Hiding behind the music: Courtney Love -- The Hole front woman is ok with letting her band's music speak for itself, regardless of the media's interpretations

By Lorraine Ali
Updated April 15, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

”People have this really weird idea that I want to hog the limelight,” says Courtney Love. ”Me wanting to be a star is a media myth that’s kind of funny.” Unfortunately for Love, 28, getting buried under the more sensational aspects of her personality seems to be a given. The bleached blond’s brazen intellect, which first came to attention after her marriage to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain in 1992, provides some of the tastiest copy in today’s media The other members of Hole, including cofounder Eric Erlandson, seem resigned to the attention Love attracts. In fact, with the release of Live Through This (Hole’s first album for Geffen in its reported $1 million, multi-album deal), the band could end up as a backdrop for another episode in the Courtney Love story. ”I want everybody to get recognized for what they do-80 percent of the songs are a shared endeavor,” says Love, between puffs on her Dunhill cigarette. ”If they were in any other band, they would stand out as musicians, but they get the shaft because all the Courtney issues come first.”

Being Mrs. Kurt Cobain doesn’t help. While the connection with Nirvana instantly gave Hole a higher profile, it’s also made critics much harsher. ”We could never get away with writing a weak record with one or two good songs on it. We have to put out something great because it’s not like everybody wants to like us-they don’t want to like us!” she says. ”We have to work three times as hard to prove ourselves, and we have a chip on our shoulder-so what? We’re a better band for it.”

Love, who landed in juvenile detention centers after running away from home in her early teens, credits the songs of women rockers like Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde for ”saving her life.” Her own desire to start a band began at a Portland, Ore., Van Halen Show in the early ’80s. ”I thought, ‘Why can these dumb a — holes fill up the Coliseum and girls can’t?”’

Whether or not Hole makes that leap, there’s no doubt that the media’s fascination with her will continue. Love is equally sure it will stay focused on ”things that either aren’t true or that are real juicy and sexual,” like the notorious 1992 Vanity Fair article, which accused her of being addicted to heroin while she was pregnant with Frances Bean, now nearly 2. ”That article was savage,” says Love, who continues to claim that her quotes were taken out of context. ”I’d like to say that that experience made me more quiet or introverted, but it didn’t.”

Love, however, feels you won’t find much that’s really personal in Hole’s new album. ”People will say, ‘It’s like looking through the keyhole of her $ nervous breakdown,”’ she snorts, ”and I’ll be like, ‘That’s what you think. You’ll never know me. The only people who do are Kurt and my child. That’s it.”’