has said her daughter is the most important thing in her life - the day after an order restricting her access to the teenager was extended.
The Hole frontwoman, speaking at the Oxford Union debating chamber, said 17-year-old Frances Bean kept her going after the suicide of husband Kurt Cobain. Addressing 300 students at the world-famous forum, the singer
said: ”What gave me strength was my daughter’s life force. My daughter’s the most important thing to me, in my life.”
The 17-year-old, her only child, is in the care of Cobain’s mother and sister after temporary custody was granted to them in December. Wearing a sparkly black top, black trousers, long black boots and glasses, Love surprised the students
by telling them of her passion for quantum physics and Greek myths.
She admitted to them, referring to the saga of a mother and her child: ”I’m having my Demeter and Persephone moment with my daughter.”
Describing herself as a feminist, she said she did not like to be referred to simply as the widow of Nirvana frontman Cobain. But in one of the most moving parts of the hour-long question and answer session, she spoke of the devastating impact his death had on her.
Referring to her band’s 22-year-old guitarist, Love said: ”He goes: ‘God, Kurt was cool’. No, he wasn’t. Not in the sense of that action
. That action had a horrible effect on our family. It’s not cool. It just wasn’t cool. And that action was regretted the second it happened. I was expected by the zeitgeist to go with him or something. But I worked. I had to work to get money to feed my kid.”
She said no-one offered her counselling or psychological support in the wake of the death, adding that, as a Buddhist, chanting helped her. After being asked what her legacy would be, Love replied: ”I never expected I would be connected to the Alpha male as some kind
of ancillary object and to this day it mystifies me. I’m a feminist and it’s deeply ingrained so I just don’t get it, and it shocks me.”
Love, whose band plays a sold-out gig
at the Shepherds Bush Empire, London, next week, admitted she was ”not a very good celebrity”.
She said: ”I’m a very good rock musician
. But when it comes to celebrity I don’t have it quite right. I couldn’t have a perfume. What would it be called?”
She said the benefits
of celebrity were ”free shoes and bags” however. Despite her ”high jinks and shenanigans” in the past, she said her drug addiction was firmly behind her.
”When you’re under 30, okay,” she said. ”But after 40 it’s just ugly.”
Love described herself as ”Amglish”, describing the time she spent at Summerhill boarding school in Suffolk and later living in Liverpool. She also said she had moved to Ireland as a U2 fan and that Bono was her mentor as a teenager.
She said: ”This is where I want to live, either Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire. The first time I came to Oxford I was with Echo and the Bunnymen and I walked around, and the bricks were so black and it was so magical.”
She said she encouraged Frances Bean to apply to the university, but her daughter had not wanted to. Displaying her own cultural knowledge, she said Robert Graves was her favourite author and that she would take classical music
by Mozart to a desert island.
Love also said she admired the poet Rilke and that his work, along with watching quantum physics videos on YouTube, had affected her music.
”Quantum physics has done my band a world of good
,” she added.