Most fans who loved Hole’s Live Through This album likely never thought much about Patty Schemel, the band’s lesbian drummer and the first woman to appear on the cover of Drum World magazine. Our attention was focused on the grunge-love affair between Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, two people so fascinating in their isolation and angst. But it seems some history is told not by the victors, but by the survivors — especially when those survivors took video.
New documentary Hit So Hard: The Life and Near-Death Story of Drummer Patty Schemel features home video footage Schemel herself took from 1992 to 1998, while on tour with Hole and while living with Love and Cobain at their home in Los Angeles. Its narrative documents Schemel’s own survival story, chronicling her rise to fame, her fall as the result of heroin and alcohol addiction, and her subsequent recovery. It also includes a host of interviews with musicians such as Gina Schock of The Go-Go’s, Kate Schellenbach, drummer for The Beastie Boys andLuscious Jackson, Nina Gordon of Veruca Salt, Roddy Bottum of Faith No More, and Debbi Peterson of The Bangles — not to mention interviews with Courtney Love Cobain, Melissa Auf der Maur and Eric Erlander of Hole.
It’s a film that should interest music fans who want to see their GenX idols in both their youthful glory and their middle-aged sobriety. It’s also a reminder of those we lost: the film includes never-before-seen footage of Kurt Cobain taken shortly before his suicide in April of 1994.
Directed by P. David Ebersole, Hit So Hard opens in New York on April 13th and in L.A. on April 20th.