Courtney Love, so misunderstood. In this world of celebrity fakery, Courtney consistently remains a breath of fresh air to me since there is nothing fake about Ms Love (OK so not in a physical sense exactly but which LA lady in the spotlight doesn't feel pressure to tighten and plump). Through the early days of Hole, her marriage to the coolest man that ever lived (if Kurt loved her, she is worth loving), her various breakdowns, overdoses and legal battles (Nirvana rights, Frances Bean) one thing remains true; her spirit. Courtney is a trooper and for that she deserves respect. She was also responsible for 'Live Through This' one of my top five albums of all time; double respect and the kinder-whore look; triple respect.
One of my favourite early pictures of Courtney looking like a ragdoll.
Michael Lavine's famous portrait of Kurt and Courtney in happier times.
Courtney on the cover of Face (April 2002)
Over the years Courtney has graced the pages of many a mag and with each one her face is slightly less recognisable and her style evolved, but what remains forever intact is her attitude. She wears her bruises and scars, physical and emotional with not pride exactly, but honesty. She is undoubtedly messed up, but no one knows it or admits it more than her.
A more recent Courtney (above and below)
After years of Courtney fascination I finally saw her perform this weekend in my home town. She came minus Eric and Melissa (it was basically Courtney and some session musicians) but under the name Hole all the same. It was exactly as I expected, shambolic, disjointed, incredible. The new songs are admittedly weak and you get the feeling she knows it but when singing from her back catalogue ('Violet', 'Doll Parts' 'Miss World' 'Asking For It' and even 'Jennifer's Body', the words of which she forgot, the crowd helpfully prompting her through it) she delivered them with conviction, her voice equal parts sugar and venom. For Mr Lola and I it brought back sweet memories of our courtship over 11 years ago, played out to a soundtrack of grunge and stoner rock.
My kinder-whore get-up for the Friday night gig at Manchester Academy (above)
A seemingly healthy, happy Courtney on stage with the latest incarnation of Hole - (below). Throughout the gig she chatted and joked, twice inviting fans from the front row on stage to sing with her.