Friday, July 9, 1999

Hole lotta help

Singer Courtney Love comforts family injured in highway crash

By MIKE D'AMOUR -- Calgary Sun

CALGARY -- Devil-may-care rocker Courtney Love turned into an angel of mercy when she and her band saw a car flip on the highway in front of their tour bus as they approached Calgary yesterday.

"She was talking the whole time trying to comfort us, she was really helpful," said Darlene Rogers, one of three people who were in the flipped 1992 Volkswagon driven by her husband, Chris.

Rogers -- who is four months pregnant with twins -- was a passenger along with her mother, Diana Covill, when the 11 a.m. crash happened yesterday on the Trans-Canada Hwy., 30 km east of Calgary.

The pyjama-clad Love and members of her band, Hole, helped the shaken trio out of the car and onto one of their two touring buses.

"The group helped us flip the car back onto its wheels," Darlene said.

"We didn't know who (Love) was," she said. "I just knew a woman with short blond hair came out of the bus and helped me."

Rock's bad girl comforted the family and offered them hot tea to drink.

"She even told us she had a nice bed in the back of the bus we could lie on if we wanted," Darlene said.

Love wasn't available for an interview but her publicist said the rocker was just following her instincts.

RCMP Const. Daryl Bedard was impressed with Love and her band.

"(The victims) were obviously in shock so shelter was important and part of the first aid (Love) provided.

"There were a lot more vehicles that drove by the accident than stopped to help -- I guess that speaks volumes as to what kind of person she is," he said.

The family was just outside Strathmore, headed to the Rogers' new home in Calgary's northeast, when their car was passed on the inside lane by a speeding Ford Explorer, Chris said.

"I swerved to avoid him, but the wind and sudden movement caused the car to flip," the 26-year-old carpenter said.

Covill, in from Regina to help with her daughter's move, suffered the most serious injury when she sustained a wide bruise on the left side of her face.

The family stayed on the bus until an ambulance arrived.

"Both the mom and the daughter were treated at hospital and released," said Kevin Link of Strathmore EMS.

"These people did escape serious injury only because they were wearing seatbelts," he added.

"It was a very scary experience," Covill said, noting it reminded her of the one other time she was in a car that flipped -- when she was seven months pregnant with Darlene.

After the tour buses pulled out, the trio learned they had an invitation to Hole's performance at tonight's Edgefest concert.

But the family isn't likely to go, considering the closest they get to rock music is when they sing Rock of Ages.

"We mostly listen to gospel," said Covill, the wife of a United Pentecostal minister.

Love -- the widow of famed grunge rocker Kurt Cobain, who killed himself in 1994 -- has become famous -- or infamous -- for on-stage concert antics that include spitting, swearing and grabbing her crotch.

She made her movie debut in 1996's The People vs. Larry Flynt and recently finished shooting a movie with Jim Carrey.

Friday, July 9, 1999

Look who's stopping now

By RICK BELL -- Calgary Sun

It is true. All you need is Love.

Take a minute this morning and answer a simple two-word question.

Who stopped?

There were many, many cars.

Yes, many, many cars barrelling down the Trans-Canada, just west of Strathmore at 11 in the morning.

Yesterday morning.

The cars and the sport-utility vehicles and the trucks and the vans carried many, many fine, upstanding, tax-paying, law-abiding, never-hurt-a-fly, keep-their-nose-clean-and-their-pants-pressed citizens.

They were no doubt eager to arrive in Calgary and points west.

They all had a story.

They had places to go, people to see, things to do, excuses to be made.

They were all people like you and me.

But who stopped?

Oh it is true, there were an awful lot of eagle-eyed gawkers who spotted the '92 Volkswagen of Carl and Darlene Rogers flipped over on the busy highway.

Flipped on its side, driver's door up, straddling the dotted line.

There were an awful lot who slowed down to take a peek, hoping to see something.

Come on, you couldn't miss it.

Still, who stopped?

The police tell us the many, many cars did everything they could to avoid and ignore.

They swerved around the flipped-on-its-side VW.

They drove on the shoulder to get around.

They drove through the ditch to pass by.

Yet who stopped?

We all know the answer.

No one stopped. Except one.

Courtney Love, her band Hole and her roadies.

Courtney Love, the bad girl of rock.

Courtney Love, the widow of Kurt Cobain, he of the time when grunge ruled and it smelled like teen spirit, he who killed himself.

Courtney Love, with her raunchy antics on stage, the screaming and the crotch grabbing and the bad words.

Courtney Love, the one who the self-appointed moral lot condemn and decry as the worst of influences, the bad example.

When you see her, you lock up your kids.

Courtney Love, who would not get an invite to the barbecue of your boss or the must-be-seen-at business breakfast.

But it was Courtney, in her pyjamas, and her friends who got out of the touring bus to offer first-aid.

It was Courtney and her friends who helped Chris and Darlene, four months pregnant with twins, and Darlene's mom, Diana. Helped them out of the car and into the tour bus.

It was Courtney and her friends who offered Chris and Darlene and Diana some hot tea and put the VW back on its wheels.

Courtney and her band and her roadies.

Nobody else stopped.

Const. Renee Murphy, a 24-year-old rookie Mountie right out of Toronto, was there.

At the scene, Renee had to tell her partner Const. Daryl Bedard who Courtney Love was when he saw her. He got a picture and an autograph.

You see, Renee is a fan of Love.

She has Love's CDs. Renee and her friends followed the Kurt Cobain story. Renee even saw Hole in Toronto.

The band offered Renee free tickets to tonight's Edgefest but she's on special Stampede detail today.

"I like her music. I think it's pretty impressive she came out of her bus and helped out," says Renee, at the end of a most interesting shift.

"I really don't think she was looking for press. I think she was just being human. I know she doesn't have the cleanest history but I think people are misguided."

"Why?" I ask.

Renee does not hesitate.

"Because of what I saw today."

Friday, July 9, 1999

Canuck in the Hole

By MIKE ROSS -- Edmonton Sun

Whose idea was it to get an American band to headline a Canadian rock festival, eh?

Getting Hole to close Edgefest '99, happening Sunday in Commonwealth Stadium, could be seen as an insult to all the great Canadian rock bands that have worked so hard to get where they are - or it would be if Courtney Love's band didn't have a Canadian secret weapon.

That would be Montreal bassist Melissa Auf der Maur (daughter of famed Canadian journalist Nick Auf der Maur). In a phone interview from London, England, she all but sings Oh, Canada, so great is her patriotic fervor.

"I don't actually have a tattoo of a Canadian flag, but I feel like I do," she says. "I have to make a Canadian reference about everything. Jim Carrey? He's Canadian. I'm the obsessive reminder that Canada is the place to be."

Playing Edgefest, she goes on, is "an honour. I'm secretly hoping that the Canadian content law applies and that I'm the one that's making it possible for Hole being able to close the show. I know the whole band is looking forward to it."

In many ways, Auf der Maur has been a control rod to Love's radioactive fuel in the sometimes unstable nuclear reactor that is Hole. The bassist joined the band during a time of tragedy, replacing Kristen Pfaff, who died of a heroin overdose five years ago. Since then, there has been both incredible growth and incredible trouble, Auf der Maur says. Survival itself may be Hole's biggest success.

"When I joined the band," Auf der Maur says, "I was honouring the fact that I was taking a very emotionally sensitive spot, and I was going to do everything I could to offer hope and rebirth after death. And that's kind of dictated a lot of what I do in this band."

Celebrity Skin, the new album, reveals a kinder and gentler band which uses California itself as a muse. Auf der Maur helped bring elements of the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac to the mix. Even so, she adds, living in Los Angeles has made her appreciate Canada all the more.

"I'm glad I spent a chapter of my life there to really get to know the ugly beauty of the American dream."

Stay tuned for the ugly beauty of the Canadian weather.


1989: Hole forms in Los Angeles, with Courtney Love (formerly Courtney Harrison), guitarist Eric Erlandson, bassist Jill Emery and drummer Caroline Rue.

1990: Band releases seven-inch single, Retard Girl.

1991: A busy year. Full-length debut album, Pretty On the Inside, attracts following within the so-called "riot grrrl" crowd. Love begins dating Kurt Cobain, whose band Nirvana releases what turns out to be one of the most influential albums of the '90s: Nevermind.

1992: Love and Cobain marry in Hawaii. Frances Bean Cobain is born in August.

1994: Kurt Cobain commits suicide. Hole, now consisting of Love, Erlandson, bassist Kristen Pfaff and drummer Patty Schemel, releases Live Through This, the band's breakthrough album. Weeks later, Pfaff dies of a heroin overdose. She is replaced by Melissa Auf der Maur.

1995: Hole headlines Lollapalooza.

1996: Carrying on an acting career that started before Hole was ever formed, Love stars in two major feature films, Feeling Minnesota and The People vs. Larry Flynt.

1998: Love stars in 200 Cigarettes; With assistance from the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan, Hole releases Celebrity Skin.

1999: Hole tours with Marilyn Manson, but quits after two weeks over a bad business deal. Takes gig headlining Edgefest '99 instead; Love's next movie, Man on the Moon, also starring Jim Carrey, opens this fall.

Saturday, July 3, 1999

Hole lotta love

Even out of the spotlight Courtney steals the show

Ottawa Sun

IT was classic Courtney Love.

There she was, one panty-exposing leg propped up on an amp, holding her bandaged arm high in the air and ranting to the madly moshing crowd at Vancouver's Lollapalooza '95 about how yesterday she "shoved (her) fist down some bitch's throat."

A drop-dead gorgeous flame-haired bass player named Melissa Auf der Maur, a recent addition to Hole after Kristen Pfaff's heroin OD, hangs in the background, looking somewhat embarrassed.

But even as Love descends into madness, Auf der Maur maintains the driving bass, helping the chaotic gig reach epic status.

"Oh my god, things were rough then," says Auf der Maur matter-of-factly about Love's "altercation" with rival riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill.

"That still happens," she laughs, before clarifying. "The ranting part definitely. Not the bandaged arm though. I think we've come a long way since all that stuff."

Since those post-Kurt Cobain days of 1995, during which Love's constant public breakdowns bumped her newsworthiness up to near Clintonesque proportions, Hole has become a brand new band.

And with Love's Hollywood lifestyle taking precedence over her music and her understandable fear of media keeping her mouth relatively shut, Auf der Maur is becoming the face of Hole, appearing in magazine spreads and on fashion runways. It will always be Courtney's band, but the former Montrealer is more Paul than Ringo.

As the daughter of radical politician and journalist Nick Auf der Maur, Melissa had a Bohemian upbringing that included hanging out with fellow famous offspring like Rufus Wainwright and Lorca Cohen.

Her first band Tinker -- which included Bionic member Eric Digras, son of Sun social columnist Sandi Digras -- made a name for themselves after Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins asked the band to open for them.

It was only Tinker's fifth live performance.

Six months later, Auf der Maur rose to fame when Corgan told his bassless former girlfriend Love about this cool Montreal musician.

"Billy's been huge musical influence in my life, from being a 19-year-old when Gish (the Pumpkins' debut) changed my life and made me start playing the bass to the fact Billy was the one who got me in this band."

But the controversy over how much he contributed to the creation of last fall's Celebrity Skin, Hole's first full album since '94's Live Through This, added to the "rough spots" between Love and Corgan.

"There's so much baggage that comes along with this band that a fast edible pop record doesn't have. Be it the dark lyrics within it or the history of the personality

"We're not a pop sensation that's going to become huge overnight like Alanis Morissette. We hope it's going to be a life-long, generation-long, selling things versus an overnight 6 million records and then gone tomorrow.

"We're definitely working for the long-term."

While Auf der Maur comes back to Canada regularly, Edgefest has provided her the first opportunity to tour the country.

"I've been waiting very patiently all these years to go across Canada," she says. "I've never been to Calgary or Winnipeg or anywhere like that. I'm very much looking forward to it. And what better way to go than with a bunch of Canadians and Canadian bands. I've never even heard of some of them but I can't wait to get to know them all."

Friday, July 2, 1999

Love affair

Rock diva Courtney Love & Hole headline this year's Edgefest at Assiniboia Downs

By JOHN KENDLE -- Winnipeg Sun

In 1994, 22-year-old Montrealer Melissa auf der Maur thought she had life figured out.

She was studying photography at Concordia University, about to graduate with a degree in fine arts, and was considering graduate schools in Manhattan.

"I was going to get a master's in New York in photography," she says. "Instead, I ended up getting a master's degree in being in a rock band."

Auf der Maur, now 27, has spent four years as bassist in Hole, Courtney Love's travelling group of vagabonds and rock group. Speaking from Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel, she says the experience has been nothing short of divine and educational.

"I've been learning about the science of being in a rock group, about travelling the world, about how to work with record producers, how to make music, how to deal with negative publicity, how to deal with publicists, with the media ... just everything. I've been given one big taste of everything really, really quickly."

But what about the taste Love leaves in some people's mouths?

Since the tragic, April 1994 suicide of her husband, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, actress/musician Love has been both the bane and the darling of the rock and mainstream press -- often at the same time. She's a walking contradiction whose every movie star whim -- and every rock star outrage -- is gleefully documented, photographed, discussed and analysed.

But auf der Maur prefers to demur when asked about Courtney.

"Everybody asks that, and I never know what to say," she says. "If I took time to step outside the band and my relationship with Courtney, maybe I could objectify it.

"All I can say is that even the characteristics of Courtney that are extreme seem quite natural to me, since I grew up in a very emotional, hippy-cum-activist household. I've seen a lot of that," she says.

OK, so she's not dishing on the boss. But is it true that Melissa was only ever asked three questions after Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan -- who knew her from her days in Montreal band Tinker -- recommended her to Love and guitarist Eric Erlandson?

"Yes," she laughs. "It's true.

"The three questions were 'Are you a drug addict?' Well, no. 'Do you play with a pick or your fingers?' With a pick. And 'What sign are you?'

"I'm a Pisces, so I guess I was astrologically predestined to be in Hole."

She joined the group after bassist Kristen Pfaff, who recorded the group's breakthrough album Live Through This, was found dead of a heroin overdose in the bathtub of her Seattle apartment.

Auf der Maur had no idea what she was in for.

"Eight years ago, my aspirations musically were maybe to do a nice van tour of Canada and maybe a lo-fi van tour of Europe," she says.

"I'd only ever been in a band for nine months, and that was with my boyfriend, which was a different emotional experience altogether. And I'd only ever played six live gigs, so to go to the level of Hole was something different altogether.

"At the same time, I grew up in a hippy, activist kind of environment. I went to an art school, where arts and crafts and music were encouraged. We lived a pretty alternative lifestyle at home, so I've always been in kind of a bohemian frame of mind -- and the community of people that were in Nirvana, who hung out at CBGB's and who recorded for Sub Pop was the community of people I always aspired to belong to," she says. "So joining the band was also like joining a family I was already familiar with."

Auf der Maur's own family was quite renowned in its own right. Her father, Nick auf der Maur, a former city councillor and columnist for the Montreal Gazette who was possibly the best-known character on Montreal's infamous Crescent Street strip.

When he died of throat cancer last year, his funeral was reputedly the largest Montreal has seen since that of Father of Confederation D'Arcy McGee, an MP who was assassinated in 1868. Auf der Maur's daughter gave her father's eulogy.

"My father's funeral was the biggest day of my life," Melissa recalls. "It was almost like a rock concert, in that I gave the eulogy in front of 3,000 people and on TV and on the radio. It was the most intimate and the most public thing that I have ever done, and the second I got up to speak it was just me and my father.

"That was the most inspirational moment of my life -- the most pure moment I've ever had. As a creative person I will always refer to that moment."

As a creative person, Melissa says she will also always be beholden to her childhood. She credits her upbringing with giving her the inspiration to become a musician, and she credits her bandmates for helping her grow to become the confident performer she now is onstage and in the studio.

"When we went to make this last record (last year's Celebrity Skin, which received mixed reviews), that was what I wanted," auf der Maur says. "I was finally getting into a creative space with them, and I felt I had proven myself. I joined when I was 22 and I've spent the defining years of my life in this band, and I feel I do my part, too, as the harmony maker, as an arranger.

"We're all involved creatively in all aspects of the band."

Edgefest '99 wet 'n' wild

Thursday, July 1, 1999

Two Holes in one

Love's band headlines Edgefest today

By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun

Hole bassist and Montreal native Melissa Auf Der Maur can barely contain her patriotic pride. In fact, she can't.

 "I just want to see Canada's version of a music collective," said Auf Der Maur while seated alongside Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson yesterday in the restaurant of their Toronto hotel.

 "And I cannot wait to go to Saskatoon and go, 'Hello Saskatoon! I love you!' I've never been there before."

 L.A. band Hole, led by the unpredictable, often entertaining Courtney Love, are spending the next two weeks travelling across Canada as the headliners of Edgefest. It all begins today with a sold-out show at Molson Park in Barrie. There are still tickets available for tomorrow's second show.

 "I'm so excited about celebrating Canada Day here," said Auf Der Mar. "I've even got Maple Leaf flags to drape over our amps."

 Auf Der Mar and Erlandson arrived in Toronto on Tuesday morning, still feeling jetlagged from their two-week stint of Hole dates in Europe.

 In fact, the extremely articulate and friendly Auf Der Maur and the more shy and sweet-natured Erlandson are pinch-hitting for Love, who had been scheduled for a chat. But they are such charming, smart and straight-shooting lunch companions that a few minutes into the conversation you've forgotten the absence of their famous singer.

 "Her and Sam -- Samantha (Moloney) our new drummer -- went home to Queens to visit friends, and Courtney stayed a few extra days in Europe to do a cute little Nice vacation," said Auf Der Maur.

 That left the two musicians to comment, for the first time, on the tragedy at a festival show in Sweden a couple weeks ago, when a 19-year-old female fan was crushed to death while Hole were playing.

 "We heard about it a day or two after we left," said Auf Der Maur. "It was very, very sad and horrible. Basically I just think that kids are really brave. I don't think I ever really participated in going to big shows like that when I was young. Maybe things are different now in terms of girls being able to protect themselves in a mosh pit, but I just see it as very dangerous."

 Added Erlandson: "It's so hard to control that energy. In Sweden, it's really sad too that that happened. Because before the show somebody was interviewing us and they said that they're trying to pass laws where you have to have an I.D. for a kid to go to a show, and age limits. Then something like that happens."

 While Auf Der Maur and Erlandson made it to Toronto last fall to promote the band's latest album, Celebrity Skin, Hole's last concert date here was September 1994 at the Phoenix. The band may get another solo tour going after Love makes the movie Beat, playing the wife of William Burroughs. Filming starts on July 26 in Mexico City.

 "We have a lot of touring left to do to try and keep the record alive," said Erlandson of Celebrity Skin, which has sold 150,000 copies in Canada and 1.5 million in the U.S.

 Meantime, Erlandson and Auf Der Maur have collaborated with other musicians on a cover of Gary Glitter's Rock And Roll Part II for a glam-rock tribute album due in November. Other band priorities include creating the Hole Web page, releasing a new Celebrity Skin single, probably Boys On The Radio, and, oh yeah, find a new manager.

 Their last management was fired after Hole's ill-fated co-headlining tour in the U.S. with shock rocker Marilyn Manson earlier this year. Hole pulled out after two weeks.

 "There was the clown show vibe to it where it was just like he was saying stuff on stage about Courtney," said Erlandson.

 Added Auf Der Maur: "We weren't anticipating that at all. They're old acquaintances of ours. We'd never had any kind of disruption with them before. And we just thought that maybe it seemed like a cool, rock revival package, and we'd be polar opposites and be able to complement each other. But he ended up just feeding on the differences."

Wednesday November 4, 1998

Getting under the Celebrity Skin

Toronto Sun

The campaign to protect Courtney Love from the media is so vigilant, it's even in full swing when she's not there.
 That was the story in the days leading up to today's interviews at a downtown hotel with Love's bandmates, bassist Melissa Auf der Maur and guitarist Eric Erlandson, to discuss Hole's current album, Celebrity Skin.
 Journalists were asked to sign a now-famous release form agreeing, among other things, to refrain from asking questions about Love's late husband Kurt Cobain, Nick Broomfield's controversial film Kurt & Courtney (which opens in theatres Friday), the book Who Killed Kurt Cobain?, "and any sensationalized rumours and half-truths regarding Courtney Love and Hole."
 Refused to sign
 It was the request to hand over the rights to the interview to Hole's management that prompted The Toronto Sun to refuse to sign. Instead, we attended a Hole press conference yesterday, under a verbal agreement that there would be no digging for dirty laundry.
 All that seemed like a big to-do when, over the course of the 45-minute conference with the likable Erlandson and Auf der Maur, Love was mentioned by name only twice.
 That was regarding a quieter controversy, namely Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan's co-writing credits on five Celebrity Skin tunes, and old charges that Love had needed Cobain's help to finish 1994's Live Through This.
 Asked if he and Auf der Maur felt their creative input in Hole had been overlooked in all the fuss, Erlandson concurred, but spoke carefully.
 "That's a big issue," he said. "There are a lot of misconceptions about our last album that I haven't addressed because I don't want to be reactive and bring things up. I felt it was obvious that our last record was written by us.
 "If we brought in outside help on this record, it wasn't because we couldn't do it ourselves. I think Courtney needed a third party to motivate her vocally. All the lyrics and ideas are hers, and you can tell that by the record."
 Erlandson and Auf der Maur agreed, with similar caution, that the four years between Live Through This and Celebrity Skin marked an important growing phase for Hole.
 The album's creation spanned Love's acclaimed starring role in The People Vs. Larry Flynt, and several band moves from studios in New York to New Orleans and finally L.A., in search of inspiration.
 "We took time, not out of choice," said Erlandson. "We were anxious to get it done and out of our system.
 "We were driven to create something that was in us. After touring the last album, we didn't feel fulfilled. We'd been forced out on the road too early and we didn't have time to deal with a lot of issues that needed to be dealt with."
 "I consider myself kind of an outsider and an insider," added Auf der Maur, who left her native Montreal to join Hole after Live Through This came out. "I followed Hole's career and then I became part of it, but it seems very natural to me."
 Sordid, sleazy L.A.
 She also offered fresh insight on life at the centre of a famous band -- and the sordid, sleazy L.A. world Love lambasts on Celebrity Skin -- especially given Auf der Maur's reputation as a "nice girl."
 "I feel even nicer now -- around those clowns?" she said, laughing. "Not him," she added, indicating the L.A.-born Erlandson, "but around all those Hollywood types ... The nastiness that comes along with people who want to achieve certain goals.
 "Growing up in my bohemian, Montreal world, I was never attracted to Hollywood, the American Dream, or fame. When I joined this band I realized I was going to get a major crash course in the entertainment industry. I'm glad I'm seeing the worst and the best ..."
 Hole recently played their first concert in three years in London. The band plans to play U.S. dates in December, tour Australia in January, and could hit Toronto by early spring.

Wednesday, April 22, 1998

Hole album details

Executive Producer, Jam! Showbiz

The new Hole album is heavily influenced by Echo & The Bunnymen and Cheap Trick, and includes lyric references to Jeff Buckley, Neil Young, and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.

"On my list of thanks for the record, number one was to Echo & The Bunnymen, because (guitarist) Will Sergeant taught me the strum," Courtney Love told Britain's Vox magazine in an exclusive interview in the May issue.

One of the most heavily influenced tracks, says Vox, is "Reasons To Be Beautiful", which quotes the famous Neil Young line, "It's better to burn out than to fade away" -- a reference made all the more potent by the fact that it also appeared in the suicide note left behind by Kurt Cobain.

Love describes another song, "Awful", as being "very, very compelling. It's going to end up sounding even more like ABBA, more Cheap Trick. There's a line about Gavin Rossdale in it, which he asked me to put in -- 'He's drunk, he tastes like candy, he's so beautiful'," Love says. "It used to be, 'He's dumb, yeah, he's so icky'."

Two of the album's other songs -- "Reasons To Be Beautiful" and "Northern Star" -- were co-written with Jordan Zadorozny, of Canadian band Blinker The Star.

Another, "Boys On The Radio", is a revised version of a song originally titled "Sugar Coma" and performed on Hole's "MTV Unplugged" appearance in April 1995.

At that time, Love said the song was dedicated to R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and "someone who knows who they are", presumably Cobain. The song's plaintive chorus revolved around the line, "You said you'd never, ever, ever go away."

The re-titled "Boys On The Radio" version is about "Jeff Buckley, Evan Dando, Brian Wilson," Love tells Vox. "It's to everyone who has ever drowned."

The album has been going under the working title of "Celebrity Skin", but that could still change. It was produced by Michael Bienhorn (Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum) and mixed in London with Mark Stent, the only man on the planet who can include both Massive Attack and the Spice Girls on his resume. It also features an undetermined number of co-writes with Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan.

DGC/Universal has the Hole album on their new release sked for June 2. That, too, is tentative.

Among the songs tentatively slated for the album are:

  • Reasons To Be Beautiful
  • Northern Star
  • Boys On The Radio
  • Hit So Hard
  • Awful

    According to the band's official website, Hole will be on the cover of the July issue of Spin magazine.

    Monday, December 1, 1997

    Where are they now?

    By MIKE ROSS -- Express Writer
      It's time for a rousing Where Are They Now? roundup. By Gar, it's been a while ...
     Seattle rock band fronted by Courtney Love.
     So much time has gone by since the release of the band's critically acclaimed album, Live Through This, that speculation has become rampant that the songs on it were, in fact, written by Love's husband, the late Kurt Cobain.
     Love, meanwhile, is clearly enjoying her new-found status as a Hollywood glamor queen and seems to show no public interest in the band. However, a spokesman for Hole's record label, Geffen Records, indicated that "Hole is currently completing their new album in Los Angeles," with the not-inconsiderable help of Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan.
     Will it sound like Love singing Smashing Pumpkins songs? We'll have to wait. The new CD is "expected" to hit the stores this spring.

    Monday, November 18, 1996

    Grunge star Courtney is . . .

    Loving her Oscar chances

    Calgary Sun

    BEVERLY HILLS -- The guest of honor at last week's industry screening of The People VS Larry Flynt was America's porn king himself.
    Flynt, who was paralyzed in an assassination attempt in 1978, arrived in his solid-gold wheelchair looking very much like Raymond Burr in his Ironside days.
    By the end of the film the head of the Hustler publishing empire was sobbing.
    "Most people have to wait until they're dead for Hollywood to make a movie about them," he explained.
    Woody Harrelson, who plays Flynt, says it's a role he was born to play.
    "Larry and I are both poor white trash who've made good in some people's eyes and have done bad in others," says Harrelson.
    Flynt brought his battles over his First Amendment right to publish pornography or ridicule public figures to the Supreme Court of America.
    Harrelson is currently testing the American legal system over his right to grow marijuana plants.
    "I'm not trying to legalize marijuana. I'm trying to legalize hemp."
    Grunge star Courtney Love, who plays Flynt's deceased wife Althea Leasure, says the American press and the moral majority movement should get down and kiss Flynt's feet.
    "This is the man who has given the press the legal right to lie about me and politicians and ministers the right to their horrible, slanderous right-wing comments," protests Love.
    There have been rumblings that Love could be nominated for an Oscar for her powerhouse portrayal of Althea's descent into drug addiction and wanton sex.
    "It would be weird. Really weird. I can't even grasp onto the thought yet."

    July 19, 1995

    The boy in the band

    Hole Drummer Eric's view from the stage

    Toronto Sun

    The last time Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson attended Lollapalooza, he swore he'd never go back.
     "I went last year in Los Angeles for about an hour," the soft-spoken 32-year-old is saying yesterday from Cincinnati, "and I had the worst time ever at any concert.
     "There was security everywhere, I saw people pushing and beating on people.
     What changed his mind was this year's lineup - featuring Sonic Youth, Pavement, Beck, Jesus Lizard, and, up 'til this week, Sinead O'Connor, who has since flown home to Dublin, overcome by the side-effects of pregnancy. (The travelling roadshow pulls into Barrie's Molson Park this Sunday.)
     "A lot of the audiences are the same type of kids that would go see the mainstream acts," says Erlandson, "but what they're getting is a lot different. I've gone out into the crowd to watch, and there's these frat guys trying to explain to their girlfriends what these bands are about. And the girls are holding their ears and going, `It's noise'!"
     Enough verbal foreplay. What about that much-publicized backstage dust-up between Courtney Love and Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna? Erlandson says it went like this:
     All of the above were backstage at the opening show in Washington. Love was talking to Beck. She had some candy with her, and Erlandson suggested she give some to Hanna. "I'm always the person saying, `Here, be nice to people. You have enemies, but be nice to them and that will really blow everybody away'," he recalls.
     "But instead of giving it to her, she threw it at her."
     Were any punches thrown?
     "I don't know. I turned around," he laughs. "There was some sort of ruckus going on there."
     After Lollapalooza winds up next month, Hole treks up to Tuktoyaktuk on Labour Day weekend for an odd beer company promotion featuring Hole, Metallica and Veruca Salt, three bands managed by the same company.
     "It's one of those things that sounded like a good idea," says Erlandson, "then all of a sudden they start playing radio and TV ads every five minutes and it becomes like, `Oh no, it sounds like we're sponsoring Molson beer'." He laughs. "But none of us drink it."
     After that, they'll take time off to write before heading back into the studio in January. In the meantime, a seven-song stop-gap, Asking For It, will surface, likely in September.
     "It's stuff we did with our old lineup, mainly in 1991," Erlandson explains. "It'll have the original version of Violet, Doll Parts and Drown Soda," all done live in the studio for British DJ John Peel's radio show.
     The set will be rounded out by covers of The Velvet Underground, The Germs, Beat Happening, and The Wipers.
     Oh yeah. The cover shot will be a photo of two slashed wrists.
     "It's kind of controversial," Erlandson understates, "but it was all decided on back in 1991.
     "The fact that it's coming out now, though, is kind of weird."
     To which we can only add: Par for the course.

    May 12, 1995

    Courtney takes wing

    Toronto Sun

     As befits her inimitable style, Courtney Love will spend the next six days where she's most comfortable: In our faces.
     Tomorrow, MuchMusic airs Hole Unplugged (9:30 p.m.), an alternately riveting/infuriating performance by Love's band, taped in Brooklyn by MTV this past Valentine's Day.
     On Tuesday, the June Vanity Fair hits local newsstands. The cover depicts Love decked out in a flowing dress and wearing a pair of angel's wings. It's a typically outlandish, and ingenious, move. It was Vanity Fair that ran a devastating portrait of Love and Kurt Cobain, in September 1992, that painted Love as a drug-addled gold-digger. It led, in part, to the couple temporarily losing custody of their then-infant daughter, Frances Bean. On more than one occasion, Love threatened to kill the piece's author, Lynn Hirschberg.
     First, Unplugged. Simply put, the 11-song, hour-long special should not be missed. Among its highlights are an unrecorded Nirvana track, You've Got No Right, one of the last songs Cobain wrote. "Maybe he can hear it," she muses during the introduction. "We'll try it and he'll go, `You know, you really f----- up my song, Courtney'."
     Also featured are two powerful new originals, Best Sunday Dress and Sugar Coma, the latter dedicated to "someone who knows who they are, and my friend Michael," presumably Nine Inch Nails' frontman Trent Reznor, with whom Love recently had a brief and very public fling, and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe.
     Along the way, Hole offers up a darkly amusing cover of an old Crystals/Phil Spector song, He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss), and a mercifully brief snippet of Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf.
     The undisputed highlight, however, is a radically revamped version of an old Hole B-side, Old Age. The song's startling refrain, "Rest in pieces," neatly sums up the program's tendency to both attract and repulse.
     Love's, too, come to think of it.
     Meanwhile, the Vanity Fair article is an unremittingly glowing piece that does not once mention its damning predecessor. Penned by celebrity-friendly writer Kevin Sessums, it comes off as a sort of greatest hits of Love's more sensational utterances. Among them:
     Cobain was not a heroin addict at the time of his death, "though he was abusing it in ways hitherto unseen ever by me. Mixing it, synergizing it, yet I've mixed it since he died and never gotten wasted like that."
     Love did sleep with Trent Reznor, "but it wasn't that great of an experience. I was slumming ..."
     She encouraged Cobain to "explore his (sexual) cravings" with Michael Stipe. "I left him with Michael Stipe one night ... He came back the next day, and I started screaming, `What happened?' He said, `I dunno. It was just weird. Nothing happened, but sort of.' I'll never know. Michael's never told me ..."
     But the article's most powerful quote is also one of its least blustering. While watching daughter Frances Bean trying to stitch up a heart-shaped pillow, Love cautions, "Frances, be careful. That's a needle. It can hurt you."

    CANOE -
  • Hole's Courtney Love: "You in the front row, turn the hair dryer off!"