Courtney Love

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Courtney Love ( Life Ball 2014)

Courtney Love (born July 9, 1964 in San Francisco , California ; actually Courtney Michelle Harrison ) is an American rock singer, guitarist, songwriter and actress.


Childhood and youth

Appearance with Hole (1989)
Courtney Love (1995)

Love was born Courtney Michelle Harrison on July 9, 1964 at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco . She was the first child of psychotherapist Linda Carroll and Hank Harrison, publisher and road manager of the band Grateful Dead . Love's godfather is Phil Lesh , founding member and bass player of the band. Her mother was adopted by a respected Irish Catholic family from San Francisco after giving birth. It later emerged that her biological mother was the writer Paula Fox . Love's maternal great-grandmother is screenwriter Elsie Fox. According to Love, she was named after Courtney Farrell, the protagonist of the novel Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore .

Love lived in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco until her parents divorced. The mother had suspected the father of giving little Courtney the drug LSD . Although Hank Harrison denied the allegations, Love's mother was given sole custody. In 1970 Carroll moved with Love to the rural commune of Marcola, on the Mohawk in Oregon. Carroll graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Psychology. Love was adopted by her stepfather, Frank Rodriguez. He and Carroll had two daughters and a son who, however, died of a heart defect as a toddler . At the time, Love was ten years old. Carroll and Rodriguez also adopted a boy. Love attended the Montessori School in Eugene. She struggled with learning difficulties and had difficulty making friends. When she was nine, a psychologist diagnosed her with signs of autism .

In 1972, Love's mother divorced Frank Rodriguez, married a third time, and moved the family to Nelson , New Zealand . Love was enrolled at the girls' college there, but was soon expelled from this school. In 1973, Love was sent back to the United States to live with her former adoptive father. Meanwhile, Love's mother had two more children from her new husband. At the age of fourteen, Love was arrested for stealing a shirt from Woolworth's. She was then sent to the Hillcrest Correctional Facility, a juvenile detention center in Salem, Oregon , after which she was given to foster parents. At sixteen, Love was officially declared of legal age. She began working illegally as a topless dancer at Mary's Club in Portland , taking the stage name "Love". She also studied English and philosophy at Portland State University . Love says of herself that she had little social skills at the time and that she learned a lot about this in gay clubs and from drag queens .

First music and film projects

In the 80s, Love was involved in a number of musical projects: Together with friends, she founded the band Sugar Babylon in Portland , which was later renamed Sugar Babydoll . In 1983 she was a singer with Faith No More for a short time . Love was also temporarily a member of the bands Pagan Babies and Babes in Toyland . a. played with Kat Bjelland . During this time she became friends with Jennifer Finch (later a member of L7).

Love decided to focus more on acting and enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute . She studied film there. In 1984 she starred in one of the short films by her teacher George Kuchar , Club Vatican . In 1985, she submitted a video in an attempt to apply for the role of Nancy Spungen in the biopic Sid and Nancy . In fact, she got the supporting role of Gretchen in the film. After filming, which took place in New York City , she worked on a peep show in Times Square and stayed at the ABC No Rio Cultural Center and the Pyramid Club in the East Village . That same year, Sid and Nancy director Alex Cox cast Love in Straight To Hell . The film is a spaghetti western , starring Joe Strummer and Grace Jones , and was filmed in 1986 in Spain . The film caught the interest of Andy Warhol , and Love was interviewed on an episode of Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes . She can also be seen as a bride in the music video for I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones .

Beginning of Hole

In 1988 Love taught himself to play the guitar and moved back to Los Angeles. There she advertised in a fanzine : “I want to start a band. My influences are Big Black , Sonic Youth and Fleetwood Mac . ”Love then found Eric Erlandson as guitarist and Lisa Roberts as bassist. She had previously met the drummer Caroline Rue at a Gwar concert. Love called the band Hole , after a quote from Medea (“There is a hole that pierces me”) and in reference to a quote from her mother. Shortly before the band was founded, Love married James Moreland, the singer of Leaving Trains , in Las Vegas . The marriage was annulled a little later. After the band was founded, Love was in a relationship with Eric Erlandson for over a year.

During this tour, Courtney Love was briefly dating Billy Corgan . In 1991 she got together with Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain . The two married on February 24, 1992 in Honolulu . Love and Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was born on August 18, 1992 in Los Angeles. The three then moved to Carnation in Washington and later to Seattle .

Live Through This and the breakthrough

In September 1992, a portrait of Love and Kurt Cobain appeared in Vanity Fair under the title Strange Love , written by the journalist Lynn Hirschberg. Love and Cobain were both addicted to heroin at the time. Accordingly, the article cast both in an unfavorable light and suggested that Love used heroin during pregnancy . The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Service investigated, and Love temporarily lost custody of her young daughter. Love said that Hirschberg misquoted her and that she actually stopped using drugs when she found out she was pregnant. Love later said that the article had a serious impact on their married life and on Cobain's psyche, and contributed to her husband's suicide.

On September 8, 1993 Love and Cobain had their only joint appearance: They played at the "Rock against Rape" benefit concert in Hollywood Pennyroyal Tea and Where Did You Sleep Last Night . Love also played two new Hole songs, Doll Parts and Miss World , which were to be released on the band's second album, Live Through This . It was recorded in Atlanta in October 1993. Two new band members, bassist Kristen Pfaff and drummer Patty Schemel, played on the album . Live Through This was released on Geffen 's DGC label in April 1994 , four days after Kurt Cobain's suicide. On June 16, 1994, Kristin Pfaff died of a heroin overdose in Seattle. For the band's upcoming tour, Love hired the Canadian bassist Melissa Auf der Maur .

When Live Through This was released , the album sold so well it went platinum, and it was also very well received in the music press. The album's success combined with Cobain's suicide resulted in a high level of publicity for Love. This was compounded by Love's erratic behavior on stage and some legal disputes during Hole's world tour .

Love's first public appearance after Cobain's death was on August 26, 1994: a concert by Hole at the Reading Festival . The performance was described by MTV as "alternately macabre, terrifying and inspiring". John Peel reported in The Guardian that Love's disheveled appearance “ amazed Bedlam ” and that her performance “seemed almost heroic ... Love drove the band through a set that made you feel sorry for their recent past or that of their band ... the band staggered along the edge of the chaos and created a tension that I have never experienced at a concert. ”Hole made a series of tumultuous performances the following year. During a performance in Boston , Love began talking about her deceased husband in the middle of a play, and then went on to savage public abuse.

After the 1996 world tour of Hole, Love began working again as an actress. First she played supporting roles in the films Basquiat and Minnesota . Then she got the role of Larry Flynt's wife Althea in Larry Flynt - The Naked Truth by Miloš Forman , which came out in December 1996. At Forman's urging, Love had gone on rehab and stopped using heroin. Columbia Pictures insisted several urine tests on Loves while filming. The tests were negative. When the film came out, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress , won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Role, and other nominations and awards. In 1999 she starred in The Moon Man , again directed by Forman .

Due to a legal dispute with the music label Geffen Records about outstanding royalties from the band Nirvana, she fell out with the ex-members of the band because she claimed the payments for herself. She claimed that Kurt Cobain was nirvana all by himself and that the band therefore didn't deserve an inheritance. In 1997, Fender released a guitar that Love helped design, the Vista-Venus, but just like the Jag-Stang designed by Kurt Cobain, production was discontinued in 2006.

In 2004 Love released her first solo album, America's Sweetheart . The following year she was caught on drugs and spent three months in a clinic in closed rehab and another three months in rehab at home.



Solo career

Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2004 America's Sweetheart DE49 (4 weeks)
AT62 (3 weeks)
- UK56 (2 weeks)
US53 (4 weeks)
First published: February 10, 2004


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2004 Mono
America’s sweetheart
- - - UK41 (2 weeks)
First published: February 16, 2004

More singles

  • 2004: Hold On to Me
  • 2005: Love, Love, Love (with Roddy Bottum )
  • 2013: Rio Grande (with Michael Stipe )
  • 2013: Rat a Tat (with Fall Out Boy )
  • 2014: You Know My Name / Wedding Day
  • 2015: Miss Narcissist / Killer Radio


Web links

Commons : Courtney Love  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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  3. Buckley, Peter; Edroso, Roy: The Rough Guide to Rock . In: Rough Guides . Rough Guides Ltd, 2003, ISBN 1-84353-105-4 .
  4. Rocco, John M., Rocco, Brian (Eds.): Dead Reckonings: The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead . Schirmer, New York 1999, ISBN 0-8256-7174-4 .
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  6. EW Staff: Love is a Battlefield The combative singer-actress embarks on a legal skirmish with her record label that may change what it means to be a rock star. Oh, and she also has some choice words about her late husband's bandm. In: Entertainment Weekly website. Meredith Corporation, March 22, 2002, accessed May 19, 2019 .
  7. ^ Whitney Matheson: I love this book: 'Chocolates for Breakfast'. In: USA TODAY NETWORK, June 26, 2013, accessed May 19, 2019 .
  8. ^ Jung, K. Elan: Sexual Trauma: A Challenge Not Insanity . The Hudson Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9831448-0-9 , pp. 188-189 .
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  32. Amy Raphael: Grrrls: Viva Rock Divas . St. Martin's Griffin, New York 1996, ISBN 0-312-14109-2 , pp. 2 .
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  44. ^ Hole, 'Live Through This': Classic Track-by-Track Review. Retrieved June 18, 2019 .
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  46. Randi Reisfeld: This Is the Sound: The Best Of Alternative Rock . In: Simon Pulse . New York 1996, ISBN 0-689-80670-1 , pp. 75 .
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  48. Joe Levy (Ed.): The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time . Wenner, 2005, ISBN 1-932958-01-0 , pp. 460 .
  49. Claudia Mitchell; Jacqueline Reid-Walsh: Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia . Greenwood Publishing, ISBN 978-0-313-33908-0 .
  50. Neil Strauss: CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; A Singer Spurns The Role Of Victim. In: The New York Times Company, February 18, 1995, accessed June 18, 2019 .
  51. ^ SPIN Media LLC: SPIN . SPIN Media LLC, April 2000 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  52. MTV News Staff: Foo Fighters Inspire Madness At Reading '95. Retrieved June 25, 2019 .
  53. ^ David Cavanagh: Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life. Faber & Faber, London 2015, ISBN 978-0-571-30248-2 .
  54. Ethan Smith: Courtney Love causes trouble at Lollapolooza. In: Entertainment Weekly . July 28, 1995, accessed June 25, 2019 .
  55. Courtney Love Rant, 1994. Retrieved June 25, 2019 .
  56. Milos Forman (The People vs Larry Flynt). July 9, 2015, accessed September 17, 2019 .
  57. 1996 New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Retrieved September 17, 2019 .
  58. ^ Courtney Love Awards. In:, Inc., accessed September 17, 2019 .
  59. Jan Schulz-Ojala: The Hellfire Addict. In: Der Tagesspiegel . July 9, 2007, accessed September 17, 2019 .
  60. a b Chart sources: DE AT UK US