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"LOVE HANGOVER" by everett true

first featured in melody maker, august 13th 1994


life gets you like that sometimes.

I'm with luscious jackson, feeling real fine. Maybe this job ain't so bad after all. The band's just had their first decent meal in weeks, courtesy of our magazine: they're on a rare day off from lollapolooza's travelling freak show. We're cruising the main strip. We wander into the local rock club - coincidentally the last small club i ever saw nirvana play - and suddenly life hits a major hiccup. Courtney love is inside, readying herself to play onstage.

In my heat-racked sleep, i hear courtney walking up the stairs - loud, real loud - screaming my name, getting closer and closer. Someone is pounding on my hotel room door. I wake in a cold sweat, expecting to find a dead body outside my room. someone offers me a rohypnol and i freak. This is not a dream.

So, courtney is about to play a live show and she looks good. Real good. But she also looks wasted. Real wasted. Luscious jackson looks a bit bewildered. A cool feminist poet buys courtney a drink. Billy corgan is also in the vicinity. Courtney tries to get him and me to make up: "but everett, you'd like him. you're both scapegoats, you're both my closest friends. And he's so much like kurt."

She forces us to touch hands. We both run. Literally.

So billy's onstage now and he looks pretty darn near wasted, too. He's giving some long rambling speech about his dark side, his misogynist side, and i suspect that in his own fumbling way he's attempting irony and it's mostly aimed in my direction. So i sound self-important? I'm so fucking sorry. it's the way i get treated, okay? Billy's telling the scummy audience about the time some girl-fan came up to his hotel room and asked him to sign her breasts and he refused and threw half-naked out of the place. And then he laughs and asks us to make way for courtney love, widow to the stars.

Courtney's getting onstage, and she's giving a long ramble about me and billy corgan, and how we should make up and be friends, and also asking how many of the audience are pisces like kurt and telling them how she'll fuck them afterwards. Don't you all love a survivor? Aren't they all so fucking cute?

Courtney begins her three-song set with "doll parts" and it sounds like the first time she ever played that song to me - down a phoneline at 4am, alone in the kitchen at a party. I can't fucking bring myself to watch her. I hide underneath plumes of cigarette smoke, silent tears creasing my face. People clap and cheer, dutifully. Wow! It's just like being in some fucking crazy movie.

Courtney introduces the next song, "pennyroyal tea" the one she co-wrote with kurt, with a long preamble about how a critic [former melody maker reviews editor jim arundel] once called it the worst song nirvana ever played and simultaneously, hole's finest moment. Is this because hole were touched by nirvana, thus providing a brilliant song? And nirvana were touched by courtney, therefore proving a bad one? The insult is implicit. Hole were never nirvana. Period. Ever. And why the fuck would people - especially you, courtney - want to compare the two bands? Tonight, "pennyroyal tea" sounds truly apalling - painful to listen to on any number of levels, not least for what it represents and the vast emptiness which is left in courtney's life, which she will never fill, even if she were allowed to. it seems to last an eternity, what with all the false chords and false starts and courtney's screaming.

I have a tape recorder in my bag and halfway through all this, it occurs to me that i should switch it on. But why bother? This is not real. This is just some fucked-up dream. And i can't begin to capture on tape what isn't there.

Courtney starts to leave, but decides one more song will suffice: the single, "miss world." A friend from one of the other bands on the bill tonight stands by, to lend support and add vocals where previously kristen would've done. Her friend has her work cut out, that's for sure. Courtney is also incoherent by now, staring at the ceiling, not even caring which notes or which chords she plays. "i am a girl, so sick i cannot try." For fuck's sake, courtney. Please.


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