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fromDa Capo Press

Hit So Hard

A Memoir

By Patty Schemel

A stunningly candid and inspiring memoir of recovery from addiction and the '90s, by Hole drummer Patty Schemel

Patty Schemel was a drummer at the epicenter of the Seattle grunge scene in the early '90s, best known for her work with the alternative rock band Hole.

Hit So Hard begins with stories from a childhood informed by the AA meetings Schemel's parents hosted in the family living room. Their divorce triggered her rebellious adolescence and first forays into drinking at age 11, which coincided with her passion for punk rock and playing drums. Her efforts to come to terms with her sexuality further drove her memorably hard playing, and by the late '80s Schemel was performing regularly in well-regarded bands in Tacoma, Seattle, and Olympia. She met Kurt Cobain at a Melvins show, pre-Nirvana, and less than five years later she would be living with him and his wife, Hole front-woman Courtney Love, at the height of his fame and on the cusp of hers. As Hole's new drummer, Schemel contributed memorable, driving drum parts to hits like "Beautiful Son," "Violet," "Doll Parts," and "Miss World." But the band was plagued by tragedy and 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 were dead at age 27.

With surprising candor and wit, Schemel intimately documents the events surrounding her exit from the band in 1998 that lead to her dramatic descent into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles and the difficult but rewarding path to sobriety after over twenty serious attempts to get clean. Hit So Hard chronicles the extraordinary coming of age of a musician and an addict during the last great era of rock 'n' roll excess.
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 in California, 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.
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