Courtney Love will headline An Evening With Women at L.A.'s Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 19th, leading a bill that also includes Aimee Mann, Camp Freddy, Samantha Ronson, Wanda Sykes and the event's co-producer, Linda Perry.
The night will benefit the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, an organization Love finds a lot of empathy for. "At 14 the governor of Oregon gave me emancipation for parents whereabouts unknown," Love tells Rolling Stone. "So what did I do? I hitchhiked to Hollywood.
"What happens is that 7,000 kids come here as runaways every single year. Of them, 40 percent are transgender, lesbian or gay. They get thrown the hell out of the fucking house."
Perry continues, "The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has this wonderful program where they take in the youth, feed them, help them learn how to cook, clean, they help them get jobs, help them learn how to save their money and they have shelters all over the city."
Perry first invited Love to play the event five years ago, when she and Love were working together on a version of Nobody's Daughter, the last Hole album, that never came out. Despite that project never seeing the light of day, the friendship and respect between the two is as strong as ever.
"I only have four feminist heroes, and Linda is probably the top one, because she does things on her own fucking terms," Love says. "And she’s an incredible talent. I trust Linda more than anyone in the world, and I don’t trust many people."
This leads to an obvious question: will there be another musical collaboration between the pair in the future? Perry hopes so. "I would love to do a record with Courtney again," she says. "I really do believe we have a certain thing together and that I’ve grown a lot and so has Courtney. I believe that now we would be meeting at a really good time."
For now though, the two are concentrating on Saturday night."Courtney Love is gonna perform with Camp Freddy, I’m performing and Aimee Mann is performing," Perry says. "The thing about Aimee is her voice kills me – it’s so soulful and it’s so sad."
Love, also a big fan Mann fan, has a suggestion. "We could do 'Voices Carry' with Aimee," she says.
While the event will be at the very ritzy Beverly Hilton Hotel and features big corporate sponsors like Wells Fargo, CBS and American Airlines, Perry and Love want to keep it loose. "It’s a total great event, it’s rock & roll," Perry says.
"And we like to keep it rock & roll," Love adds.
Love wants to make it an A-list event in the rock world. One person she plans to reach out to for financial help is U2 frontman Bono. "He’s a great mentor in [philanthropy]," she says.
For her part, Perry takes a far more pragmatic approach. "I don’t really want to hit the moon," she says. "I just like slowly graduating up and up, and we’re getting bigger. And we’re getting better and better and more awareness, and that’s to me how you conquer and make an empire – by not taking it over right away, but by planting seeds, and you rise above. It’s getting to that point."
Still, Perry can't help but be enticed when Love chimes in that she plans to reach out to Bono. And Love is confident that he'll help out, even if this year it's only a check. In fact, so much so, she's willing to wager on it. "How big is that Bono bet? What do I have to get him to do?" Love asks.
"Give us some money and show up," Perry responds.
"If I get Bono to give five figures, can I get that Gibson?" Love asks.
"My ’61 $20,000 guitar?" Perry says. "Fuck, no."
While Perry won't give up the guitar, she is auctioning off her 1983 custom Harley Davidson Fat Boy bike. "In order for someone like Bono or Madonna or all those people to get to know about this event, I gotta build it up to a certain point, because they’re not gonna give a shit," she says. "I gotta get it to where people are talking about it, and that’s what I’m doing. My goal is for two years, three years from today, that those guys are like, 'I want to be a part of it, I want to perform.' I don’t want to have ask anybody for jack shit."