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Courtney Love shares legendary story of Kurt Cobain, the hospital robe, L7, Nick Cave and a bloody tampon from Reading 1992

Courtney Love has shared a legendary story about Kurt Cobain playing Reading festival in a hospital robe, and recalled the time when L7 threw a bloody tampon into the crowd.

The Hole frontwoman was speaking as part of a new interview with BBC Radio 6, and was asked to recall the craziest story from a show she was at.

During the interview, she went on to say that the most extreme one that came to mind was actually from a show she didn’t perform at, but involved her then-husband Kurt Cobain and close friends L7.

Sharing the anecdote about how Cobain famously went to play Nirvana’s legendary ’92 Reading set in a hospital robe, she recalled that the robe he wore was actually hers from when she gave birth to their daughter, Frances Bean.

“He played Reading in that robe. They roll him out like there’s this thing like, ‘Kurt’s dead’, this whole thing. They roll him out and he’s wearing my bloody placenta robe, but that’s not the crazy part,” she explained, going on to recall something else that happened earlier at the festival.

“The crazy part is that earlier in the day L7 played – [they are some] of my oldest friends – and they’re getting bottled, like real bottled, like bad. And [one] hits De Plak, the drummer, in the eye. Donita, the singer, gets pissed. She’s menstruating and she’s having a heavy flow day, so she just reaches up into her crotch and pulls out her tampon and throws it,” she continued.

“There’s a YouTube [clip of it], and you can kind of see it. I mean, it’s just bloody. There’s more to it because the tampon somehow made its way back onto the stage,” she concluded. “I didn’t even know Nick Cave played that day. Yeah, Nick was staring at a bloody tampon the whole time.

“Often people will say to me ‘Oh you threw that tampon at Reading’… I wish. The few times I had been bottled after that, it had already been done, so I didn’t want to copy Donita’s thing, so I didn’t do it. But man, what a genius move, kudos to you Donita Sparks.”

The interview with BBC Radio 6 comes just weeks after the station, along with BBC Sounds, announced a new series called Courtney Love’s Women – which will see the music legend share her “ultimate soundtrack to her life” as she reflects on the women in music who have “shaped her journey, her sound and her next chapter”.

Back in February, Love joined Billie Joe Armstrong‘s covers band The Coverups onstage in London where she delivered a joint performance of Hole‘s ‘Celebrity Skin’. She also made a surprise appearance at the first show, assisting Armstrong and co. on covers of Tom Petty‘s ‘Even The Losers’, and Cheap Trick’s ‘He’s A Whore’ and ‘Surrender’, as well as teasing a Hole reunion.

Armstrong subsequently told NME about his longtime friendship with Love at the BRIT Awards 2024, sharing: “We’ve known her since ’94, she’s always great! She’s a wild woman, she has a lot of great stories and I love Courtney… She’s definitely like a rock n’ roll-er in herself. She’s got her sea legs back so we’ll maybe be hearing more from her.”

Back in 2020, Courtney Love spoke with NME after picking up the Icon Award at the 2020 NME Award and opened up about why she chose to settle down in London.

“When I arrived in London from Liverpool aged 16 in the early ’80s, I ended up staying at the Columbia in Bayswater – the scene of so much decadent rock and roll activity. My knowledge of London literally became the tube from Bayswater to Oxford Street – that’s literally all I knew,” she explained.

“You haven’t got nearly the Thought Police you think you do compared to in Portland or parts of LA. I’m allowed to dissent here, which I haven’t felt comfortable doing recently elsewhere. Being able to have a real dialogue and read all sorts of opinions… it made me fall in love with the UK even more.”

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