So working at an alternative rock radio station in the 90’s we were all about Nirvana and Pearl Jam, However there was a great band from the nineties that you just didn’t want to ‘love’ but you couldn’t deny had an amazing sound. The band was Hole. Courtney was a pain in the ass. She was a pain in the ass to her band, she was a pain in the ass to her record company and she was a pain in the ass to any radio station or concert promoter who tried to work with her. We all wanted to hate her album … but through frustrated clenched teeth we had to admit … it was pretty great. Courtney knew how to rock and she surrounded herself with amazing musicians. I first ran into Courtney (not literally this time ) at Reading Fest in England in 1995. It was after Kurt’s death and her album was doing well, but Courtney was not. She had come into the press tent for an interview with her band. I was standing with Kennedy, who at the time worked for MTV … not Fox News. Courtney had some on going issues with Kennedy … to be honest both Courtney and Kennedy were people you loved to hate. Courtney caused a scene almost immediately (some of which was directed at Kennedy) and her band did their best to get her to the seats where the mic stands were set up for interviews. They managed to get her on the seat but it didn’t take long before she slid off. She was totally wasted. You could see the band was getting more and more irritated with Courtney’s behavior. Kristen Pfaff (the band’s bass player) in particular looked livid. She just sat there with her arms folded while the other band members tried to get Courtney back on the chair. After several failed attempts some other people (managers I presumed) took Courtney away and the press pretended they were interested in what the other band members had to say. I can remember Kennedy just shaking her head and walking away too.
The picture below is from that same festival. Those were the seats that Courtney slid out of (and that’s me leaning against the table laughing at a band who’s name I can’t remember … sorry).
The second time I bumped in Courtney (this time literally) was in Chicago. It was back stage at a show where my former radio station was broadcasting live. In true Courtney fashion she suddenly decided she wanted to give an interview … this was huge … she was sober (ish) and seemingly cooperative. I ran to the room where we were broadcasting to tell the DJ on the air that she was coming. I was knocking on the door and they cracked it open, I told them that Courtney was coming and without looking turned to run and get her before she changed her mind. What I didn’t realize is that she had followed me and was right behind me, so when I turned to run… I ran right into her. It was one of those moments where we all froze. You never knew with Courtney what her reaction was going to be… Would she kick my butt … would she cancel the interview … we kind of all held our breath. Fortunately she just rolled her eyes … pushed me out of the way and went into the make shift studio. Even when she was gone I stood there a little shaken thinking how on a different day I could have been nursing my wounds at this point.
Still for as difficult as she was in the nineties … I am sure today is a tough and reflective day for her … so I am sending Courtney and of course Frances Bean all the good vibes.