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But the point is that you're supposed to ignore all that and be like this man was behaving normally and Courtney Love assaulted him with her monstrous period. Welcome to You're Wrong about the podcast that makes over your historical understandings, makes over, is that a reference? That's the only whole song I know of making it over. OK, I know that one.


See what you have to explain it. It's very good because I'm extremely basic. The only whole song I really know is the truly amazing cover they did. It's all over now, baby blue.


But that's still a Bob Dylan song. Wow.


Sarah, I know. I'm Michael Hobbs. I'm a reporter for the Huffington Post. I'm Sarah Marshall and working on a book about the satanic panic.


And if you want to support the show, there are lots of ways you can do that in the description. And I am rushing through this part because I want to get to our delightful special guest, Candace Opper, a returning guest.


Yes. Welcome back, Candice. Hi, guys. Thank you so much for having me back.


Candice is one of our favorite writers and one of our long standing friends of the show. And she is working on a book called Certain and Impossible Events that comes out this fall. And she says that she struggles to have an elevator pitch about it, which, in my experience, is the sign of a good book.


This is a podcast, which means you can talk for forty five minutes, too.


Broadly speaking, it's about suicide, but it's more specifically about my experience losing a friend to suicide in the early 90s, actually, right after Kurt Cobain. And that was what we recorded our original. Yes, about a couple of years ago.


Yes. As Candice mentioned, she was our guest a year ago, a year and a half ago when we were a little seedling growing in a little cup.


If you haven't scroll down that far. That was an episode about Kurt Cobain and the phenomenon of copycat suicide.


Since then, one of our actually most requested people is Courtney Love, like people really want us to talk about Courtney Love.


And so we thought we would ask Candice to come back and do an entire episode talking about Courtney. So here we are. Here we are, Candice and Courtney.


I was definitely I'm I'm so excited to be here.


I was definitely, like, intimidated when you guys asked is it feels like such a huge task to do her right? That's true. Yeah.


Well, and I think, like, the longer someone is out kind of weathering as an oversimplified public figure, like the more restoration work you have to do totally, you know, to figure out what has been lost and then express it in a way that manages to jump over these little hurdles people have put between themselves and empathy.


Right. I also I've been looking forward to this one because Candice, you will, I'm sure, correct me. But it seems like Courtney Love is one of those figures who is maligned, but also like kind of genuinely problematic in some ways and like difficult to like in many public appearances.


And it's important to talk about historical figures and public figures in that way, because pulling these people back from being overly maligned is not the same as lifting them up into these like perfect, angelic figures.


I agree she is a problematic figure and I have lots of feelings and digging into to this research where, you know, I was feeling like I'm not sure if I like this person or if I if I and, you know, honestly, just reading about her and trying to get a sense of her personality over watching several interviews, she reminds me of of many women I've known in my life or I have felt like I don't really want to be this person's friend, but I'm scared of what will happen if I'm not like that, like it's safer to be their friend than not their friend.


Is it like the kind of person who is, like, really unpredictable in a way that's initially fun?


And then after a while you're like, I'm tired all the sort of I think so that I get the sense I get that sense from from her friends that have been interviewed about her.


OK, what's your relationship with Courtney Love, Sarah?


Oh, I mean, I'll tell you, actually, I have sinned against Courtney Love. So let me tell you about that.


When I was sixteen or seventeen, I wrote for a high school like Talent Night, a parody song of Phil Ochs is Love Me. I am a liberal, OK, a protest song from the sixties. But like no other teenager who I knew had heard before, except for the ones who aren't like folk music camp. So my parody song was called Love Me. I'm a Portland, Ore. And I included the line. I cried when Courtney killed Kurt.


Oh wow.


And I guess was like, I need a rhyme. I don't believe it happened, but it's like a reference to something people believe and like whatever. I need this line for my parody song. So I sang that line and I feel kind of mortified about that now. And I think I'm going to feel increasingly mortified about it in the next hour or so.


I like to think that that's how people wrote jokes for Jay Leno for decades of like, I don't believe this, but like, I need a joke.


I got to finish this parody song. Yeah. Holly. And you wonder how these things get perpetuated. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, but this is such a good transition into how we're going to do this, because Kandice, you said you wanted to start by talking about like the main rumors and like debunk bull factoids about Courtney Love.


I would say the bulk of those Dubenko rumors sort of take place over her relationship with Kurt Cobain.


The main rumor about Courtney Love is that she killed Kurt, right? Yes.


I don't know if it's the most detrimental to her, but it's probably the most hurtful. So to give you a little little context, so around the time Kurt Cobain, those last few months of his life, they had been married for two years. They have their daughter, Frances Bean, who's about a year and a half. I think at that point, Nirvana is probably the most famous band in the world. I would say, like, I'm sure that fluctuates.


But, you know, at the time they were and Kurt had been suffering from heroin addiction for probably 12 to 18 months at that point, like really serious heroin addiction.


And it also feels like something that is by definition, countercultural. Getting that huge would just be I don't know. I think it's like Wibbly and Courtney Love when you can claim fame and it's right there. That's my question. Yeah.


And I just have to say right now, as a disclaimer, like, it's really important to me when we're talking about this that I like focus on Courtney, but I think it's impossible to talk about her without talking about the band because their lives were so intertwined and they were so famous and they both had such an impact on each other.


And things that were happening to him because of his career directly impacted her and vice versa.


So it's like, yeah, you know, as I was thinking about this, I kept thinking, like, there's there's one funny interview with them is there's a good documentary that came out a few years ago called The Montage of Heck. And there's a home video of them where they're just sort of like bickering about something in a lighthearted way. And she's like, why are you always the good one? And I'm always the bad one. And it's clearly like something they understood about their relationship.


But it's also just like immediately the roles they fell into in the world and how they were perceived.


That is true. I mean, the ways in which, like male rock stars get to be messes in public is very different than the way that female rock stars get to be messes.


Oh, yeah. And how Jim Morrison is like this Angelov rock star.


Yeah, right. And I mean, Kurt and Courtney both did a lot of drugs. Both were in and out of rehab. But I think we collectively tend to forgive Kurt for that a lot more. Yeah, forgive her for that. Yeah.


So the run up to his suicide, is all of this kind of getting worse?


So he he was using heroin pretty frequently for, you know, I would say a year or 18 months and then that just snowballed. I mean, like that that just got worse and worse. And at the beginning of nineteen ninety four, the band had kind of nirvana, as in Nirvana. They weren't doing a whole lot. They weren't actually like their album had come out the previous fall.


They had started to tour a couple times.


But Kurt canceled the tours because he was struggling. But you know, Kurt Cobain was a person who grew up really poor, classic kind of broken family. Parents divorced when he was young. He never got over that. He was an unwanted child that was passed between parents and stepparents.


He grew up in the middle of nowhere, Washington. He got really famous really fast. And I think he loved that and hated that. But besides that, he couldn't really emotionally deal with it. And I think part of it is that there was such a price on authenticity in that community, that music community they were in.


And so he was so obsessed with being authentic and he also could not take ridicule. And he obsessively read bad reviews of his music or interviews where his his words would be taken out of context. And he I don't want to use the term he's a textbook suicide because I think maybe that's meaningless on its own. But if you take into account everything that happened over the course of his life leading up to his fame, but then also him not being able to deal with fame, him being on drugs, he collected guns.


I mean, it's like it's just a bad cocktail. Right.


And I also I mean, this is kind of it's a little tangential for him. But one of the things I find really interesting about your research and you talk about this in your book, is that one of the major risk factors for suicidality in the United States is to be a white male and a large square state with a lot of guns in it.


Yes, that is very true. And Kurt is from Washington. Yeah. Just square with a little squiggly on it.


Yes. Yes. Whereas with squiggles count. Yeah, no, that's absolutely true. And unfortunately, just. Much more true over the last 20 years. Yeah, so leading up to his death, the band is not doing great. He's not doing great. He can barely go a day without heroin at this point. Their family is kind of falling apart because Courtney has to spend a lot of time taking care of him physically because he's so strung out all the time.


He has expressed suicidal ideation multiple times.


And so they keep getting into these huge fights and she'll often call the cops as like an event, domestic abuse, a report just to get him arrested or just to get them to take the guns away because she's worried that he's going to kill himself.


Well, it's like do they take him in for, like a day or do they, like, take the guns away and then he gets them back a day later, they take the guns away and then they're the guns are given back or he buys more guns.


Six weeks or a month before his death, they're in Rome Nirvanas playing a show and she's promoting whole.


And he has a suicide attempt like a pretty severe suicide attempt where he has to be taken to the hospital for an overdose on pills, and they don't want the media to know that. So they just say that he did. But there was a suicide note. And so I think this is when it really peaked. And so they come back to the states and she decides she wants to plan an intervention like a formal intervention with band members and close friends and his manager and things like that and just really does not go well.


What do we know about what happened? Yeah, well, yeah.


I mean, it just seems really tragic. I mean, he rejects everything, like his mom is there and his sister is there. Obviously, Courtney is there.


I think it was during this intervention or at some point in that last month, he was really high and allegedly dropped the baby on her head and didn't remember doing it.


And the baby was fine. But Courtney brought it up as this, you know, she was like, I need to play this card to try to get through to him.


And later on, she cited that as a reason that she thought that she, like, pushed him too much over the edge by saying that she also goes back and cites the intervention as like she thinks the intervention as a whole pushed him over the edge.


And this was in, you know, deep in her mourning period where she's trying to make sense of this. And, you know, I wonder sometimes if those are things that fans see and they're like, oh, well, she said it. It's her fault, you know? Right. And here is this woman grieving her husband's death, trying to make sense of the suicide. And, of course, it's very natural for people close to a suicide to blame themselves.




And she's also talking about what she was doing specifically to prevent the suicide. Right. It's like it's clear that it was like an emergency. Yes.


It wasn't like L.O.. Well, he might kill himself. Like, this is something she was taking extremely serious.


Absolutely. But he just rejected it and rejected it. And eventually they did get him to go to rehab. They live in Seattle, but they go down to Los Angeles and he checks into this rehabilitation facility called Exodus. He's there for a few days. He seems to be doing a little bit better, but then he escapes. He just walks out, jumps the fence and buys a plane ticket back to Seattle. Wow. So this is the point where it gets murky because there's a few days where he is missing and these are the last three days of his life.


And is this a big news item like is is a call put out to the public or anything like that, or do they try and keep it quiet?


I think that was kept quiet at the time.


So Courtney finds out that he's missing and she calls a private investigator to help her find him. She doesn't want to leave Los Angeles because she's working. I mean, this is something that we also need to talk about is that like she's she's a musician. She has a band.


She has an album coming out. She's a working rock star. She's trying to promote herself and have a career. And she's been on top of that. And taking care of a child has been taking care of her husband. She's leaning in.


Yes. I think it's so easy to look back and be like, why didn't she do something? You know, why didn't she go up there? Why didn't she do all this? And why were Courtney Love? I would simply care. My husband has heroin addiction and suicidal ideation.


Yeah, you love that move there.


That's like I think the fact that we are so intent on imagining that people can control the well-being of the people they love is based largely on our unwillingness to accept that. Like, we can't do that either. Yeah.


And also, I mean, we have to think about the fact that this this was not just like a one month troubled period. This is this has been going on for several months. And honestly doing that while taking care of a freakin toddler. Yeah, like I have a three year old. Like, sometimes I just having a child that small is just like having a bee buzzing in your ear.


It's like, yeah, it's difficult to to do anything. Yeah. And of course I had a nanny, whatever, like I think people are like, oh, shoot a new initiative to do anything. It's like, oh, she's still a mother. Like trying.


You still have your child, you're still going.


I have a child, you know, and I don't know a whole lot about this, but I have read in different accounts that like when you're taking care of someone who's an addict, there is a burnout that comes along with that.


I'm sure that there's moments where she's just like, I don't want to deal with Kurt right now.


But there's also this thing where we project the rising action moving toward the suicide that in hindsight we're like. All of this was obviously built up to suicide, but if you're in one of these very chaotic relationships with these huge ups and downs, it's like, well, Kurt escaped from rehab again or like Kurt overdosed again.


I mean, these are the kinds of things that are extreme to anybody else. But if you're in one of those relationships, it's like she's probably been through things like as fucked up as this.


And until something unthinkable happens, you don't think of everything as moving toward the unthinkable thing. It's only after. Totally. Oh, yeah.


I mean, it's very easy, like after a suicide to to look at things and find those pieces and put them together. I think in some suicides it seems much more obvious than others, like Kurt's a perfect example of that. But she just opened. It's funny how often the Yellow Pages comes into these accounts because the Yellow Pages just don't matter anymore. So it's kind of funny to see her searching for a private investigator in the Yellow Pages, but she finds some guy randomly who's willing to help.


His name is Tom Grant. He's in Los Angeles, but he has some people he works with in Seattle. So they start digging into it. They're interviewing his friends. They're trying to find, I guess Kurt often stayed at, like, seedy motels when he didn't want to go home. So they're trying to find motels. They're trying to find his dealer. In those days, there's some accounts of him coming and going from home. There were people housesitting for them while they were gone.


And these people were also really messed up on drugs. So, like, their accounts are sort of murky. So it turns out what happened was that Kurt found one of his guns that had been taken away and he shot and killed himself in the room above their garage, which was like a separate building from their house. So no one thinks to go up there. And the person that eventually finds him is an electrician who is just going to their house to do some work.


And he happens to go up there because no one answers the front door.


Oh, so I think a lot of the rumors begin from this investigator, Tom Grant. Who at some point in the next several months comes out and says, I don't think Kurt Cobain killed himself. I think Courtney had him murdered.


What this private I guess he comes out publicly and says this and he has recorded he records all of his conversations. So he has tapes and tapes of, like phone calls that he had with Courtney.


Oh, I smell a book deal.


Did this guy, like, try to cash in? This is really interesting. I got to be honest. As I was researching, I was trying really hard not to dig so deep into the conspiracy theories because I just don't want to give them as much credence as we give to the things that seem more legitimate about a person.


But it is a rabbit hole for sure.


And he has a website, you know, I'll let you guys know, but I don't think we should be to it. People can find it.


If people can find it themselves, it looks appropriately. G.O. cities.


Oh, I can see it in my head. It is like it's a black background with green like light cream words. Right. With weird, like sidemen.


Multiple side menu. Yes. And like weird like flashy gifs of like text. Yeah.


And eighty percent of the links are dead. Yeah. And it's like at this point it's very charming and historic, but it's not trustworthy.


And I'm just sort of like if you want people to take you seriously, can't you take your website seriously?


Yeah, but that is them taking their website seriously. So I think that answers the question. They like this looks boss. Yeah. And this theory makes sense.


I feel like whenever there's a conspiracy that comes from some sort of seed of something shady going on, there are weird, shady things like around his death, like the fact that he had been missing for several days. And but I honestly think a lot of it is then all of these people were on lots of drugs and their accounts of what happens are not going to be absent of holes. Right. That's not like an excuse. Right. And it's not I don't know.


It's honestly just like a lot of people on drugs and they just don't remember what happened.


Well, and even people who weren't on drugs don't remember what happened or whatever conspiracy theory is based on. Like there was this tiny inconsistency between what someone said then versus now. It's like, of course, there was like no one remembers any. Yeah, we remember our childhoods and we remember Steven Spielberg movies, and that is kind of it.


What are the other movies, Candice? OK, so there's there's a very sensational documentary that that came out a few years ago called Soaked in Bleach, specifically about how Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain. And one of the theories in this is that his suicide note was faked. The bulk of his suicide note is about how he can't get joy out of playing music anymore. Most of it is like about his fans and him as a musician. And then in the end, at the very end, there's like a message to Courtney and Frances being the theory is that he was actually writing a letter to his fans to quit music.


And then Courtney faked the last portion by copying his handwriting and turned it into a suicide note.


OK, so that's the kind of thing that's just based on the whole. I mean, yeah, because there are so many conspiracy theories that are just like fan fiction. Yes.


I mean, I'm sure that Courtney had some phone calls with this guy and told him some mixed information. Hmm. It seems true like Ray, he has these tapes. You can hear some of these tapes where she's saying things to him and she doesn't entirely know what's going on. She's on some drugs also, and she seems like she's changing her story a little bit. But that totally jives with Courtney Love.


Brian, long time friends will be like, oh, yeah, half of what Courtney says is not true.


But, you know, and so because I feel like that's just how she is and how she engages with people like it doesn't to me, that's not evidence that she had him murdered.


Right. So the inconsistency is actually more evidence that her version of events is true because it's congruent with her personality. Yes. So, yeah.


Can we rewind to sort of Kurt and Courtney, like, how how do they meet and stuff? Sure.


So I have this spreadsheet that I made like a timeline spreadsheet of all the police cars and make fun of you because she knows that spreadsheets are such a burgo thing to do.


I'm so happy to have your spreadsheet and I never make spreadsheets. I made Google Docs.


Mike, what do you do? Spreadsheets. Are you kidding me? Show extremely. I love it. Oh, I'm the only one who's not making spreadsheets.


Then I'm in the minority. So. So just a little background on Courtney. So Courtney born in nineteen sixty four in San Francisco. Her name is not really Courtney Love.


What, she didn't actually have the last name Love.


What was Courtney Love's real name. What's her birth certificate name.


Oh my God.


It's not my spreadsheet. I have a wow. While betraying her goes everywhere.


I know it's all. Her original name was Courtney.


Michelle Harrison. That was her. Harrison is her dad's name. Her mom's full name is Linda Carroll. I can see why she changed it. Yeah, Courtney Love is a dope her name.


So I think of Courtney Love is of Portland or she kind of is, but she was born in San Francisco. I feel like she's one of ours. Yeah. Put it that way.


I would say yes, because she talks she talks a lot of shit about Portland and Eugene.


That's what Portlanders do. We talk a lot of shit about Portland. So she's born in San Francisco.


She's the first the the oldest child. Her father is like a Grateful Dead roadie. So he's really involved in the dead. And Courtney, as a kid, appears in a photograph on the back of a Grateful Dead album.


Well, of course she does. Yeah, that's lovely.


But her parents get divorced when she's really young and then they move up to Oregon in, I think when she's like five or six with her mom or dad just with her mom.


She barely, barely knows her dad.


OK, I know her dad eventually came out and got on fucking Tom Grant's side. Oh, no. Oh, no.


Oh, oh, that da dude, my daughter killed her husband. That's bad.


That's a very uncool thing to do, Mr.. Very unsure. Very unsure.


So what's her childhood like in Oregon? So she moved to Oregon with her mom, who goes to the University of Oregon in Eugene to become a psychotherapist.


And she is kind of a troubled child. Her mom gets remarried and she suddenly has, like, I think, three step siblings and she's still the oldest.


She actually has a really good relationship with her stepdad, who sounds like he was a pretty nice guy.


And my stepdad is a nice little bar of cherries, seriously. Right. Slot machine play twist.


So she eventually gets sent to reform school because I think she stole like a kiss T-shirt from from us, from a Walgreens or something like something like that.


And very on brand. This is another story that has changed, like there are so many different accounts of it. But in one interview, she describes it in detail that she she got busted for stealing a Kiss T-shirt. But it was after she was like went to a KISS show and talked her way backstage to meet the band.


And, you know, of course, you know, but anyway, she gets busted for stealing a t shirt. And her mom, I think, doesn't know what to do with her and sends it to reform school. And then her then her mom moves to New Zealand without her.


What? Her family. Wow. New Zealand. And just like leaves her in boarding school.


Oh, my God. New Zealand is so far away, like the farthest away you can get. Good.


They discussed this in advance or were they just like Quick Courtney is in here for. School, let's Harvard. Who knows? I mean, like I said, there's so many, like mixed accounts of her childhood, but it seems like school is a thing that happened and that her mom definitely moved to New Zealand. So anyhow, she's in reform school for a couple of years and she's released at 16 and legally emancipated from her parents. I don't know how that works.


Whoa. And her grandparents, so I think we're really wealthy, had set up a trust fund for her. Oh.


So at this time, she's just literally on her own with maybe like a five hundred dollars a month trust fund.


Was not expecting her to be a trust fund kid. Yeah.


Weird, huh? Yeah. So she starts to earn some extra money stripping under it in Oregon.


And Candace, did she go to our alma mater, Portland State at some point?


She did. I was just going to get to this. I'm very proud of this.


She spent a couple semesters at Portland State where Sara and I met. Go Vikings, and also Portland is most famous for its doughnuts and its strip bars. Yes, what she's stripping to get through college because it's actually like a pretty lucrative college job at the stake in the game.


I don't know what other job you're going to get that is going to help you pay for college if it's not like day trading. Yeah.


Yeah. Yes, likely. Because it sounds it sounds like based on a couple accounts, all she had was this like 500 dollar trust fund. So I'm sure that stripping was was paying towards college, but that wasn't really working out.


So she moves to Dublin, Ireland.


Yes. Wow. And she does a couple more semesters at Trinity and then she's kind of just hopping around Europe for a while and still stripping kind of on and off.


This is when she starts to get really into the music scene.


Has she talked about this time in her life? Like is it does she have sort of generally positive or generally negative feelings about it or anything?


I mean, she kind of talks about it the way that she talks about everything else, which is just like, yeah, this is a thing I did for a while.


And this is the interesting thing about Courtney Love. And I think this is one of the reasons why she's unlikable to a lot of people. She doesn't do the thing that celebrities do when they're past their, like, messed up years where they show some like extreme growth as a person or like as like a growing up.


You know, it's like they're like now I'm a mom, like, she's just kind of like, yeah, I was kind of fucked up for a while or like, yeah, I lived in Liverpool on the Street or yeah I, I strip's like the classic fecklessness of grandeur.


Yeah. So she's between 16 and 18, she's hopping around Europe doing some strip and listen to some music. She goes back to Portland for a while, does some more stripping. That doesn't work out. She ends up in Japan stripping for a mic.


I'm impressed by how she's like she's seeing the world, you know, so she starts playing music with some other women who are actually women, who end up in other big bands like CapitaLand, who was eventually involved in Toyland, which was another big grunge band, and Jennifer Finch, who was eventually an L7, which was like another big grunge band.


I remember L7, I think of L7 whenever I remove a tampon. She also is the front person for Face No More before faith, no more was was fame. No way. Yes. For for like six months or something.




But she claims they didn't know how to work with women and so that you know, she quits that band. Wow.


What a cameo. So then I think around like nineteen eighty five or eighty six she decides to settle in L.A. because she wants to pursue an acting career and her first role.


She's a very minor role in Sit in Nancy, which was nineteen eighty six. No Way directed by Alex Fox. She went out for the part of Nancy but didn't get it. She got the part of like one of their friends.


So that's her first kind of visible acting role.


And then she does his next movie. She had the lead role in his next movie called Straight to Hell I Love Straight to Hell.


Tell me if I'm wrong here, but is there also some foreshadowing of the millenary of Courtney Love because she's demonstrating some level of ambition. She wants to be an actress, but that didn't work out. So she switched to music. Like, I can just imagine all of these things being used as ammunition against her later.


Oh, yeah. I mean, she's a very ambitious person and yet people rail against her for it because if a man is ambitious, that's the beginning and end of it. But if a woman is that mean, she just like destroys everyone in her path to get what she wants and also that she dared to want to have a career and to be I don't know.


I mean, the idea of conventional beauty is like so weird and poisonous in itself because it really means marketable beauty. But like, you know, she had a normal body. She didn't have like a perfect symmetrical face. She didn't have perfect teeth. And also, like grunge and sort of like Alex Cox movies, me and the like. You guys, like, really greasy all the time.


Yeah. Men can do that in a way that women can totally tell.


The whole thing of beauty comes up a lot with her in a lot of interviews as she starts to get famous because she seems to be struggling between like, fuck you, I'm going to look however I want to fucking look. And also like she got a nose job and yeah, like when she she got a nose job, like before she was famous because she felt like if I don't, nothing will ever happen for me. Interesting.


I've had that five.


Now I work in five and one she constantly it's funny how she in a lot of interviews like one she is famous, she's always referring to this time when she was fat.


I mean she's just like a little heavier than she is when she's really famous.


It's really. Funny like you can tell that she's trying to push against that by talking about it in the first place. She's always talking about her zits. She's always talking about how she used to be fat. She talked openly about getting a nose job. And so I think it sort of brought was starting to bring to light the fact that this is what women have to do.


Yeah, I think women who talk about having plastic surgery openly are also punished.


Oh, yeah, totally. Yeah. I mean, this is part of the whole the grunge aesthetic and the limitations of the grunge aesthetic in that by talking about like her fat period in her zits and stuff, she's sort of couching it as a critique of conventional beauty standards, like I wasn't always this quote unquote beautiful.


But she's also talking about it in like a stigmatizing way.


Right. Right. Well, it feels like her personal insecurity is guiding her contribution to the discourse, which is the worst sentence I've said all month or the most academic sentences that all.


There you go. I mean, but I think if you think of it in the I mean. Yes, like, we can definitely slap that assessment on it now. But 30 years ago, she's coming up against Madonna and Paula Abdul.


Yeah, it's a different world that she's entering. So we talked about her, her little mini acting career. But then that that wasn't really going anywhere. So she decides, well, I'm going to go back to playing music. And so she moves to L.A. she puts in our newspaper to recruit band members. And that's where she that's how she meets Eric Erlandson, who is like longtime whole guitarist.


That's how I found the black her. I think they date for a while. She's briefly married to someone named James Moreland, who is in a band called Believing Trans. Never heard of a marriage annulled. There's not a whole lot about that out in the world.


The band starts to get a little more popular. She's still stripping at a place and I think she's stripping out a place called Jumbo's Clown Room, which is kind of a notorious place in Los Angeles. And it just sounds horrible. Wow.


Jumbo's clown room. Yeah. Yeah.


You know, it just sounds horrifying to put me in the right mood for what it's selling. So whole starts to play a lot more.


They're doing some touring. They get kind of they get noticed out in England is like where they start to have a following. But they're also kind of coming up in the grunge scene, which is starting to to come about in the late 80s, early, very early 90s. And this is when she first meets Kurt. So there's mixed accounts of when their first meeting was. There's one that has the meeting in nineteen eighty nine at a club. There's one that has a meeting in January nineteen ninety in Portland.


They run into each other at an all seven show in Los Angeles in ninety one. It's just kind of all over the place. But the one that I think is the most lasting. So I think they've met a couple times she sort of like develop a crush on him and she starts to send him letters and he just is like ignoring her.


But one of the things that she sends him is a heart shaped box, which eventually becomes a very famous Nirvana song.


Right. According to one account that I've read that they have a couple like long phone calls. So they definitely like kind of know each other, but nothing is really happening with them. And in 91, this is when she's dating Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, who are also just kind of starting to get famous. And she flies out to Chicago to see Billy and she gets to his place and there's another girl there and there's a big fight, which seems to just happen with Courtney Love often.


And they split up in a very dramatic fashion. And then she's just kind of wandering around Chicago and sees that Nirvana is playing at the Metro. And so she shows up at the show and she goes home with Kurt. And that's the beginning of their relationship.


So he's like a revenge fuck, basically. Yeah, because, like, we've all been in that mood. Yeah. Like I'm going out.


And the first person I see like her Cobain reminds me of, like there's folks that I love of Neil Young performing on the BBC when he was like twenty five or something and he's like totally shy and not making eye contact with anyone or anything. And he's like here's a song about a person on a range and then he like plays old man and he's like, is Neil Young, is Kurt Cobain like that, you know that sort of man. That's like, oh I don't, I don't even know I'm on this stupid stage.


And then they start doing their act and you're like Veritas sort of.


I mean, Kurt just seems like he had a personality that was very contradict. Like, he he was really ambitious, but sort of presented himself as someone who didn't give a fuck.


Right. It seemed like he gave, like, every fuck. Yeah.


There's also this, like, built in weird dichotomy in like grunge fame, because the whole thing with grunge is we don't care. We're authentic, we're greasy. But then also, like you're thin, represented by, like, the same major record labels that are representing Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. And there's this fire machine. But you have to pretend the whole time that you don't want that and that you're doing that reluctantly. And it's like a really fine line because this was the time when, like, the worst thing that an artist could be was a sellout.


This is why I like Instagram influencers, because, like everyone knows, it's fake. Like no one thinks these women are like cutting up eight kinds of food and putting it all on a rainbow platter every morning to feed their four children a rainbow fruit. We're like, thank you for making this useless picture for me.


Yeah, it's it's interesting that you bring up, like Britney Spears and stuff, because I think what the era that they were they were coming into was like a mix between Britney Spears type people like Paula Abdul and Debbie Gibson, who are big at that time, but also 80s hair metal, which was like huge, like Guns N Roses was the hugest band, pre Nirvana.


And there's a really there's a big feud between Kurt and Courtney and Axl Rose. Really fascinating.


Which we'll get to the world that Nirvana was coming into was very much ruled by these like really misogynistic metal rock bands where like all it was about was like getting wasted and fucking supermodels.


I feel like because I grew up watching VH one and like the late 90s and I feel like most of VH one at that point was like because I worked the Motley Crue behind the music like six times. I had never heard of Motley Crue song. Oh my God. But like, I knew all about how Nikki Sixx was, like injecting Jack Daniels into his veins.


Can you hear about the groupies, the legions of groupies?


And they're like, well, that's what Rock is, I guess. And I am eleven. Yeah.


Yeah. And Kurt was a like an outspoken feminist, you know, typical like early 90s way, but like what other people weren't doing at the time.


Totally. And the hair metal bands definitely weren't doing. Definitely not.




So do Kurt and Courtney get really serious, like immediately after Kurt show in Chicago?


Yes, they begin immediately. Serious. So this is this is in October of nineteen ninety one and they're married in February of nineteen ninety two.


Oh wow. Oh wow. Like four, three, four months. Yes. Kids. So they get, they get really serious really quickly and heroin comes into their relationship very early. Oh neither one of them were using before. No they were both of them separately. Courtney had already had a problem with heroin at some point. And had gone through rehab and had cleaned up, Kurt had tried heroin. I would say probably like eight to 10 times or something like that at that point.


But what's really interesting is that he had written in his journals that he wanted to become a junkie.


Huh. And this is really I'm going to let me get this this passage up, if you guys don't mind.


I know you like reading passages. Sometimes we do like reading it.


So this is from this book called Heavier Than Heaven, which is a beautiful biography of Kurt Cobain. This passage is about right after they met. They reunite at a pro-choice benefit in Los Angeles. Backstage, they seem very much together and many remarked how they made the perfect rock'n'roll couple. Yet later in the evening, behind closed doors, their relationship took a more destructive bent. For the first time, Kurt brought up the idea of doing heroin. Courtney paused for a moment, but then agreed.


He scored dope, went to his hotel, the Beverly Garland, prepare the drugs and he injected her. Courtney couldn't stand to handle the needle herself. So Kurt, the former Beatle phobe, handled things for himself and for her. After getting high, they went out walking and came upon a dead bird. Kurt pulled three feathers off the animal and passed one to Courtney, holding the two others in his hand. This is for you. This is for me, he said.


And then holding the third feather in his hand, he added. And this is for our baby. We're going to have. She laughed and later remembered. This is the point when she first fell in love with him. And then he goes on to talk about how at that point, heroin was no longer just kind of a recreational thing, like he had already kind of gotten it in his head.


And I think part of it is that it helped his stomach problems. And let me read this as well. So this is from Kurt's journal. When I got back from our second European tour with Sonic Youth, I decided to do to use heroin on a daily basis because of an ongoing stomach ailment that I had been suffering from for the past five years. And that had literally taken me to the point of wanting to kill myself for five years. Every single day of my life, every time I swallowed a piece of food, I would experience an excruciating burning, nauseous pain.


In the upper part of my stomach lining, the pain became even more severe on tour due to lack of proper and regimented eating schedule and diet. Since the beginning of this disorder, I've had 10 upper and lower gastrointestinal procedures which found an inflamed irritation in the same place. I consulted fifteen different doctors and tried about 50 different types of ulcer medication. The only thing I found that worked were heavy opiates. There were many times that I found myself literally incapacitated in bed for weeks, vomiting and starving.


So I decided if I feel like a junkie as it is, I may as well be one. Holy shit.


Yeah, it's interesting that we just we don't think of this as a chronic pain story at all. Yeah, well, emotional disorders are chronic pain as well, and we don't necessarily think of that either. But they end up getting married in February of nineteen ninety two. But before that Courtney learns that she's pregnant and because they had been doing drugs, they're most worried about the baby. Courtney is more like, oh I'm fine. I mean she thinks of herself as this huge Sturdee like Herculean figure and she kind of is.


I mean she's kind of like an Amazon woman. She talks about herself that way a lot. So she thinks of herself as really resilient and didn't seem worried about it at all. But they go to see a doctor. They both go through detox. She goes to multiple doctors who say it's fine, don't worry about it, just stop from now on. Kurt does not stay clean during her pregnancy, but she does the rest of her pregnancy. So this is throughout nineteen ninety two.


So they get married in February, nineteen ninety two in Hawaii.


And this year Nirvana is recording a new album, Courtney's Pregnant.


And the big thing that happens is that she gets interviewed by Vanity Fair. This is a huge deal for her because she thinks this is going to help her career and she's really trying to, you know, support her band and get the word out about them.


But she also knows the image of her and Kurt at the time, and they make jokes constantly about how they're John and Yoko like they're they're totally aware that they're that trope that comes out variously in interviews with them. And they're also really aware of like the Sid and Nancy thing. And it's this thing that people are constantly like, oh, are they the next Jon Yoko or the next sit in?


And you know, well, what I learned from the hundred most shocking moments in rock set in, Nancy, had a tumultuous relationship. This is said Vicious and Nancy's function. And Sid apparently had a blackout during which he stabbed Nancy to death. And shortly thereafter, he killed himself. And it was this terrible punk rock murder suicide.


So, like, if it's like the gun and the. Or the said in the Nancy, I feel like it's like the natural conclusion to a relationship is that only one of us will make it out alive.


Brett, so this is kind of signaling that people are starting to know who Courtney Love is and to have a cover story in Vanity Fair is a pretty big deal. Yeah, and Courtney is just historically obsessed with celebrity. She wants to be famous and she's not secretive about that.


But their daughter is born on August 18th and the profile comes out shortly before that.


And the Vanity Fair thing is really pivotal for them because basically this article paints her like a junkie who was doing drugs the entire time she was pregnant.


But I have to say, it's like I read it like three or four times when I was doing this research. And it's a really well-written article that seems to get Courtney Love like, really well. Hmm.


But at the same time, it includes a ton of quotes from anonymous people who are saying things about Courtney Love and her drug use.


Well, so what cuts included? Can we hear? Yes.


So in the circles she travels in, Kurt Cobain is regarded as a holy man. Courtney, meanwhile, is viewed by many as a charismatic opportunist. There have been rampant reports about the couple's drug problems, and many believe she introduced her to heroin. They're expecting a baby this month. And even the most tolerant industry insiders fear for the health of the child. It is appalling to think that she would be taking drugs when she knew she was pregnant, says one close friend.


We're all worried about that baby.


20 different sources throughout the record industry maintain that the Cobain's have been heavily into heroin. Earlier this year, Kurt told Rolling Stone that he was not taking heroin. But Courtney presents another extremely disturbing picture. We went on a binge, she says, referring to a period last January when Nirvana was in New York to appear on Saturday Night Live. So this would be the January before they got married. We did a lot of drugs. We got pills. Then we went down to Alphabet City and Kurt wore a hat.


I wore a hat and we cop some dope. Then we got high and went to SNL.


After that, I did heroin for a couple of months.


It's murky because it would have been right around the time that she was like about to get pregnant. But no one knows exactly when she found out she got pregnant. We do know that she found out she got pregnant. She knew after that that she had done drugs when she was pregnant, before she realized she was pregnant and then got off. Yeah. So it's complicated. And like like we said at the very beginning, like she is a complicated person who has done some bad things, you know, and like it's easy to say, like, oh, God, if you if you knew that there was a chance you might be pregnant if you were having unprotected sex, you shouldn't have been doing drugs.


You know, I think it's really easy to say those things. And it's not a responsible thing for someone to do drugs when they're possibly pregnant.


Yeah, but I think the levels to which this was bad for them are get so severe. So so firstly, Kurt, who is someone who is so worried about his reputation and what the world thinks of him and now his family is devastated by this article and Courtney is just like whatever blow it off like and he is just so angry.


And Courtney a number of times cites this as the beginning of like the end for him, the Vanity Fair article, because she just thinks it's a sign that he can't handle what what the media is going to do to him.


And then as a as a family, part of that is that her and Courtney, typical Gen Xers, grew up in broken families like children of of divorces, latchkey kids.


Yeah, totally latchkey kids. And that was just a really heartbreaking thing for Kurt. And I think they really wanted to have some kind of normal family. And I'm laughing when I say that because I'm like, what kind of normal family is has ties to parents that are like on drugs all the time.


But they really did, like, love their child so much and were so tender with her and so tender with each other. And I think that he really wanted to break that cycle of like them having such bad childhoods, their parents, and wanted to have a good childhood. And this before she even has the baby, this article comes out.


There's also the thing I mean, there's so much shame associated with addiction to most people that are addicted to substances.


They're not, like, super wild about it. And like, I'm an addict and it's awesome.


Most of them, like go through the cycle of telling themselves they're never going to do it again and then giving in to their cravings and especially with heroin, where the cravings are so bad and the withdrawal is so bad. I mean, seeing yourself and your wife to. Addicted as heroin addicts and having the country like debating your heroin habit, which is probably something you're really ashamed of, is just like triply upsetting.


Yeah. So shortly after this comes out, they have the baby and a representative from the Los Angeles Department of Family Services, Family and Child Services comes to the hospital with a copy of Vanity Fair and says we have to investigate this. Oh, my God. Oh, wow. Sort of.


The authorities take Francis being away. Yes.


They aren't allowed to take her home.


And I think a week later, there's a court hearing and it's it's ruled that they have to have supervised visits with Francis being for six months.


Is there any evidence other than the Vanity Fair article?


Not that I'm aware of, but possibly. Wow, that's that's really heartbreaking, because on some level, you would think like.


Well, yes, like this is why we have service agencies like this is to protect children from, like, really, really dangerous home situations.


But on the other hand, it's weird to sort of focus that on celebrities and it's weird to focus that on a case where the only evidence is a journalistic account.


It's a case where a celebrity journalism is suddenly being held to the same standards as like actionable information given to social workers. When we know that one of the hallmarks of tabloid celebrity journalism and tabloid journalism, if someone said it, you can print it. And I don't know if Vanity Fair is on a completely different and higher scale of ethics than that moment, they might not be right.


So this kind of. Yeah, like that was a really bad bad for them.


It also feeds the cycle of, like, resentment of the media, resentment of the cops like this kind of this sense of like it's me and you against the world.


Yes. Which is a kind of sit in Nancy thing. Yeah. But I mean, what I find really charming.


So, you know, they always joke about the the John and Yoko and the sit in Nancy. But the guy who directed the documentary montage of heck in an interview, he said he likes to describe them as the Lucy and Ricky on heroin because they loved each other so much.


Oh, that's sweet.


Yeah. Yeah. Like, what are the what are the good parts of the relationship like? Can we talk about that a little bit?


It's really sweet. They send each other love faxes. Oh. I thought was like the most charming like 90s thing ever. Yeah. Yeah.


Like sometimes x. Yeah. The only thing I can think of more 90s and that would be if they fed each other's Tamagotchi.


But yeah, I mean it seems really sweet.


You know, they both, they both come from the same place, kind of poor backgrounds from the northwest, broken families like they really understood each other in that way. And they're both really ambitious.


You know, at the same time, this is all going on. You know, she has whole and whole first album came out in ninety one, pretty on the inside, and they're working on their second album while they're in this relationship. This is a good time to bring up another rumor, which is that Kurt Cobain wrote all of Courtney loves music.


Oh yeah. And it's a belief that like women aren't biologically able to rock.




I mean, OK, so as someone who's in a relationship with another creative person, you know, my husband and I are both writers. We talk about our writing all the time. We share ideas all the time.


That's just part of the process. And if we're getting down to the nitty gritty, like, yeah, he probably did come up with like a riff or two on the album. But also she helped him write Hachi Box, like, you know what I mean? And not just because she sent him a heart shaped box like literally like there's there's a journal entry of him talking about how they wrote her.


But, you know, that's what people in relationships do. It's interesting that this is a theory that takes something that is really like romantic and turns it into something sinister and also turns it into something one way.


Yes. Right. That it's like, yeah, she's this fraud because she's taking his ideas and putting her name on them.


Whereas he, of course, the genius of the relationship is just like spouting these ideas everywhere and is 100 percent responsible for his own creations and like 50 percent responsible for her. It's like there's no cross mixing.


Yeah. Yes. I mean, it's such a simple rumor, too, because it's just like she had a career before she met him. She had an album. She wrote songs. There's a book. Yeah, it's called Dirty Blonde and it's The Diaries of Courtney Love. And it's just all these, like, scraps of paper, you know, from her childhood and adolescence.


And there's just like you can see the through line of, like the holes, the lyrics in her writings, through her adolescence, in her twenties, as you can with most musicians as you can with Kurt.


If you look at, you know, if you look into people's diaries and journals, like you're going to see that stuff and I just want to read something in, you know, that little 33 and a third book series about albums. So I read the one about Live Through This, which is really good. It's written by a female music critic named and when Crawford is talking about when they got their first major record contract. So for their first album, they were on like a small indie label.


And then once she starts to get more famous, she's starting to get all these these deals offered to her. And so she when she's in a meeting with Geffen, who she ends up on, which is also Nirvana's major record label, she says, I made them pull out Nirvana's contract and everything on there. I wanted more, said Courtney of holes deal with DGC records. I'm up to half a million for my publishing rights and I'm still walking.


If those sexist assholes want to think that me and Kurt write songs together, they can come forward with a little more. And so she just was like, fine.


If you think that he writes my music, that you got to give me this big record deal.


Yeah. Any good money? Yeah. And she got it. Also, I was like too young for any of the grunge stuff I like, despite growing up in Seattle, like slept through the entire grunge thing because I was like 13 and really into Pink Floyd.


But it was like one of the better bands of the grunge wave to write. Like it's not like they were some B list thing. Like my understanding is that whole albums have held up very well.


Oh, absolutely.


Live through this is a really freaking good album. And it wasn't one album of the year from Rolling Stone in ninety four when it came out. And I mean that's a tragic thing, is that live through this came out four days after Kurt's body was found.


Oh is that true. I didn't know that. Wow. And so that's another thing that's like rolled into the conspiracy theory was that, oh, she just like wanted to marry him to make a successful album and like, oh, isn't that convenient that he died, like, right before the album came out.


So the theory is that she like decided to become a great musician and a successful grunge musician to seduce, got him to write songs for her. And then when he had written all the songs she wanted, she murdered him essentially.


Yeah. It's just like it's not human behavior, you know.


Can I share the rumor about Courtney Love that I heard in high school? Yes. So tell me if you've heard this.


I do not know where this comes from, but apparently Courtney Love was playing a show. Some guy in the crowd was like trying to grope her, like grab her legs or her thighs or something.


And so she had her period all over his hand like like, OK, Sarah, you want to take this one, Sarah, or OK, I truly want to know what you know about how menstruation works.


Like what is your understanding of the way the blood against the body by force?


The story is really about the lack of sex ed in our public schools. It really remember people I remember people repeating that story to me, like into my twenties.


Wow. It's just. Yeah, I don't buy it.


Candace, we now go to Candace. So have you heard this one before? I have not I have not heard this rumor. Maybe this was specific to the Pacific Northwest or that I was just one of those things that guys didn't tell girls.


But I don't think you can shoot it out with force.


This has been Anatomy Corner. Yeah. Mike. Yeah, thanks, Mike. I did actually know this. OK, but it's funny to me that I didn't know that at like, you know, fourteen or something when I definitely would have heard the story. And then it's one of those stories, you know, the stories that you hear them when you're young and then you find yourself like retelling them ten years later and halfway through, telling them you're like, oh, this is a fucking lie.


Why don't you wait a minute, why do I believe this?


And you're like, I'm realizing that I once had to believe a lot of other things to be true in order for this thing to be true. Should we go to the church?


We go to the Axl Rose view. Now, where should we go? Yes, we had this Axl Rose feud happened shortly after this. And Axl might have been angry because they really liked Nirvana. And Nirvana continued to refuse to go on tour with them or play any shows with them because Kurt thought he was such a dick.


Oh, that's interesting.


But Axl made some comments about Courtney being a junkie mom after that article came out there backstage at the MTV Music Awards.


With Francis being, by the way, Cool's baby of the night, Axl walks by with Stephanie Seymour, who was a model.


Yes, supermodel. She was in the November rain video, which I have seen 40000 times.


So, you know, Axle's walking by and Courtney just go. Hey, Axl, you be the godfather of our child just to start a fire just because that's Courtney Love.


So Axl ignores her and turns to her and says, you shut your bitch up or I'm taking you down to the pavement.


What? No way, AXL.


So Curtis smiles and laughs. Who is just so aware of the fact that like her, he's just so big and like so like unflappable and so used to conflict.


Maybe he just turns to her and he goes, OK, bitch, shut up.


Everyone starts kind of laughing and Axl gets kind of pissed and looks at me and goes, Are you a model?


What with Stephanie Sinclair standing next to him.


Oh, my God. And he goes, no. Are you a brain surgeon?


This is like 14 year old kids about to just, like, have a fight with each other.


Totally. So I think that was like the crux of the decision. And I feel the worst for Stephanie Seymour.


I know she's like, Axl, go ahead. Leave me alone out of this. I'm just.


But anyway, I mean, like, just to kind of wind back up to the death, you know, so they had, like, a rough relationship from the start. A lot of love, but a lot of drugs. There was one really sad thing I read about how, like, she just got so good at dealing with him overdosing that she would, like, put needles in his balls to wake him up like, whoa, wow. So she didn't have to call the police or like, you know, it's just a sad story of how normalized drugs in in a family.


And I think for a long time she wanted to believe that, like, they could just deal with it and not have to do rehab and everything. She had overdosed six to eight times or something in the last year that he was alive. I mean, it was just very commonplace for them. And so he's, like unraveling. Basically, he's he's totally unraveling. And and a lot of that wasn't seen in the media, despite him being portrayed as kind of a junkie.


Like no one really knew the extent of that.


It's also interesting how sort of the way that we know how to process that is by boiling it down to this binary of like, did Courtney Love kill him or not?


If that's not really the right question and it doesn't mean that we're like Courtney Love acted perfectly in all scenarios. Right. It's not like she's the good guy of the story, but she's not the bad guy either.


Like, they're just kind of are no good guys and bad guys in this, or they're like two people who would really like to have a good relationship with each other, but have some of the skills and the capacities. But lack of. Yeah, and just. Yeah. Like an illustration of how like really dire circumstances can become part of daily life. Yeah.


It would seem so sad to me is that I think they so badly wanted to have like a kind of happy little household with their family and they loved their daughter so much. I don't know, Kurt just couldn't reconcile like his life and his stomach pains and his psychic troubles and just everything. You know, we should talk we should talk for a minute about like what happened after he died. So Chris body is found on a Friday and the news breaks and goes back really quickly.


Two days later, there's a vigil held in Seattle. Seven thousand people show up, band members speak. There's people from suicide prevention organizations that come and speak. And the the purpose of the vigil is not really about Kurt, but about like let's talk about suicide and why suicide is messed up and why you shouldn't do this, because there was such a fear immediately that teenagers all across the world were going to start dying by suicide because they they idolized Kurt so much.


And so it was just kind of like this big public dose of suicide prevention. And a huge part of that was that Courtney decided that she wanted to read his suicide note to people. And I don't think she did it with, like suicide prevention in her mind. But it turned out to be what people in the suicidology community consider to be like a really effective method. And it's it's something that no one had really done before in such a public way for for a celebrity.


And she recorded it in advance and it was played for the people at the vigil. And it's really sad to hear her read it. And it's just kind of interspersed with her talking about how messed up it is and how it's not better to burn out than fade away. And I don't think you should do this. And and, you know, it's just raw. It's just it just feels very much like her reading this and her in her grief and her in this moment, just like putting this out there for people because she knows how much his fans care about his music and that are going.


To be completely lost and not knowing what to do, and then she shows up later in the day, she shows up at the vigil and is like talking to fans and giving away his stuff and like just telling people like, I don't know what this means, but something good can come of it. And she's so disheveled and she's like clearly hasn't slept in days. And she's like kind of in a slip and like her hair is like up in these messed up pigtails and like she just looks like a total mess, which makes complete sense.


Yeah, but when you think of that image of a widow next to like what people had in their mind of a public widow, which is like the Jackie O, you know, the complete 180 from that. And so I think it's easy to look at those images now 30, almost 30 years later and and be like, yeah, that's Courtney Love or yeah, that was the 90s or whatever. But at the time it was it was kind of revolutionary.


And then what happened to like hole and stuff? I mean, the next time I became aware of Courtney Love was when she was in The People vs. Larry Flynt lived through.


This comes out four days after Kurt's body found. She's obviously taking a pause from promoting the album. And I think she takes like three months off or something before they go on tour to promote the album. But during that time, her bassist, her name was Kristin Faf, and she she does a heroin overdose two months after a while. So this is a bad year for Courtney, but she gets a new basis. They go on tour, they promote the album and the album does really well.


I think they're touring for a while. Then she has these couple acting gigs in The People vs. Larry Flynt and the Moon Holds next album. Celebrity Skin comes out in nineteen ninety eight. So that's four years later. And, you know, it's good, but it's definitely like poppier. And I think that disappointed a lot of people who really liked how raw and grungy live through this is.


And then they kind of fall off. Yeah. Yeah. She becomes after that point I think she just becomes kind of more of a celebrity then than a musician or an actor. She's just like a personality.


This was also I mean, I remember after those movies came out, Courtney Love becoming this figure that I always kind of cringed when I saw her just because it was clear that she was, like, quite erratic.


And she oftentimes seemed like she was sort of like hi or something. And she's just become like more sort of difficult to see around. Right. Or at least for me.


I know. For me, too. Definitely. And I think that just having you know, in the last six weeks, like, really watched or watched for the first time many interviews with her, I've been thinking a lot about, like, do I actually like Courtney Love? Like, do I. Right. And there's a difference between liking someone and like supporting the work that you do.


You know, like I just like like I love whole I love live through this. I like love the Courtney kind of set the bar for like many women like after her to get into rock music and how like she was inspiring for people.


And I think that's huge, even though like she's definitely one of those people who identifies as a feminist but hates the feminist infighting. And like in the 90s, she very much didn't openly identify as a feminist because it was such a taboo thing back then. I feel like. Yeah, especially as a woman trying to get into a traditionally a men's field. Yeah, she was afraid. I think that identifying as a feminist would mean that no one took her seriously or would stereotype her that way.




Which is a very interesting trajectory of that word since then to because I remind you that nobody identified publicly as a feminist. Oh, yeah.


There's actually a there's a so there's sort of a notorious interview that she did with Barbara Walters not long after Kurt died. It's really kind of cringe worthy, I think, partly because as Barbara Walters and that's kind of how I feel about many of her interviews. Yes.


She goes on there and Barbara Walters is like, Courtney, I'm going to ask you all the questions that that I know people are going to ask. And this was she's a grieving widow.


This is Barbara Walters excuse for saying whatever has popped into her head.


Courtney, did you have your period on somebody who tried to grab you? Yes or no?


Courtney, are you able to shoot menstrual blood out of your vagina?


She asks her, what are what are the worst perceptions people have of your or the most mistaken perceptions people have of you?


She says that I'm not smart and that I'm not clean. And Barbara goes clean off.


Drugs are physically clean and Courtney goes both, you know, then barbiturates to talk about.


Courtney struggles with drugs and she says, Are you on drugs right now? And Courtney says, no. And she says, Are you on heroin?


Let's clarify what kind of drug you're not on for a second. You see Courtney kind of break character and like, go like, no. And then, oh, my God, it gets so much better, then she goes, are you on Prozac as though Prozac is on the same level as hell?


Yeah, Prozac and heroin, the two drugs of the 90s.


Yeah. And then Courtney's like, no, the Prozac didn't work. Oh.


But like but I mean, it's just it's embarrassing.


It's embarrassing for both of us and for the viewer, too. Also, that little comment, you know, the Prozac didn't work is like kind of insightful. And she's kind of trolling Barbara Walters and like daring Barbara Walters to go in deeper and ask a real question.


Yeah, this is what I mean by, like, she's so smart and it's clear that she understands in layers what exactly is happening, but it expresses itself in, like, these little phrases. And you're like, Courtney, let's unpack that. Like, just I want to know more. Yeah.


And I think that she has had enough bad experiences with journalists that she doesn't trust them. Yeah. There's an interview she does with Howard Stern in 98 that feels very sincere. And I think that maybe Howard Stern does a good job of getting that out of people. But I think she just feels like here's a person who's not trying to throw me under the bus, who just wants to talk to me. And even though he makes, like, dumb, you know, boob jokes the whole time, it's like he actually is asking her good questions.


And they like she seems to be acting herself. She is really intelligent and doesn't want to say and has had quite an extraordinary life seriously.


And yet no one seems to really know about it.


Well, that's the thing from like an abandoned child to like 16 year old stripper to aspiring 80s actress to rock star to lingering celebrity.


It's like she's had like six different lives.


And someone in the last few years hadn't been riding a bike. She sold a biography like someone was writing a biography about her.


And it was supposed to come out because she was on several talk shows talking about it. And then she pulled it. She got into some I think there was some fight that she got into with a writer over some of the content or something and pulled it.


But it's so hard to pin down who she is, because for someone who seems to be telling you everything and, you know, forcefully having her period all over people, she's she's very maybe private.


Yeah, I think having a sort of an intense public persona often is a way of maintaining privacy. Totally.


And also, I think there's a lot of people that hide behind the sort of the overshare that's like a personality type of like deflecting through over intimacy is actually a way of like not letting people in because you're pushing people away by telling them too much.


Yes. Yeah. And at the risk of sounding really like basic and simplistic, like she just she had a fucked up childhood. Her parents divorce. Her dad clearly is a terrible person who tried to like a murderer, like I know. You know, without even knowing her.


Yeah, I can understand. Or she doesn't trust adults. Yeah. I think there's something very Genex about thinking the whole world is adults and like, you need to protect yourself from that. I mean, like, I I'm going to be 40 years old this year and I still like to think of myself as like a 15 year old kid. And the rest of the people are adults like who don't get me, you know, who don't trust me or like and I don't trust that, you know.


I mean, it's such a Gen-X thing. Yeah.


I knew you were going to bring it back to Candice. I knew it. I knew you'd take us back to my room.


Back to Gen X. Yeah.


I also I mean, another thing with love is also like she has the right to be fucking weird. Yeah, right. It's like she's a rock star. Her husband killed himself. She's been accused of insane conspiracy theories.


You can be unlikable and not a murderer. Yeah, exactly. And like, if anybody is allowed to be weird in public, it's Courtney Love. And like, she's not a person I necessarily want to have at my dinner party or whatever.


But like, I have no interest in, like, throwing anything more onto her than she's already had.


No. Just the idea that people are going to end up in public while they're working through some really difficult stuff is inevitable. And we as the public can work on relating to that and meaningful ways.


Yeah, we don't have to necessarily, like, celebrate those people. We don't have to denigrate either.


There's a space in the middle. I mean, why don't we want to call that?


It's like a media demilitarized zone, like a weird, like true space of just like we're just going to let them do their thing. Yes. Yes.


I just keep coming back to the fact that these are just like two people who who loved each other. And now this one person has to live the rest of her life with the world thinking that if she killed her husband. Right. But when it's so obvious that it was a suicide. Right.


And then she gets put into the box a villain like because she was there and maybe because she couldn't save him and do the impossible, you know, the thing that one person can't do for another person and that I don't know, like maybe to me the last. It's not like we shouldn't take out our grievances on how relationships work on their survivors.


Oh, sir, you found it. Thank you. That's the zone. That's the sounds. It it's the we shouldn't blame the way relationships work on the survivors autonomous zone. Yes.


So thank you for coming on, Candice. Thank you, guys. This was awesome. So follow Candice on the Internets and preorder her book. We'll leave a link in the description.


And next time somebody grabs your leg, have your period on period all over them and just, you know, just shoot some kind of a liquid. No, that's. No, I think that's that. I don't do that.