Category Archives: Andrew Farris

Origin of Pink’s Album Titles & Songs

“You make me sick
I want you and I’m hatin it
Got me lit like a candlestick
Get too hot when you touch the tip, I’m feelin it, I gotta getta grip
And it’s drivin me crazy baby don’t you quit
Can’t get enough of it
You got me goin again
Baby, you got me goin again
You make me sick” – You Make Me Sick performed by Pink

We listened to a lot of disco at the roller skating rink such as The Gap Band, Midnight Star, George Clinton & P-Funk, The Commodores, The Brothers Johnson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Richard Berry’s “Louis Louis” influenced many of the songs I wrote for my alter-egos.  These particular songs were also influenced by Joan Jett and Pat Benatar.  

The 2000 album and song “Can’t Take Me Home” was from 1983 Joe Elliott released an article about Def Leppard in Goldmine which the headline read, “The Heavy Metal Band You Can Bring Home to Mother.”

You Make Me Sick:  Kurt Cobain and I watched a lot of movies together.  Sometimes Michael Hutchence would be there when INXS had some down time.  On one of these occasions we watched the 1981 British comedy Time Bandits by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam.

Inspired by a conversation between the characters while sitting on the S.S. Titanic before it went down, Kevin said to Randell, “You make me sick!”

The 2001 album and song “Missunderztood” came from a headline about INXS in 1985 (see pic).

 Don’t Let Me Get Me: The other artists could not seem to understand why I didn’t want to be famous.  Only thing hold me back was stage fright and the struggle with how I might be perceived by my grandfather, the preacher.  Not knowing what they actually had in mind for me, I figured they would have just thrown me out there as the next Tiffany or Debbie Gibson which wasn’t me or the image I really would have wanted to project.  It was an inner struggle which I projected in the song.  I make reference also in the song to Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood.

Just Like A Pill: The idea for the song and is influenced by overhearing things after Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s drummer, wrecked his car December 31, 1984 and lost an arm and their song “You Got Me Running” from the High ‘n’ Dry album.

Get This Party Started: There was only one influence on this song and it was Michael Jackson’s friend Diana Ross who released the song “I’m Coming Out” in 1980.

Family Portrait:  It was a self-portrait of my family and somewhat had been happening up until my parents divorced in ’83.  I didn’t want parents to stay together, though at times I still missed my brother and dad after they moved out.

2003 album “Try This” 

Trouble:  This is just my take on the old saying, my middle name is trouble.  In the lyrics I make reference to Tom Cruise who starred in “The Firm” 1993.   

God Is A DJ: Pretty much self-explanatory.  I always liked to make up inspirational songs to not only get people moving, but in life as well. 

2006 “I’m Not Dead”

Stupid Girl: After meeting Hutch, knowing I didn’t want to be famous, he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  At fifteen I didn’t have a clue, but Mom always told me I could be anything I wanted to be even the first female President.  This song was heavily influenced by watching some of the females that would hook themselves up with the male artist looking for help with their careers. 

U + ur Hand: This was another version of a song I wrote when a kid.  The other was called Darling Nikki, named for Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue though it was not about him, and performed by Prince.  It was also inspired by Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail.  “I’m not here for your entertainment” was a take on “Let Me Entertain You” a song from the musical Gypsy.   After I came up with the song Kurt Cobain wrote the song “Smells Like Teen Spirits” if that tells you how long ago this song was written.

2008 “Funhouse”

Funhouse:  I wrote this song sometime after 1989.  The officials had been talking about tearing the Auditorium down where we worked on most of the songs.  I asked them to make it part of the museum.  Of course, the lyrics were inspired by Def Leppard’s Pyromania album and the song PhotographI also had become fascinated with the Cirque du Soleil performances which influenced the song, as well as, advertising art & pinup art.

So What: This happen to be written after I was married.  I remember Alecia reading the lyrics and asking, “I’ve got to get married?”   

Sober: I wrote this after “Call Me When Your Sober” performed by Evanescence and I make many references to Evanescence songs I wrote including “Broken”.

These are just a few I wanted to mention.

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Michael Jackson’s Black or White Origin

“I Took My Baby
On A Saturday Bang
Boy Is That Girl With You
Yes We’re One And The Same
Now I Believe In Miracles
And A Miracle
Has Happened Tonight
But, If
You’re Thinkin’
About My Baby
It Doesn’t Matter If You’re
Black Or White” – Black or White

Michael Jackson’s song Black or White released in 1991 was inspired by INXS.  In 1982 INXS released a song titled Black and White on their Shabooh Shoobah album.  Of course, having met INXS before meeting MJ in ’83 I pretty much knew all their songs. 

With Michael Hutchence and Tim Farris, we talked about the similarities in our countries in that we shared a history of racism.  It was also a conversation I had with MJ.  Fortunately, I grew up in a South that was changing.  We talked about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march on Selma, Alabama.  I wanted to break down the barriers of symbols which were found offensive.  Symbols used in the Black or White music video were “KKK” and the swastika.

(Martin Luther King, Jr. and marchers on Selma, AL.  The photo was taken by family friend and fashion photographer Spider Martin who committed suicide 9 years to the day that Kurt Cobain’s body was found. )

By the time of MJ’s release of Black or White, I had written the song “Raise Your Glass” which would go on to be performed by P!nk.  Kurt Cobain would sometimes play air guitar while I would sing and it influenced “Raise Your Glass” and Macaulay Culkin was doing an imitation of Kurt in the Black or White music video.

Kurt also made references to the KKK or other symbols of controversy because of this.


Dont Go Chasing Waterfalls

“Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and lakes that
You’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way
Or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast”

While reading the book which inspired the 1985 film St. Elmos Fire, St. Elmo by Augusta Jane Evans, it gave me the idea to show them why I love Alabama so much and places I had been to when little.

In the fall we, several on the Def Leppard road crew, Kurt Cobain, and members of INXS, went to Noccalula Falls National Park located in Gadsden, Alabama (pictured top right).  It was named for the Cherokee princess Noccalula who, according to local legends, plunged to her death after being ordered by her father to marry a man she didn’t love.  The bronze statue memorializing her jump into the falls.

Unfortunately, the day we went to the falls it was at a low ebb and disappointing.  This inspired the lyrics to the song “Waterfalls” performed by TLC. 

I was running along the dirt path in front of Michael Hutchence to get a view of the falls when I tripped over a tree root.  This inspired their song “Falling Down The Mountain (Kiss The Dirt)” released on the album Listen Like Thieves in October ’85. 

With the song Creep also released on TLC’s ’94 Crazy Sexy Cool album, in the lyrics I make reference to a song I made up for Prince titled “Gett Off”.

The 23rd of loneliness” in Creep is a reference to “23 position in a one night stand” in Gett Off.

While Andrew Farris and Hutch were teaching me Aussie slang words when the subject came to The Outback and words like “the Bush” and “Shrub” which, due to the accent, I misunderstood as “scrub”.  That is what inspired the song “No Scrubs” and eventually the band name Bush.

This trip to Noccalula Falls also inspired the lyrics in Nickelback’s song “Leader of Men”.

“One day, up to a cliff

That overlooks the water

I jumped in to save a girl

It was somebody’s daughter”


Kurt Cobain and Charles Barkley

The Orange and Blue” also known as Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama

In 1983, basketball player Charles Barkley from Leeds, Alabama was on the Auburn University basketball team before going pro. 

After we met in ’83, Kurt Cobain wanting to make a public connection to me, made a connection to Barkley.  This is not only because Barkley grew up in a small town near where I grew up in Trussville, but also because there is a city near where Kurt grew up in Washington also named Auburn.

I’ve mentioned that Courtney Love showed up in our lives in late ’84 looking for a part in the movie (Love Kills) Sid & Nancy.  Kurt asked her to have a picture taken which she claims was taken while still a teenager at Hillcrest juvenile hall and I do believe that is Kurt in the picture with her.  Her hair is dyed red, almost the color of mine.

In 1993 Barkley was asked to appear on SNL with Nirvana.

 Kurt also made mention of me is in his journal “At peace ami. You’re a good one.”  Kurt was a self proclaimed bad speller.

There is one more connection to Auburn and that is to Michael Hutchence.  Hutch was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  Auburn is a suburb in western Sydney and named after Oliver Goldsmith’s poem The Desserted Village, which describes ‘Auburn’ in England as the loveliest village of the plain.


Broken Origin

The idea for the duet Broken came directly from the lyrics of one of my favorite Def Leppard’s songs, Bringin’ On Heartbreak.

Gypsy, sittin’ lookin’ pretty
The broken rose with laughin’ eyes
You’re a mystery, always runnin’ wild
Like a child without a home
You’re always searching, searching for a feeling
That it’s easy come and easy go  –  Bringin’ On The Heartbreak, Def Leppard

Even in the lyrics for Broken I make mention of another Def Leppard song, Photograph.

I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph and I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain  –  Broken, Evanescence

This was not the only time I made reference to Def Leppard’s song Bringin’ On The Heartbreak, but also when I wrote Mystify for INXS

All veils and misty
Streets of blue
Almond looks
That chill divine
Some silken moment
Goes on forever
And we’re leaving broken hearts behind

Evanescence 2003 Mystery EP takes it’s name from lyrics in Def Leppard’s Bringin On The Heartbreak.  The EP  also takes it’s name from The Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii, Italy.

In 1978, The Pompeii exhibit was touring the U.S.  My parents took me to the exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art when I was 10 years old. 

(The article to the right is a review of the exhibit in Chicago before it left for Dallas).

 I was fascinated by the exhibit and fell in love with the frescos in The Villa of Mysteries.  One particular fresco inspired Kurt Cobain’s winged mannequin on the In Utero tour.


O’ for a Muse of fire!

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!  
Shakespeare

(The Real Amy Lee, Singing School, Dallas, TX, age 4)

Redheads make up a small percentage of the population.  They have been the target of much ridicule and feared for their fiery temperament. Montague Summers, in his translation of Malleus Maleficarum, notes during the Middle Ages red hair and green eyes were thought to be the sign of a witch, a werewolf, or a vampire.  We endure being called such names as Gingers (a UK term popularized by South Park) and Carrot Top.

There were times in various cultures redheads have been prized.  Many painters have exhibited a fascination with red hair. The colour “titian” takes its name from the painter Titian, who often painted women with red hair.  Early Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting The Birth of Venus depicts the mythological goddess Venus as a redhead.

There is the belief  that redheads are highly sexed; Jonathan Swift satirizes redhead stereotypes in part four of Gulliver’s Travels, “A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms,” He writes: “It is observed that the red-haired of both sexes are more libidinous and mischievous than the rest, whom yet they much exceed in strength and activity.” Swift also writes that: “…neither was the hair of this brute [a Yahoo] of a red colour (which might have been some excuse for an appetite a little irregular) but black as a sloe…”

Speaking of Yahoo.  I was crazy about Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS.  Hutch really wasn’t much to look at, he had a head full of curly hair (like me), a funny nose, and was only an inch or two taller than my five foot four inches.  Not to mention he had a really funny accent.  But, there was something about him, something inexplicably sexy and more mature than most of the artists who hung around.  My attraction to him mystified me.   I had been joking around with Hutch and learning Aussie slang when I learned the slang word for redhead (Bluey/Blue).  I added it to the lyrics of Mystify.

 “All veils and misty streets of blue”

While talking to Andrew Farris about “what if” Hutch and I worked out, had a family, what our child might look like.  I think we both agreed it would be the weirdest looking Bluey with wild hair.  Yep, this where he got the idea for the ’80’s Australian funny man Yahoo Serious .  Can you believe Serious tried to sue Yahoo over the use of his name?  Oh, you might not realize they were not just into investing their money in development of books and movies, Crocodile Dundee for example, but also in technology.     

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard has always said his favorite color is red. He even had 2 redheads in his band, Steve Clark under all that bleach was a redhead and drummer Rick Allen.  Actually, Joe made the comment once I reminded him of Rick Allen when he was 15 and joined the band. 

Before I met Tom Cruise he had dated redhead Melissa Gilbert, starred in All The Right Moves with Leah Thompson and then went on to marry Nicole Kidman.

Kurt Cobain had family members who were redheads, or would dye their hair red. 

Kurt was also known to dye his hair red.

Australia was not the only one to have a Yahoo [redhead] but Gene Simmons of Kiss befriended comedian Carrot Top.

 I couldn’t have been more than 16 when Bob Geldof, Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor and political activist, came to meet me.  Geldof  of the band Boomtown Rats who had albums produced by the ever mysterious John “Mutt” Lange who produced Def Leppard’s ’83 Pyromania.  

Geldof had starred as “Pink” in ’82 Pink Floyd’s The Wall and where I came up with the singers stage name P!nk which I wrote songs for.  I remember it was about this time that Michael Hutchence had been talking about helping to organize Australia’s version of Live Aid known as Oz for Africa. 

Tom Cruise and Kurt Cobain dressed me in a belly dancer outfit, for some unknown reason the day I met Geldof, and came up with the song “Genie In A Bottle” eventually to be performed by Christina Aguilera.  Some of you Kiss and Gene Simmons fans might know his family calls him Genie, but the song was more inspired by the costume and Barbara Eden’s role in the ’65 to ’70 television show I Dream of Jeannie which I grew up watching even in re-runs.

Not sure if any of you are old enough to remember the English/Australian group the Bee Gee’s who enjoyed great success during the ’70’s disco era.  I grew up listening to them being played everywhere, in movies, on tv, and even at the roller skating rink on the weekends where one could often hear everything from George Clinton’s Atomic Dog to The Gap’s You Dropped The Bomb On Me, and Wipe Out by the Surfaris happened to be a favorite too. 

The Bee Gee’s brother Barry Gibbs falsetto inspired me when I wrote Supermassive Black Hole.  The song was also inspired by a conversation I had with Michael Jackson years before about Stephen Hawkin’s Black Hole Theory and the Big Bang Theory.  Hawkins had been in the news quite a bit at the time.  This must have been about the time that Kurt Cobain decided to name Courtney Love’s band Hole.  After coming up with the song, they wanted to know what I wanted to name the band and I told them Muse.


Origins of Evanescence

 Soon Joe Elliott brought band members of Adam & The Ants, INXS, Motley Crue, Gene Simmons, Tom Cruise, and Michael Jackson among many others to meet me.

It was upon meeting Stuart Goddard, lead singer for Adam & The Ants, in June of ’83 who encouraged me to read newspaper articles for inspiration to makeup songs.

Inspiration to write Like A Virgin, performed by Madonna, and the name of the band Evanescence came from the review of a Chorus Line by Frank Rich of the New York Times Oct ’83.