It may be relatively easy for strong young women in the limelight to harbour feminist ideals. Once people have access to big money, though, you expect them to lose their liberalism. Courtney Love is a welcome exception to the rule: if anything her ideals have strengthened with her power. She reads books about women voraciously. (Naomi Woolf; Camille Paglia - "I'm beginning to see why she's dangerous as well as original"; Susan Faludi's Backlash - "it made me cry, it's so fuckin' true. You must read it, it's your responsibility as a journalist). She slams the "fucking homophobes" who go to Guns N' Roses concerts: "And I don't want people like that coming to see Hole because they think they can see my underwear." She says in a mock evil-greedy voice "no matter what happends I'll have some land" of the property (about three miles from the Twin Peaks location, 40 minutes drive out of Seattle) she and Kurt recently bought. Then she goes on to explain that they bought a further six acres to prevent the local racist loonies from securing it. She describes Seattle as having a "sick history of right-wing activities that are really scary" - not least its treatment of Frances Farmer (after whom she named her baby and with whom she strongly identifies). An intelligent, uncompromising actress in the Thirties and Forties, Farmer suffered for her radical politics and ideas. In what became a national cause celebre, she was committed to an asylum and subjected to LSD therapy and, finally, a frontal lobotomy.
It's well past midnight after a nine-hour photo session. Courtney is concerned about Frances Bean having a slight cold, but, reassured after a quick phone call, she is eager to go out. There's a sprinkle of white dusty snow outside, and it's still falling. The local freebie music paper is throwing a party, and having a last drink or two as we turn up is Sub Pop sidekick Jonathan Poneman plus assorted members of Mudhoney. Courtney, on an adrenaline rush after the session, runs around greeting people and making introductions. Eric, Patty and Leslie look much happier than they have all day. "This is honestly the first time I've been out in ages and it's been OK," says Courtney, grasping a bottle of cider (only her second - she can't drink) and grinning from ear to ear.
It's time to go. Everyone is being herded out of the bar. The snow is deep now and drunken snowball fights have started. We get into the car and white chunks hit the windscreen with force. Courtney is laughing. She winds down the window and, in her best and deepest mock-serious voice, says to someone from Mudhoney: "Don't you know who I am?"
"My Beautiful Son" is released on City Slang at the end of this month; an album is scheduled for sometime in the autumn.