Courtney Love: Lana Del Rey and Kurt Cobain “Are the Only Two True Musical Geniuses”

"She's got a magic thing. And she's not even fucked up."

Courtney Love with Lana Del Rey
Courtney Love with Lana Del Rey, photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images

    Courtney Love showered Lana Del Rey with the ultimate praise in a new interview, likening the pop singer to her late husband Kurt Cobain.

    “Lana and Kurt are the only two true musical geniuses I’ve ever known,” Love said during an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast (via Stereogum). “And by that I mean they can Spielberg anything.” Love specifically cited Lana Del Rey reciting Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Nirvana covering Meat Puppets on MTV Unplugged as examples of how the two musicians “Spielberged” it.

    “[Del Rey’s] got the integrity that Kurt had,” Love added. “The only two people I know that I can say… By the way, [Michael] Stipe? Bono? Yes, these are people that I know and love. Billie Joe [Armstrong], sure. But Lana? She’s got a magic thing. And she’s not even fucked up.”


    Love went on to recall how she introduced Del Rey to Joni Mitchell, which informed the creation of Del Rey’s classic album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!

    “She described a record she wanted to make to me, and I’m like, ‘Oh you mean Hissing Of Summer Lawns.’ She’s like, ‘What’s that?’ I’m like, ‘It’s a Joni Mitchell record.’ She’s like, ‘Who’s that?'” Love proceeded to gift Del Rey “all the Joni” music and it “changed her fucking whole thing.”

    “My boomer rock critic friends are calling after Norman Rockwell, ‘Hey your friend, she’s pretty good…’ And I said to her, ‘Welcome to the Thunderdome, Ms. Del Rey.’ Even Springsteen! He goes, ‘She’s our greatest songwriter.’” In response, Love told Del Rey, “don’t go insane,” and Del Rey didn’t because “she got out of the overculture. She deleted all her social. Fuck that shit.”


    Elsewhere in the interview, Love previewed her upcoming solo album. One of the tracks, “Kill Fuck Marry,” was inspired by Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s recent trial. Another new song called “Justice For Kurt” addresses conspiracists who claim she was responsible for his death, but she ultimately chose to leave it off the album as “it would swallow the entire narrative.” She also revealed that she’s currently on good terms with Nirvana’s surviving members (“Our kids are gonna be doing business together, their kids are gonna be doing business…”), and recalled turning down Brad Pitt’s offer to play Cobain in a biopic in the early 2000s.

    You can listen to the full interview below.

    Del Rey is set to release her new album, Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, on March 10th, 2023. Stream the Jack Antonoff-produced title track here.