Courtney Love says Rock Hall of Fame can “go to hell in a handbag”

The article comes days after Courtney Love slammed the Rock Hall of Fame after an anonymous voter claimed they were “not too familiar” with Kate Bush.

Just last week, Courtney Love took to social media to criticise gender disparity in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Love responded to a quote from an anonymous voter, who claimed they were “not too familiar” with Kate Bush’s music and would likely not vote for her. “Bro!” Love tweeted, “The rest of us have been LIVING KATE BUSH since 1977! This idiot VOTES people’s bank account & legacy? Too much power in the hands of IDIOTS.”

Now Love has taken it a step further, publishing an op-ed in the Guardian titled “Why are women so marginalised by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?”. In the article, Love expresses her outrage regarding the underrepresentation of women in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Courtney Love
Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Love has eloquently penned a very revealing essay: “The Rock Hall’s canon-making doesn’t just reek of sexist gatekeeping, but also purposeful ignorance and hostility. This year, one voter told Vulture magazine that they barely knew who Bush was – in a year she had a worldwide No 1 single 38 years after she first released it. Meg White’s potential induction as one half of the White Stripes (in their first year of eligibility) has sparked openly contemptuous discourse online; you sense that if voters could get Jack White in without her, they would do it today. And still: she would be only the third female drummer in there, following the Go-Go’s Gina Shock and Mo Tucker of the Velvet Underground. Where is Sheila E – eligible since 2001?”

This year has seen a record number of female artists nominated including Kate Bush, Missy Elliott and Cyndi Lauper. However, the vast majority of  inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are male. Of 719 inductees, only 61 – a mere 8.48 percent – are women. According to Love, this “doesn’t just reek of sexist gatekeeping, but also purposeful ignorance and hostility”.

Love thanked rock critic Jessica Hopper, who revealed that this statistic is “worse than women-artists-on-country radio numbers (10%) and women headliners at major music festivals (13%).”

Artists can be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album. However, Love reveals that many female musicians were eligible years before their nominations. Kate Bush, for instance, didn’t make the nominee list until 2018, despite being eligible since 2004. Bush was the first female artist to hit No 1 on the UK charts. She was also “the first woman in pop history to write every track on a million-selling debut”. Despite this, and despite being nominated four times, she still isn’t in.

Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame can be “life-changing”, explained Love. For an artist, it can mean “the difference between touring secondary-market casinos opening for a second-rate comedian, or headlining respected festivals.”

Kate Bush
Credit: Getty Images

Love believes that the nominating committee is “broken” and shamed HBO for “propping up this farce”. She concluded her article with some strong words for the Rock Hall of fame:

“If the Rock Hall is not willing to look at the ways it is replicating the violence of structural racism and sexism that artists face in the music industry, if it cannot properly honour what visionary women artists have created, innovated, revolutionised and contributed to popular music – well, then let it go to hell in a handbag.”