To Courtney, with love
Nine compliments for rock’s most unpredictable star
By Matthew Singer 07/25/2013
Hey, America: Leave Courtney Love alone!
Sorry, that’s a bit melodramatic. Seriously, though, shouldn’t we stop treating Courtney Love like a human dartboard? Not that she hasn’t brought it upon herself at times. Indeed, she’s made her bed, and she’s had to lie in it for 20 years now. But the woman’s been through a lot. As she attempts her fourth or fifth comeback as a musician, isn’t it time we show some appreciation for one of rock’s most unique female figures? After all, as one of her predecessors famously said, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. And judging by her past, she could go any minute.
You’re still alive.
Hey, that’s the name of your tour! It’s true, though. If you were anyone other than Courtney Love, the public would exalt you as a survivor. You’ve been battling drug addiction since your teens, your husband committed suicide, leaving you to raise a young daughter alone. (I’ve never seen another woman with that sort of back story engender so little sympathy from the public.) You’ve had your issues, sure, but since when has reckless behavior not been a virtue in rock’n’roll? Only when it’s a woman, I guess. Rumors get out that Keith Richards snorted his dad’s ashes, and everyone chuckles and goes, “Oh, that crazy Keith!” You let one stranger suckle your breast in a Wendy’s and suddenly the world’s like, “She needs help!”
Live Through This is still pretty great.
Rumors persist that Kurt ghostwrote the record, as if that even matters. Are those same detractors rushing to check the liner notes before shamelessly enjoying every new Miley or Rihanna jam that comes on the radio? And if this really is the secret fourth Nirvana album, well, that’s not exactly the worst thing, right?
You probably didn’t kill Kurt.
The evidence is spotty, at best.
No one else has the balls to put Dave Grohl in his place.
Oh, sure, he’s “the nicest guy in rock’n’roll,” but something about this dude has always rubbed me wrong. Maybe it’s because he was the one guy in Nirvana who loved being famous. Maybe it’s because Foo Fighters is the rock equivalent of a saltine cracker. Maybe it’s because he thinks wearing wigs is high-larious. Maybe it’s because he’s perpetually grinning like a goon. He’s the guy everyone likes because he desperately wants everyone to like him, and you’re the only person willing to call him out. Some of your claims about him are a bit dubious — I doubt he tried to sleep with your daughter, and I don’t think Kurt would feel his legacy was “raped” because he allowed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to appear in The Muppets — but, in general, I got your back on this one, Court.
All things considered, Frances Bean doesn’t seem that screwed up.
Her super-famous dad killed himself when she was 2 years old, leaving her to be raised by her crazy drug-addict mother, but the worst thing you can say about her is that she looks uncomfortably like the female reincarnation of her father, and that’s totally not her fault. She hasn’t stolen a car or publicly “twerked” yet, so that’s got to be considered a parental victory on your part.
You’re not so famous as to turn your nose up at a Dave’s Hot’n’Juicy.
In 2004, when you walked into a New York City Wendy’s, flashed the gathered paparazzi and allowed some random guy off the street to get a taste of your boob, I didn’t see a woman in the midst of a meltdown. I saw a woman of the people.
You’re a great interview.
A recent piece in the Chicago Tribune previewed your upcoming concert by simply publishing 20 out-of-context quotes from a recent conversation, covering everything from your love of Scandal to selling Nirvana lyrics to Jay-Z. Even though we never heard back about an interview with the VCReporter, anyone who (theoretically) makes my job easier is cool with me.
You dated Steve Coogan.
And Steve Coogan is awesome.
You’ve embraced your public image.
If you ask me, all mega-famous celebrities should eventually become parodies of themselves. Kanye West is his most entertaining when he’s a full-tilt megalomaniacal asshole, and you are at your best when you have people questioning your mental stability. In that regard, Courtney, you’ve been on fire lately — covering “99 Problems” and not editing out the N-word; publicly proclaiming that “Heart-Shaped Box” is about your vagina; searching for a bassist on Craigslist; coming to the defense of Leann Rimes; posting allegedly post-coital photos of yourself on Twitter in “mad Kabuki warrior” makeup. Until a judge mandates you to, don’t ever change, Court. Don’t ever change.
Courtney Love will perform at the Canyon on Friday, July 26.