- Publish Date
- Friday, 1 October 2021, 8:19AM
Jeremy Wells reflects on his very memorable experience interviewing Courtney Love.
It was my first ever solo rock interview for television. It was the Big Day Out 1999 and for some reason, I can't remember why, the old Havo – Mike Havoc – who I used to do a television show with, he was unavailable (I'm not even sure why – he must have been interviewing someone else, think it was the Chemical Brothers or Fat Boy Slim or something ) and I think I drew the short straw and was drawn to interview Courtney Love, who was a part of a band called Hole. Of course I knew Courtney Love ... Kurt Cobain had only really just died. It was in the Stamford Plaza in Albert St, and yeah I was absolutely terrified. I must have been 21 years old and it was the scariest most nerve-wracking thing in my life.
Well ... I mean I knew Nirvana obviously and I'd grown up listening to them. And I knew that Courtney and Kurt were married and that they had a daughter called Frances Bean but there was no internet ... no Google ... so you just had to use your wits and just guess your way through everything using the knowledge you had! She was quite a terrifying presence she would've been in her 30s I guess and I was early 20s and at the time, a figure that was quite highly regarded in alternative music and always considered super cool. She was rumoured to be on heroin and there was something quite scary about her because of her presence and her history.
So anyway, I go in there, we're sitting down and she goes from being really focused on the monitor, and she all of a sudden just hones in on me, realised I was terrified and nervous, and then just started to come on to me. And as a 21-year old, I didn't know what to do! I had my list of questions in my hand, shaking, and all she was doing was kept saying "you're quite cute, what are you doing later?" I was like, "umm no I'm fine thanks, I'm alright" cause you know, at the time I had a girlfriend and I was probably thinking I don't want to … you know ... I need to be careful cause I don't want to upset my girlfriend. I mean it's Courtney Love for God Sake.
I don't know whether she was actually keen on me, I think she was actually just having a bit of fun cause she was bored. But of course, as a 21-year-old man, you have no idea – you're completely inexperienced in these matters. And when an experienced, very famous older woman turns her attention on you, it's quite overwhelming.
I've actually never seen the interview so I've got no idea, but I think I left with my dignity intact. I feel like I did anyway. But now I look back on it as a 43-year-old, and I understand the feelings that I was having at the time, I forgive my 21-year-old self for my actions at the time, cause I was just 21, but looking back on it, it is a regret. If I went back in time now … I'd just stretch that one out a little bit … see where it could take me.
I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and I'll notch that one up as one of the many mistakes I've made, I was acting honourably (I thought at the time) but in actual fact what was the point in that in the end. It would've been a great story wouldn't it? So I pashed Courtney Love! You know, what a great bloody story. But you're not thinking that when you're 21. Well I wasn't anyway, I was just trying to get through with my dignity intact.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission