It wasn't true then and it's not true now and I open with it not (just) to put the subliminal idea in your head that I might, in case we should ever meet, but because it wasn't just the way she looks that made it such a great compliment. I was 16, and Love was one of a group of female musicians I was discovering who were opening my eyes to what women in music and outside of it, could be like.
I was never a Nirvana fan particularly, certainly not at the time. A combination of being too young, too uncool, into the wrong things... So the fact of her marriage to Kurt Cobain was an aside to me, a curiosity, and never really affected how I consumed her music. We all know she'll wear that relationship like a millstone no matter what else she does, forever, and that shouldn't be what defines her.
I have to admit I haven't paid a lot of attention to Love, or Hole much in recent years. They slipped off my radar. But that teen spark persisted, and when I heard she was touring it flared up into YES BUY TICKETS NOW.
if she were male, all of the behaviours for which she is derided would be held up as evidence of her Rock God status.
Here's the thing. I realised that often, once I'm at a gig, I am alone for large parts of it anyway â pushing my way to the front when friends want to hang back, or staying at the edge out of the way of the mosh pit when they want to get in there. Any awkwardness I worried about evaporated: no-one cares anyway, they're all there for the same thing, and that's to see the band, so why are they counting how many people you have with you? They're not, and if they are it's very definitely their problem.
Love's reputation precedes her, and when I was buying tickets with the choice of Sunday or Monday I did joke to people about getting them for the first night "in case she gets arrested or something between gigs". Which is a bit unfair from someone who has no idea what Love has been up to for the past few years. And I have always firmly believed that if she were male, all of the behaviours for which she is derided would be held up as evidence of her Rock God status.
But on Sunday night, a Rock God is exactly what she was.
From the moment she walked on she commanded the stage. Stunning and vocally exceptional, she sang, chatted, gave out flowers to the crowd. Half the men of her generation who spent as much time as she did doing drugs and smoking would be lucky if their voices sounded half as good. Whether sheâs crooning Malibu heartbreakingly, snarling, "was she asking for it?!" her voice is astoundingly good.
My decision to go on Sunday was vindicated only in her saying, "You guys are lucky, this is my first night. Tomorrow I'm going to be all croaky and grumpy". She insisted on taking several big drags on her e-cigarette - "this is an electronic cigarette everyone. Apparently I have to tell you that. It's a drag" - before launching into the first number.
She didn't play a lot of guitar, as she explains in thisinterview, thanks to her time addicted to crack "I can still write a song, but [the guitar playing] sounds like shit, so I have to give it to Micko [Larkin, her currrent guitarist]".
But she did insist on being given one when she decided to play Olympia... "hey, do you guys know that song.. 'And I went to school..?'" she asked the crowd. "Yeah? Shall I play it? I wrote it in like 3 minutes but everyone seems to like it, they always ask for it..." And then, remembering her band, "oh shit yeah it's not on the set list. Oh just give me a fucking guitar. I wrote the fucking song"
And that enthusiasm and fun summed up the whole gig. When someone shouted that she should get her tits out she laughed them off with, "listen honey I'm 49. If you missed seeing them at the time then too bad for you, they're staying where they are tonight." When people shouted song requests she listened thoughtfully: "hmm, maybe later. I'll see how I feel. And how you feel."
Sticking to the set list, her and the band tore through old and new songs. There was a lot of classic Hole, songs from Celebrity Skin making up a lot of the list, a fair few songs from Live Through This, but mixed in with newer material too. The atmosphere was amazing, the whole place dancing along to Reasons To be Beautiful, Miss World, Skinny Little Bitch and Asking For It - there wasn't a duff moment and it looked like she was enjoying the energy, getting people cheering and moving, dancing hard to new song You Know My Name and then falling into a hushed silence during Northern Star - Love singing, spot-lit in blue, arms outstretched.
The encore finished with Doll Parts and people shouting for more. I made friends in the queue for the loos after it finished as we chatted excitedly about how good it had been, and as I headed out into the night I heard someone shout excitedly, "it's the 90s!"
My inner fangirl would agree - I felt like I'd jumped back a decade and a half, my inner teenager responsible for the massive grin on my face. But it all felt so fresh as well - I can't wait to hear more new material. Courtney Love is back and you should all sit up and pay attention, because damn, she's good.