[the band in 1995, frankly, the only line-up of this band that matters. okay, yeah the lineup that included kristen pfaff mattered too, of course it did, but after she passed away in 1994, melissa auf der maur, fit right into the band like she had always been there to create the "classic era" lineup that dominated my world as a kid]
i mentioned several times over the course of this '31 days, 31 bands' adventure that either this band or that band would be "impossible" to leave off of this list, and there were many bands that fit that criteria. but more than any other band, it would not be only impossible to leave hole off of this list, it would be unacceptable and inexcusable. to ignore a band that influenced me so much just couldn't be possible. more than any band i listen to, more than any band i ever have, or ever will listen to, i owe this band an extreme debt of gratitude. they showed me that chicks could ROCK THE FUKK OUT with zero compromises and that was awesome to me at that age cuz i had never seen anything like it. additionally, i owe even more of a debt to their drummer patty schemel because without her, i wouldn't have picked up the sticks myself, or i would have been less insistent about it and would have done it later, because i didn't know any other female drummers besides her at the time [i didn't have then the volume-ous knowledge of bands and music that i do now so some of the previous female bands i've mentioned in this series were not on my radar at all]. the instant i saw her play, i was hooked, i had a revelation at thirteen years old and i KNEW, without a single shade of a doubt, that i was nothing short of DESTINED to be a drummer. it took a lot, a lot, A LOT of convincing my parents that i was serious about it; it was a very tough sell. in my working over of my parents, i also won over my school music teacher with my complete 180 in her class. i went from being a pest who acted out and disrupted our weekly classes like it was a full time job with benefits to being her best and most dedicated student. i wanted it, and i wanted it bad. i've never wanted something so bad in my life, ever. i felt like i had been called from the heavens to be a drummer, in some divine message, i felt it that deep in my bones. fortunately after a few months of trying my thirteen year old ass off, and with the solid endorsement of my music teacher, i was able to show my parents that i was in fact very serious. they went out the spring i was in eighth grade  and surprised me with my very own practice pad, instruction book, and set of sticks which i thought was rad. it wasn't the wicked DW drumkit with shiny zildjian cymbals i had longed for [the kind patty played of course] but it was a start. the super nice music teacher also helped facilitate my entry into the high school band the following year. i was so excited i was going to get to be in the highlander band and my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to go to their final concert of the year that spring to show my support and so i could meet some of the kids i would be playing with in the drumline starting as soon as the school year ended. it was awesome! it may not have been rock n roll drumming, but it was drumming just the same to me and a way i could learn and express myself. anyway, i digress. i could go on and on about the start of my drumming career, but it all boils down that one inspiration, that one moment of fury. read on for thoughts, notes, randomness, and shit all pointing back to this amazing period in time.
-in violet hour's bio, we list as one of our influences live through this era HOLE, which is true for all three of us, but particularly for julie and i because well, we did live through that really exciting time as newby music aficionados and beginning musicians [she is a year younger than me and to date one of the very few people who can keep pace with me when talking tunes]. we've been talking about it for a while and are finally going to be including "violet" [go figure! hahaha] in our set hopefully very soon at our upcoming shows. though of course i will be drumming on it when we play it, i did learn the guitar part to it as part of my "guitar renaissance" i've had since i launched my solo project. its been really nice to revisit some of the truly classic records of my early days and view them in a new light, as a budding guitarist, and learn from them all over again.
-interestingly enough, though i mentioned before about admiring patty's choice of drums and cymbals, i have never played either brand for my own personal kit. i have played sabian cymbals for the entirety of my career and have played premier drums for just about as long [starting with their marching drums in high school, later purchasing my own scottish marching snare drum-which is so signified by the additional set of snares underneath the batter head. finally in 2005, i was able to obtain one of their drumkits and i have played it ever since] though i guess that's not 100% true cuz i do use a DW bass drum pedal and have for more than 15 years.
-i received my first drumkit, some random ass no-name kit [it didn't even have name plates on it], for christmas in 1995. i was so fukkin excited i almost did a back flip in front of the tree. though it was a real pile of crap, i cherished it and felt so fortunate to have it. i ended up replacing almost everything on it over the years, but i kept and played the shells for more than ten years, finally letting them go around 2006ish. my parents had gotten me three months of drumset lessons for my eighth grade graduation, but i had a stoner, lenny, for a teacher and he wasn't what you'd call the "engaged" type. he showed me the basics and how to make my way around a drumset, but righthanded and i didn't do that well at it. i mean i was alright, and could play some stuff, but i just felt like i was getting in the way of myself when i was playing. it felt clumsy and awkward. when i finally got that coveted kit of my very own, i was free to set it up however i wanted. despite that, i set it up traditionally at first and i played that way for about a week. i still didn't like it and felt something was somehow "off" so then i tried playing open-handed. i didn't have a lot of luck with it because it was confusing leading with my left but using my right foot on the bass drum. after another week or so i was like...."hark! i know what i'll do!" and i whipped the entire kit around the other way for a complete left-handed set up. i sat down and started to play and the entire kit opened up before me for the first time. i never looked back. [it worked to my advantage playing marching snare drum later on because at my school, we played traditional or "crossed" grip and while other players struggled with power and control in their left hands, mine was always strong and in tip top shape. the opposite effect was true for my right side because thanks to my traditional training, it strengthened my right hand and i was able to lead off on either hand when i was playing my set. i never mastered my right foot though. to this day, i struggle to play a bass drum with it and actually can't do it at all. hahaha]
-to further comment on the above, i have been criticized many, many times over the years for playing left handed by loud mouthed people and i find it extremely disrespectful and downright irritating. i won't go into it here, but it is something i plan to address at some point on this bloggy blog [this stemming from a particularly annoying holier than thou IDIOT who i got into a heated and absolutely absurd fb argument with about me playing lefty. like anyone asked you or it's any of your business asswad. ew]
-i think i probably saw the video of "dolls parts" at some point in 1994, because i certainly knew the song [and didn't like it at first! hahaha] but it wasn't until i saw them play on SNL on december 17th 1994 that it registered that they had a female drummer. it was viewing that that directly led to the start of my drumming career. i was up late and my uncle roger was staying with us for the weekend and we watched the show together,] and i remember being like "rog! look at that, a girl drummer!" and he was like "oh cool" but in a totally uninterested way. hahahaha
-i got a chance to meet patty briefly in nyc last year during a screening of hit so hard, the documentary on her. i gave her a VH sticker and complimented the star tattoo she has on her hand and showed her mine [i had no idea she had one there and i didn't get it cuz of her] and she replied "wonder twin powers activate!" soooo rad!!!! i highly recommend the documentary and it is now streaming on netflix
-speaking of patty, she has a new band, the cold and lovely. they have some vids up on youtube so i checked em out, i dig their sound! i hope they tour out this way, i'd be there in a hot second!
-i really don't acknowledge anything they did after live through this. and i certainly have no interest in the fake hole that is out there now with none of the classic members in it. bassist melissa auf der maur weighs in on the subject here
-the wikipedia entry on LTT is pretty interesting and in depth. check it yo
-the final song nirvana recorded was "you know you're right," laid down in january 1993. it remained officially unreleased until 2002 and was only available as a live bootleg. interestingly enough, hole, performed it at their 1995 mtv unplugged performance and that is how a lot of people knew the song until 2002. it is a hauntingly good version.
together with two green day records [1,000 hours and slappy] these were the 7" records that launched my collection. i bought them in the spring of 1995 [you know, not counting my star wars and humpty dumpty/fairy tale storybook records i had as a kid]
just in case any one had any doubt in their mind about this I DO NOT NOW BELIEVE, NOR HAVE I EVER BELIEVED THAT KURT COBAIN "WROTE" LIVE THROUGH THIS. HE DID NOT WRITE THAT RECORD. PERIOD. THE END. the only involvement he had with the record was that he sang backup on "asking for it," and "softer, softest" though he is so low in the mix, it's hard to hear him [though there is a version of "asking for it" with him much more audible out there on youtube] that being said, did he have an influence on courtney? of course, when you live with another musician and songwriter, they are bound to have an effect on you, just as she undoubtedly influenced him. but you mean to tell me, that fukkin eric, kristen, and patty just idly sat back and let him assume creative control of a record for THEIR band? that notion is ridiculous and it never happened. and this supposedly all occurred at the same time he was out promoting and touring behind in utero [which was released on 9/13/1993. live through this was recorded in october of 1993] his own band had just released their highly anticipated third album, yet you mean to tell me that instead of doing any press or touring for it [yeah, right] he was busying himself writing all of hole's material for them and in the studio calling the shots on the production of their album? really? hmmm....interesting. but yeah, not exactly true cuz he WAS on tour and doing said press while LTT was being recorded, but alas, minor details, right? hole and nirvana were SIMILAR bands, as were many bands of that era, and were in arguably the same genre, but they however were not the SAME band. more than anything i can think of [and it's what i hear most when i listen to them actually] hole had very distinctive strumming patterns in their material, a pattern that was never present in kurt cobain's guitar playing [and trust me, i've listened to both bands enough over the last nearly twenty years to know the difference]. not only that, lyrically, love and cobain wrote very distinct material in their own rights, and overall, the two bands had completely different feels sonically. additionally, many of the songs on live through this were being performed early in hole's career, while they were touring behind pretty on the inside in 1991. this would mean that those particular songs were written in 1990 or 91, and gee that was BEFORE kurt and courtney were together [they certainly knew each other but were not married or living together] i have a friend who just blindly dismissed me one day recently when i mentioned live through this and just offhandedly stated "oh well he wrote that record anyway" really? firstly, to anyone who thinks that, have you ever actually listened to live through this??? and secondly have you really ever listened to any NIRVANA?!?!?!?! you'd have to be a horses ass to think the same song writer was responsible for both bands or at least into some preposterous thinking.
i choose not to go into any of the craziness and traveling freak show antics surrounding courtney love. i just can't be bothered with it really.
"where did you sleep last night?" [this was the final song from nirvana unplugged and extremely powerful. i never knew hole had a version of this song too]
"teenage whore" [raw. nasty. dirty. julie and i were talking about what this entire record would sound like had it been recorded with the same production values as live through this. we just decided that we're going to work on a cover of this song and aim for a smoother sound which should be HOT. i can't wait]
"gutless" [hell yeah! love this shit]