Hit So Hard

A Memoir
Narrated by: Patty Schemel
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
5 out of 5 stars (280 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Patty Schemel (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Patty Schemel's drums have always been a wake-up call, the punctuation that makesserious the wild streams of punk consciousness her bands have expressed. This book is a wake-up call, too - a clearly considered, deeply honest look back at arock scene that's often been mourned but rarely truly understood. Schemel writes most honestly about herself: she spares nothing and no one as she traces the path of addiction as it intersects with the privileges and costs of young fame. A must-read about rock 'n' roll realities." (Ann Powers, NPR music critic and author of Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music)
"Reading about the myriad ways Hole drummer Patty Schemel - 'the best musician in that band' as her pal Kurt Cobain put it - brutalized herself with addiction can feel like a kind of sadistic experience. And yet, Hit So Hard feels ultimately uplifting and hopeful, in part because its author so fully and completely appreciates what she's survived in order to have written it. Hit So Hard is a harrowing but heartwarming read. Schemel's made the years she got that others didn't count. And it shows." (Lizzy Goodman, author of Meet Me in theBathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The BEST Book I have ever read. Hands Down.

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.

12 people found this helpful

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Courageous

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.

10 people found this helpful

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As addicting to read as the drugs

I listened to this in just two days - a well written story. Addicts take note - the descriptions of drug use are vivid and exceptionally lengthy. Honestly, this should be required reading for those working with addicts. Absolutely worthwhile.

3 people found this helpful

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Must Read

Patty Schemel is the Forrest Gump of grunge heroin town. Absolute blistering honesty about a time and place many have over romanticized. A truly inspirational & memorable work that can be enjoyed by recovering addicts and rock n roll fans in equal measure.

2 people found this helpful

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She tells it like it is

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome book!

I never knew who she was really but I have heard of Hole back in the 90s. I literally couldnt stop listening to this book on audio and stayed up many late nights cuz I just wanted to hear more. A very honest and raw description on addictions first hand. I learned who Patty Schemel is and what shes been through and Id have to say she seems like an amazing person. I could relate to a lot of what shes gone through in life and she did so well writing this book in such detail that I imagined everything vividly in my mind as if I were personally there going through it. This would make one hell of a movie that I would def watch! I love the fact that she is the narrator for the audio version! Keep on rocking Patty you are such an inspiration!

1 person found this helpful

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Story great- narrator not so much

I liked this book. I certainly remember all the characters well. My problem is with the narrator. Patty's inflection was zero, no excitement or any other emotion. She literally seemed sedated.

1 person found this helpful

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This book was so good.

Patty is so brave. She really holds nothing back. I’ve been a big fan since she joined Hole but I didn’t expect to be so moved by this story.

1 person found this helpful

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Best recovery memoir this year

I’ve listened to dozens of such memoirs as I’m in recovery. Patty writes with humility and honesty. Not your usual name-dropping Rock bio but very personal. Of course she had to talk about Kurt and Hole yet her focus was always about her own struggles with all of the humiliating situations that come with addiction. Great book!

1 person found this helpful

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Thrilling story of Courage and humbleness!

Be prepared to dive into the darkness of a soul in pain with an inspiring ending. Just loved it!

1 person found this helpful