9 Songs That Reference Courtney Love

Courtney Love has not only created a lot of music but also inspired a lot of music. This list is divided between songs that we’re sure mention or are about Courtney, and ones that are strongly believed to be about her.


1. The New Radicals’ 1998 hit “You Get What You Give” is probably best remembered for the following lines: “Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson/ Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson/ You’re all fakes, run to your mansions/ Come around, we’ll kick your ass in!” Uh huh. Hey, everybody, what’s your second favourite New Radicals song?

2. In 2009, Dave Grohl told his biographer Paul Brannigan, “I don’t think it’s any secret that ‘I’ll Stick Around’ is about Courtney. I’ve denied it for 15 years, but I’m finally coming out and saying it. Just read the fucking words!” That thing in the video for the single from Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut album was apparently originally supposed to look something like Courtney. Ms. Love has also said that “Stacked Actors,” released in 2000, is about her.


3. The lyrics of “American Psycho,” the lead single from Treble Charger’s 2000 album Wide Awake Bored, refer to someone as the “Patron Saint to troubled teens.”

4. Courtney Love once said to Teen magazine, “Being famous is just like being in high school. But I’m not interested in being the cheerleader. I’m not interested in being Gwen Stefani. She’s the cheerleader, and I’m out in the smoker shed.” Gwen eventually stated, “Y’know someone one time called me a cheerleader, negatively, and I’ve never been a cheerleader. So I was, like, ‘OK, fuck you. You want me to be a cheerleader? Well, I will be one then. And I’ll rule the whole world, just you watch me’.” These feelings apparently had something to do with Gwen writing her hit “Hollaback Girl.”

5. Scott Weiland won’t come right out and say that Stone Temple Pilots’ “Too Cool Queenie” from 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da is about Courtney, but the lyrics could definitely fit.

6. It’s speculated that Nine Inch Nails’ “Starfuckers, Inc.” is about Courtney, but I’ve also heard that it was written about Marilyn Manson some time before Trent and he made up, so who knows?

7. Tori Amos’s “Professional Widow” is at least as harsh as the NIN song (also, NSFW language warning), and released almost four years earlier on Boys for Pele. The story is that Tori blamed Courtney for the ruining of Tori’s friendship with Trent Reznor.

8. Primus’s “Coattails of a Dead Man” from 1999’s Antipop is assumed to be about Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, but we might never know for sure.

9. Courtney claims that every song on Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 album Siamese Dream except for “Spaceboy” is “pretty much about” her, as is, she says, “Bodies” from the follow up album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Also according to Courtney, the Mellon Collie song “Where Boys Fear to Tread” is about her relationship with Trent Reznor “and how mad [Corgan] was about that.”

6 thoughts on “9 Songs That Reference Courtney Love

  • February 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Great list Adam, well done… The omission of “Heart Shaped Box” is a big miss though. I’d say it would make an even top 10, no?!

    • February 26, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Thanks! I seriously considered it bc of what Courtney told Lana Del Rey it was about, but then I started thinking about how many other Nirvana songs might be speculated to be about Courtney, or part of Courtney. Then I got disturbed and pretended like her comment never happened.

  • February 26, 2015 at 11:02 am

    True. Even if you ignore her “lady bits” spat w/ Lana, there’s still her gift to Kurt – which writer Charles Cross has documented. But, again, every Nirvana song could have Courtney references! Alan C will have “no comment” – let’s keep him out of court 🙂

    • February 26, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Ha! Good call.

  • February 26, 2015 at 11:37 am

    How do you not have “Courtney” by Nurf Herder which is the most obvious one. Or maybe that’s why its not here.


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