Hole is a Band; Courtney Love is a Soap Opera
In 1989, Courtney placed a classified ad in a few rock magazines. It read “I want to start a band. My influences are Big Black, Sonic Youth and Fleetwood Mac.” A guy named Eric Erlandson responded to the ad.
Eric would later say, “She called me back about two weeks later and talked my ear off until three in the morning…I met her and thought, this is not going to work. She didn’t know how to play, and she had a really crazy lifestyle. I didn’t think she would get her shit together.”
Courtney and Eric found a bassist named Jill Emery and a drummer, Caroline Rue. Courtney Love was finally in a band of her very own. They called themselves “Hole.”
Courtney called up a man named Long Gone John who had a small L.A. record label, Sympathy for the Record Industry. He liked what he heard when he saw Hole play and gave the band $500 to record their first single which they called Retard Girl.
Caroline Records later signed the band and they released their debut album, “Pretty On The Inside” in 1991. To give the album a raw edge, Courtney would chug whiskey before laying down the vocals. “Pretty On The Inside” was an album full of screaming and hissing about everything from teenage prostitution to abortion. The album was a perfect display of Courtney’s angry and emotional life so far. When Kat Bjelland heard the record, she found it ironic because Courtney always said she preferred new wave pop music next to punk.
“That record was me posing in a lot of ways. It was the truth, but it was also me catching up with all my hip peers who’d gone indie on me and made fun of me for liking REM.”
The New Yorkers Music Critic, Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote the following about Hole’s debut album. “Pretty On The Inside is such a cacophony-full of such grating, abrasive, and unpleasant sludges of noise. Very few people are likely to get through it once, let alone give it the repeated listenings it needs for you to discover that it is probably the most compelling album to have been released in 1991.”
Courtney also persuaded Peter Davis to be their manager. They went on a National tour and played in small clubs across the U.S. Courtney had become an underground legend for her impressive business manoeuvres and her on stage screaming.
Everett True wrote Hole’s first rave review in the popular British music magazine, Melody Maker. “Hole is the only band in the world right now and they’re going to be so huge six months from now you’re going to wonder how you survived without them."
Hole was signed to a major label, DGC, in 1993. Courtney fired their drummer, Caroline Rue, and Jill Emery later quit as well. After a few months and a long break, Hole finally found another drummer, Patty Schemel. Kristen Pfaff from Minneapolis became the new bass player for Hole.
In 1993, Hole put out another single called Beautiful Son, a song Courtney wrote about her husband, Kurt Cobain. The cover had a picture of Kurt from when he was six or seven years old, and it was surrounded with pills, bows, and candy.
Hole started to record their second full-length album, which would be called “Live Through This.” The critic’s were raving about this album, they said it was going to be big, and Courtney was finally getting the credit she thought she deserved for her musical talents. Hole started to get lots of interviews, lots of publicity, and lots of photo shoots.
Kristen Pfaff died of a heroin overdose, and was later replaced by Melissa auf der Maur. In the summer of 1994, Hole went on tour for their second album. It was just a few months after Kurt Cobain had killed himself. “This is my job. This is what I do.”
Eric Erlandson, Hole guitarist said “The first show was a mess, the second show was even a bigger mess, but the third time we played it all came together.”
“We generally hide behind lots of aggression and noise. Now it seems like we’re trying to be mature of something,” said the new bassist Melissa in a Kurt Loder interview with MTV. Over the next few years the band became more than just mature. Hole’s next album was called Celebrity Skin, and was released earlier this year, in September 1998. This album goes back to Courtney’s first love in music. New wave pop music.