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Love Talks Tour, Troubles

Despite legal battles, Courtney gets ready to rock

October 8, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Courtney Love is ready to give her February release, America's Sweetheart, a second chance.

The rocker's legal troubles -- which began last October when she was arrested for being under the influence of a narcotic after breaking windows at a former boyfriend's house in Los Angeles -- sidelined the record's promotional campaign. Now Love says she's "not on drugs" and wants to get back to focusing on music, which she will do later this month when her band the Chelsea head out on a mini-tour of California.

"I feel like a total loser," the singer, dressed in a purple T-shirt and her pink and gray "Rod Stewart scarf," says over a cup of coffee after her latest L.A. courtroom appearance Thursday. "I don't go to court for a living; I play rock music. I want to [support] my cause."

According to Love, the trek is in part inspired by Los Angeles radio station Indie 103.1, which has recently been playing Sweetheart's "But Julian, I'm a Little Bit Older Than You." She is currently rehearsing that track as well as favorites from her Hole days, including "Doll Parts," "Violet" and "Awful." Love has also been trying out what she calls an "appropriate" cover of "Codeine" by Sixties folk singer Buffy Sainte Marie.

Earlier this summer, Love pled out one misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance by agreeing to rehab -- which she says she's completed -- as well as pledging to stay away from drugs and alcohol. She says her tour won't affect that sentence, because she plans to remain clean, living vicariously through her support acts: gritty rockers the Icarus Line and titillating punk rock performance artists the Suicide Girls. "They sound like Spaceman 3 and are the most obnoxious guys in the world," Love says of Icarus Line. "Since I can't do anything really bad, they can do things that are really bad, for me. I just get to watch. Plus they're going to have sex -- probably with the Suicide Girls."

Love's preliminary hearing on an assault charge, stemming from an April incident in which police allege that she struck a woman with a bottle and a flashlight, has been set for October 27th. "Sitting there [in court] is a great social experiment," she says. "I've been feeling more empathy and humility. I went through a period of being scared, but not any more. You can't rock if you're scared. The more I cleaned up, the better I [got]. It's kind of a Keith Richards thing."

Love also faces an assault charge in New York, as well as two felony drug possession counts in Beverly Hills. She's prepared to fight them all.

"I'm not a dangerous person," she stated. "I'd like to be governor one day, so I will not go down with a felony."

Courtney Love tour dates:

10/24: San Diego, 4th and B
10/26: San Francisco, Fillmore
10/28: Santa Cruz, Catalyst
10/29: Ventura, Majestic Theatre
10/30: Los Angeles, Wiltern

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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