Sticks and Stoned

Hole drummer Patty Schemel lets loose in new documentary

Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel is a cinematic rollercoaster that reveals the story behind the famed lesbian drummer’s struggles with addiction.

Schemel is best known as the hard-hitting, barefooted drummer of Hole, who played with Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Melissa Auf Der Maur and Kristen Pfaff from 1992 to 1998.

Schemel was asked by a friend about a dusty box of old Hi8 tapes she noticed sitting in the closet. On those tapes, Schemel rediscovered more than 40 hours of personally shot footage of her tours with Hole—as well as the evidence of her worsening drug addiction.

Knowing Hi8 tapes disintegrate over time, she asked her friend, the director P. David Ebersole, if he could digitize them for safekeeping.  As they went through the footage together, Schemel related stories of her time on the road.

Ebersole detected a ‘really great story of survival’ within the tapes. Schemel suggested they turn the material into a film in 2007 with assistance from Ebersole’s husband, the filmmaker Todd Hughes, and Schemel’s then-girlfriend (now wife) Christina Soletti, a TV producer.

This year they sought to finish financing the film so they could take it to film festivals with a $15,000 Kickstarter campaign. As they approached their goal, pop super-producer Linda Perry heard about the campaign—and kicked in the balance, plus an extra few grand.

In addition to masterfully edited highlights from Schemel’s tapes, Hit So Hard offers candid interviews from family, friends and former band members; quirky musicians like the lesbian icon Phranc; and legendary female drummers like Gina Schock, Kate Schellenbach and Debbi Peterson.

Though there are many dark moments, you’ll want to laugh rather than cry at the witty, honest and funny ways Schemel recollects her past.

Expect to be blown away by her mother’s tales of Schemel’s coming out, never-before-seen footage of Kurt Cobain and family (including an unreleased song by Cobain and Courtney Love), backstage footage of Hole’s Live Through This world tour, intimate conversations about her sexuality, her wedding and family life today.

After receiving rave reviews and intense word-of-mouth, Hit So Hard has officially been picked up for theatrical distribution in 2012 by Well Go USA with partners Variance Films.

Don’t miss your chance to see Hit So Hard as part of Newfest on Wednesday, July 27 at 6:50pm at Brooklyn Academy of Music (30 Lafayette Avenue , Brooklyn, NY).

And check back Monday for an in-depth interview with Patty Schemel and GO Magazine’s web editor, Greg Frederick!

Hit So Hard website:
Newfest website:

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