CW: Murder, suicide, gore, sexism, conspiracy theories, and ’90s fashion/aesthetic.
So I recently saw John Oliver interview Monica Lewinsky. Holy alimony, Batman! People have been super awful to the poor woman from the nineties. It’s not fair and she deserves better. I also recently saw Captain Marvel. It was pretty nifty. I especially enjoyed the soundtrack. The film took place in 1995 and the music reflected that. It brought back some great memories from when I was only four years old. The closing credits song was “Celebrity Skin” by Hole. This got me thinking about Courtney Love and holy alimony, Batman! People have been super awful to the poor woman from the nineties. It’s not fair and she deserves better.
For those of you who don’t know, Courtney Love is best known for two things; her role as the lead singer of a band named, “Hole,” and being married to Kurt Cobain (The lead singer of Nirvana). She has never been the most popular public figure. She has always been openly sexual, she has what some might call an abrasive personality, and she has always been entirely unapologetic about who she is. Much of what people try to hate her for, though, is obvious bullshit.
I can’t believe this still needs to be said about a quarter of a century later but Courtney Love did NOT kill Kurt Cobain. Their relationship wasn’t healthy but she had nothing to gain and a lot to lose by killing him. She was obviously well aware of this. They had a daughter together and now she’s a single mother. There was a significant loss of income. The album, “In Utero,” is a pretty obvious suicide note in hindsight. A person can easily kill themselves with a shotgun held in that position. I live in Texas so my perspective may be a bit skewed but how have so many people never held a shotgun, before? Even for those of you who haven’t, we still have solid evidence that it’s possible as his suicide was copied multiple times. The most notable example was the former lead singer for a band called Mayhem. They were a very interesting black metal band and could be a whole other article all on their own but all you need to know for this example is that the lead singer (appropriately named “Dead”) killed himself in the exact same way with the exact same gun after he saw what Kurt Cobain had done on TV. The story goes that he thought it was the most #Brutal thing he had ever seen and didn’t want to be outdone. The lead guitarist found the body and instead of immediately calling the police, he first went to the corner store, bought a disposable camera, and took pictures of the scene. One of these pictures became their next album cover. Legend has it he also took some of Dead’s teeth, put them on necklaces, and gave those necklaces to a handful of metal musicians he felt were worthy. Now that everyone is sufficiently uncomfortable, let’s get back on topic.
Even without this laundry list of anecdotal evidence, the police did an investigation. They have no reason to believe she’s guilty. A man named Nick Broomfield did a documentary about it. His findings say she’s not guilty. Most people that knew them at the time know she isn’t guilty. The only person who still consistently claims that Courtney Love is guilty is a man named Tom Grant. He has also continuously profited from casebook kits on his website, interviews, book deals, other things involving the case. The man is going to keep attacking Courtney Love as long as it keeps making money. Do you want a conspiracy? There’s your conspiracy. Tom Grant is producing false outrage for profit.
The other bullshit theory is that Kurt Cobain wrote all of the music for Hole’s first two albums, Titled “Pretty on the Inside” and “Live Through This”. There are multiple variations on the theory. Some say only “Live Through This” was Kurt’s work while some say it was “Pretty on the inside”. Some say it was both but most people know that it is absolutely awful to try and take away a woman’s work and accomplishments and, instead, credit them to a man. Hole sounds nothing like Nirvana. Even if they did, all the lyrics are clearly written from a woman’s perspective. The most frequent theme is about feeling used and objectified as a woman by male desires. It’s super common for Courtney Love to sing about prostitution both literally and as a metaphor. Many songs involve Courtney describing herself as a doll, a plaything, or any number of other inanimate objects. 100% of the subject matter could never be written by Kurt Cobain or any man for 100% percent of the subject matter isn’t experienced by men. It all does reflect the experiences of Courtney Love quite well, though. Stop trying to take her accomplishments away from her, you turd burglars.
I’m super nostalgic for the ’90s. My aesthetic is almost entirely 1993 record store employee. Seeing me not wearing plaid is like seeing a unicorn. I absolutely love that decade but there are a lot of things about it that deserve to be left behind and never come back. Sexism, while not as bad as the ‘50s, was still rampant back then. Homophobia, transphobia, and racism (the Rodney King Riots were justified) were also commonplace. I think we all need to do better and be better. We also owe Courtney Love a big apology.
- Hole. Live Through This, DGC, 1994.
- Hole. “Violet.” Live Through This, DGC, 1994.
- Hole. “Doll Parts.” Live Through This, DGC, 1994.
- Hole. Celebrity Skin, Geffen, 1998.
- Hole. “Celebrity Skin.” Celebrity Skin, Geffen, 1998.
- Hole. Pretty on the Inside, Caroline, 1991.
- Nirvana. In Utero, DGC, 1993.
- Kurt & Courtney. Directed by Nick Broomfield. 1998.
- Soaked in Bleach. Directed by Benjamin Statler. 2015.
- Halperin, Ian, and Wallace, Max. Who Killed Kurt Cobain? 1999. Accessed 18 Mar 2019.
- Halperin, Ian, and Wallace, Max, and Grant, Tom. Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain. 2004. Accessed 20 Mar 2019.
- “Hole – Celebrity Skin” YouTube. Uploaded by HoleVEVO 16 Jun 2009.
- “Hole – Violet” YouTube. Uploaded by HoleVEVO 14 Jul 2011.
- “Hole – Doll Parts”YouTube. Uploaded by HoleVEVO 14 Jul 2011.