Back To The Past (31):

Sometimes you bump into someone, who’s a gift from heaven. A whole world of exciting stories and links unfold before your eyes, and the questions that you want to ask, seem to be endless. That’s what happened, when we got in touch with Courtney Paige Wolfe, former drummer of all-female band TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER. Not only we asked her a lot of questions about these two bands, she also created the opportunity to talk to her about a few other bands, that could be linked to her past quite easily. OK, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, so read the next interview carefully, because it reveals some very interesting facts and information. Here’s the story of TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER – two bands from Illinois, Chicago.

When did you start your musical career?
COURTNEY: “I started playing French horn when I was eight and switched to drums in Jr. High. I wanted to start the first all-girl rock band. At a slumber party, my friends and I all decided this was a good idea and picked instruments.”

Who were your musical influences as a drummer?
“Right now the drummer I most admire is Mike Portnoy from DREAM THEATER. I love everything about that band from the musicianship to the lyrical content. When I started playing in grade school, I listened to Neal Smith from ALICE COOPER, session player Hal Blaine, GENESIS’ Phil Collins, Prairie Prince from THE TUBES, and Alex Van Halen (VAN HALEN).”

Do you come from a musical family, and did you get any music lessons in your youth?
“I’m the first musician in the Wolfe clan. I had two years of French horn lessons and many years of drum lessons thereafter. Also had Timpani lessons for awhile.”

Let’s see if we can get some facts straight here. I believe, the first band you played in was the all-female band MADAME X. What kind of music did you play and can you recall, who were in it? This is not the same MADAME X as the band with Roxy and Maxine Petrucci, is it?
“You’ve got a good source! I didn’t think anyone would even remember MADAME X. I was about seventeen then and met the guitarist and bassist at a JOAN JETT concert. No, we were not the same band as Roxy’s – we weren’t aware of them at the time.”

Did you play in other bands before TOUGH LOVE?
“I did brief stints in a few local bands – IRON CROSS (thrash metal), SANDRA DEE, FOXFIRE, CHAMPAIGN BLOND, etc.etc.”

Didn’t you record an album with IRON CROSS?
“IRON CROSS put out a full-length cassette called “Church And State.” I was in TOUGH LOVE at the time.”

What can you tell about FOXFIRE?!?
“FOXFIRE was actually a band for the hearing impaired. Instead of a lead singer, we had a lead signer, who did everything in sign language for our audiences. I worked in social services for many years, so this band was perfect for me. A lot of people mistakenly think that if a person is deaf, they cannot hear at all. The truth is, they may be able to hear certain frequencies. We had a very unusual sound set up that accentuated the drums (because you can feel the pounding of the drums!) and our engineer had quite a job on his hands. We may have had a strange mix to the average ear, but people who never heard music before were able to enjoy it for the first time.”

You also did a lot of session work. Maybe you can give us some names of artists, that you played with?
“J.B RITCHIE, a traditional blues artist; NANCY DAVIS; THREE DUDES AND A DEAD CHICK – this was a mainstream rock band; SANDRA LEE & SILENT PARTNER – a pop band; KJ KAINE, a solo guitarist (STEVE VAI type); DIEDRE CROMWELL, a jazz standards torch singer.”

Can you remember, who was in the line up of TOUGH LOVE, when you joined the band?
“Nancy Davis (vocals), Geri Edinger (guitar), Berni Popiolek (guitar), Deanna Rose (bass). I replaced Leslie Kaye on drums in ‘85."

What was it like to play in an all-female metal band? As far as we know you’ve always played the drums for all-female bands, or is this incorrect?
“The better ones were all female. I played in a couple, where I was the only woman and in these bands, the guys tended to treat me like their little sister and they were very protective. I also did some bands (FOXFIRE, SANDRA LEE) that had male and female members.”

If I look very closely to your line up, I count three ex members of the all-female rock band BITCH (who released the LP “American Sweethearts” in ’82). Can we say that TOUGH LOVE is a continuation of BITCH?
“BITCH was founded by guitarist Lorrie Kountz, and later changed the name to TOUGH LOVE, so yes, it is a continuation. I am not certain who the original members of BITCH were. I believe Debbie Jurek (WHO’S GINGER, ILLICIT, RASH) was also an original member.”

Did they have to change their name because of the Los Angeles based outfit BITCH, with Betsy Weiss on vocals?
“I’m told the concern was censorship. The band didn’t want to have a name that - at that time - couldn’t be said on TV or in other media.”

The song “Red Lights The Sky” of TOUGH LOVE was released on a compilation album. Do you know the name of this LP?
“It was called the “Class Of ’85.” It was comprised of all Chicago local bands.”

How would you describe the music of TOUGH LOVE?
“Heavy, melodic rock. We were often referred to as a heavier version of HEART a lot, when Nancy was our lead vocalist.”

Did you play any covers during your set or did you have enough own material?
“TOUGH LOVE did one cover medley, that included heavy versions of songs like GRAND FUNK’s “We’re An American Band” and DOBIE GRAY’s “Drift Away.” I also convinced the band to cover ALICE COOPER’s “Elected”.

Did people accept you easily as an all-female metal band, in a scene that was normally male dominated?
“I’m sure every all-female band has to deal with being treated as a novelty act. My position on that is: Who cares? It makes you work twice as hard and you become better players. Every woman has to deal with some degree of chauvinism and whining about it won’t help you overcome it.”

Weren’t you afraid that the people only came to see four girls on stage, and they were not really interested in your music?
“The artist in me says: In all honesty, I don’t think anyone ever thought about that. Being in a band wasn’t a mission. It was simply what we wanted to do with our lives. The business woman in me says: If the fact, that we were women is what made them come to the show, I don’t have a problem with that as long as they paid at the door!”

We were surprised that there was another all-female band in Chicago, under the name of THE HUNTED. Do you know them by any chance, and did you possibly play together somewhere?
“THE HUNTED was actually from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My boyfriend at the time knew Katrina Astrin, the lead guitarist and introduced us. Katrina and I wrote a lot together and she joined what I refer to as “TOUGH LOVE II,” replacing Geri and Berni.”

Do you know if THE HUNTED recorded an album or a single in those days?
“I’m not aware of any material they released.”

TOUGH LOVE did have a lot of line up changes over the years. Would it be possible for you to come up with some names of the more or less permanent band members, that were in this band over the years?
“There were two distinct versions of the band that I was in. For easy reference, I call them 'TOUGH LOVE I' and 'TOUGH LOVE II'. The line up for 'TOUGH LOVE I' was: Nancy Davis (vocals); Geri Edinger (guitar); Berni Popiolek (guitar); Deanna Rose (bass); Courtney Wolfe (drums) and the line up for 'TOUGH LOVE II': Jeanne von Graf (bass); Katrina Astrin (guitars); Deanna Rose (vocals); Laura Boton (keys); Courtney Wolfe (drums)."

We know that Geri Edinger became the guitar player of SHE ROCK. Do you know what happened to her after that?
“I don’t know what happened to Geri after SHE ROCK.”

Another name, we missed in our information, after TOUGH LOVE split up, is the name of Nancy Davis. Do you know what happened to her, after she left the band?
“Nancy went on to a solo career and did jingles for awhile. I did some percussion and background vocals for her on one recording. She’s married now and has (I believe) two children. She and Berni are still in touch.”

It’s 1988 when TL gets back together again. Besides you, we find back a lot of new names. Deanna Ross, who once was the bass player of the band, but becomes the lead singer. Did she always wanted to become the lead singer of the band?
“I’m not sure, if she wanted to or we pushed her into it. Dea had a very eccentric stage presence and was a natural front person.”

Her place was taken by Jeanne von Graf. How did you get in touch with her?
“There was another all-girl-band forming on the South Side of Chicago. They called me and I went down to check it out. They didn’t know Dea and I were in the process of forming a new TOUGH LOVE and (I hate to admit this) I only went to see, if any of the players were worth stealing. Jeanne was.”

Katrina Astrin came from THE HUNTED. What was it like working with someone, that came from another all-female band from your area?
“Probably the same as it is for guys, when they get a player from another band with all guys. Katrina and I had a great bond as writers. If anyone knows where she’s at now, e-mail me! Actually, both TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER set up several shows with nothing but all-female bands playing. We totally supported other female musicians and were glad to have peers we could relate to.”

Did she join the band with a certain vision? I imagine, that she had certain ideas about everything, because she’d been there before with her former band?
“Katrina’s playing was a lot different. She had a fluidity to her style. As a drummer, I loved it. I was getting real tired of playing quarter notes throughout everything, which was the trend at that time. Katrina understood different time signatures and feels.”

Katrina also toured with WOW. Did you happen to see her during this tour? She must have gained a lot of experience!
“No, I never got to see her play with Wendy. Katrina came back much more business savvy and taught us a great deal.”

Wasn’t it difficult to say goodbye to Bernie, who was being replaced by Katrina. After all, she was one of the original members of the band. She will show up in ROMANTIC FEVER again, too.
“Of all members, I missed Berni the most. Berni was the perfectionist and it showed in her playing and writing.”

You added a keyboard player to the band called Laura Boton, instead of a second guitar player. Was this the beginning of a more commercial sound?
“We weren’t tying to be more commercial, we just wanted more diversity in our sound. Adding keyboards seemed to be the way to accomplish that.”

We have some information about a tape, that contains remixes of two older songs like “Mama’s Boy” and “Suspicious Of Love.” Who wrote most of the songs for TOUGH LOVE, and what are the lyrics about?
“We all wrote in TOUGH LOVE. Mostly me, Katrina and Dea. “Mama’s Boy” was written by Geri and Nancy, I believe. “Suspicious Of Love” was one of Dea’s. I think the title says it all! We did a recording of “Mama’s Boy”, “Suspicious”, “Hey, Hey Song”, “Leavin’ It”, “(Due In) Time” and an early version of “Cinderella”. Katrina and I wrote “Hey, Hey Song”, “(Due In) Time” and “Cinderella”; Dea wrote “Leavin’ It”.”

Is it true, that SHE ROCK also recorded “Mama’s Boy”? Does it differ much from the original version?
“I never heard their version, but would like to!!!”

One of the other songs, that TOUGH LOVE recorded, is called “Romantic Fever”. Were you thinking about forming a new band already at that time? Or was the name ROMANTIC FEVER chosen far after TOUGH LOVE had split up for the last time?
“We picked the name ROMANTIC FEVER for our new band because we wanted to keep a connection to TOUGH LOVE, while also starting something completely new.”

When and why did TOUGH LOVE called it quits?
“We called it quits in ’89 – ’90. As with most bands, the close and constant proximity of all the members can cause burn out. We all needed to start something new.”

I read somewhere that Kim Fowley had something to do with TOUGH LOVE. Did you meet him and what was it like to work with him?
“Kim managed TOUGH LOVE for a short time. It was odd, because I was aware of the alleged difficulties THE RUNAWAYS had. But his time with us was short, so I don’t have too much to comment on. It was while Kim was with us that Nancy quit – that may say something. We recorded three songs with Kim producing and Geri left for SHE ROCK. This is when Dea and I started what I call ‘TOUGH LOVE II’. “

Were THE RUNAWAYS of any influence on TOUGH LOVE or ROMANTIC FEVER? We read that Jeanne von Graf was a big RUNAWAYS/JOAN JETT fan, when she started her musical career!
“At that time, I think all female rock musicians were influenced by THE RUNAWAYS in one way or another, even if it was just for the inspiration of getting a band together. I have all of their stuff as well as a collection of material by female musicians. THE RUNAWAYS, FANNY, SUZI QUATRO – they were all pioneers. My personal favorite is PRECIOUS METAL. They really had talent, great melodies and their lyrics were so well put together. On the lighter side, I also loved THE BANGLES. I’m looking forward to a new release from them. For me, being the only girl drummer in the Jr. High band, I was determined to start what I thought would be the first all-girl rock band. I was actually disappointed to find out THE RUNAWAYS (and others) beat me to it, but in the end, it was a gift to find out there were other women picking up instruments and playing powerful music with confidence.”

Weren’t you afraid that Kim would treat you the same way as he did with THE RUNAWAYS?
“Like I said, Kim wasn’t around very long and Geri really dealt with him the most. She may have the most to say about Kim. All I really remember about Kim Fowley was that he always wanted me to play more commercially and would always yell “BON JOVI – not John Bonham!” I couldn’t help it, though, a song always has its own direction and feel and anything else can ruin a potentially great song. If it’s a commercial song, it’ll go there on its own. Not many TOUGH LOVE songs fit into the pop vein.”

Do you know what happened to Katrina, Deanna and Laura, when TOUGH LOVE split up, and was this the very last line up that existed of this band?
“Dea lives nearby with her husband and daughter. She still performs with local acts and has a cover band called THE FABULOUS JANES. She and I started THE JANES together, but I left them early on to get a business degree. Laura owns a very upscale salon in the heart of Chicago and still does solo performances every so often. Berni is doing well and played guitar at my wedding last year. I know she does a lot of home recording and we talked about updating and re-recording some of our favorite songs.”

ROMANTIC FEVER existed for about three years. You founded the band, together with Jeanne von Graf in 1990. I imagine that you wanted to do certain things different than with TOUGH LOVE. What were the biggest differences between TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER for you?
“Musically, I wrote a lot more and stepped up to the mic. I was also able to be a lot more creative as a drummer. Since we all had grown as musicians, we were able to challenge each other’s abilities, making for a much tighter band. Jeanne also started writing more and contributed some of my favorite songs: “Bride Of Frankenstein” was my personal favorite. Personally, ROMANTIC FEVER had a sense of humor and didn’t take themselves as seriously as TOUGH LOVE did. We had more fun and I think we were a better band. “

Did you agree the band should sound totally different than TOUGH LOVE, or did you just start jamming together to see what would happen, musical wise?
“You really can’t force creativity. You just have to start and see what happens. Jeanne and I just started writing. Our manager, Lee Swanson, gave us full reign of a rehearsal space and we just picked up our instruments and did what we wanted. We convinced Berni to come back and did nothing but write for a long time.”

Not long after you started the band, Bernie Popiolek joins you. Weren’t you afraid that the people would be seeing you as TOUGH LOVE under a different name, since there were so many ex-members of this band in ROMANTIC FEVER?
“We were just happy to have Berni playing with us again and didn’t really care.”

You released “Walk In The Wild” on a local compilation album called “Chicago Metal Works”. Can you remember which other bands were on this album?
“This one I don’t remember. I have a copy of this somewhere, but I’d have to dig for it.”

The vocals on this song were done by Suzette Andrea. I think she was never a steady band member, was she?
“Suzette was committed to moving to California to continue her acting career. We asked her, if she would record this one track for us before she left.”

The singer of the band was Audrey Vanderlinden. This is a typical Dutch name. Do you know, if she has any connections with the Netherlands?
“Audrey was half Dutch and half Indonesian.”

She came from a band called SLEEPER (‘87-’90). Can you tell us a bit more here?
“Audrey was the front woman of this all-male band. It was a pop rock band.”

Several band members received an award in the Chicago music scene. I read, that you were voted as the best drummer in 1991. I guess that you must have been very proud about this?
“Yes. You can’t accuse the Chicago rock community of chauvinism, if they elected me their favorite drummer! I was runner-up a few years in a row and was thrilled to come in first place!”

On your five track demo CD, you sing the lead vocals on a song called “Cinderella”. Isn’t it extremely difficult to sing the lead vocals and play the drums at the same time?
“Yes, at times it was maintaining a proper breathing technique to sing is a challenge, when your instrument provides a better aerobic workout than a Stairmaster. I loved it, though, especially backing vocals and harmonies. I really identified with Debbie Peterson from THE BANGLES at this point, since she also had heavy vocal duty in addition to drumming.”

Did this song become really special for you in a way?
“Lyrics have always been important to me. I was always the band storyteller. At the time, “Cinderella” was an audience favorite, although the story and message is kind of depressing. Today, I’d like to write a “Cinderella Part II” with a radically different message.”

Is it true, that it was written in the TOUGH LOVE period already? And did the other members think it was a good idea to use it on your five track demo?
“I wrote the song with Katrina in TOUGH LOVE. We did record a version at that time, but we disbanded soon after and nothing ever came of it. I knew it was a good song and wanted to keep it.”

ROMANTIC FEVER had an endorsement deal with Dean guitars and Gretsch drums. How did this deal come about and what’s so special about these Gretsch drum kits?
“I could give you a lot of esoteric techno-babble about the quality of the wood, resonance, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is: quality is what you like. I liked Gretsch drums, so that’s what I played. The deal was through a local store. Berni’s guitar was custom made for her by Dean Guitars.”

How would you describe the sound of ROMANTIC FEVER?
“I’ll leave that one up to you. We kinda went all over the spectrum live. Harmonies were important to us. Again, lyrics were very important to me – I always liked to tell stories. Audrey penned the love songs and Jeanne was the comedian.”

Were there any bands that can be seen as a major influence for ROMANTIC FEVER?
“Individually we all had different influences. We didn’t try to model ourselves after anyone if that’s what you’re asking.”

You supported WINGER in Chicago. How was that experience? If I was informed right, the show wasn’t quite a success for Audrey, because of the many spotlights that were up on her face during this gig.
“Actually, we did the show with WINGER and had another gig that same evening a two-hour drive away at a place called Johnny’s 84. The ceiling at this club was low and during our third set (fourth if you count the WINGER show earlier), we were getting tired. My friend Sue noticed Audrey was having trouble. A combination of heat exhaustion and the close proximity of the follow spot melted Audrey’s contact lens. Sue got our lighting director to cut back, but we did have to cut that last set short.”

Which other bands did you share the stage in the period of ROMANTIC FEVER?
“PAULEY SHORE, ENUFF Z’NUFF and CHEAP TRICK. My favorite back up gig was with MADAME X, when we backed up GIRLSCHOOL. They had just released “Screaming Blue Murder.” I was so young at the time and had them autograph my “Hit and Run” album. We also backed up TALAS (Billy Sheehan’s outfit).”

Did you also learn anything from people like WINGER and ENUFF Z’NUFF? After all, they had quite a good reputation in the music scene?!
“WINGER was the most professional group of people. They had it down musically and they knew how to put on an entertaining show. Having been a long-time ALICE COOPER fan, (and the fact that Kip’s simply drop-dead georgeous….), I was thrilled to meet Kip Winger. What I remember most about the band is that they were all just nice people who didn’t drink or do drugs (that I could see) and were very professional. It was one of the best experiences in my musical career to back WINGER up. ENUFF Z’NUFF kept to their inner circle. They were a lot different from WINGER! I don’t remember meeting them, to be honest.”

There is a story I read about a car ride, from a gig in Danville, where you were buried alive when the driver had to push the brake real suddenly. But I’m sure that you can tell us some more hilarious stories about the life on the road.
“My favorite memories are of some of the stunts Jeanne and I used to pull. We would occasionally take gigs to try out new material and would book ourselves under a pseudonym. Jeanne and I always picked the band name for these shows and would love to see Berni and Audrey’s reactions when we’d get to the gig and the marquee would read “The Maggot Wagon” or “Romantic Beaver”.”

We also read about songs like “Bride Of Frankenstein”, “Top Gun Dressed In Drag”, “Bright Side”, “Pauline’s Paradise”, “Take My Heart”, “Used Cars”, “Victim”, “What About Me” and covers like “No You Don’t” (THE SWEET) and “Waterloo” (ABBA), that were not on the demo. Are there any recordings of these songs somewhere? Maybe on a dusty live tape, that is existing?? Can you tell us a bit more about these songs?
“There’s a few dusty tapes waiting to be heard. My goal this year is to start the ROMANTIC FEVER/TOUGH LOVE web site. Maybe they’ll pop up there. In the meantime, if any of your readers have any TOUGH LOVE or ROMANTIC FEVER photos or recordings, please email me at the address at the end of this interview.”

Did you play any more covers, than the two I’ve mentioned here?
“We did a heavy metal, double bass version of “Walking In A Winter Wonderland” at Christmas time. That was always interesting in a twisted sort of way.”

You appeared on TV several times. What can you remember about that?
“TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER appeared on “Wild Chicago.” We were also featured on several cable shows. Again, you’ll have to wait for the web site and check it out!”

In 1992 you left the band, because your father got ill. Was this also the main reason, why you dedicated the demo to Donald G. Wolfe Sr.?
“Donald Wolfe Sr. is my father, who passed away right after we finished recording. We dedicated the tape to him, because he always supported my goals wholeheartedly.”

The band continues with a male drummer, and also a keyboard player was added to the line up. Maybe you can give us the names of these two new members of ROMANTIC FEVER?
“Life took a drastically different direction for me at that time, so I really don’t know who they were or what the continuing version of ROMANTIC FEVER accomplished.”

After you left the band, you received another award for being “Chicago’s Favorite Drummer”. People didn’t forget about you, and it must have been some surprise to receive this award...again.
“And then some! I kind of went into a hole at that time and was stunned anyone knew who I was.”

Not too long after you left the band, they call it quits. Can you update us about what happened to the other members of the band like Audrey, Jeanne and Berni??
“Berni and I still talk and she played guitar at my wedding. She has a home recording studio and spends a lot of time on her boat. Audrey breeds rare lizards and lives in Georgia, I believe. Last Berni and I heard, Jeanne lived in Atlanta.”

Did you leave the music scene after you left ROMANTIC FEVER, or did you start another band later on?
“I sat in with SANDRA LEE AND SILENT PARTNER, JB RITCHIE and wrote and recorded a couple of songs with Katrina. Dea approached me about forming a band, but I chose to finish my degree in business administration instead.”

What’s your most favorite TOUGH LOVE song, and please also name your most favorite ROMANTIC FEVER song?
“Sometimes my favorite songs to play are much different than my favorite songs to listen to. My favorite ROMANTIC FEVER song is “Bride Of Frankenstein” (or “BOF”, as we called it), which Jeanne wrote. I still enjoy hearing it and I loved playing it. Sometimes we’d humor ourselves by doing very over-the-top versions of songs or musical styles. “Frankenstein” started out as a parody of thrash music in general and it took on a life of it’s own. The story line was hysterical. Jeanne really had a knack for this. I truly consider this song a work of art. ”(Due In) Time” was always one I liked as well. As for TOUGH LOVE, there was a tune Geri & Nancy wrote called “Pauline’s Paradise”, that I thought was brilliant. The arrangement was stellar and (yes, another story song!) I loved the lyrics. TOUGH LOVE also did one called “Black and White”, that had a real LED ZEPPELIN feel. I loved playing that song!”

We also read that you shot some video footage of the band at the Gateway Theatre. What happened to this video?
“It’s in a box somewhere in my basement. I also have footage of the Wild Chicago appearances and one from a club called ToTo’s.”

Would you like to tell us something more about THE FRUMPS, Frumpland and ‘The Frump Dump’? And did you ever manage to do the nationwide Kentucky Fried Chickens tour?
“The road can get really really dull. To compensate, Jeanne and I always made up alter-egos to amuse ourselves. THE FRUMPS were our country and western band alter-ego. For some reason, we found THE FRUMPS extremely entertaining at the time (I think, we were the only ones who did!). Berni and Audrey learned to tolerate us. However, Berni did join THE FRUMPS at one time.”

You once said, that you liked horror movies. Do you still like to watch a good (horror) movie, and please tell us what your favorite movies are?
“I love intelligent horror - not slasher teenage gore films. I still enjoy a good scare and in the last few years there’s been a few: “The Sixth Sense”, “The Others” and “The Ring”. I also love science fiction and still love the Star Trek series, especially “Deep Space Nine”. “Galaxy Quest” is still my favorite comedy, because it so accurately portrays the Star Trek phenomena.”

You also named Rutger Hauer as one of your big heroes from the movie business. Did you know that he’s from Holland?
“That was so long ago! “Blade Runner” was always one of my favorite films.”

Do you have any other hobbies, besides watching horror movies and playing music? Do you still love stuffed animals for example?
“I play guitar now and spend a lot of time building web sites and taking in stray animals. I’m working towards my graduate degree in business administration. I’d love to find a new writing partner and start recording again. I’m in the process of setting up a studio in my home.”

Are you still active in the music scene? And maybe you can give us an update about what happened after you broke up with ROMANTIC FEVER?
“I’m currently not active in music, but as a hobby, I am learning guitar, if that counts! After ROMANTIC FEVER, I basically dealt with family issues after my dad passed away and then went to college and concentrated on a new career. It was really rough there for awhile, but those are the life lessons that really affect you in a positive way. I recently got married and thank God for giving me such a wonderful life-partner. I am very fortunate – life has been good!”

Are you still in contact with some of the ex band members of TOUGH LOVE or ROMANTIC FEVER?
“Just Berni and sometimes Dea. I’d love to find Katrina, so if anyone reading this knows where she is…. Write me!”

Have you ever thought of a reunion of one of these two bands?
“Berni and Audrey talked about it once, but we all live so far apart. Berni and I also thought about it, but again, everyone is so geographically scattered I don’t see how we could. I’d be up for it in a heartbeat, if it were possible.”

To what music do you listen to nowadays?
“I am an avid DREAM THEATER fan. I just never get bored with them. Every member of that band is exceptional and I love concept albums. James La Brie is my favorite vocalist and Mike Portnoy is my favorite drummer ever. I still see ALICE COOPER, whenever he tours.”

What was the last concert, that you visited?
“ALICE COOPER at the House of Blues in Chicago. Before that I saw ERIC CLAPTON and TINA TURNER.”

Did you ever play outside the U.S and did the bands, you played in get any press coverage from abroad?
“I personally have not, although both TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER both received press in Europe.”

What was your reaction when you got our email to do an interview about TOUGH LOVE and ROMANTIC FEVER?
“Surprised – I really didn’t think anyone remembered us.”

Do you have any plans for the future?
“Finish school. I really would like to start writing and recording again.”

What’s it like to see, that people are still interested in the bands that you once played in?
“I’m really happy about it. We enjoyed what we did and I’m glad that others still do as well. It’s a real compliment and I know the other members appreciate it as well.”

Do you have any personal messages for the readers of Metal Maidens?
“Thanks for the ongoing support of women in music!!”

Do you feel you have achieved everything you’ve wanted over the years, or are there still any goals in your life?
“My goals are more on a personal level these days. Mostly self improvement and enlightenment. I try to just enjoy what’s happening now rather than obsessing about the future or the past. I used to really obsess over questions about the meaning of life and that kind of philosophical debate. Now I work towards just enjoying what is.”

Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Maybe there are some things that we forgot to mention here and that is essential for the story of Courtney Wolfe and TOUGH LOVE/ROMANTIC FEVER?
“Just a fond tip of the hat to the other female musicians out there, especially the drummers - Linda MacDonald, Debbie Peterson, Roxy Petrucci, Sandy West, Mo Tucker, Denise Dufort, Carol Control, Karen Carpenter, Patti Schemel, Sheila E., Gina Schock, etc. Thankfully, the list of female drummers is finally getting quite long and could go on and on!”

The last words are for you.....
“Send me stuff for the ROMANTIC FEVER/TOUGH LOVE web site! If you have any ROMANTIC FEVER or TOUGH LOVE recordings or pictures, please send them to me at All life matters.”

Interview by: Toine van Poorten/copyright Metal Maidens.