Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel is a ‘rockumentary’ focusing on the rise and fall of the talented, hard-hitting drummer Patty Schemel of the popular 90’s alternative/grunge/punk/rock/pop band Hole.
It deals with her consistent battles with addiction to alcohol, and then to the drugs, that ultimately destroy her life and career at that time.
The film is presented with a mixture of amazing ultra-rare footage that Schemel herself filmed while on the road with Hole.
Schemel was very close to becoming the drummer for Nirvana and in the process she became very close friends with Kurt Cobain (even living with him and Courtney Love for over a year). Cobain is featured in intimate, never-before-seen footage which was very exciting to see. The rest of the film features interviews with her band mates, specifically Melissa Auf Der Maur, who she was especially close with; her story of watching Schemel’s demise is heart breaking at times.
The interview with Schemel’s mother was my favourite part of the film. Her love for her daughter is very clear, and she stuck beside her through everything, but she is also extremely funny.
Schemel not only deals with her drug addiction but with many other issues that people today are still finding themselves struggling with. For example, Schemel came out in Rolling Stone Magazine in 1995, but growing up she had a much harder time with her feelings and the immaturity of her class mates.
One of Schemel’s biggest struggles was being asked to leave the studio (sober and all) in 1997 during the recording of Celebrity Skin because her drumming was said not to be up to par. Schemel was replaced by ‘Johnny One Take’ as she refers to him, by producer Michael Beinhorn. In the film everyone admits Schemel’s drumming was fine and that they should have never allowed her to be outcast from the making of the record – everyone except Love who bitches (as usual) about the cost of time in the studio.
After being asked to leave, Schemel sadly goes back to drugs, back to destruction, but this time the drugs take her to the streets where she tells us of how she lived for over a year selling her body and living as a bum with a shopping cart! I never thought I would hear some of these things come out of her mouth.
But, as sad as it all was, I am happy to say it ends in sobriety, family support and even a love story. If you’re a fan of the alternative genre, Hole, or drumming, don’t Hit So Hard pass you by.
I laughed, I cried… and then I laughed and cried some more; it was a fantastic roller coaster of emotions!
For more info visit www.pattydoc.com