Courtney Love has an interesting little black book. Having dated individuals such as Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins and Trent Reznor at his Nine Inch Nails' grimiest, it could easily be argued that Kurt Cobain was the most normative of her men. She must be doing something right to catch the allure of so many brilliant-if-bizarre alt-rock icons. In fact, she just told BBC 6 that most of the Pumpkins' classic album Siamese Dream is in fact about her.
"Yeah, loads, because there are so many of them that are about me. 'Siamese Dream,' 'Bodies,' 'Today.' He stopped writing about me, and then he stopped making hits," she said. "There's one on Siamese Dream called 'Spaceboy'...that's about his brother. But the rest are all pretty much about me."
Never mind that Corgan himself has attributed most of the songs to his then breakup with future wife Chris Fabian. That would make Love's claims of obsession basically true, except with regard to a totally different woman. Of course, the guitarist was also planning his own suicide throughout the recording process. So who knows what was going on with that guy.
Not to worry however. Plenty of performers, if not Corgan, have openly made songs about Love. And uh, none of them are very flattering. From the most to least obvious:
"I'll Stick Around" by Foo Fighters (1995)
The Foo Fighters' first music video is fairly straightforward. Dave Grohl and the rest of the band play the single from the group's first album while some claymation funky ball o' tentacles floats around and distracts them. The ball is in fact a replica of the HIV virus...but the original star was supposed to be "a bloated, charred, inflated girl representing Courtney," according to Devo member and video director Jerry Casale (the idea was nixed by management). This story surprises no one as Grohl is the foremost figure in the Love history of hate, going all the way back to his time in Nirvana. Love has also claimed the band's "Stacked Actors" is about her but Grohl seems less convinced.
"Starfuckers, Inc." by Nine Inch Nails (1999)
Although Corgan's crush on Love kept on for years following their breakup, Reznor didn't share the same feelings. The Grammy-nominated track "Starfuckers, Inc." didn't specifically call out Love by name but it did feature an obese woman with a nose bandage (believed to be a reference to her then-recent plastic surgery) who finds herself submerged in human waste. Marilyn Manson is also rumored to be an inspiration for the song but he also appears in the video personally so at least he's in on the fun. Reznor's beef wasn't as simple as a bitter breakup: He also claims she went out of her way to ruin his friendship with Tori Amos. Speaking of which...
"Professional Widow" by Tori Amos (1996)
Love has made a lot of cruel enemies in her day but none produced anything as awful as "Professional Widow." The song calls for the subject to not "blow those brains yet, we gotta be big boy," a less-than-veiled reference to Cobain's suicide. The songwriter then possibly brings Love's family into it, singing "starf----r just like my daddy." A) That's definitely what Reznor was referencing in his own anti-Love song and B) Love's mother is a renowned author and psychotherapist while her father is less so. We're not saying Amos' claims are valid at all but Lord...they're vicious.
"Too Cool Queenie" by Stone Temple Pilots (2001)
Add Scott Weiland to the list of questionable choices that Love has spent time dating. Although the former Stone Temple Pilots vocalist has played the Carly Simon card and has never given a name to go with his tale of a woman driving a professional musician to suicide and "she made lots of money and some of his too" but...come on. If you can name anyone else who fills the description please let us know.
"Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani (2005)
This is actually one of the most verifiable cases of a song being about Love but still one of the most surprising. Because it was arguably the most popular song of 2004. Love decided that she was the hip rocker girl and Stefani was a "cheerleader" for her work in No Doubt. Gwen probably "lol'd" at this assessment and intentionally staged herself as a literal cheerleader, and one willing to fight with the woman on the other end of the insult.