In a Cloud of Crazy, Courtney Love Rocks On

Love's beef with Grohl has been well documented. She believes he is hoarding Nirvana's royalties and not splitting the profits fairly. She hired Egan, whom she described as her banker, to figure out what she's owed. "The point is, it's about a very large sum of money that they have taken and it's incredibly sophisticated," she said. "So the problem with me and Dave is, he is mindlessly rich just from the Foo Fighters. My question is, why does he need all the Nirvana money?"

Love was worked up now. One hand -- and her hands are quite large -- was on the handle of the dressing room door. The other balanced a cigarette, gesticulating wildly as she explained the Nirvana financials. I thought it would be a good idea to change the topic -- what else was she working on?

"I've been doing," Love paused to exhale, "a lot of fine art lately. I have a really good art dealer. I have a show called 'And She's Not Even Pretty.' Look it up on Vogue.com."

Hoffman came in, asked if we're done, and Love started freaking out because she told me the name of the art dealer and she didn't want his name published. I assured her it wouldn't be. I asked if we could take a picture together. I left.

* * *

The show's official start time was 10 p.m., but it was a given that Love wouldn't be on until at least 11:30. Her warm up acts fell flat. The chorus of one song went, "I'd like to barbecue you lady all night long." Two hundred or so people milled about the bar, ordering beers and vodka sodas from servers wearing name tags.

Near midnight, Love sauntered onstage, groomed and glamorous in a three-piece suit and red lips. Camera phones came to life, the crowd roared. She rocked like others cannot, un-self conscious, without pomp and circumstance. For the first half of the show, besides the lyrics she sang, the only words she said to the crowd were "hi" and, in response to a fan, "You don't know me, how can you love me?"

It felt like the crowd was waiting for something. These were not diehard fans, they were people who happened to be in or near Park City on the day her show was announced, a handful who knew her music well and the rest hoping for a spectacle that could make them YouTube or Instagram famous. (One concert-goer nudged me and whispered with glee, "Just think -- she could OD tonight. This could be the last time anyone ever sees Courtney Love!")

But there was no meltdown. She dropped jaws with a cover of Jay-Z's "99 Problems," a genius rendition that evoked Johnny Cash covering Depeche Mode. She came out for multiple encores, and during one, said, "You can't be a rock star unless you have a f**ked up family. Some of mine are here tonight, and I was told to say hello. So, my f**king family members, hello."

I waited to return to Love's dressing room for a post-show interview. Next to me, by the door that led backstage, stood Pauly Shore. A girl in a backless velvet dress kept trying to sneak through the door but got rebuffed by a very large bouncer. It was after 1 a.m. and unclear when Love would leave the stage.

She packed it in after three encores. Hoffman emerged to pull me back to the kale and coffee abyss. Love stood in the middle of her dressing room wearing a large grey t-shirt and no pants. I told her how much I liked her "Jay-Z" cover. She hugged me. She sat down in an armchair in a pile of what appeared to be sawdust and lit a cigarette. Hoffman rumaged through her bags, asking her to put on pants.

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