A stunningly candid and inspiring memoir of recovery from addiction and the '90s, by Hole drummer Patty Schemel
Patty Schemel was a drummer at the epicenter of the Seattle grunge scene in the early '90s, best known for her work with the alternative rock band Hole.
Hit So Hard begins with stories from a childhood informed by the AA meetings Schemel's parents hosted in the family living room. Their divorce triggered her rebellious adolescence and first forays into drinking at age 11, which coincided with her passion for punk rock and playing drums. Her efforts to come to terms with her sexuality further drove her memorably hard playing, and by the late '80s Schemel was performing regularly in well-regarded bands in Tacoma, Seattle, and Olympia. She met Kurt Cobain at a Melvins show, pre-Nirvana, and less than five years later she would be living with him and his wife, Hole front woman Courtney Love, at the height of his fame and on the cusp of hers. As Hole's new drummer, Schemel contributed memorable, driving drum parts to hits like "Beautiful Son", "Violet", "Doll Parts", and "Miss World". But the band was plagued by tragedy and addiction, and by the time Hole went on tour in support of their ironically titled and critically acclaimed album Live Through This in 1994, both Cobain and Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff were dead at age 27.
With surprising candor and wit, Schemel intimately documents the events surrounding her exit from the band in 1998 that led to her dramatic descent into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles and the difficult but rewarding path to sobriety after over 20 serious attempts to get clean. Hit So Hard chronicles the extraordinary coming of age of a musician and an addict during the last great era of rock 'n' roll excess.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
A captivating account of her life told with self-deprecation and humor. Self-aware and gutsy. Emotional and inspiring. Jaw-droppingly honest. Seemingly nothing left out. An important and fascinating chronicle of the era.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
disclaimer: I have been a Hole fan since I was 12 years out. Live Through This got me through the roughest times of my adolescence, and is still a seminal album for me. I can put it on, and I'm instantly back in the places I was when I first heard them.
I was super stoked to hear that Patty Schemel would be releasing her memoir. There was a doc of her personal footage on Netflix called "Hits So Hard", which is a great precursor or even afterword to her book...... that originally exposed me to her story and her journey.
I love that she narrates the book herself. it's like sitting with a friend and listening to them tell you their life story. She injects humor and wit, and even when she's talking about really heavy subject matter, her self deprecating story telling keeps you connected to her.
She is unflinching in her story telling. She holds nothing back. This isn't the type of memoir where she glosses over the dark parts and only luminates her successes. You go down to her darkest moments and live them with her, so by the time a success comes, you're so emotionally involved, you celebrate for her.
By the end, I was honestly crying tears of joy for her. Patty Schemel has written a once in a lifetime roller coaster ride of a book. an absolute must read for any fans of Hole, grunge music and culture, lovers of biographies, and recovering addicts.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Excellent read! A powerful story of addiction and surviving addiction. Must read for any addict or former addict.
I was struggling with heroin addiction during the nineties, and hole was my favourite band. What more can I say? I was bound to love this book from the start. I got clean in 2001, and Patty a few years later. Brilliant book, told by the author, raw and unplugged.
I have heard this story innumerable times. It is important that I keep hearing it.