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When Your Boss Is a Star: Courtney Love


For $15 an hour, Love's former assistant provided a "calming" vibe.

Greg Capolino, an audio engineer based in LA, worked as Courtney Love's personal assistant from Thanksgiving through the end of 2003. His time on the clock with Love came during what was considered the peak of her much publicized drug abuse. Love was recording the flop album America's Sweetheart at the time.

"I was working as an assistant in the studio where she was recording. We just got talking and she liked me. One day she just said 'I have bunch of stuff going on and I need an assistant,' " Capolino says. He was 26 years old at the time. "She saw this young kid struggling and she threw me a bone."

Despite her addiction issues, Love was a kind and easygoing employer, says Capolino -- to him, anyway. While Love treated others "horribly," she seemed to like Capolino, largely thanks to their shared affinity for indie bands.

As assistant jobs go, Capolino's hours were relaxed. "I would go in late morning until late afternoon or early evening. There were days when I didn't go in at all," he says.

"I think she might have picked up a vibe that I was a calming force," he adds. "I wasn't doing drugs and I think she liked me because of that."

Love gave Capolino odds and ends stuff to do. He helped pack up her house during a move, for example. "I went to Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) to buy her what I think was 600 hangers for her clothes," he says. He also helped tidy the bedroom for Frances Bean Cobain, Love's daughter, whose father is the late Kurt Cobain.

The job ended when Love relocated to England to make a movie. She was scheduled to star as Lady MacBeth in a film adaptation of Shakespeare's play, but the movie project was later cancelled.

THE SALARY: "She was paying me a $15 and hour. I guess I could have demanded more, but I was fresh out of college and just needed a job," says Capolino.
THE PERKS: "Working for Courtney helped me get my foot in the door in other places," says the former assistant. "She had a negative image in the industry for her antics, but a big name is a big name. I put it on my resume. I found that I was getting call backs just to find out what it was like to work for her."
THE LESSONS LEARNED: It pays to have a poker face and be ready for anything at any time, says Love's former employee. "You have to be someone who can deal with being around all these big personalities and famous people," he says. "And you have to be able to deal with everyday things while people are doing drugs and having good and bad days."

Love, he stresses, "was always very coherent and nice. We'd talk about the Pixies for hours."

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