Happy 50th birthday, Courtney Love. And thank you for this - the most awkward 'celebrity' interview of all time

What greater gift to bestow upon the world of entertainment as she marks her landmark year

“I tried out for the Mickey Mouse Club when I was 11,” Courtney Love said. “But I read a Sylvia Plath poem about incest, so that wasn’t really flying with Disney.”

And so her career continued thusly – the epitome of deliberate contradiction – as she stumbled from stage to interview, dressed like a prom queen and swearing like a trucker.

As the frontwoman of  grunge act Hole, she led an aggressive pro-female musical movement. She was also one of the least sisterly feminists in the business, famously punching Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna in the face in 1995 and winding up with a suspended sentence for assault.

She is a loving mother to Frances Bean Cobain and was a wife to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who tragically took his own life on 8 April 1994. As a couple, they both courted controversy and desperately suffered from it; their battles with drug addiction and fidelity all too crassly the morbid subject of public fascination.

 

“Some people say you, in a way, have got a death wish,” Barbara Walters asked a then 31 and still grieving Courtney Love in 1995, as she raked over the raw details of her continued self-abuse in the wake of Cobain’s death. “They say you’re going to end up dying well before [your time].”

Turns out, she was wrong. Because Love, in yet another contrasting twist, is the ultimate survivor. And despite all her experimentations, despite all the cards life has thrown at her, she’s managed to crawl her way to 50 with a clutch of classic records, an acclaimed acting credit and a reputation as one of the greatest rock stars of all time.

She’s also the woman behind one of the most awkward “celebrity” interviews ever conducted. No mean feat, we can assure you.

Behold – Courtney Love meets David Lettermen in 2004: a slurring, loose-limbed extravaganza that starts with cyclical boob flashing (in loving tribute to Drew Barrymore’s famous stunt) and ends with her desperately attempting to stay upright as she performs “Hold On To Me”. Absolute TV gold.

OK, two of the most awkward “celebrity” interviews ever conducted. Because it’s difficult to appreciate quite what Love has given the world of entertainment without making reference to this brilliant video bomb, in which she crashes an MTV interview with Madonna in 1995. She ends up on the floor. Naturally.

In classic Love style, she chose to mark her birthday her way - by listing her 50 biggest obsessions in a special column for XOJane. Top of her list? "Sex," she says. "Obviously." But her "proudest accomplishment", Frances Bean, comes a close second.

Read More: Love Claims She Tried To Help Peaches Geldof
COURTNEY LOVE CLAIMS SHE HAS 'FOUND' MISSING MALAYSIA PLANE
Love: 'They Will Forgive The Drugs, But Never Getting Fat'
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map