At the 8th annual Grey Music Seminar in Cannes Lions 2014, American singer-songwriter and actress Courtney Love talked with Grey’s Tor Myhren of how she reivents herself and confronts adversity.
Succeeding iconic rock figues like Blondie and Lou Reed, award winning artist Courtney Love, widow of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain, is an artist with multiple facets. Pursuing her artistic career through a number of major ups and downs, she was a Golden Globe nominee for her part in Larry Flynt. Her second album, “Live Through This”, with her band Hole, reached platinum and she boasts three nominations at the Grammy Awards. At 49, she took to the stage wearing a high-necked dress and black tights, showing a “Let It Bleed” tatoo inside her right arm. Speaking frankly in front of the Cannes Lions attendees, she made a few confessions.
No drugs and no publicity
Tor Myhren opend the talk by stating they had previously adreed he would not talk about advertising and Courtney Love would’nt talk about drugs. To what she replied with humour: “It would completely ruin my reputation if we did!”, causing the Cannes Lions audience laughter. But she eventually would pronounced the word… when she explained she had chosen to leave Seattle, where were the best scenes in the late 80s, to save her life. “When I went back to LA, I realized that I would have died before, because of drugs…” She added: “Recovering after so many misdemeanours in the past required to be responsible, as was my case. Such things happened too fast, they were too hard…”
Back to acting
Concerning her projects, she confessed: “I passed on a lot of stuff…” (she even was a bar stripper in Alaska). “I didn’t have really good guidance and now that I’m going to be 50, I love playing rock n roll, but I want to go back to acting. She added: “You have to be so bloody proactive to get a great agent !” Her last role was in the western Straight to Hell Returns released in 2010.
Time to make amends
The singer claimed that “Kurt Cobain was Nirvana” and therefore, she should have all the rights on Kurt’s estate. Courtney Love then admited it was “time to make amends” with her late husband’s bandmate Dave Grohl. They have had a tumultuous relationship for over two decades, battling with him and Krist Novoselic after Kurt Cobain’s death, over the rights of Nirvana L.L.C, the partnership managing Nirvana’s archives.
Competition improves creativity
Concerning how her creativity continues to flow, Courtney revealed: “I listen to songs I wish I wrote. I listen to other artists who are better than me and try to compete with them. Competition really drives my creative process.” Courtney also revealed that she believed in ‘manifestos’, that Kurt would write “huge manifestos on what he was going to do”.
In the end of her talk, Courtney Love was brought an acoustic guitar and treated the Cannes Lions audience to an impromptu performance of a new song. Would the title be: “When you are young, the gods are really listening”?
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