"There won't be an interview, I'm afraid," said Courtney Love's stage manager, a young, skinny guy with glasses named Chris. I met him and my photographer at the west-side entrance of 4th & B on Sunday, October 24. Love's new band, Chelsea, was doing a sound check.
"I stepped over my bounds, but I can put you on the guest list for tonight," Chris said.
"Will she be doing interviews after the show?" asked the photographer.
"No, she has to go straight back to L.A."
A long black limousine pulled into the parking lot. Chris and a beefy security guard helped Courtney Love, who was wearing a feathery black dress, step out of the stretch.
There were only five fans loitering about, as if in a soup line. "Hey, Courtney!" they shouted meekly; she didn't even know they were there.
"Get her picture," I told the photographer.
"They told me I couldn't."
Love looked as if she had just woken up: puffy and bloodshot.
"You'll have a different limo later tonight," said the stage manager as he whisked the rock star by.
"I will? I will?" said Love, looking back. "But all my CDs are in there."
"I'll take care of it."
I walked up to the limo driver, who was in a dark suit and wearing mirrored shades. I asked which company he was from, and he said, "Empire."
"Get many celebrities?"
He didn't answer.
The concert was the first for Chelsea's Southern California October mini-tour. The opening act, Suicide Girls, was informed by the vice cops that they couldn't perform as intended because 4th & B served alcohol, so Love's band had to go on early.
Some people were asking for their money back, but the 4th & B box office said there was no refund since Suicide Girls were not the headlining act.
Onstage, Love said, "I hired strippers so I wouldn't have to do it," and then she lifted her black shirt as if to flash the audience, but she had a pink T-shirt on underneath. She added, "I'm not allowed to get naked."
Love's show didn't have much to it. She didn't have her own tunes memorized, and she kept referring to lyric sheets.
When she played the song "Malibu," Love told the audience, "I wrote this the first time I took Xanax with Billy Corbin of Smashing Pumpkins."
Perhaps that explains why she couldn't remember the lines: state-dependent learning. One drawback of being straight.