Hit So Hard, A Memoir by Patty Schemel
In 1994 a chasm was filled with the release of Hole’s Live Through This. Sadly, it has never been given its proper credit and the record’s genius was overshadowed by the celebrity of the band’s arresting and talented leader Courtney Love. In Hit So Hard, the memoir of Hole drummer Patty Schemel chronicles her life with the band, including the recording of one of the most audacious records released by a predominantly female band.
The book begins with Schemel’s origins in Marysville, Washington. She tells of realizing she was gay in a conservative town and how alcohol was her first love. An excellent job is done narrating her childhood and family history of addiction to give the reader a better scope on what would be a struggle through most of Patty’s adult life. Her time playing with different bands is well documented. Schemel tells of meeting Courtney Love for the first time and casts light on bass player Kristen Pfaff, who sadly remains mostly unknown these years after her death in 1994. Patty pays tribute to Pfaff’s contribution to not only the band but, their friendship. I found the recording of Celebrity Skin and working with the infamous producer Michael Beinhorn very heart wrenching. The book also shares an insider’s perspective into the last few years of Kurt Cobain’s life from one of his closest friends.
Patty Schemel is one of the most underrated drummers in music history. Her story is one containing many defeats but, also a life filled with so many triumphs. Hit So Hard tells her tale, honestly and respectfully, even if it’s not pretty. For every fallen music hero, there is a Patty Schemel, who survives and crawls out alive.
Hit So Hard is available on ibooks and also at Barnes & Noble at the St. John’s Town Center located at 10280 Midtown Parkway