to listen to, even though I knew hardly anything about riot grrls back then. I'm glad Live Through This - or anything, really- helps you through tough times, it did that for me and I hope you feel better for it. The world is a place that likes girls to shut up, not be loud and raw, so please, if that's what you need to be, be exactly that.

It's true Courtney does say things that sound odd and her recent behaviour especially has been questionable, but I never understood the vitriol Nirvana fans unleashed on Courtney in the 90s for the crime of having married Kurt and staying alive after he was dead. He was every bit as much a junkie as she was, but some odd version of "don't speak ill of the dead" seems to apply in his case.

it-girl said...

Great blog! Amazing!

Emma said...

Courtney Love forever! ♥

M.Soleil said...

When I was 9 I had a Hole patch on my backpack. People thought I was a freak but I guess that's how it goes. I love Cortney just as much 12 years later.
Are you going to see her in Chicago this week?

emma-kate said...

i haven't lisened to the hole but after reading this i will.

i feel the same way about The Doors, their music is so werid and wonderful and never boring. I know that pain feeling, because it actually hurts knowing i'll never see them live, exspecialy because i love bands live. But yeah i can relate to what your feeling, thank you for your wonderful blog :)

Laura said...

Give "Rid of Me" by PJ Harvey a try - most of the thoughts you conveyed remind me strongly of her and what "Rid of Me" means to me.

Listening to Live Through This right now. Thanks for the heartfelt review, it puts listening to the album in a new light.

Andrea Nykamp said...

you need to check out her "Behind the Music" on VH1, it just came out. It's quite fabulous, and sad...

Valentine said...

She's so cool and outrageous.. !

http://valentineavoh.blogspot.com/
-the diary of a belgian stylist-

eat me said...

Beautifully written. I can't say I've always been a fan of Courtney but those few times I did listen to her through middle and high school, I did feel a form of security and excitement.
Though reading your blog during the last few months of my high school career gave me both those feelings and comfort. So thanks

nickythekid said...

...I'm totally jeaslous that you write better than me.
Okay it's out, I'm good now.

I also had a similar experiance but with the Strokes. They made high school remotely worth while.


http://tobethegreat.blogspot.com/

Emma said...

Nice site, I don't know if you would remember me, but you came and visited my fashion class at the SAIC in the spring, it was nice to finally meet you.

Check out my blog

http://www.emidoodlesfashion.blogspot.com/

Elissa said...

Beautiful write-up of that album! It was also one of my hugely huge favorites when I was 13-14. You should listen to Veruca Salt and Sleater-Kinney, too. My friend made me a mix-tape of these 3, plus The Sex Pistols'debut and The Dead Kennedys "Holiday in Cambodia". And it was THE soundtrack of my 9th grade year. Bet you'd love it.

Isabel said...

Yes. Live Through This is definitely one of the best albums of all time - it got me through a lot of tough stuff in high school. Glad to see it has the same power for both of us.

Paige said...

"...because no one's throwing the same accusations of character against Kurt Cobain. They were/are both selfish drug addicts who happened to also do good things, but only one of them is widely detested for those very actions. I don't need to tell you why this is."

Dude...maybe because he's DEAD? Kind of hard to criticize present behavior of someone who is not present. It's not about 'oh she's a woman, of course everyone shits on her', that's a lame fucking excuse. It's that she has continued doing drugs, being negligent to the reality that she's a parent ("rockstar" is job #2 to that). I love Nirvana and Hole, but Kurt's an asshole for offing himself and abandoning his family, and Courtney's an asshole for refusing to rise above immature adolescent behavior when she has an adolescent to take care of herself.

Tavi, I love Live Through This too, 'Miss World' means a lot to me too. I think what you admire is her persona though, and not her person. There is a difference. Being an amazing onstage performer, with this persona of 'not giving a fuck' and being an enraged and powerful woman is awesome, in music. Not in the way she's lived her life though.
Hopefully you won't read this as patronizing, I don't mean to demean how strongly you feel about her music, and I know you're a smart lady. I just strongly disagree with this opinion I'm reading a lot of these days, especially on blogs, of her being this really estimable person.
Anyway I just wanted to add my two cents because I love your blog but get frustrated by how sycophantic the comments can be.

thwany said...

their first two albums are awesome.

"when i was a teenage whoreeeeeee"

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

I did the exact same thing when I was in year 8 and 9. It was the best to fall asleep to.

leigh said...

If you love Courtney you will adore PJ Harvey...the album Dry was to me what Live Through This is to you.

BTW...you kick ass Ms. Tavi.

Tavi said...

Paige-Right, which is why I said "Not that I plan to go her route in many areas of life" and talked about her lyrics and stage makeup and onstage disposition as opposed to personal life.

Jill said...

tavi!! that picture of you is so cherie currie from the runaways!! iloveit!!!!!! :D

Jenna said...

Courtney Love turned 46? nope.
Saw her in concert this night and she said she was 29... again ;)

TorontoVerve.: said...

We caught the Hole concert last night in Toronto. Despite the mess that Courtney has made of her life, she's still quite a performer. Of her stints in rehab, she says "here's hoping the third time's a charm." I hope so too. She put on a fantastic show.


www.torontoverve.org

CD and SP said...

whatever c.l. is or was, you are correct - she is still a great performer. thanks for making me go and dust all my old hole albums off.

And Kathleen said...

Tavi,
I was about your age when Kurt Cobain killed himself and it put a whole in my heart. I was very much into grunge and wearing thrift store clothes and Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder and Courtney Love were royalty in my eyes. They gave me the courage to be raw and loud and wear combat boots when I was 12 years old. When Kurt Cobain died it was the first time I cried over a celebrity. It broke my heart.

I just watched Courtney Love's behind the music on VH1 the other day and it reminded me of the love I had for these musicians. I adored them - they were my first loves. And I can't help but be jealous that you're experiencing this for the first time - and all the other amazing musicians you're going to experience down the road.

P.S. If you haven't yet you have to check out Bikini Kill and Sonic Youth. Both bands with badass ladies.

xx!
Kathleen

amy said...

this is nice, u r very cool .
i´ll be following !
www.amy-lapetitefille.blogspot.com x

ólöf said...

I love reading your thoughts on all sorts of stuff, writing about what you feel..not necessarily what you know..that way I really relate and and connect to your feelings about the matter..

I definitely have to give Hole a GO

Steve said...

I liked reading the reflection on your relationship with Courtney's music and her persona. I felt the same way when I was 14... "J Dilla changed my life", as the kids would say.

I think it's great when people can have that strong personal connection to music or an artist, and it's definitely not about copying their lifestyle. Artists have some serious passion, and it's hard not to draw inspiration from them.

Mitzi said...

I like Hole, but I would recommend PJ Harvey to you - she has everything you admire about Courtney, without the craziness/drug abuse/etc. She is a level above, have a listen and you will see what I mean!

Tavi said...

superqueen, Laura, Leigh, Mitzi -- I love PJ Harvey!

Ivy said...

I saw Hole right after they were kicked off Marilyn Manson tour. I was passing through Houston and it was in this weird, random venue. At the time, my roommate was an ex-stripper. She would tell me how she worked men. It was exactly the way Courtney performed. It was fucking incredible. When she put her leg on the amp and looked you in the eye, you were the only person in that room. I can't explain how it felt to see her live at that time. At some point, a kid was pointing a laser pointer at her nipples. She stopped the show. She was yelling and the band left the stage. The gist of her rant was, "You think I'm fucking Hollywood Courtney Love? I'm still motherfucking Courtney Love." There was this shimmering moment I clearly remember where Courtney Love was the smartest chick out there. She was empowered by her intelligence, not her tits or whatever.

Carla said...

tavi! I feel compelled to finally comment... I feel like in a wonderful parallel universe you could be my daughter. I was smitten with courtney at your age.. .and love affair that has gone on for 18 years now... I bouth pretty on the inside when it first came out when I was 12 years old and I have probably one of the largest collections of hole memorabilia in the world....

it tears me up that you love her so much... you are a joy to watch mature...

lots of love

Carla

helenapolis said...

I used to do exactly the same thing when I was in school. I had the need to listen her music all the time, it made me feel that there was people out there that where different and that not everything was perfect. Whenever I listen to Hole now, I get the same shivers I had so long ago.

Diana said...

I may not love Courtney or the choices she's made in life, but I do love a lot of her music. I have loved Live Through This since I was, well, since it came out and I was your age(ish). I also loved Celebrity Skin even though its bitterness is less visceral and full of bored resignation. Equally misanthropic, though, IMO. Hell, I even loved My Body, the Hand Grenade.

I'm wondering if you've heard the new album and what you think...

Diana said...

Also, I second the recommendation for P.J. Harvey. Also, anything involving Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill/ Le Tigre). And L7. And The Breeders. And also Sleater-Kinney.

Yeah. Start with those.

 K. FORSYTHE said...

This posts moves me because I have loved Courtney and Hole for almost 15 years and when I was your age I felt a lot like you do about the music. A lot of your experience really echoes mine - in fact, when I bought my first guitar I immediately put a Hole sticker on it.

I hadn't listened to Hole in a long while but on a trip back to California last month I put Live Through This in my car and actually screamed the lyrics which I had never been able to do before. It felt really good (except my throat was appropriately injured). Thanks for putting into words what I never could.

Kiki said...

strange. i was actually listening to Live Through This today whilst driving in my car. i relive my grunge, plaid and doc marten days whenever i play that cd. i don't care when people stare at me for singing along. i just wish courtney could get her act together. i still don't think she has custody of Frances. i do look forward to Kurt's movie. she has a big hand in making sure it's done right and casting the film. very exciting. take care.

Those said...

Oh gosh, this post makes me long to feel music coursing through my veins again.

When you start breaking from the shelter of being a kid and realize the world is an unfair place full of bad stuff you had never imagined. (but lots of good stuff you never imagined, too :)

Music as religion.
And salvation.
Comraderie in loneliness.
Music rules the world.

Thanks for the jogging visceral memories, Tavi!

(email me and I'll send you a mix tape or two (actual cassettes!) from that era. I have a box of 'em filled with carefully crafted mixes from this time period that I blasted in my car in high school and walking around NYC in the early 90s when I was in college...)

Tavi said...

Ivy - that is awesome.

Diana - I love all of those! Bought Reject All American on vinyl today coincidentally. I like the new album more than I thought I would -- it's a good place for her, I think.

Maya said...

kim gordon is on record saying that she believes courtney was involved in the murder of kurt cobain. i have to agree that at least there was criminal negligence involved. her relationship with her daughter is really sad. i loved hole in highschool when they came out but idolizing her is highly misguided in my humble opinion. there are so many more talented and deeply influential women musicians to look up to!

Nan said...

Tavi,

You really should check out Liz Phair's "Exile in Guyville" and PJ Harvey's "To Bring You My Love." I'm pretty sure that you will fall in love with both of these albums. Phair and Harvey aren't fashion icons like Courtney Love, but the passion and anger is certainly there.






PS. Exile in Guyville is Liz Phair when she actually had substance. And PJ Harvey's entire discography up until 2001 is worthwhile, I just think you will be particularly fond of To Bring You My Love.


Nan

uanset said...

i love courtney too my fav music video by hole is malibu she looked great in it
i also like be a man
loving your blog

* said...

I do think the Courtney Hate started far before she deserved it, but I can't really deny she is er...less than admirable now. It seems she has little respect for the people in her life - though perhaps they don't deserve respect; I don't know the details of her personal life. She could though be a bit more gracious though.

She is, however, her own person. That is for sure.

In any case, this post did make me want to listen to Hole again, though I don't know if I want to make that trip down memory lane!

You are a fabulous writer, by the way.

fashionisdanger said...

I'm really curious about something you mentioned. Do you really have a cassette player? For me there's something special about turning over a cassette OR record (vinyl that is), but that's probably because I spent hours in my bedroom as a teenager flipping side A for side B.

Just curious, why do you have one?

Tavi said...

Maya-Looking up to Courtney doesn't mean I can't or don't look up to other female musicians. This was timely because of her birthday. Once again, let me emphasize:
"Not that I plan to go her route in many areas of life..."

fashionisdanger-We've always had one. I listened to lullaby tapes when I was little.

Marna said...

I imagine you've trawled through Hole's back catalogue so you may already be familiar with the song Northern Star, if not you should look it up.

claire said...

Courtney Love is a goddess. thats truly all i have to say. she is a goddess.

www.whiterabbitinhermes.blogspot.com

Tabi said...

Hi!
OMG, I love the photo!!!!
Tabi

Mia said...

Wow. Love this article... thank you Tavi. I'm like... *admiring you*

Kiss

Misery said...

the truth is - Courtney is incredibly strong person - she had to deal with SO MUCH. As far as I remember people were always critizing her - for being with Kurt, then they were blaming her for his death, then people were criticizing her for drugs and so on and so on. It's a miracle she got through this. I personally love most "Hole" from the era of "Celebrity Skin" and I have to admit that today Courtney's not so good anymore - she's still great at composing, that has to be said, but she's terrible live. And, music aside, I don't think she's a person to be looked up to, you know? Why? drugs, drugs, drugs...But then, again, she CAN be looked up to in terms of overcoming all that stuff...

zoomslow said...

"One of these days..." ???? No, do it now.

Lady M said...

I love Courtney and Hole too:)

leigh said...

You have inspired me...I'd love to have you stop by and check it out.

http://leighvslaundry.blogspot.com/2010/07/listen-to-sugarcubes.html

Leigh

Me said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing Tavi it reminds me of when I really got into music and fell in love with a specific album, for me it was Brand New's Deja Entendu in 2003, it felt like it got a part of me that even I couldn't articulate. You should certainly try & put your amazing power of expression into music because to me, I'm sorry to say it's infintely more amazing, multi-layered & instantly life changing than fashion can ever be!

Pachi Sánchez said...

Courtney and Kurt** 90's icons**: For me Good memories of my adolescence.
Good post!

Regards from Madrid :)

My blog:
http://utopiaisbeating.blogspot.com/

nogginbops said...

i don't like courtney love, but at your age i was going through precisely the same thing with kurt (incidentally) and various other grungy and delicious musical talents (this also was during like, 2004-2005 so i feel you on everyone being all that-died-in-the-nineties)

girl, that sh*t is powerful. it helped me get through a lot of really crazy stuff and i hope it also sees you through to better days!

Eva said...

TAVI! I couldn't agree more. I think we have a bizarre Hole connection to be honest...I actually saw Courtney Love play on her birthday. I don't think I would have had as much fun as I did if I didn't know the songs. She was amazing.

http://thatsjustmybag.onsugar.com/

Laura said...

Thank you so much for writing about Courtney. I've been reading your blog for a long time now, but just recently started following you because I started a blog of my own. I've been listening to a lot of Hole recently too, and Live Through This is an amazing album. Miss World??!!! holy shit!! "I've made my bed, I'll lie in it I've made my bed, I'll die in it". That lyric always kills me. When I'm really pissed off or something, I'll say that lyric to myself and it always entirely describes how I'm feeling. In Doll Parts where she's like "someday you will ache like I ache", oh my god I'm practically foaming at the mouth because it's like COURTNEY HOW DO YOU ALWAYS DESCRIBE MY EMOTIONS SO PERFECTLY!!? And the cover art for that album is so perfect. By the way, thanks for posting the Miss World music video a while ago! It's one of my favorites.

Pashupati said...

It's lot of chance to feel like this about music, even if it's just about a musician (it's even better when it's just about a musician). It really enlighten your life.
I felt a similar way about band Muse since I first listened to them at 11.

I think I'll listen to Courtney Love... Just to see! It may be an emotional bomb.

Ballroom said...

Dear Tavi:
I am sadly ignorant to the genius of CL or Hole, although possibly your post may convince me to check them out. What I can really relate to, though, is where it seems your head is at these days. I'm sorry to hear that the last few months have been painful ones and hope things are better soon. If one's actually paying any attention to the world as it is/can be I guess a certain amount of anger and sadness about the disappointing way things often are is inevitable, but what I'm really trying to say in this rather inarticulate and convoluted manner is that I hope your dissatisfaction (to understate the matter?) is brought on by general social ills and the like, and not the result of learning about evil in an up-close, first-hand kind of way. Go carefully, Tavi; you're in my thoughts //.

thedailyreason said...

There are definitely women out there who embody what you see in Courtney a lot better than she does herself. Fifth, or whatever, the recommendation for PJ Harvey.

Izabela said...

Dear Tavi, I recommend you to hear Brody Dalle bands: The Distillers and Spinnerette. "Are you ready to be liberated..."

Elf said...

Tavi,

I'm so glad that you've found what you have in Courtney Love. My mom introduced her to me sometime last year and told me I would love her. What you said pretty much sums it up. As a 15 year old girl, I couldn't have said it better. But that's not what I'm getting at. (Sorry, my mind tends to veer). what I originally wanted to ask you was if you know where to buy those Miu Miu collars online? Pretty random question, I know- but I've searching for them for months. I just want to know if my obsessive searching is pointless.

Thank you, Elf

Tavi said...

Elf-They're not available online :( sorry!

Nicole said...

I remember buying "Live Through This" the day it came out with my best friend at the Target in West Chicago. We raced back to my apartment and sat silently listening to the album on my cd player that had speakers the size of a juicebox. Exactly at the moment when Courtney screeches, "Fuck YOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!!!" on "I Think That I Would Die" my Mother walked in! I immediately screamed out "It's Lara's cd!" so that it wouldn't get taken away. I'll never forget the electricity of hearing that album for the first time and each time since. I can't wait for the show this Wednesday!

-Nicole

www.firstbelovedfriend.blogspot.com

thegreyestghost said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I was around the same age as you are now when Courtney first changed my life, back in 1994. She (along with Trent Reznor, and later Gwen Stefani) had more impact on my life than pretty much anyone else I can think of. It impacted how I dressed, who I hung out with at school, and even kickstarted my career (photography--I started by shooting rock shows). I made lifelong friends because of her music and the fandom surrounding it. It helped shape me into who I am today.

I think there are two kinds of people in the world, those who really understand Courtney, and those who don't. She's rough, wild, and can be scary as hell (especially in person, she's the only celeb I've ever wanted to hide from!) but she's also amazing and a true artist. It's easy for some to be distracted by her occasional bouts of insanity, but I think most great artists are always a little bit crazy. She might not be at her prime anymore, but I'll never stop following her work or her life. I never would have predicted someone else would be having the same experience 15 years later. : )

thegreyestghost said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I was around the same age as you are now when Courtney first changed my life, back in 1994. She (along with Trent Reznor, and later Gwen Stefani) had more impact on my life than pretty much anyone else I can think of. It impacted how I dressed, who I hung out with at school, and even kickstarted my career (photography--I started by shooting rock shows). I made lifelong friends because of her music and the fandom surrounding it. It helped shape me into who I am today.

I think there are two kinds of people in the world, those who really understand Courtney, and those who don't. She's rough, wild, and can be scary as hell (especially in person, she's the only celeb I've ever wanted to hide from!) but she's also amazing and a true artist. It's easy for some to be distracted by her occasional bouts of insanity, but I think most great artists are always a little bit crazy. She might not be at her prime anymore, but I'll never stop following her work or her life. I never would have predicted someone else would be having the same experience 15 years later. : )

agent 0017 said...

wow. what an amazing, raw and powerful post. it just made my day :)

agent 0017 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fashionlvrcom said...

Courtney Love is very under-appreciated, especially because of the whole "she killed Kurt" silly thing.

Never Hole play, but I sure would love too.

Liz @ http://fashionlvr.com

Ashley said...

I loved reading this. Its awesome that you feel so connected to Courtney and her music.
Plus you're a phenomenal writer. You have talent far beyond your years.

http://fashionroadkill-halifax.blogspot.com

alyssa pageot said...

tavi, i can't believe you just posted this! i saw hole perform two nights ago and am waiting to get pictures from a friend to make my own post about courtney- basically saying all the same things you just said!! arggh you read my mind.

anyway, i feel the exact same way you do on this and most issues.. but check out my blog sometime this week to read a similar post to yours! i got some great pictures of her on stage as well.

www.alyssapageot.blogspot.com

Say Style said...

I LOVE your posts..

Would you like to see mine?
http://sayingstyle.tk/

alyssa pageot said...

ohh, so embarrassing! i'm sorry, my computer was screwing up and not telling me that it posted that comment so many times! & i don't even know how to delete my own comments?!

i came back though to mention something courtney said on stage, about a new sort of blog she's starting which will chronicle her outfits, every day for a full year, whatiscourtneywearing.com, have you heard anything about it?

Emmekay said...

feel free to visit my blog...

The Influence Of Emmekay

;-)

cancercowboy said...

i kinda recognize the state of mind you describe, i think. to me it were of course different musicians who expressed what i somehow wasn't able to articulate, who evoked emotions i was too scared to act out for real but felt nevertheless. the sound spoke to me like it was wired directly to my cerebral cortex. i felt at ease and whole whilst listening to my favorite artists. still do.
to feel understood and spurred, providing a refuge and an inspiration, bringing someone closer to who one is or wants to be; music provides all that and more. found it in books too. but music is a much more primal power, makes one wanna dance and smash in heads.
Thank you for this post. Scream it. We all know you can.

Erin said...

After I read this post, especially the first paragraph, I started to worry about you. I really hope that it's just my mind that thinks this, but you seem to be like some of those artists who... Just seem depressed and estranged and unusual... What you did just doesn't seem normal. And I'm all for unusual behavior, dressing, etc. but this just seems bad.

Just my opinion on what I see here.

-Erin

Booga said...

"And angry. Thank God someone is." I remember feeling this way when I was your age (I know you hate age references, bare with me). Wait for it, and I remember feeling this way... NOW. Safely a decade (or 9 years, depending on your chosen marker) removed from adolescence, I still feel it.

Anger is refreshing in a world of apathy.

And I get why you dig Courtney and Hole. Great post.

FASHION DOOHICKEy said...

It's nice to see you talk about music Tavi... :)

Alex said...

i completly know how you feel. I do like Courtney's music. even though I have no personal connection to it. But I have a connection to The Cure's music. No I am not some Goth or crazed music fan, I just understand the music and how it gives you a sense of security.
I really love your blog

www.ignitedexplosion.blogspot.com

Novelista said...

It's good to see a young person with excellent music taste. Also worth checking out are bands like L7 and Babes in Toyland. Cheers!

Jessica said...

I loved Hole's Live Through This so much when I was 14-18, then I stopped listening to it and only recently picked it back up after being disappointed with every single other album she's made besides Live Through This. What do you think about her other albums? Have you seen her new website where she posts all her legal problems & documents and asks for free advice? It feels really sad. I am also sad about what happened with her and her daughter, Francis Bean.
You MUST listen to PJ Harvey's Rid of Me! You would love it so much!

chelseybell. said...

hole=so great.

love your blog and your tumblr. incredibly inspiring in a ton of ways.

Tavi said...

Erin-Thank you for your concerns, only not really, because it's not your place.

Kath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kath said...

Have you ever seen Courtney Love's interview in Behind the Music on
VH1? It was quite interesting.

It's okay if you don't know music. It's a good place to start now. I think I started getting absorbed in it when I was 11 when I first bought that Kim Possible soundtrack. Then Avril Lavigne. XD


How about checking this place:allthingsgo.wordpress.com

And listen to Little Secrets by Passion Pit. I think you'll like it (I hope).

And about someone here commenting that you're turning weird - if it's part of you, who cares. It's you. ALSO, IT'S OKAY TO BE MORE UNUSUAL THAN USUAL (that sounds weird, though this statement may be obvious to you by now). Love you Tavi! Enjoy high schooool :DD

Anastassia Chepelkevitch said...

So, being inspired by music and feelings such as depression, and just spilling your raw emotions out on the internet is wrong?

I'm sure all Tavi was trying to be was herself. Honesty and emotions is what I felt this post portrayed. Maybe it's just me?

karma tsunami said...

Tavi,
thanks for writing this. I am much older than you but have always counted Courtney Love as a role model, not for her wayward behaviour but for her strength etc. thanks for posting this - brings back memories of my time with Live Through This which i still listen to constantly even though my years of angst are well and truly behind me.
anyways, thanks.

Festy said...

Great post! I love it.

xoxo
Festy
http://festyinstyle.blogspot.com/

Erin said...

I'm sorry if I offended you, Tavi.

Erin said...

Now that I look back at what I wrote, I do realize it was mean and feel bad about writing it. I just worry about teenagers who get famous at a young age. You're too brilliant to end up like Jamie Lynn Spears or one of those child actors.

Aliblahblah said...

I don't think Courtney Love shut down - I am with you on that one - she just changed - as we all should do if we are living life. Live Through This to me was her best album - but that might be more about me than the music. I saw her play at the start of 1995 - she was a mess (it was almost that one year anniversary and all so....) but there is something so compelling about her...still. The reports in the paper the next day just said how she'd been late, how she'd rambled blah blah blah they didn't mention how she stopped the show when a girl was getting her dress torn by some idiot boys. She took the girl up to the stage and let her sit next to Patty all night with her tiara on. She made that girls life no doubt - but no that's not the courtney the papers like to talk about! There's always two sides to every story.
I know what that whole movement did for me and my life and I feel quite pleased to see people are still finding so much inspiration and comfort in it.

Izzen said...

Hole + Courtney = awesome.

http://izzenxoxo.blogspot.com/

Eric Waroll said...

Luv Love!

Krissi said...

I love your blog:)

It would be so great if you would take a look at my blog, I know it's not perfect, yes but I'm only a teen:D(so I think that my blog hasn't to be perfect:D)

http://fashion-style-and-more.blogspot.com/

Esse said...

i mean this in the nicest, most non-negative way possible--but this post really shows how young you are! if you like hole, you should definitely do a bit of research and get into some more legitimate 90s stuff(courtney was definitely not the only angry one, or even the only angry female--check out the breeders, L7, bikini kill, the whole riotgrrrl movement). and she was definitely not the most original---it's all too apparent that she was heavily influenced by her paramours on the better hole records (i.e. kurt, billy). billy has been pretty open about the amount he contributed. and the demos with kurt singing Live Through This songs are pretty convincing of the fact as well. not to say that the end result isn't enjoyable. there is no denying courtney has a way with words. in any event, you should definitely delve deeper into the 90s if hole interests you.

(also worth checking out are the vaselines--they were a huge influence on the '90s scene and amazingly good).

kelly frances said...

wow, that makes me look at her in a whole new light.. ive never taken the time to get to know her story, thanks for the insight.. she seems like a lovely person


<33
heelsandinspiration.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

I started listening to Hole when I was 13 and now, a decade later, after listening to as much music as I can cram into my sore eardrums, very few voices have the same visceral effect on me as Courtney Love.

I don't think that she's a role model by any stretch of the imagination, but she does remind me that women can be so much more than role models or a bad influence, madonnas or whores. Women don't have to be one or the other. In a weird way Courtney Love gave me license to feel ok to be myself when I was growing up more than any motivational chat could. It's ok to be raw, and it's ok to hurt and it's ok for a woman to feel rage and fear and inadequacy. As one of the relatively few women in music, Courtney Love showed me that.

P.S. If you like thinking about women in music (and I might be way off the mark here) you might like The Sex Revolts by Simon Reynolds and Joy Press. It was published in the mid nineties so there's a fair few chapters devoted to the impact of Love, Babes in Toyland, L7 and the Riot Grrl movement in relation to gender politics. It's really interesting.

Juds said...

You know who changed mine? Kurt Cobain. Well, Nirvana, but Kurt Cobain.
And that's why I can't listen to Courtney Love you know..... I dislike her.
But nice post and I'm glad Courtney change your life or your point of view;)

Sarah said...

SO AWESOME!!! Happy that you're digging into the recent past to find gems. Daria and Courtney Love. I would recommend trying to find the film "1991: The Year Punk Broke." It's only on VHS that I'm aware of but includes footage of early Courtney and Kurt as well as Sonic Youth (Love Kim Gordon - I think you would too, you should read the band's biography).
Also, big props to your cassette player!!
:) Smiles from Chi.

Sarah said...

SO AWESOME!!! Happy that you're digging into the recent past to find gems. Daria and Courtney Love. I would recommend trying to find the film "1991: The Year Punk Broke." It's only on VHS that I'm aware of but includes footage of early Courtney and Kurt as well as Sonic Youth (Love Kim Gordon - I think you would too, you should read the band's biography).
Also, big props to your cassette player!!
:) Smiles from Chi.

Tavi said...

Esse-Liking Courtney Love doesn't mean I don't know about or like other bands. I love all the ones you mentioned.
http://www.thestylerookie.com/2010/02/girl-power.html

Jessica Sue said...

God you are so fucking cool. If only we could hang out all the time, listening to Hole together and smashing the patriarchy. anyway... BEST BLOG POST EVER

dothedevo said...

Haven't commented before, but I feel compelled to do so now that I've read this post... I've totally adored Courtney and Hole for about a year now (since 8th grade, also!); her music is so powerful, made more so by her personality. She inspires me a lot, and it's nice to hear someone saying something good about her, instead of claiming that she's a whore, murderer, etc. She doesn't get enough respect.

D. LaFerry said...

eh. i've gotta say, being 18 or 19 when Hole came on the scene, i feel like i completely missed the whole obsession with Courtney Love... although many years later in my 20s i found solace in "Live Through This," and "Celebrity Skin." in a way i think that Courtney, while appealing to teens, has much more visceral relevance in your mid to late 20s... after some failed relationships and real drama, you can really understand why Courtney's so messed up and angry.

that said, i'm reading your entry here and i'm reminded of how i felt listening to peter murphy at your age. something happens to you in the early to mid teens that switches on all the darkness in the world, and it's a time perfect for exploring.

don't forget, though, that Courtney has forever been, first and foremost, a heroin addict and in and out of unhealthy attitudes about her body. let's not forget her dance with plastic surgery over the last 10 years. yes, she's brilliant... but boy is she scarred and having to deal with a LOT of baggage.

Adora d'Inferno said...

You love what Billy Corgan and a number of other talented musicians wrote for Courtney. She's more of a performer than a musician, not unlike Britney Spears. Although "her" music must undoubtedly be meaningful to somebody out there (like you and some of your readers), it will never truly be hers because she was not as intellectually and emotionally invested in it as other truly great artists have been and continue to be. This is not to say that a performed cannot experience and deeply connect and relate to artistic material that was created by somebody else, it is just to remind people that praises and admiration have caveats...

neil said...

Great post! Courtney circa 'Live Through This' was some kind of lady...and while I'd hesitate to say she's 'role model' worthy, I can see what you're saying.

As someone who actually lived through all that ('94) and was (and still is) a huge Nirvana fan, I can tell you you'd have loved the 90's.

As for the music/album itself, its always been gossip'd that most of the songs/lyrics were pieces of Kurts 'stuff'...and at the very least, living with and around him and the TITANIC size fame/talent that he had certainly influenced that album.

Courtney is as complex a success story as there has been in the last 20 years (especially when it comes to girls)...and while I'm no fan of what she's become, or even what she was at the time, that album is worthy of your high praise...Violet, Miss World, Jennifers Body...pretty much every song is a gem.

(and as someone who used to fall asleep listening to his 'walkman'....your words took me back....thanks!)

Monna Lo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monna Lo said...

Hi!! I love the way you write and your point of view!!

I found Courtey Love's blog, don't know if you've seen it or not but I thought I'd share it! http://whatcourtneyworetoday.com/

Monna Lo said...

I do agree with one of the posts above, Courtney Love takes on a whole new meaning when you're on your 20's, but she's no role model. Its a good way of hearing your feelings though.
The link I shared above is because despite the fact that she IS a mess, she does come up with a couple get ups from time to time that are cool. But more likely the fashion fixation with her recently, i think, has more to do with the idea of her ''rebelliousness'' than actually her and her actions. I hope.

Elizabeth said...

I love her too, Tavi.


http://www.elizabethcrane.com/blog/labels/Courtney%20Love.html

B Beck said...

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!! My heart is pumping and I'm excited!! "Raw and loud and careless. And angry. Thank God someone is." This is an awesome statement and so on! xxBB

TheShoeGirl said...

What a beautiful post Tavi. I can't say I agree about looking up to CLove but I do respect that you do.

You are so eloquent my dear. It's hard to have an opposing opinion when you make such beautiful arguments.

<3

love buzz. said...

courtney's so cool, her own daughter doesn't want anything to do with her!!! thank god she's got her fans, right?!

there are so many more, worthwhile grrrl role models out there than a lady who is honestly nothing more than a thief & a liar. i fail to see the attraction in this awful being. xo

Susan said...

a couple weeks ago i saw the vh1 behind the music on courtney love, and also fell in love with her. (no pun intended) though i am not planning on becoming addicted to heroine or any other life threatening drugs, i want to be courtney love. she is amazing. i highly recommend you watch the vh1 special on her, it's life changing, almost as much as her music.

Steph said...

Miss Tavi,

You are a interesting writer and I love catching up with what you are doing, seeing and loving...this was from her recent appearance at the famous 1st Avenue...great description of her awesome bombastic character!

http://blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise/2010/07/hole_at_first_a.php

agingriotgrrrl said...

this is a GREAT post, it totally made me smile & remember all these fun things. my friends and i all shared a cassette copy of "live through this" in 8th grade. one day, a friend of mine brought in a portable cassette player (with speakers, not a walkman). during lunch we all went to the girls' room and moshed to "gutless" until the lunch ladies broke it up. it was one of the best things that happened in 8th grade, which was 15 years ago! thank you for helping me remember that & also for keeping the hole love alive!!!

ontheballhall said...

I'm not sure if you have seen this website, but just in case....
http://whatcourtneyworetoday.com/

Maija said...

I love Hole, i really do. I must admit, a while ago i was a bit prejudiced, with all the Courtney mayhem stories, but that all went away the moment that i really heard their songs- the lyrics, the melodies, everything! It was the realest, most interesting, most inspirational music that i've heard in a long time!
Thank you for giving them the credit they deserve!
Love,
M.

Hautepink said...

Since i am a huge huge huge fan of NIRVANA it was cool to see this post. Love reading you're blog Tavi.
check mine out:http://stylexing.blogspot.com/

small woman . said...

I love this photo! It's amazing!

http://waronclothes.blogspot.com/

Marie said...

Tavi, all I can say is...you are brilliant. In so many ways. I try to brush off Live through This even though I was your age when it was popular and can still remember Marc Jacob's first collection, but I will always think of lines from Hole songs in various situations. People criticise Courtney, but there is Ibsen. Friedman, and so many more. I love your style and wish I had been as brave and independent as you.

Max said...

You say you don't know music? You just said more about music than any critic ever wrote in all the pages of "Rolling Stone."

This is truly some of the greatest writing about music I have ever read. A friend and fellow Courtney fan shared it with me and, although Celebrity Skin is actually my favorite album (talk about credit in the real world, huh?) your post summed up everything I love about rock and Hole, in particular.

Thanks for writing this.

Cheers,
Max Andrews
max@neverwascool.com

Noumia's papers said...

OMG ! u are Courtney Love !

http://www.noumias-papers.blogspot.com/

alexandra said...

truth or dare? i DARE you to visit

http://insertcreativeness.blogspot.com/

if you dont, then you are chicken. i promise its nothing weird, its all about fashion and experiences. its real awesome. trust me.

xoxo alexandra

said...

I LOVE THIS.

Paddy Razzi said...

Hi tavi - you might find my post useful. I am such a huge hole fan so I collected all the official music videos I could find and put them all in one post. You can find it here -
HOLE VIDEOS @ LITTLE RAZZI

Paddy xx

:)

candy said...

Darling, you need to go listen to (Babes In Toyland!) Such a great and inspirational band. I think you will love them*

xo

Irene said...

Courtney was my hero when I was your age - I would listen to her and I felt like I could take on the whole world... I remember wearing ripped up fishnets with baby doll dresses and wearing thick black eyeliner/mascara to school every single day. I even wore a garbage bag to school once after listening to Live Through This...

Looking back, I'm a little disturbed that I looked up to someone who's so totally out-of-control, but at the time it seemed like the greatest album ever made.

I think I'm gonna go and listen to it again right now...

Adriana Josina said...

Hi Tavi,

I'm 42 so I'm in fact Courtney's generation. And I still love Hole, the original Hole that is. I also saw Courtney perform this year. In Amsterdam's Paradiso for the second time. The first time was in 1995(?) and she left after 5 or 6 songs because someone throwed water at her and Courtney got mad and climbed to the balcony to get the person who did that and quitted. It was an innocent thing. The last performance in Februari 2010 was quite a disappointment to me. Very uninspired and Courtney seemed under the influence of something but was friendly and sometimes humorous. People that could show their ticket from back then in 1995 could get in for free. =)
The last album is also a disappointment to me. Letter to God sounds polished and far from the heartbreaking beautiful performance at The Roxy back in 2007 I found on YouTube. Check that one out!!

I do though understand why you feel inspired by her. I've noticed that lots of young people are inspired by rock and grunge phenomenon's from back then. I find that interesting. I also see why.

Gina Ray said...

OK...i agree wit you Tavi.. all the way... Courtney Love did what she wanted to do.. She was angry and tired of being told to be quite...females usually don't get to say what they real feel.. we need to keep this pseudo...we need to just sit there and look pretty...seen and not heard...Courtney changed that whole image saying we need to scream and yell and let our souls bleed from all the wounds that people have given us all our lives...Why should the boys be the only ones to cuss out their enemies...we have people that hate us to..but we have to sit there and not say a word and act like a lady...thank you tavi for giving praise to what (i believe) Courtney was trying to do...Let everyone know that she can scream too...

Joselle said...

I found your blog through Penelope Trunk's (who reminds me of Courtney Love as career adviser). I'm 30 years old and Courtney Love saved my life many times. It makes me happy to hear someone "getting" her still. She is a great poet.

Lucy Brown said...

Courtney is God.

Katie said...

I've never really listened to Hole before; after hearing the name I guess I was a teensy bit prejudiced and never gave it a chance - I just presumed it was some kind of heavy metal thing... I don't know, it sounds kind of silly now, I confess to being slightly culturally-ignorant. But i digress.
Anyway, since reading your post, I thought I really should educate myself and have a listen, and I was... argh. It's really hard to put into words? I just felt like it was everything I've been feeling for ages, put into a form that could express it so much better. MUCH more eloquently than how I'm writing this now, I have to say. It's quite a random analogy, but it sort of feels like I've been in a a box - a very comfy, pretty box, but nevertheless a box - until I started listening to Hole, which you could say cut a hole in my box (ehh ehh - see my clever pun thar?? anyway...), and suddenly with the light the box is much more bearable. Quite cosy even, and not nearly so stifling. I never have the confidence to stand up for myself and my opinions (ironically Hole is an example of this - most of the people I know are into Scouting For Girls and stuff like that, though thankfully haven't come done with Beiber Fever...yet; one friend recently described the 90's as "such a crap era, especially the music OMGthemusic! It was aaaawful. And the centre partings! OMG! And the TV - that was shit...". My heart fell 50ft.) It's so comforting to know that someone else had/has the same feelings and frame of mind, and is prepared to shout it to the world, WITHOUT EVEN CARING if she sounds in tune or 'nice'. So admirable. She sings it how it is, not how people wish it were, and I think the amount of people who have commented is testament to how much that is worth. Whenever i listen that thrumming guitar in Violet, and yup, those chords in Miss World, I feel my heart go really light and beat really fast, it's as if the music is streaming through me? Sort of? Arghh this isn't even making much sense to me!
but basically what i was trying to say (very long-winded-ly) is thank you. This past week at school, which frankly hasn't been the funnest, the whole day i just wait for the walk home, where i can just dawdle along alone with it blasting and be completely oblivious and zombie-like to everything, perhaps regrettably including passing traffic. In a very antisocial way, it's my favourite part of the day. So thank you, Tavi. I'm sorry I couldn't put this as articulately as you.

star792 said...

I absolutely ADORED courtney when i was in 8th grade and it was when live through this came out. she changed me and how i thought about things. i became less enchanted with her as i got older but she is part of who i was/am. i had magazine pictures ALL over my room of her and kurt. i definitely tried to dress like that. one of my "friends" told me not to wear the eyeliner and lipstick, but i loved that look. thanks for reminding me of this. love your blog.

brodie said...

I only fell in love with Hole a few months ago as well, and I can already say that Live Through This has changed my life, as well. xo

liliczarina said...

Great post. Courtney changed my life when my mom surprised me for my 13th Birthday by taking me to a Hole show (Weezer opened!)She was really in her prime...Your taste is music never ceases to impress me (I mean Bikini Kill and Cibo Matto..plus the old Hole 45's I see in the background of some of your pics...impressive) It's nice to know that not all the girls are only listening to Rhianna and watching the Kardashians. Nice work, kid.

www.celebratelifeandstyle.com

Emmett Katherine said...

Why can't more blogs have posts like this? I suppose I could take a lesson from my own words... I really enjoyed reading this post.

Courtney is iconic in her own way. Love her or hate her, she is her own person. I'm going to date myself here but I remember loving Live Through This and doing everything I could to get my hands on their t-shirt, the one with the happy face and the x'd out eye on the front and the obscenities on the back. I read every Kurt Cobain biography I could get my hands on and I remember when Frances Bean was born, and the emptiness I felt when I learned that Kurt had died (that I still sometimes feel when I remember when he's dead) It's odd (to me) as I've never had an attachment to a celebrity like that before or since. Its strange that we have these attachments to people we never know, its interesting that you touch on this (in a previous post)how journalists & other bloggers don't know Tavi, we only think we know you based on what you choose to show us through your writing and images online.

My main reason for commenting was to share this random fact. My friend loaned me this cheesey book called The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (which was somewhat entertaining)and there is a section on Courtney Love in the book (its a real story). If your at Chapters one afternoon check it out. she's only in a couple of chapters if i remember correctly.

~Em K

keep it real :)

Emmett Katherine said...

Also check out the Clumsy album by Our Lady Peace. It was released a few years after grunge/hole but it still has a dark, grungey feel.

Emmett Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chloé said...

You are really good at writing sincere and not pretentious but really powerful pieces. Like what you wrote for Alexander McQueen when he died.

Alli The Totally Wicked Novelist said...

It's funny, you say you're no music critic, but I say why not? You wrote a fantastic review. I've only been a reader for a short time and only know a small piece of you through your posts but this was far darker than your other posts and it shocked me. But like I said, I don't know you. It was really interesting to see this side of someone despite the small size of how much I saw. Bravo, bravo.

Alli The Totally Wicked Novelist said...

This post bothers me like crazy for selfish reasons. I am used to "I love candy, I love fashion, I never wanna grow up!" Tavi, not "I am a sad angry teenager who has discovered the pain in life" Tavi and that bugs me because I had become dependent on your positivity to balance out my negativity-you were the yang to my yin. You were one of the few people I thought was completely oblivious to all to the world's negativity and wasn't frustrated with you for it like I am with my friends. I feel as if I've grown up to fast and was saddened to learn it's happened to someone. Of course, I don't know you really and I am not wise or knowlegable even though I'd like to think so but this is just the way I feel. If you read this, thanks. If you didn't, thanks anyway.

Susan Smile said...

Oh, dear. I couldn't believe, I wasn't expecting that you were a fan of courtney... i don't like her so much. Life to Cobain! kisses, i like your models

amuseandconfuse said...

i love this post, tavi.
courtney love is amazing and live through this is the greatest album ever.

clotheshunger said...

i just got into your blog but it's so funny that you're into hole and courtney love because i was too (big time) when i was your age. if we were both 14, we'd probably be best friends.

i finally, after 15 years of waiting, got to see hole (well, just courtney, really). i cried, like a lot. it was amazing, a show i'll never forget. courtney is magical. <3

ps - when i was 14 i saved up my allowance to buy the replica of courtney's guitar. i still have it!

Nori said...

I listened to that album on cassette every day when I was a teenager in the 90's. That album. Is. Awesome.

Paul said...

Love Hole too. She is an icon.

basicmob.blogspot.com

Norine said...

Hey Tavi,

I really enjoyed reading this article you wrote about Courtney Love. I too have been obsessed with Hole and have felt so inspired by Courtney's raw emotion and vulnurability. Its so nice to see that someone shares the same feelings I do about the band becuase I too believe they deserve way more credit. I also love seeing all your Hole inspired outfits and posts! Love your blog sooo much:)

Norine

http://fashiontadpole.blogspot.com

Tania said...

big props to you for writing this, tavi. i read your blog (and have for yrs) and feel a strong, raw, honest girl speaking - i think you're on your way to becoming exactly whatever you want to be. peace & respect,
tj

jannek said...

Well... guess it´s the first time since 11.7.10 I´ve had absolutely nothing to do :-)
Mixed feeling about Courtney. Love her style and her voice - Hates that she didn´t apreciate Kurt more in the time she was lucky to have him.

Nina Masteroff said...

Thank you Tavi,
You've articulated my love for Courtney and Hole possibly better than I would have done <3