Melissa Auf Der Maur: ‘Courtney Love is one of the most misunderstood, wild card, strange individuals’

"I watched her be burned at the stake. How many people get accused of murdering their husband when they’re left with their daughter?"

Melissa Auf Der Maur has spoken out in praise of Courtney Love and the legacy of Hole, ahead of an upcoming tribute concert to her former bandmate.

On October 27,  a tribute event directed by Auf der Maur and artist Joe Mama-Nitzberg will take place at Basilica Hudson’s biennial Pioneering People fundraiser in Hudson, New York –  hosted by Michael Stipe, Chloë Sevigny, the National’s Aaron Dessner, Ryan McGinley, Yelena Yemchuk and Ebon Moss-Bachrach.

Speaking to Stereogum about the show and the recent 20th anniversary of Hole’s ‘Celebrity Skin’, Auf Der Maur reflected on what her celebrated past meant to her in 2018.


“I’ve never been one for reunions and I’ve never jumped at that opportunity when Hole have brought it up or there have been invitations to do so,” she said. “But I had a revelation, really simple. It’s the 20th anniversary of when I left Hole, when we put out our last record. Next year is the 25th anniversary of ‘Live Through This’. We have, until now, not done reunions.”

She continued: “Honestly, the event that we’re honouring Courtney with, Pioneering People, we did it once with John Waters, once with Rufus Wainwright. Earlier this year I realised it’s gotta be a woman. So it occurred to me, well, Courtney’s a pioneer. And Courtney deserves a creative bouquet of honouring.

“She’s one of the most misunderstood, wild card, strange individuals, and Hole’s legacy is important to me, as far as it being looked at with the respect it deserves and the impact it made. The impact is very real. The #MeToo moments, Courtney was always saying this stuff.”

Courtney Love shares a Donald Trump x Kurt Cobain meme
Courtney Love. (Getty)

Auf Der Maur went on to defend her former bandmate against the often negative portrayal and wild conspiracy theories about husband Kurt Cobain’s death.


“They just wrote her off as a crazy bitch,” she continued. “That’s not OK. In the ’90s, there was much less of an understanding of how complicated people are complicated for a reason and they deserve a lot more compassion.

“I watched her be burned at the stake. How many people get accused of murdering their husband when they’re left with their daughter? It’s just unacceptable. I’ve always defended her in terms of any of that negative stuff.”

Love recently returned to the stage for Smashing Pumpkins’ 30th anniversary show – joining the likes of Deftones’ Chino Moreno, AFI’s Davey Havok, New Order/Joy Division legend Peter Hook and many more.

She’s also currently working on a new memoir about her life as well as a ‘beat heavy’ new album.

Asked what the record would sound like, Love said that it would be rock but with ‘beats’, adding “like Lana has beats. And Lorde has beats.”