In a Cloud of Crazy, Courtney Love Rocks On

The door opened and in came Johnson, the Star Bar manager. Love cooed, "Baby, I need some coffee like I'm going to die, like I'm getting my head chopped off. How is there no coffee in here, Billy?" Johnson promised to get her coffee. "See?" she turned to me. "I like him better than my own family members."

Johnson smiled, clearly happy with his status in the book of Love, and sat back in one of the armchairs. Love snapped: "You can't sit in, you've got to go. It's a f**king interview. I just do interviews privately." Johnson protested -- "What? Are you gonna talk s**t about me?" -- but Love didn't budge. He shrugged, got up and left. As he walked out, Love demurred, "It's just a space thing."

Back to the book. It's about her life. She had thought about writing fiction for The New Yorker, a short story called "Blanche Dubois' Lover," in which "A Streetcar Named Desire's" Southern belle "moved to Greenwich Village and hung out with Anne Sexton and would do reefer. It was a pretty good trope and kind of New Yorker-ish."

But Love said she didn't get the story done on time. So she's writing about herself. She's also developing a clothing line, Never the Bride, photos of which appeared on Twitter last year.

That led to a conversation about Yves Saint Laurent, which Love had chosen to wear for the first part of her show, and Gwen Stefani, who wears a Saint Laurent jacket Love covets on the January cover of Vogue.

"Funny thing, you know, I would've never really bet on Gwen," she said. "Not back in the day." Love attributed Stefani's success -- her "f**king empire" of a clothing line, L.A.M.B. -- to her husband Gavin Rossdale, whom Love said she dated before he got together with Stefani.

"His band never did that well but he is very, very smart," she said. "He runs the Gwen show, that's him. He runs the clothing line, he f**king built that up, he has nothing else to do."

She smiled, shuffling through her purse for a lighter, remembering her relationship with Rossdale. "He was so good looking, but I kind of envisioned that me and Gavin Rossdale would end up on the French Riviera, like, taking tennis lessons and f**king our respective polo teachers."

Hoffman arrived with a 16 ounce cup of coffee, deposited it on a folding table, and left. Love started smoking and pacing the room. Talking about Stefani and Rossdale got her thinking about music. Bush, Rossdale's band, is back together and she wants to tour with them. She has a new single coming out next month, "This Means War," and though "it rocks so hard," she refused to play it at the Star Bar because "then it'll leak. I mean that's sort of self-evident."

"What I'm sort of playing tonight is a set of songs that I think really, really should've been hits and just weren't for marketing reasons," she said, like "Mono," the first single she released as a solo artist in 2004.

I asked if she knew Dave Grohl would be next door during her gig.

Love: "Playing?"

Me: "No, I heard he's checking out a band."

Love: "What band?"

Me: "I don't know … I could find out."

Love: "That's awesome. I love that. Dave, next door, within f**king … however many feet of me throwing a very, very sharp razor blade at his neck."

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