It didn’t take long for Courtney Love to put her stamp on Lollapalooza. Belligerent as ever on stage, Hole’s notoriously contentious frontwoman seems to be working overtime behind the scenes to puncture the summer carnival’s cozy atmosphere. Here, a blow-by-blow account of Love’s losing-it streak so far:
Just hours into the alterna-fest’s July 4 debut in George, Wash., Love started a fight backstage with Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna, a guest of performers Sonic Youth. While the brawl was brief (a source says it ended it after a punch or two), it was just the beginning of Love’s feuding.
That same day, Youth’s Thurston Moore, a friend of Love’s and Hanna’s, made an entry in Spin Online’s Lollapalooza Tour Journals, calling Love’s swipe a ”sucker punch.” He added that he was ”disgusted” by the incident. Love shot back with a 2,000-word harangue that included vicious barbs against a woman, apparently Hanna, whom she said was her late husband Kurt Cobain’s ”worst enemy ever.” The next day in Vancouver, Love allegedly broadened her taunts by calling fans of ganja-glorifying rappers Cypress Hill ”pothead pussies.” At the tour’s next stop in Denver, Hill frontman B-Real was fuming. ”We’re not letting s— slide,” he said. ”It’s all about war.” From the stage he told the crowd: ”Never let a blond woman call you a pothead pussy!”
For Mighty Mighty Bosstones lead singer Dicky Barrett, the Love bite came backstage at the Polaris Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio, on July 14. He was midway through a live phone interview on Chicago’s WLUP-FM when Love took the receiver to offer, among other thoughts, that she has ”clocked” four people since achieving star status. ”Everybody I clock gets famous,” she said. When LUP DJ Liz Wilde jokingly offered herself up for punching, Love demurred. ”I wouldn’t…because you haven’t been bugging me and Kurt for the past five years.”
Hard to imagine, but Love’s sideshow has managed to hurt her less-than-savory reputation. Hanna plans to file charges for the July 4 dustup, and even devoted fans are rejecting the antics. ”She made a complete slut of herself,” said Nicole Faivre, 13, of Longmont, Colo. ”I wouldn’t want her back here again.”
Additional reporting by Jeff Gordinier