Despite what you’ve been told, SXSW isn’t all about chasing buzz bands in the blazing Texan sunshine, turning a fetching shade of lobster as you do so. One way to preserve that pasty English complexion is to head inside and watch the movies being screened as part of the Film arm of this mega industry event.
This year music movies more than held their own, with screenings and premieres of everything from Who Took The Bomp, a concert flick following Le Tigre on their final world tour to King Of Luck; the Billy Bob Thornton-directed Willie Nelson tribute, as well as the new Foo Fighters film and You Instead, a rom-com set against the rather un-rom backdrop of T In The Park.
For a Hole fan and hell, anyone with even a passing interest in alt. American sounds from the 1990s, ‘Hit So Hard’ – a new documentary about the band’s former drummer Patty Schemel and her descent into drug addiction – was pretty much unmissable.
Here’s what we learned from the film:
1. Courtney Love thinks Hole’s debut album ‘Pretty on the Inside’ is “unlistenable”.
2. Patty left Hole thanks to ‘Celebrity Skin’ producer Michael Beinhorn, who wanted to replace her with a session player on the album. “We lost some of the soul,” says guitarist Eric Erlandson of the state of the band after Patty left. “What the fuck were we thinking?”
3. Patty was replaced by a lookalike in the video for ‘Celebrity Skin’.
4. The unreleased song ‘Stinking of You’, co-written by Courtney and Kurt Cobain, and which the pair sing acoustically in home video footage recorded by Patty, is actually amazing.
5. Courtney can’t remember hiring Patty for the band. “I was completely high on dope,” she says in the film. “I cannot remember much about it”.
6. Kurt allegedly hated his band during the last year of his life, preferring to spend his time with Courtney, Patty and his daughter Frances.
7. Courtney thinks it’s “just not fair” that the death of former Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff from an overdose was overshadowed by the suicide of Cobain two months before.
8. Kristen’s replacement, Melissa Auf de Maur says that Patty is “the most important redhead in my whole life”. Aw.
9. Lady drummers – if you’re going by those interviewed in the film; Alice de Buhr (Fanny), Debbie Peterson (the Bangles), Kate Schellenbach (Beastie Boys/Luscious Jackson), Gina Schock (the Go-Gos) and Patty herself – are about as far away from the simpleton drummer stereotype as you can get. When we grow up we want to be a lady drummer.
10. Patty ended up living on the streets, resorting to prostitution to pay for drugs, but has now been clean for five years and looks after dogs for a living. A happy ending, then!
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For more information about ‘Hit So Hard’, visit Pattydoc.com