Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love

Dirty Blonde Dirty Blonde
The Diaries of Courtney Love

If you already hate Courtney Love, Dirty Blonde won’t change your mind. If you are a fan on any level, you’ll probably like it as much as I did, because the book is just like her… smart, messy, sometimes gorgeous, brazen and blunt.

The format is scrapbook rather than diary. It reminded me of the box of papers my mom sent cross country after I had moved out, filled with things she wasn’t sure about… trash or treasure? I sifted through and kept a little. Courtney kept it all and has glued all the scraps together for us voyeurs. Lists - things to do (“Lose lots of weight”) things that interest (“Christianity” “Teapots” “Physics”) goals (“Make LP” “Achieve LA visibility” “Practice!”). It’s clear that from the earliest years, Courtney wanted to be a star more than anything else. “Win an Oscar” is one of her early goals. Poetry, song lyrics, drawings, photos, letters sent and received are all stuck in, with a general time line and a few notes added by the adult Courtney. It’s raw stuff sometimes funny, sometimes painful.

Though the book is nothing resembling an autobiography, you will learn who Courtney was/is and discover traces of the why. Early pages hold copies of her evaluations from foster care and reform schools. “Parents whereabouts unknown” is stated on a list of 25 housing assignments between ’78 and ’80. Before that, she had been sent to boarding school in New Zealand. At 13, her relationship with her mother boils down to; ''When I get around her I get so nervous and awkward and timid and weak and I always find myself trying to prove to her that I can make friends and be popular even though she lives on the other side of the world.'' Her writings collected from the same era show her to be a very bright but unhappy rebel, planning her future. She includes a two-page list of how she wants to raise her children (she wanted 4 when she wrote it) that is sweet and wise and hopeful.

Kurt is here, as is Frances and many famous friends, but this Dirty Blonde and Courtney is the star.

Posted December 05, 2006 Permalink