Courtney Love Is Lovely

Today is Courtney Love's birthday. In some ways she's my favorite rock star and I bet I'll never not be fascinated by her; she's one of those idols I started idolizing when I was a kid and so I claimed many of her fascinations as my own: Los Angeles and astrology, feminism and romanticism, weird flowers and big cakes and pretty guitars and beautiful dresses. I like how she's hyperliterate, how she rhymes "Hester Prynne" with "Anne Boleyn" and believes so hard in poetry. She believes in rock & roll and radio and she used to believe in California and that's still important to me. Here are some other Courtney things that have meant a lot to me, over all the years:

i. Right before Live Through This came out, MTV showed a mini-documentary that followed Hole from their hotel to the studio for a day of recording. I remember Courtney wearing a cute red dress, and I remember Kristen Pfaff ordering a carrot muffin from room service and thinking that a carrot muffin sounded so good. I also remember Courtney talking about how she doesn't really know the language of recording/engineering/whatevs and how she always has to resort to using metaphors like "Could we get this to sound a little more orchidy? Could we make that a little more tea rose?" I love the idea of songs sounding like flowers, and I think Live Through This really does sound very orchidy and tea rose.

ii. From an interview when I was 19 or something: 

Q: Do you eat like a horse?

A: After a show, I have a turkey sandwich waiting for me.

Q: Talking about that sandwich is the first thing that's brought a smile to your face in five days.

Yeah, I know. When I get offstage, I could eat three human beings and fuck three human beings. That doesn't happen with acting - usually I retreat to my trailer. I play a rock show and could just eat, smoke, and guzzle, guzzle, guzzle. It's raging. But sometimes I keep an acupuncturist nearby who can diffuse my adrenaline. This is better than how I used to diffuse it, you know what I mean?

Q: Understood. You said on The View yesterday that you weigh 140.

A: We women talk about food, and it makes me nuts. Women sit on the phone instead of exercising. They talk about how bloated they are, how fat they are, how fat they feel. Guess what? Sometimes I feel like I don't look that great in couture - big deal. I'm not even 140.

Q: So you lied on The View?

A: Some divas lie to make themselves feel good. I lied to show women big is sexy. Vanity and fat is boring. I don't even own a scale. Only recently have I realized that in America, women live and breathe their body issues.

Q: Ever had any major weight issues?

A: In the late '80s, and then when I was a drug addict, I was fatter. But now I know from Drew that weight doesn't matter, in terms of our physical sexuality. And besides, whose standard are we talking about? Are we talking about sticking cotton balls full of orange juice down our throats and making ourselves vomit? Forget it.

Q: Why do you think women sweat it?

A: [Yells] They're neurotic! That's the point I'm trying to make. As long as women are pinned down to the idea that they're pigs, they'll be referred to as pigs. Do you ever hear men talking about their fat asses? I eat, and I fuck, and once a person cuts themself off of eating, they've cut off from fucking.

iii. Once I read something where she said every girl should memorize the poem "Piss Factory" by Patti Smith, which is great advice. Do it.

iv. From "Bad Like Me," an essay she wrote for Bust:

"If you can’t be friends with him forget it. If he doesn’t know how to actually get you to shut the fuck up, it’s not worth that much. Fuck the phone game; other games are way funner. I’m a loser at the phone game. If you want to be a femme fatale, go for it and never call back, tally up, etc. The good ones do not even get the phone game. It’s hard to believe but true. Cat and mouse is for Elizabethans and Victorians."

v. My favorite song on Celebrity Skin is "Boys on the Radio," though I kind of loved it more when it was "Sugar Coma." I love how Courtney's so tragic about rock & roll. I read some interview where she said how that line in "Bittersweet Symphony" that goes "The airwaves are clean and there's nobody singing to me now" is the saddest lyric, and now whenever I listen to "Bittersweet Symphony" I get all wistful and dreamy at that part. I don't really think rock & roll is dead, but every now and then it's nice to indulge in the self-pity of that possibility.

vi. The way she walks down the street to "Beast of Burden":

vii. And, finally, this quote: "If you can't embrace your daily life properly, with an enthusiasm that's unfettered, like a child, then fuck you."

Happy birthday, Courtney; I'm sure you are eating lots of great cake. xo Liz

No comments:

Post a Comment