The other week in Los Angeles, I visited NME’s old friend, glam grunge survivor and latterday Hollywood conduit, Ms Courtney Love. I’ve been following the production of her long-awaited new album ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ ever since she picked up her career again in 2006 after the last round of troubles.
Yes, it’s been a long time. Yes, she’s on her third producer, fourth studio, and lord knows how many bass players. But along the way, extraordinary things have been afoot. What began as an attempt to reinvent herself as an MOR adult-rock artist with power-ballad queen Linda Perry at the helm was abandoned when it became apparent that that is just not how this lady rolls.
Next, she headed to London, with the intention of finding a band. The only survivor from that initial line-up comes from the most unlikely of sources – Micko Larkin, from sometime Albion reprobates Larrikin Love. She scooped him up, took him to the Chateau Marmont and set about polishing the talent she saw into her new Eric Erlandson.
She’s still kept a bunch of the songs she wrote with Perry (and, indeed, longtime compadre Billy Corgan). But when she began writing with Larkin (whose talent she looks like having been right about), it became obvious that the ‘Rock Courtney’ was back in action, and that this music could only come out under one name, HOLE.
Micko will be lead guitarist, and Hole bassist Melissa auf der Maur, though working on projects of her own, has returned for backing vocals, and may play bass on tours next year. The album is as good as done, with the rest of the touring line-up for now remaining TBC.
Now, there will be plenty of people who throw rocks at Courtney for bringing back a modified version of Hole for the same reasons that they threw rocks at Corgan for bringing back Smashing Pumpkins. I would raise them that Courtney and Billy are the essences of Hole and the Pumpkins for the same reasons that Liam and Noel are the essence of Oasis. Does anybody question the authenticity of an Oasis without Tony McCarroll, Bonehead and the other one? Thought not.
In any case, ‘Nobody’s Daughter’, the fourth Hole album, is likely to be released at the end of the 2009/early 2010 through a TBC label, with production by Michael Beinhorn. Check back tomorrow for a first-listen round-up of some of the tracks. But for now, an update from the studio.
To set the scene: it is midnight at the Henson Studios in West Hollywood. Three hours previously, Courtney rolled into Studio B for another night session, excitedly showing off her ‘first pair of leather pants in 20 years’. The room is adorned with photographs of the album’s muses, from Father Ted’s Father Jack to Elvis Presley. Micko has been instructed to research Hole’s cover of ‘He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)’ and Metallica string-tribute band Apocalyptica.
What followed was a three-hour playback/external monologue covering subjects ranging from The Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, insurance fraud, Russell Brand, and dressmaking. She revealed that she is still acting as indie shrink to Ryan Jarman (“I told him, ‘You know what selling out means? It means there are no tickets left for Madison Square Garden!”). She revealed that she is planning to “unleash” Florence and her Machine on America (“I played with her in London and she handed me my ass”).
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She revealed some exciting plans for a touring festival of the US next year (more details of which soon). And she revealed all manner of unrepeatable gossip about the galaxy of Hollywood stars that now make-up Courtney’s peer group. And then, after donning some handmade clothes, she prepared to address her public…
To Courtney’s left are her, ahem Doll Parts, the porcelain muses that have guided her through the making of the album. To her far left is Micko himself. It’s worth repeating a text message we received the following morning, after we had left them to work:
“OMG.OMG. OMG. Tonight was EPIC. This Micko is a genius. I owe [Queen Of Noize/Florence’s manager] Mairead Nash my life. Fuck Jack. Fuck Josh. Fuck Me. Fuck Everyone.”
Over to you, Courtney…