Hole frontwoman also promises to do band's legacy justice on forthcoming comeback
Courtney Love addressed students at the Oxford Union last night (February 12), using her talk to lambast the UK music scene and label her last solo album ‘America’s Sweetheart’ “really crap”.
The returning rocker is in the UK to relaunch Hole, who are set to play a Shockwaves NME Awards Show at the London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire next Wednesday (February 17). Yesterday, she accepted an invitation to address Oxford‘s university students.
Dressed all in black, Love showed up on time, just after 8:30pm (GMT) and spoke for an hour, briefly telling the audience about her history with the UK before taking questions from the floor.
She chastised UK music fans for the state of the music industry, at one point attacking the popularity of Crazy Frog.
“Your country did a terrible thing in sending the singing frog into the charts,” she said of the 2005 ringtone chart success. “That was a terrible thing that you did to us because then ringtones started to compete with songs.”
Love was also asked for her opinion on the future of major record labels, which saw her slam the growing practise of ‘360 deals’, which see labels take a cut of an artists’ touring and merchandise revenue. “Friends don’t let friends do 360 deals,” she said of the concept, which has been endorsed by the likes of Jay-Z and Madonna.
Asked what she would like to be her legacy, Love said: “I’d like to my tombstone to say one word, which is ‘honourable'”. She then admitted that her previous solo album ‘America’s Sweetheart’ (2004) was a “really crap record”, and reasoned that drug issues were to blame.
“I thought I could be both Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] at the same time, but one of you has to be sober and I’m not two people. Much of my hi-jinx have been drug-related. When you’re under 30, whatever, but once you’re past 40 it’s just ugly.”
Love later joked that “there’s no bigger drug than adrenaline – you [Oxford Union] must know this from rowing”.
Speaking of the controversies surrounding her decision to carry on using the Hole name despite protestations from former bassist Melissa Auf der Maur and guitarist Eric Erlandson, she said: “Melissa Auf der Maur, our old bass player with the really thin hips and the great ass, she wanted to do a reunion, but I said ‘Melissa, we only did two relevant records’. I will play old songs. Legacy is to be written.”
Meanwhile, the singer also spoke on the subject of celebrity.
“I think of celebrity as an ancillary accessory, but I’m not a very good celebrity,” Love said. “I’m a very good rock musician. I made some movies in the ’80s and that brought a small level of celebrity, but celebrity without money is just gross. You got people, like, photographing you while you’re stripping.”