Oh where are you going
And where have you been?
To the land of Never Never
And back again!
(The article is about Michael Jackson deciding to publicly visit my hometown in ’84.)
“While sitting between Kurt Cobain and Michael Jackson talking about building a new theme park, it was Kurt who gave him the idea to call it Neverland.”
Michael Jackson was brought in to meet me in ’83. I spent a day hanging out with friends that summer who introduced me to the Thriller album. Once Joe Elliott found out he sent the word to Jackson’s handlers about me. The meetings were all very clandestine with one of his brothers actually meeting to give his approval.
At first, MJ and I would talk about shows that I had seen him on, like Donny and Marie. He wanted to know what I thought about his music. I love all kinds of music, but am a die-hard Rock fan at heart. You could say that it was MJ’s influence which led me deeper into pop and rap music.
From an early age, I not only wanted to be a classical pianist, but also a gymnast and dancer. MJ and I would sometimes have dance offs just for fun. He would watch me for the sole purpose of trying to pick up a new dance move. For the record, I never had any formal training in dance other than a brief stint as a cheerleader on a drill team like the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, but it was for a pee wee football team named the Rockets. Yep, this inspired the song by Def Leppard called Rocket.
We talked about the singing school I attended in Dallas, Texas during the summers from the time I was four years old. As a reward the whole group of kids were taken on a trip to Six Flags over Dallas at the end for a day. MJ’s face brightened and you could see the wheels turning as I talked about it. Kurt Cobain was pretty much my constant companion, he too could see the wheels turning.
Once the idea formed for an adventure park, Kurt told MJ about a place in Tacoma, Washington named Never Never Land he would visit as a child. http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=241
(The park in Tacoma was demolished in 2010.)
MJ wanted animals at his park too. Not sure why a chimp, but he was so little when MJ first brought him to meet me. He told me he named him Bubbles for the stripper named Bubbles Cash who inspired the current day Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Somewhere along the way Bubbles name was used in the song Joe Elliott and I had started working on after we first met named Pour Some Sugar On Me.
Take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up
PSSOM took it’s name from the very core of our southern lifestyle from putting so much sugar in our iced tea you can stand a spoon up in it, the SEC Sugar Bowl hosted in New Orleans where I have family, to our sugar white sands along the Gulf Coast.
My mother is the quintessential southern lady hailing from a small town in Georgia. There is even a pageant for Miss Georgia Peach which a cousin of mine won the title. To the right is my parents car on their wedding day. So, this was added to the lyrics for PSSOM
You got the peaches, I got the cream
Kurt Cobain made reference to this song in the Nirvana song Mexican Seafood.
Ah, the itchy flakes
It is inflaming
To the gels and creams
Kurt also made reference to Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commercial incident where MJ’s hair caught fire in his published journal on the page titled Uncertainty. “Jesus its hot! My lashes and brows are curling up and melting emiting the worst smell of burnt hair”
Even Michael Hutchence of INXS had influence not only on the song PSSOM, but also making reference to knowing MJ by covering Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood’s hit song “Jackson” along with his backup singer New Zealander Jenny Morris.
Hutch’s influence on the song came in the form of me reading a press release about the band. Next to the article was a title that caught my eye about the television show Highway to Heaven being preachy (which also helped to inspire the song Papa Don’t Preach). The reason it was important is because my mom always put saccharine in orange juice.
Sweet to taste, saccharine
(There is actually another story behind all the crotch grabbing, MJ in the Bad music video and Hutchence here, but I will save it for later.)
Kurt Cobain made reference to saccharine in his journal on the page titled Sexually Transmitted Diseases, “Saccharine Trust – Peace Frog”. Actually, the reference was two-fold as the drummer for Saccharine Trust, Earl Liberty, joined the band Circle Jerks who were friends of Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and Kurt wanted to talk to them about working on the soundtrack for the movie about The Sex Pistols. This movie turned into ’86 (Love Kills) Sid & Nancy. The original title to the movie (Love Kills) took its name from Michael Hutchence’s contributions to Freedom Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1982) – “Speed Kills”, “Forest Theme” (with Don Walker of Cold Chisel) and from my name, Amy, which means beLOVEd or to Love. Not to mention we had already been working on the song named Love Bites, after I bit the heck out of Kurt’s arm one day.
The actress which would have a small role in Sid & Nancy started hanging around in late ’84. Kurt came across an obituary with the name Courtney Love. Before the credits were written for the movie he had her take the stage name. There were a couple of reasons, the obituary was dated 2 days after my birthday, Jan 12th, which later was a day Kurt & Courtney said they met in ’89 at the Satyricon nightclub in Portland.