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Courtney Love’s Step Mother Remembers Her Late Husband, Hank Harrison

Hank in the middle, Catriona to the right

Thank you rock nyc for your tribute (here) which is (for the most part) much appreciated. It is indeed a tragedy that his passing went unnoticed by the mainstream. Indeed for many years, his immense talent went unrecognized.

There are just a few points I would like to clarify.

Hank did indeed lose custody of Courtney, the details of which are, like so many divorces and custody battles, unsavory and riddled with “alternative facts”, including that he ever gave her LSD. (He later passed a lie detector test that proved he did not.) She was whisked away to points north (of San Francisco) and New Zealand, being told that her father was dead, and dragged through the many marriages of her mother who at various points abandoned her to various friends.

Hank eventually tracked her down to Juvie where she’d been placed by her mother. She was at that time as far as I can recall, 14 or 15. Hank was able to have her released into his care and she came to live with him in Sausalito. At that time he was able to secure her inheritance (which she didn’t know about) and helped her become emancipated.

Later, she stayed with him in Ireland before moving on to the U.K. and other venues in her quest to become or marry a rockstar. If you have taken the time to read Hank’s book: Love Kills: The Assassination of Kurt Cobain, and my compilation of her early poems and letters: Courtney Love: The Lost Poems, you would already have that information. FYI.

Hank was on good, if not strained relations with Courtney (sometimes more so because of her use of heroin and other drugs), rather typical of those between a teenage daughter and her father, right up until the time of Kurt’s death whereupon she cut off all communications, even becoming openly hostile and abusive towards us when we offered our support (this long before Hank offered any credence to the theories that Kurt had not committed suicide). In fact, at their last meeting at the concert in San Francisco telephone numbers were exchanged along with a promise that he could visit with the new family during Christmas. Sadly, this never came about.

Hank was many things to different people, he was at once volatile, gentle, caring, sentimental, and passionate about things, animals, and people he cared about, but he was never violent. In 42 years together, I never saw him raise an arm in anger; never; not once.

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