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Review: Hit So Hard – The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel

This documentary is a must for any Hole fan not just for the, often heartbreaking, old footage but for offering us up the time to appreciate exactly how good a drummer Patty was and what a lovely woman she appears to be now.

More than a rockumentary though, Hit So Hard is a devastating portrait of addiction and excess. Not just excess in the pursuit of entertainment or escapism but excess of emotion, of anger, of energy, of passion and the blaze that these often difficult, selfish, self-destructive people set fire to for the world to warm their hands around. Being a rock fan can be a vicarious, morally dubious thing at times and this film underlines precisely why.

It’s also a worthwhile reminder of the still-fragile place of women in the industry. Will we ever see another band like Hole again? I hope so, but I suspect not any time soon.

Bossy Bottom.

“Are you a top or a bottom when you sleep with women?” I ask.

“I’m still trying to figure that one out.”

“How about heterosexually? Top or bottom?”

She dips her head back in the water. “Heterosexually I’m a full-out bottom.”

“You’re probably a bossy bottom,” I guess.

“No,” she says. “That’s Madonna. That’s the difference between us… .

Love, Madonna.

I could watch this over every day for the rest of my life and never get bored of it.



I don’t give a fuck what CL says. I love this record. Almost Golden, Hello, Hold On To Me, Life Despite God, But Julian (the original from the Hollywood Bowl in 2001 was so much better with lines like ‘you know how when you went to the store? Well that was me I was following you around’) and of course the alternate version of Mono (with the Cleopatraesque Elizabeth Taylor demanding ‘you will kneel’). Plus Brody provided backing vocals on Sunset Strip! I love it.

the sound on A.S. sucked beyond words. The production was a nightmare. Linda and I had written some really good songs, but they were rendered lazily and sound like shit. The art was horrific and not my idea and the label didn’t back it at all. I was busy taking drugs to dull the pain of having lost everything and made a shit album to boot the producer [Jim Barber] didn’t know what he was doing and he just spent my money. It almost had a moment of being Exile on Main Street – almost – but that’s like almost winning a race. You either do or you do not. And in this case it’s a delightfully written record in parts and sonically untenable with two of the most pretentious songs I have ever written. I was so druggy I thought it’d be cute to rip off “Teen Spirit” on “I’ll Do Anything.” Believe it or not, “All the Drugs”, “Sunset Strip”, “Mono” and “But Julian…” are all good songs. They just were produced crap and the songs weren’t taken further than demo status. The art still makes me seethe. At least make it look cool, and instead there’s me as a Playboy pinup. I love Olivia’s art but that was personal for me – not art for a record.

Plus, this documentary footage from 2003 of the recording of America’s Sweetheart is pretty interesting with a little clip of Patty & CL towards the end.

I agree – personally I think it’s her best work.

The only issue I have with the entire album is that the alternate *I think US?* version of my favourite song on it Sunset Strip (possibly my favourite Courtney/Hole song) is terrible. The UK version that I bought at the time is AMAZING but it’s not on Spotify these days just the sucky one 🙁

Oh, and I adore the cover.