DA CAPO PRESS TO PUBLISH MEMOIR BY HOLE’S PATTY SCHEMEL Hit So Hard: A Memoir To Hit Bookstores October 31, 2017
“Reading about the myriad ways Hole drummer Patty Schemel—‘the best musician in that band’ as her pal Kurt Cobain put it—brutalized herself with addiction can feel like a kind of sadistic experience. And yet, Hit So Hard feels ultimately uplifting and hopeful, in part because its author so fully and completely appreciates what she’s survived in order to have written it. Hit So Hard is a harrowing but heartwarming read. Schemel’s made the years she got that others didn’t count. And it shows.” — Lizzy Goodman, author of Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
Hit So Hard: A Memoir—the first book by drummer Patty Schemel, best known for her work with Holein the 90s—will be published in hardcover by Da Capo Press on October 31, 2017. Hit So Hard follows, and expands upon, the acclaimed documentary film of the same name about Schemel released in 2011
A drummer who was at the epicenter of the Seattle music scene in the early 90s, Patty Schemel was an integral member of Hole (suggested to frontwoman Courtney Love by her husband, Kurt Cobain, an avid fan of Schemel’s drumming), and helped to create the seminal album Live Through This. Hit So Hard chronicles the coming of age of a musician and an addict, on and off the road, in a band plagued by tragedy during the last great era of rock ’n’ roll excess. While never losing her sense of humor, Schemel—one of the first female drummers to make it big in the music world, as well as one of the first women in rock to come out publicly as gay (in the pages of Rolling Stone, no less!)—intimately documents the events surrounding her dramatic descent from festival headliner into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles, and her difficult but rewarding path to sobriety after more than twenty serious attempts to get clean.
Hit So Hard is a first-hand account of everything that happened behind the curtain. It sheds light on Kurt Cobain’s final, fateful drug intervention; the backstage antics of Hole while they defied expectation following the sudden deaths of Cobain and bassist Kristen Pfaff and toured in support of Live Through This; Schemel’s writing of, and subsequent dramatic exit from, the recording of the band’s celebrated third album, Celebrity Skin; and countless encounters with some of rock ’n’ roll’s biggest names of the early 90s. But at its core, Hit So Hard is a survival story, told in witty detail by a woman who literally saw and experienced it all. Whether it was coming out in small town Washington state in the 80s, weathering all variety of sexism as one of the only famous female drummers of her time, or battling the intense drug addiction that threatened to take everything she had—including her life—many times, Schemel still managed to come out the other side. A testament to the enduring power of the music Schemel helped create, as well as an important documentation of the drug culture that threatened to destroy it, Hit So Hard is ultimately the story of one amazing woman’s ability to prevail against all odds, even when she herself believed she wouldn’t make it out alive.
(Photo credit: Darcy Hemley)
Patty Schemel is an American drummer, songwriter, and comedian best known for her work with the platinum-selling band Hole. She is on the board of the Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls, a non-profit organization that teaches girls all over the world that it’s okay to be loud. She continues to perform, teach, and tour, currently with the band Upset, and lives in Los Angeles with her wife and daughter.
Often harrowing, frequently heartrending, and always insightful, Hit So Hard is far more than rock myth-making or a redemption story. In looking back unflinchingly at the literal highs and crushing lows of her life, Schemel’s yielded a complex, compellingly readable memoir that possesses a truth and humanity few books of its kind ever truly capture.”— Bob Mehr, New York Times bestselling author of Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements
“Patty Schemel’s drums have always been a wake-up call, the punctuation that makes serious the wild streams of punk consciousness her bands have expressed. This book is a wake-up call, too: a clearly considered, deeply honest look back at a rock scene that’s often been mourned but rarely truly understood. Schemel writes most honestly about herself: she spares nothing and no one as she traces the path of addiction as it intersects with the privileges and costs of young fame. A must-read about rock ’n’ roll realities.”— Ann Powers, NPR Music Critic and author of Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music
“Hit So Hard is a compulsive read about the best worst times of a music scene torn apart by darkness and overshadowed by myth. Schemel writes with clear-eyed bravery about the chronic disease of addiction and offers hope for anyone still struggling to survive the ’90s.” — Jillian Lauren, author of Some Girls and Everything You Ever Wanted
“[A] heartbreaking memoir…Schemel’s recounting is bluntly terrifying and provides invaluable insight into the ravages of addiction—and just as importantly, the possibility of recovery…A must-read for any grunge fan.”— Publishers Weekly