Behind the Band Name: Hole

It would be impossible to talk about ’90s alternative rock without at least a mere mention of the band, Hole. While the group and its music is often overshadowed by its lead singer’s highly publicized personal life, Hole coined the gritty, rough-around-the-edges abrasiveness that came to be characteristic of the genre.

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Armed with an unapologetic edginess and an exhilarating unpredictability, Hole was just as direct a band as their name.

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Behind the Name

Hole was formed by Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson. The lead singer and guitarist respectively were accompanied by several different bassists and drummers throughout the band’s lifespan. Drummer Patty Schemel and bassist Kristen Pfaff were among the most notable of rotating members.

According to the book, Courtney Love: The Real Story, the frontwoman originally opted for the lengthy moniker, Sweet Baby Crystal Powered by God, a name not so unlike one of her previous musical projects, Sugar Babydoll.

The name, Hole, however, was born from two sources—English 101 and Love’s mother.

“It doesn’t come from the obvious source,” Love said of her band’s name during a 1995 interview on Later… With Jools Holland. She continued to explain to the British television host, “In Euripides’ Medea, when she kills the bride and her own child, she says … ‘There’s a hole that pierces my soul’ … My mother is this kind of new age psychologist, and I said ‘You know, I had this terrible childhood'” and she said ‘Well, you can’t have a hole running through you all the time, Courtney.’

“You know, and then there’s the genital reference…,” she added.

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Listen to the explanation in between performances below.

Hole Today

Hole initially disbanded in 2002 after over a decade together. Love would go on to embark on her own solo endeavors. Almost a decade later, an iteration of the band saw a brief reunion, coming together to release the 2010 album Nobody’s Daughter.

Hole disbanded once again with various whispers of reunions and reformations to this day.

Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage

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