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Patty Schemel

musician
Born: April 24, 1967
Birthplace: Marysville, Washington

At age 11, Patty Schemel learned how to play the drums. By age 15, she had formed her first band, Sybil, with her brother Larry. In 1987, she joined the all-girl Seattle punk band, Doll Squad. From 1987 to 1989, Doll Squad developed an indie following and played shows with Nirvana.

In 1992, Courtney Love sought out Schemel to replace Hole’s original drummer Caroline Rue. Schemel was a member of Hole when they recorded their most successful album, the critically-acclaimed Live Through This. Schemel became the first female musician to be featured on the cover of the magazine Drum World in March 1995. In 1997, Schemel began work with Hole on the album Celebrity Skin. She made contributions to all of the songs, even writing most of the track Awful. However, she left the band before the album was recorded due to musical and personal differences with Michael Beinhorn, the album’s producer.

Since Hole, Schemel has been involved with several musical projects including playing in Juliette Lewis’ band, Juliette and the Licks, touring with Imperial Teen, and forming a new band, Green Eyes. Hit So Hard, a documentary about Schemel’s life and victorious battle with drug abuse premiered at The Museum of Modern Art in March 2011 and went into wide release in 2012. Schemel has been out as a lesbian for years. In a 1995 Rolling Stone interview, she said, “It’s good for other people who live somewhere else in some small town who feel freaky about being gay to know that there’s other people who are and that it’s ok.” Fun facts: Kurt Cobain seriously considered Schemel as Nirvana’s drummer after the departure of Chad Channing. After Dave Grohl’s audition, Schemel became Cobain’s second choice, although Kurt and Patty maintained a very close friendship until his death.

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