Skip to main content

Watch 19-year-old Courtney Love front Faith No More on 1984 TV show

FNM with Courtney
(Image credit: Viacom Public Access / YouTube)

In early 1984, San Francisco alt. rock band Faith No More acquired a new singer, not necessarily by choice. As keyboard player Roddy Bottum recalls, 19-year-old Courtney Love "basically demanded to sing". Bassist Bill Gould remembers the singer as “a chaotic personality” who created “a whirlwind of shit” with the band, which was very much part of Faith No More's aesthetic in their earliest years together. 

Love, then going by the name 'Courtney Henley', featured in Faith No More's very first TV appearance, just two months after joining the group. Broadcast in the spring of 1984 on Viacom Public Access channel 25, the 28-minute feature includes a highly entertaining interview with the band, who Roddy Bottum claims play "psychedelic death rock." When the interviewer enquires whether the band have any links to the psychedelic era, Love says, "My parents were hippies and I hate them. This is my rebellion."

"She went to the flower mart early in the morning and brought bags and bags of flowers for the shoot," Bottum recalled in the band's biography Small Victories: The True Story Of Faith No More by Adrian Harte. "We covered the stage with flowers and wore dashikis and burned incense. In the punk scene of San Francisco, this was completely audacious."

Watch the full programme below:

Love's final show with Faith No More took place on June 17, 1984.

Speaking in 2021 of her time in the band, Love said: "I was a homeless street kid, and I’m grateful to these guys for adopting me. This was a scary but fun time… wilding on streets of San Francisco."

"Getting kicked out of this band was one of the best things that ever happened to me," she added. "They wrote a number 1 hit with Epic that I used to have to strip to at the Seventh Veil and Jumbos Clown Room and it pissed me off so much to be stripping to it, that it made me determined, gave me the head of steam to keep going and keep it together for my own band. 'Well if they can do it, I can!'"

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.