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January 28, 2009

Courtney Love Enters the Tribe

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/courtney_love_enters_the_tribe_20090128/

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I still haven’t forgiven Courtney Love for even being suspected of driving her husband insane, but still, there’s something I like about her. Her edge. Her brusqueness. Her scabrous profile. You have to at least admire, beyond the cursing and vulgarity and troubled psychology, that there is an utter honesty about her, a candor often overlooked and underappreciated. This blithe openness is on full display in her latest interview with Heeb. It’s engendered the usual Courtney controversy, in particular, because of this comment she made about Jews and money: “Every time you buy a Nirvana record, part of that money is not going to Kurt’s child, or to me, it’s going to a handful of Jew loan officers, Jew private banks, its going to lawyers who are also bankers, its going to sixty PAs.” 

The woman is a natural born provocateur. So while it’s unwise to accept much of what she says as credible, it’s still fun to hear her say it. There’s a cadence, a rhythm, a poetry to her ramble. Call me crazy but I find sober, sarcastic and reflective Courtney Love way more interesting and intelligent than high-on-heroin, down-on-life Courtney Love. She seems all grown up and cool. And frankly, after eight years of being led by a deceitful and secretive administration, the American psyche so accustomed to phoniness and concealed truth, listening to Love talk about herself is a breath of fresh air. Whouda thought?

On her Jewish grandmother:

She said in The New York Times Magazine that she didn’t like the way I used language. I’m a lyricist. Call it whatever the fuck you want, but don’t talk about how I use language because how I use language is my bread and butter.

On why women musicians aren’t as good as men:

This all-girl fantasy I’ve had my whole life, of you know. . .I’m going to show those Beatles, we’re going to be huge! Well, it’s not going to happen, right now, for my generation, for me. You know what I mean? Like, there are fucking riot grrrls sitting there banging on pots and pans and talking about their vaginas, and that’s all really lovely, and like the writing is great, but the music blows. I mean you have to fucking sit in your room and practice. You have to fucking learn how to play guitar, you have to learn how to play bass, you have to learn how to fucking play drums. You have to go get Zeppelin one through four, and you have to fucking sit in a fucking little room off Hollywood Blvd. for two hundred dollars a fucking month, and you have to play those goddamn drums. And for whatever reason, women just haven’t seemed to want to do that.

On motherhood:

I’m a really, really good mother, and the proof is in the pudding. She’s had some bad breaks when I was on drugs, but she never saw me on drugs. I would go to New York, or I would go to a hotel, so she never saw me in that condition.

On vanity:

I realized this the other day: I don’t have any pictures of myself. Other than a few snapshots, like with my band. I have a picture that’s on the fridge of us just getting off of the stage. I have a picture of me and Brett Ratner. I kind of don’t have pictures of Kurt around much or any images of myself. And a lot of celebrities do. I went to take my band to Paris [Hilton’s]’ house. There were images of her everywhere. I mean everywhere. And I like Paris. She’s funny. Is it the fall of civilization that Paris is famous for being famous? Not my job to speculate. I’m not a culture vulture, I’ll let Ariana Huffington fucking talk about that shit. But what’s weird is that Paris had so many pictures of herself everywhere. I mean, she has not only got a grand piano with—I swear to God—maybe a thousand pictures of herself, but I was in the bathroom, and there were, pictures of her everywhere! Everywhere! I’m just trying to pee and there’s just fucking. . .Paris.

On transaction:

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can be bought. I mean, wait: Versace, offered me $180,000. Yeah, $180,000 to go to a fashion show once, back in the day, and I thought: “This is stupid now. I could give my friend her start-up money to start a bakery, you know, I can walk down the Spanish steps, and you know, have all the supermodels climb me, and tell my daughter, you know, that I was hot enough to wear a see-through mauve caftan, right?” So, I said yes, and I did it. . . . And, you know, it really makes you think, do you have a price? And if so, what is it?

On being Jewish:

What’s funny about the Jewish thing is that I did this Barbara Walters special, and I had to watch that thing on TV, and that’s the last time I ever did drugs when I was watching that thing. Cause it Freaked. Me. Out. And, you know, I never watched Barbara Walters before. But, I remember telling her that I was Jewish, and I was really into it. . .and, she looked at me funny, and I remember she looked at me funny in the moment, and . . . being in Britain about half the year, I tend to spend about half the year there, because I really like it there, um, you know, the way that the people who are Jewish, you know, in L.A.? …I don’t know what the fuck I am. I am definitely an underdog though, so that puts me in the Tribe.

On re-entering the spotlight:

This guy interviewed me for the Advocate before Kurt died, and I was reading it, and I was like, oh my God, I was like so fearlessly hysterical. You know, I wonder if I’m the same way. . .or I’ve been scarred, or if I’ve been damaged, or deformed, or you know. . .deformed I mean like a tree that grows up gnarly, you know what I mean? Like, I wonder if all this death and tragedy and shit has really fucked with me. I can’t say I know. You know? Why do you think I have two shrinks?. . .See, my heeb side is coming out.

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