I think I’ve only seen Hole live once – and that was at Reading whenever they played, possibly the same year Kurt Cobain and Kristin Pfaff died, when everyone expected Courtney to be a bit car crash.

I think.

I’m not sure. I might have been there.

I like Hole. I don’t have the last album though.. but now I have a rdio account I can at least give it a listen (I hope). Courney fascinates me – after all it is pretty much her band (although whenever I think of Hole I think of Courtney and Eric as he’s always been there), but this isn’t about Courney. It’s Patty Schemel, the drummer.

It built slowly, very slowly – a film documentary based on home footage and interviews over several years (as you find out at the end) as Patty becomes a heroin addict, ends up on the street and eventually rebuilds her life. Death features as you’d expect, the two main deaths being the Cobain and Pfaff ones. There’s a lot of what feels like really personal footage in there – Kurt, Courtney and baby Frances (and a funny section where they do the voice of Frances – take my word for it) – a fascinating insight into their lives. I love that so much home footage exists – and wonder how many bands do that and it’d never get seen (I know Phil from Lush has a lot of personal footage from one of their last tours).

There’s live footage, some quite uncomfortable viewing as you see Courtney the falling apart period having her dress ripped off her when she dived into the crowd (and I seem to remember reading about even more uncomfortable times when that’s happened). But they’re alive. They’re older. They’ve got hindsight, and this is about Patty. This is a life where drugs were just there, it wasn’t some rock and roll thing.

There’s interviews with Courney, Eric, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Roddy Bottum (Faith No More), Kate Schellenbach (Luscious Jackson/Beastie Boys) Nina Gordon (Veruca Salt) plus more people, friends, family and loads of female drummers. It’s a slow starter but by the end things feel positive, lives are being rebuilt.

I’m doing a trial of Blinkbox via Peer Index where we chose this as our first film – and I’m glad we did as I’ve wanted to watch for a while now. If you wanted a glimpse into that life (and there’s some footage where Patty is obviously completely smacked out and really not well at all) then it’s here – it hasn’t been edited out.

I’m just glad they’re all alive to tell the story – if you’re a fan of Hole then I’d recommend. As for Patty, I always thought she was quite hard and tough – and I guess she is in some ways, but hearing her talk she’s funny, caring, and now teaches music to kids, as well as working with dogs. You’d probably want to have a proper old natter with her too.

The Official Hit So Hard Site