In 1959, musical humorist, Tom Lehrer, recites the names of all the chemicals known at the time, sung to the tune of the Major-General’s Song from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. I could nearly sing the whole song as a kid and recite each chemical with it’s atomic number.
PRETTY WOMAN QUOTE:
Old Lady at Opera: Did you like the opera, dear?
Vivian: It was so good, I almost peed my pants
Edward Lewis: She said she liked it better than Pirates of Penzance
The character Edward Lewis was named for my grandfather, who started his ministry in Georgia the 1930’s, his middle name was Edward and his grandmother’s maiden name was Lewis. The character Vivian for Vivian Leigh who starred in A Street Car Named Desire (which inspired Heart Shaped Box) and as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind (which partly was my inspiration for the Goth meets Scarlett look for Amy Lynn Hartzler). Michael Hutchence’s brother’s name is Rhett.
My grandfather’s first name was Miles and in Kurt Cobain’s journal under the title Uncertainty wrote “I wish someone could explain to me why exactly I have no desire to learn anymore, why I used to have so much energy, and the need to search for Miles…”
When Michael Jackson brought Madonna to meet me and talk about the songs, we also discussed her fashion. I had mentioned after seeing her first music video for “Everybody” I was concerned her fashion did not only match her voice, sound, or dance style, but also did not have national appeal for girls who would want to imitate her. I was a fan of Prince’s girl group Vanity 6 and the Goth girl at heart loved Billy Idol’s music video for the ’82 White Wedding.
I told her about an article titled “Boy’s Toy turns out to be a bomb” in Oxford, Alabama and bombs being a “theme” of some sort in my songs. At first we discussed making a necklace that said Boy Toy. Instead we decided it would not be large enough and talked about it being a belt. She agreed to think about it.
Even in the best families bad things happen. My adopted father had been the one who had hoped for stardom as an artist. He went to college on a music scholarship playing the drums and had been in a jazz band. His true wish, which we all thought was silly, had been to become the next Pat Boone. Over the years he seemed to disappear more and more into a bottle of vodka as reality set in on him and the most he could hope for was to lead the service at church in song. Most of the members at church did not notice his behavior. Finally, my parents divorced in the Spring of 1983 before the Def Leppard concert in May.
All these things inspired the idea for the songs Lithium both performed by Nirvana and by Evanescence.
I also tended to use the number 3 in songs, actually I liked using numbers in songs, eventually even making up the song “3” performed by Britney Spears.
Yes, I even named the band My Chemical Romance.