Hit So Hard

Hit So Hard

A Memoir

Book - 2017
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A stunningly candid portrait of the Seattle grunge scene of the '90s and a memoir of an addict during the last great era of rock 'n' roll excess, by Hole drummer Patty Schemel

Patty Schemel's story begins with a childhood surrounded by the AA meetings her parents hosted in the family living room. Their divorce triggered her first forays into drinking at age twelve and dovetailed with her passion for punk rock and playing the drums. Patty's struggles with her sexuality further drove her notoriously hard playing, and by the late '80s she had focused that anger, confusion, and drive into regular gigs with well-regarded bands in Tacoma, Seattle, and Olympia, Washington. She met a pre-Nirvana Kurt Cobain at a Melvins show, and less than five years later, was living with him and his wife, Hole front-woman Courtney Love, at the height of his fame and on the cusp of hers. As the platinum-selling band's new drummer, Schemel contributed memorable, driving beats to hits like "Beautiful Son," "Violet," "Doll Parts," and "Miss World." But the band was plagued by tragedy and heroin 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 had died at the age of 27

With surprising candor and wit, Schemel intimately documents the events surrounding her dramatic exit from the band in 1998 that led to a dark descent into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles, and the difficult but rewarding path to lasting sobriety after more than twenty serious attempts to get clean. Hit So Hard is a testament not only to the enduring power of the music Schemel helped create but an important document of the drug culture that threatened to destroy it.
Publisher: New York, NY : Da Capo Press, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780306825071
Branch Call Number: 782.42166 Sch268S 2017
Characteristics: viii, 280 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : portraits ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Hosier, Erin


From Library Staff

As the drummer for Hole, Schemel was part of the fame, excess, and tragedy that surrounded the grunge scene in the 1990s. Schemel’s candid memoir details the lows of addiction and the difficult path to sobriety.

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Aug 11, 2018

Patty has perfectly expressed her experience as an addict, but as we all know this will not deter anyone from continuing their addiction because, as she demonstrates, the addiction swallows you whole. Well written; worth reading.

Jun 02, 2018

Patty raises the bar in just how low you can go in addiction - but she also explains in detail the sorrow that most of us do not understand. I will never yell at a homeless guy sleeping at a Surrey Tim Horton's again. There is incredible amount of detail of the life, and mindset of an addict. Tell tale signs of the cause(s) are sprinkled through out the book (hello "Bradshaw On:The Family"). We all have the Hole/Nirvana/Soundgarden records but are blinded to the story behind the music behind the human being. I had this book with me Memorial Day weekend, as we went to Seattle and took pictures of Cobain's house and the Viretta Park bench - take the #2 Madrona bus to chase the ghosts of rock n roll past. This book hits hard on so many levels. What saddens me even more are the fallen people who will not have their (similar) story to tell - a throw away society indeed. Patty on one hand is lucky to be alive write this book, and on the other hand, a hero for writing it. Haunting.


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