Courtney Love focuses on sobriety


Courtney Love is bored in her suite at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard, waiting to perform nearby. "We have nothing to do." But she picks up the phone, and we go down memory lane to spice things up.

I ask her to reminisce about Vegas, since she's appearing Saturday at The Venetian's club Tao to promote Hole's new album, "Nobody's Daughter."

"Las Vegas -- I once married an idiot there," she says. "A guy who turned out to be a transvestite. ... Not exactly someone you want to spoon."

That was a husband before Kurt Cobain, in 1988. They were drunk and found a chapel.

"Idiotic," she says.

It took months to annul. She claims the marriage was never consummated.

Then there was the time she rode to Vegas in a limo with author Neil Strauss, a day after she got out of rehab. Strauss helped porn star Jenna Jameson write a book in 2004. The three of them went to Crazy Horse Too, where Jameson used to strip.

Jameson ended up "having a meltdown in the bathroom."

"Which I can totally understand, because it would melt me down if I had to go to Jumbo's Clown Room or Seventh Veil," Love says. (That's where Love stripped in her youth.)

Next thing you know, Love was at the Hard Rock Hotel with Jameson, Tommy Lee, a music producer and Jenny McCarthy. McCarthy wasn't doing blow, but "all these other people were," Love says.

"And I kept getting off the blow everywhere I went -- and I had just got out of rehab the day before!"

Love is telling these stories with gloom, not glee. She's focused on sobriety, she says. She moved from L.A. to New York. She and Hole finally wrapped "Nobody's Daughter" after several years.

She even gave up men while recovering and recording.

"The word celibate is applicable, technically," she says.

"I disentangled with men in terms of romantic attachments, sexual attachments, because I had a really long, strange situation that went on about nine years, and I don't really want to comment on it."

Those nine years included drugs, and rehab, and not writing a song for three years when she was with a man she rails against now, all of which ended with her accusing people of stealing millions of dollars from her and her daughter's trust fund. Those nine years are too complex to detail in this column. Trust me.

But men aren't complex at all.

"I disentangled from all of them," she says, but adds an amendment: "I had a few balls in the air, actually." (She laughs at her double entendre.)

"I tend to give my power away to men, or feel intensely lost," she says. Celibacy "was a way of empowering myself, so that I could make this record and not fall under this trap of being distracted."

Celibacy sucks, she says.

"It's like the end of that movie, 'Elizabeth,' when she puts on the white, and you know she's not gonna get any (man tool) for the rest of her life. It's sad. She's gotta be the queen and not get any (sex) -- or, not be the queen and be a consort.

"I wish I was a dude, and I could just (sex) a chick and forget about it in 20 minutes, and wish she would turn into a pizza slice. But that's not the way it goes."

Last week, she got playful with Dave Navarro after a performance in L.A.

"Me and Dave have years and years and years of sexual tension. So we just started making out, and it was awesome. He goes, 'Someday, baby.' 'I said, 'Tonight?'"

No, not that night. She flipped him off, comically.

"There's nothing going on between me and Dave, other than the fact we're the only two people within our crew who actually haven't done it. We're the last two left!" she says and laughs again.

How have she and Navarro never hooked up?

"It was a series of misconnections in the natural selection of things. Natural selection is a funny beast," she says.

Then, of course, there's Kurt. She's not fond of rumors that Robert Pattinson could play Kurt in a Nirvana movie.

"It's obviously just not a good match, that's all. I'm only one of four or five executive producers, so it's not entirely my decision. But -- wink-wink," she says, implying she wields major casting power.

She won't comment on who might portray her.

She's thinking of selling the rest of Kurt's estate that's at her disposal, not for the money, but for "emotional" reasons. She told the New York Times she doesn't want Kurt buying her shoes anymore. "I don't want to talk about it," she says.

We also don't talk about her and Kurt's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, who is in the custody of Kurt's mother and turns 18 this summer.

Love asserts she doesn't want to talk about much, although she lets slip things such as this in the middle of our chat:

"Oh -- a big packet of birth control pills. 'A new style.' I'm reading the pamphlet because -- oh, you don't need to know about my birth control pills. It's much more for my gynecologist."

Until recently, she was saying a lot on Twitter, but then she got slammed for writing about Jessica Simpson's nicotine gum.

"I'm really not allowed to go on Twitter," she says.

By whom?

"Oh, everyone. The collective. People that care for me."

Did they give her a Twitter intervention?

"Yes. A Twittervention," she says.

"I just got made fun of so much. It was like ... 'You're 45 years old. What the (expletive) are you doing getting in trouble on Twitter?'"

Love knows she's survived despite herself and others.

"I should probably not be here, 10 times over. But I am. Still standing. Oh ye, of little faith."

She and Hole are getting very good reviews for the new album.

"I'm a dirty blues singer. I think my voice has gotten better, strangely. It definitely has character. That would be cigarettes."

And now she's ready to hang up and leave her suite at the Chateau Marmont.

"The sun's up. It's a beautiful day. I want to go check out the courtyard, and see who the (expletive) is in there, doing what."

She'll be back here any minute now.

"All right, lover. I'll see you in Vegas."

Doug Elfman's column appears on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 383-0391 or e-mail him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He also blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

 

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