Take Aim: Amy Sciarretto Vs. Maer Roshan
Wed, 01 Feb 2012 15:23:29
Writer Maer Roshan is a brave soul. Not because he engaged in a Take Aim question and answer session with Amy Sciarretto, but because he wrote a book about Courtney Love. That's someone whose shit list we never want to be on! But Roshan took the plunge, having enjoyed "quality time" with Love at some points during the process. But he is realistic and knows he will probably incur her wrath now that the eBook has been published.
The book, Courtney Love Comes Clean, is a riveting read. Not just because the subject can be a train wreck, but because the author's perspective is quite interesting.
Go here to learn more about the author. Go here to order this affordable eBook about Love, one of rock's most polarizing and enduring figures.
Why did you decide to write a book about Courtney Love? Did she cooperate at all? Are you in fear of incurring her wrath?
I first met Courtney over a year ago, after she agreed to headline "The Recovery Rally," an annual event in New York. A few months earlier, I started a website called thefix.com, devoted to addiction and recovery. At the time I was fighting my own battle with addiction. I wasn't a particular Courtney Love fan, but apart from Keith Richards, few performers have publicly struggled with their demons. So when I heard she was going to perform before a vast audience of former addicts and drunks, I gave her a call. She agreed to meet with me for 30 minutes in the lobby of the Mercer Hotel. I arrived to find her in the lobby, nursing a beer. For the next six hours, we holed up in her suite talking about a wide range of matters from sobriety to perpetrations of a massive fraud against her. Like with a few other journalists, she seemed to be recruiting me to investigate all that had happened to her these last ten years. During the next nine months, she became an inescapable part of my life. The interview on the Fix was pretty sympathetic--after all it was in her own words, and her fans loved it. But soon after it appeared, she responded with a barrage of angry tweets and emails. When I was approached to expand on the piece, I knew I'd be in for a rough experience. But luckily, I don't scare too easily.
The opening passage certainly paints her as polarizing and bipolar -- what is your opinion of her after writing the book?
I've interviewed many celebrities over the course my career. Few of them have been as smart and funny as Courtney Love, and few have been more vindictive and ruthless. The same sharp-tongued brilliance that makes her such a riveting figure can be quite deadly when it's turned against her enemies. At times, she can be incredibly tender and empathetic . But then she'll go on tirades against a multitude of people from Chelsea Handler to Edward Norton to Lady Gaga. I think there's definitely an underlying disorder to her addictions, a dual-diagnosis that I'm not qualified to make. Lots of people get caught up in the crossfire, but ultimately she reserves her most vicious attacks for herself.
Answer this: If you were not writing, you would be:
Waiting tables or watching reruns of Lost and Law and Order. I've written for a lot of different publications from the New York Times to Interview to Harper's Bazaar. But as much as I enjoy writing, my real passion is being an editor. I'm not really a solitary sort of guy.
One key thing you learned about Love while writing this book?
I was astonished by her boundless energy, and her relentless self-obsession. She stays up all night tweeting and Googling herself. She probably gets three hours of sleep. Ultimately, I don't think she's a malicious person, just remarkably self-obsessed and destructively impulsive, as noted her mother when she answered my request for an interview. But her actions had serious implications for the people around her, including her daughter Frances. While reporting the book I uncovered a trove of documents that detailed many disturbing incidents that, when you take away the celebrity and extreme circumstances, are not uncommon to families in the grips of addiction. Courtney and Frances, just like others, are victims of this disease when it goes unchecked.
Favorite part of the process?
Getting inside the life and mind of a legend is an undeniable thrill. Courtney has lived an incredible life. She has met a host of legendary people and played such a outsized role in popular culture. I'm sure the next few weeks won't be very fun. But ultimately I think I got to the conflicted woman behind her persona and I don't think I'll regret the experience.
Did you get this eBook yet? Don't you just love Maer Roshan's attitude towards this whole experience? We do, and can't get enough of the book!