Patty Schemel on living with Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, ending up homeless and overcoming addiction
A lot of people wish they could’ve been a fly on the wall during the 90s grunge scene. Patty Schemel lived it. As the drummer for Hole, Schemel spent years on the road with Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, and documented both their musical and their personal experiences together.
“I got a video camera for Christmas, and I just took it on the road with me,” Schemel explains. “I would just film stuff, and then when we were playing shows I would just hand it to somebody on the side of the stage and they would film the shows.”
That footage came in handy for Hit So Hard, a 2011 documentary that retold Schemel’s harrowing experiences with addiction, alcoholism, and homelessness. She chronicled the darkest moments of her journey and her recovery, and how she came out the other side as a musician, wife, mother, and teacher. After the documentary’s release, Schemel thought she was done telling her story – until she was approached by a publisher. She initially resisted, not considering herself a writer, but after being connected to author and literary agent Erin Hosier, Schemel was able to revisit the heavier moments of her life and approach it with a newfound perspective.