For Courtney Love's 50th Birthday, Read 50 Rants and Raves About the '90s Icon

Love her or hate her, Courtney's here to stay

Courtney Love
The birthday girl in 1995 Photo by Terry McGinnis/WireImage/Getty Images
WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

In celebration of "50" years of Courtney Love, we present thoughts on the queen of punk-rock culled from 50 of her friends, exes, famous fans, and that guy who once sucked on her boob outside of a Wendy's. Happy Birthday Courtney!

Kurt Cobain: "[She's] the coolest girl in the whole world."

Riccardo Tisci (designer, Givenchy): "I judge Courtney as a human being and as an artist. Sometimes she does some crazy stuff, sometimes things that make me smile, but that is Courtney Love. She is a beautiful woman, and she has her own look."

Karl Lagerfeld (to Courtney): "You're drowning in The Kook...Your lungs are filling with chiffon and lace and all that glitter bead nonsense, you must come up for air before you die."

Russell Simmons: "I think she is a sweet girl. It's probably exciting to be a crackhead."

Love with Russell Simmons / Photo by Getty Images

Sarah Silverman: "I was curious to see which Courtney Love was going to show up: the smeared-lipstick crazy cokewhore, or the violent, smeared-lipstick crazy cokewhore?"

Gwyneth Paltrow: "There is a hidden part of her that is the most highbrow of highbrow . . . She's so erudite and brainy and it's beneath this amazing punk exterior."

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic: "In her professional dealings, Love is irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent, and unpredictable."

Dave Grohl: "We've had a rocky road. We've had a bumpy past, but at the end of the day we're a big family and when we hugged each other it was a real hug."

Sean Penn: "Her talent is a wild and fantastic one."

Mish Way (White Lung): "Courtney is a feminist rock n' roll icon."

Jaimee Rodriguez (Love's half-sister): "The human Enron."

Hershey (Love's house manager): "For you to know Courtney... you must know about cupcakes."

Mish Way (White Lung): "She's my unicorn... Courtney is a boob-flasher."

Kafi Asare (sucked Love's boob outside of a Wendy's): "All I wanted was some chicken nuggets. I saw Miss Love flashing everyone. I had to push the envelope. I figured, 'This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.' She flashed me so I was like, 'May I?' She was cool with it."

 Love with Dave Grohl / Photo by Getty Images

US District Court complaint American Express Centurion Bank vs. Courtney Love Cobain, May 27, 2009: "Love is currently indebted to American Express for unpaid Centurion Card charges in the total amount of $297,079.68."

Mary Lou Lord (singer/ Kurt's friend): "She slammed the shit out of me in public for apparently no reason, saying things that were untrue. One of which was that I had killed the family cat."

Steve Coogan (actor/comedian): "I didn't have a child with Courtney. That was a lie."

Trent Reznor: "No, I didn't fuck Courtney Love. She's a manipulator and a careerist."

Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes): "She's full of shit."

Kat Bjelland (Babes in Toyland): "Only about a quarter of what Courtney says is true. But nobody usually bothers to decipher which are the lies."

Love with Albert Hammond Jr. / Photo by Getty Images

Frances Bean Cobain: "Twitter should ban my mother."

Lynn Hirschberg (Journalist, Vanity Fair): "Courtney has a long history with drugs. She loves Percodans ("They make me vacuum"), and has dabbled with heroin off and on since she was eighteen, once even snorting it in Room 101 of the Chelsea Hotel, where Nancy Spungen died."

Insane Clown Posse: "I'll share a dirty heroin needle with that dirty bitch Courtney Love"

Julian Cope: "She's had to actually become Nancy Spungen."

Stevie Nicks: "The nicest thing about Courtney is, that I think we are friends... Maybe I can give her a little bit of advice about how to be in this life, and still be alive when you're 40."

Love with Stevie Nicks / Photo by Getty Images

Kurt Cobain: "I'm so blinded by love. I'm just so overwhelmed by the fact that I'm in love on this scale. I'd never met anyone so outspoken and charismatic. It seems like she is a magnet for exciting things to happen."

Kurt Loder (recalling the 1995 VMAs): "I said, 'Come on up, Courtney.' So she came up, and she was a total mess, of course, but a wonderful mess—I love Courtney. Madonna, who was like an elder statesmen, said, 'Oh, poor Courtney.' She stayed for a little bit, until someone got her out of there. And then it was just Courtney. She was talking, and then she fell off the stool she was sitting on and landed on her back with her legs splayed, displaying herself to the camera guys, who were aghast."

Kathleen Hanna: "People always told me she was super-difficult, and I didn't believe them because that's what people say about all women. And then she assaulted me and that was really sad."

Jared Leto: "I only did karaoke once in my life. It was with Courtney Love and it was a total disaster. She pulled me on stage in front of 500 people at a wedding."

Pete Wentz: "[For their duet 'Rat a Tat'] We wanted to get someone who had a seminal rock and roll voice and who was female, and Courtney literally has that voice."

Michael Stipe: "She's important and will remain important. She's very good at playing the badass—and she is a badass. She's also her own worst enemy in a way."

Marilyn Manson: "It looks as if she's doomed to play dead celebrities' middle-aged wives. I suppose with a little more plastic surgery she could be Yoko Ono, because she sure has the voice for it."

Jon Daly (comedian): "Courtney got plastic surgery in the wrong place - Mexico"

Love with Michael Stipe / Photo by Getty Images

Brett Ratner (director): "She's an artist, really, and everybody takes advantage of her."

Edward Norton: "If Nick Broomfield never found anyone with affection for Courtney Love, it's only because he conspicuously avoided the countless friends, colleagues and fans who appreciate her talent and admire her as a person."

Milos Forman (director of The People vs. Larry Flint): "She is this wonderful combination of generous, fragile, loving, determined, and tough."

Stevie Nicks: "When she did the movie [The People vs. Larry Flynt], and came to my house and interviewed me for Spin or Interview Magazine. She was totally sober, and she was beautiful and so smart. I thought she was going to be a famous Academy Award winning actress."

Love with Edward Norton / Photo by Getty Images

Billy Corgan: "If you can't write your own songs, maybe you should go someone [sic] nice+live off your husband's money" 

Roddy Bottum (Faith No More): "Courtney is a total professional and compulsively fixates on a project until it's perfect."

Linda Perry (collaborator): "That woman is brilliant, and I can't allow myself as a music lover and someone who really respects that artist to go down with America's Sweetheart."

Madonna: "Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now. She's throwing her compact at me."

Stephen Malkmus: "Everything revolves around her, ya know? That's her thing. You have to relate to her. It's like, I'm reading The Beautiful And The Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald and essentially his wife's character always wants to hear about herself, like, 'Really? and what did I do?' Courtney's like that."

Julian Cope: "I wish I'd never known Courtney now, 'cause I thought she was gonna be a really cool person and now she's a total dickhead. She needs shooting and I'll shoot her."

Hank Harrison (Love's father): "I can't prove she pulled the trigger, but I can prove her involvement to a high degree of certainty."

Frances Bean Cobain: "[She] has taken drugs for as long as I can remember. She basically exists now on...Xanax, Adderall, Sonata and Abilify, sugar and cigarettes. She rarely eats....She often falls asleep in her bed while she is smoking, and I am constantly worried that she will start a fire (which she has done at least three times) that will threaten our lives."

Mark Kates (A&R for Hole): "I was driving her to the studio one day and we passed a billboard for Hooters, which I think was still a regional chain, and she goes, 'Hooters? Is that like a strip club for the whole family?'"

Love with Kurt and Francis Bean Cobain / Photo by Getty Images

Cintra Wilson (journalist, NYT): "Courtney Love successfully introduced the kinderwhore look: filmy Victorian nightgowns with fright-wig doll hair and heavy makeup."

Christina Ricci: "She gave me all this advice. She said 'You know, you don't have to be interesting all the time' and I thought, 'oh, that's right.' "

Lana Del Ray: "Courtney Love's a big inspiration. I like her. I talk to her a lot."

Amber Rose: "Soooooo me and @courtneylove made out tonight. Epic!"

Neil Strauss (journalist): [In reply to: "Why didn't you bang Courtney Love?"] "She wasn't in the most 'bangable' condition at the time (mental condition)."

Drake: "I've got that Courtney Love for you, that crazy shit."

Kurt Cobain: "I just want you people to know that Courtney Love, lead singer of the sensational pop group Hole, is the best fuck in the world."

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