Best Courtney Love Interview Ever!
I just went through my old zines and found this: In 1993 (one year before Live Through This) Rollerderby interviewed Courtney Love with the intention of gabbing about clothes and instead got amazing rants about cheese and how her ex-boyfriends used to fart on her. I violated a few ethics codes and copyright laws and copied the entire dialogue after the jump- it’s a rollercoaster of an interview, but worth reading for the riot grrrl derangement and the Kurt Cobain cameo.
[Rollerderby was one of the best zines of the 90s - buy the book collection]
COURTNEY: I’m in the middle of having a crisis, a very heavy thing that I’m sure you’ll be reading about in the papers shortly. It’s the worst time to call. But I’d love to talk to you. Everett is obsessed wit you. You’re the next star on his list. You know Everett, right?
COURTNEY: Everett’s the guy that like runs England.
COURTNEY: He makes you famous – Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Babes, me, etc. et al. Everett runs England and he’s wrapped around my thumb but he loves you totally independent of me. I gotta take credit: Thurston Moore – I said to him, “Thurston – Rollerderby.” And ever since then he’s been dedicating songs to you all across America. You’ve got such a really good language – that’s what I love about you, your language – the Lisa Crystal Carver lexicon.
COURTNEY: but you know what? Call me later. I’m in the middle of death.
Lisa: How later?
COURTNEY: [To friend] When will this be over, Laura? [To Lisa] Tomorrow. I love you, Lisa. I think you’re great. I think I’ve taken your place in the void, and you deserve my place – if you want it. I want a relationship with you. I want to help you. I want to make you into what you are.
Lisa: Oh. Well, I’ll let you go take care of your problems, and I’ll try calling tomorrow.
COURTNEY: I have green fingernail polish, and I’m gonna go put it on in your honor.
Lisa: Oh. Well, thank you.
COURTNEY: OK, darling, call me tomorrow.
COURTNEY: Oh hi, Lisa, I’m in the middle of a huge disaster.
COURTNEY: Well, it’s the same one. It’s going on and on and on. I’m going to go to Ireland, try to get my head together. Or I might go to Minnesota.
COURTNEY: I’d love for you to write me. Why don’t you start writing me and I’ll write you back.
Lisa: I could write you, but I wonder if I could ask you a few questions now.
COURTNEY: Yeah, I got a few minutes. We gotta make this quick, ‘cause shit is going down here. What is this?
Lisa: I’m asking women about clothes.
COURTNEY: Who have you asked?
Lisa: My mother, Lydia Lunch…
COURTNEY: You know what? I was doing Loveline on KROQ, and Lydia sent this fax in that said like, “You’ll never be smarter than me. Stop trying to cop me….” So I read it out over the air and I said, “Lydia, I’ve been copping you since I fucking heard of you. You’re the best thing on the planet. I give you more tribute than anybody else and I love you and I wish you wouldn’t be so mad at me. And, Lydia, if there’s anything I can do for you – if there’s any philosophical, tax deductible thing that I can contribute to – you know how to get in touch with m.”
Lisa: You offered her money.
COURTNEY: Basically, yeah. I love Lydia. Who else did you interview?
Lisa: A girl named Christy who says the sun melts our lard –
COURTNEY: I have a tip! I lost 40 pounds, and I have a real tip> I was fat from 14 to 24. When you’re fat like I was – which is five feet, eight inches and 150 to 170 pounds – you do not get to fuck the boys you want to fuck. Right? Right?
COURTNEY: The minute I got skinny and got a nose job and became photogenic, and all of a sudden I had a bidding war, and every boy I ever wanted, wanted me.
Lisa: What’s your tip?
COURTNEY: The thing you gotta do is – A! Stop counting calories! Okay? B! DO not get on a scale! ‘Cause lean muscle weighs more than fat. All right? I cut out FAT! That’s all you gotta do. FAT! No cheese. That’s it, Lisa. Period. NO CHEESE. I told this to KROQ, I told this to my nanny. People I tell this to lose ten, 30 pounds. STOP CHEESE. You know why the Orientals are not fat? ‘Cause they look on cheese as this gross, Western habit – it’s like sour milk LARD. They don’t want anything to fucking do with cheese. If you’re gonna eat cheese, take it out on a picnic, cut it up carefully, and really taste it – with wine or something. Don’t melt it on shit. And I lost 40 POUNDS by not eating cheese. And I even ate a little mayonnaise. All right. Skip the butter and skip the cheese and you will lose weight. I swear to God, Lisa. I was a fat girl my whole life. No one would fuck, and when they did they’d do things like fart in front of me. I told my friend that this guy farted in front of me, and you know what he said?
COURTNEY: He said, “Well, look at her; wouldn’t you fart in front of her?”
Lisa: Oh! Here’s my second question –
COURTNEY: Don’t eat cheese. There are a million things to eat that are not cheese.
Lisa: Tell me about the preparation s for a photo shoot for a professional magazine.
COURTNEY: They bring in all these fucking people: make-up people, stylist people- all they are is gossips. When I did the SPIN cover, I put ‘em all in the kitchen and made them all sign disclosure agreements. I said, “If you have any ethics at all, you’re not going to lie about what you see in my house today. [My husband and I] have a good life here, we have a good relationship and a great child. And do not go outside of this house and be bitches and queens and cunts and put down another woman just because you’re pissed that I married a heartthrob and you believe. Vanity Fair [which speculated that Courtney took heroin during her pregnancy]. All right, fuckers?” They come in, they’ve got this rack of clothes. I’m gonna wear their fuckin’ clothes – I’m gonna wear my own nightie! And then the head of Geffen’s art department is telling me, “Well, the editor of Mirabella really wants to put you in Christian LaCroix and blah blah blah.” I said, “You know what? You get me a Chanel suit, I’ll pose.” With green fingernail polish. Wouldn’t you?
COURTNEY: With gloves?
Lisa: It wouldn’t suit me.
COURTNEY: Are you pear-shaped?
COURTNEY: I’ve seen you naked. Chanel would look great on you. Well, when I make you a star, Lisa, you’ll have your own [professional?] and you’ll see what they’ll do.
Lisa: Something about noses –
COURTNEY: You remember me on the cover of Flipside [in the pre-nose job days]?
Lisa: I thought your nose looked good. The thing about, say, if you have a big nose (which is not supposed to be beautiful), is that if you do become famous or powerful with your big nose intact, the nose adds to the strength of your image. That idiosyncrasy sets you apart, above. Like Frida Kahlo’s eyebrow.
COURTNEY: I have other strengths. I have to be pretty if I’m going to get over. And I have to get over if I’m gonna fuck [the system] up. And I’m gonna fuck it up.
Lisa: I don’t think your prettiness got you where you are. There are thousands of perfect faced girls who –
COURTNEY: Bull…shit! Lisa, until I fixed myself I wasn’t offered a fucking job anywhere but in a strip joint. The minute I fucking got pretty –
Kurt Cobain: [On the phone] Why don’t you talk to her about your real problems?
COURTNEY: I’m talking to Lisa – does that matter to you?
COURTNEY: I’ll be off the phone in a few minutes. Can you give me that little space for my other life?
Kurt: Our life is a little more important.
COURTNEY: Well, Kurt, your rock band is more important.
Kurt: My rock band – don’t even fucking talk about my rock band –
COURTNEY: Well, I’m a feminist and I try to fucking help other feminists and I’m sorry if that offends you and I’m not gonna talk to her about my fucking drug problem. We’re talking about beauty and skin –
Kurt: I’m not offended by your being a feminist, Courtney, and I really resent you putting those words in my mouth.
COURTNEY: Then why did you swagger out and tell me to talk about my real problems?
Kurt: Because we need to get on the ball with this –
COURTNEY: All right, I’ll be off in three minutes, all right? Lisa, I got three minutes, OK?
Lisa: I have plenty of stuff here. We can hang up now.
COURTNEY: I just want to say that now that I lost the weight and go the nose job , now I get [all these fabulous opportunities] and Everett decided I was beautiful and made me a star –
Lisa: and you think it’s OK that people are doing these things for you because you have a nice nose?
COURTNEY: YES! Because I’m going to FUCKING use it against them, Lisa. You gotta believe in me. I never sell out the fat and the ugly. I never do. My very first interview in ’89, what did I say? I said, “Sexual attractiveness I the most subversive thing.” You know what I’m saying? Everyone called me ugly. Even Kurt – he said he felt sorry for me [over a certain picture].
Lisa: I understand how beauty is a tool for you. I’m not saying someone sells out if they get a nose job. I’m asking you if you trust the motives of those who like you now.
COURTNEY: I wonder about that sometimes late at night…But I don’t think so. Every one of Kurt’s ex-girlfriends is overweight and has a big nose. Looks are not paramount with him. [Courtney tells a long, somewhat mean tales about Kurt’s ex-girlfriends, tells me twice about Sharon Stone scowling at her, kicks Kurt out of the kitchen when he tries to get Courtney to come talk to him, and tells me she wishes she still had close female friendships like she reads about in Rollerderby.]
Lisa: I should give you Darcy’s number – she might be more into being “made” than I am.
COURTNEY: [Whispery little girl voice] Do you not like me?
Lisa: What do you mean, do I not like you?
COURTNEY: Do you not like me?
Lisa: I think you’re fascinating.
COURTNEY: Well, why? ‘Cause of the fame? If I weren’t famous, would you like me?
Lisa: Your fame is part of what’s interesting about you, but I –
COURTNEY: But would you like me if I wasn’t famous, Lisa?
Lisa: Well, let me finish my sentence. I think you’ve gotten your fame because of your personality, so the two are tied together.
COURTNEY: You don’t like me, do you?
Lisa: I didn’t say that.
COURTNEY: I know you don’t like me. You don’t like me. Nobody does.
Lisa: I called you to interview you about clothes.
COURTNEY: I’m sorry I wore the little girl dresses ‘cause the word “girl” is what’s making all the evil, sexist journalists heavy breathe about: “Oh, girls don’t menstruate; girls don’t have hairy legs; girls are cute – girl.” Mainstream fucking America media is Exxon is Satan, baby, and you better go read your fucking Backlash. [Sinister, angry voice] You don’t like me?
Lisa: I don’t know you.
COURTNEY: How could you not know me – we just talked for an hour. You think I’m not on your side – you think I’m in it for myself. I’m not. I’m a Buddhist. Fame is gonna happen to you – I’m gonna make it happen. Lisa! I turned down Oliver Stone last week! Do you know how much my value went up? My stock went up a thousand percent. I said, “no, no, I’m not interested.” You don’t say that to Oliver stone!