Category Archives: Ginger

I [Heart] Amy Lynn Lee

It may or may not be surprising to find out that both terms Kinderwhore and Riot Grrrl originated in conversations about my life between Kurt Cobain and myself. 

Kurt came up with the band name Amy Carter and the idea for a zine “I [Heart] Amy Carter”.  The band members consisted of Tammy Rae, Kathleen Hanna, and Heidi Aborgast.  

We were discussing former President Jimmy Carter who’s home state is Georgia, same as my adopted mother’s.  I told him Amy Lynn Carter and I shared not only a first name and middle initial, but we also both have red hair.  (origin for stagename Amy Lynn

In 1991 Nirvana released the song On A Plain written in reference to President Jimmy Carter’s home town of Plains, Georgia.

(Left, young Amy Lynn Carter, fourth daughter of U.S. President Jimmy Carter)

(Bottom Right, Amy Lee, January 1976 on 8th Birthday)


If U Seek Amy

“My loneliness is killing me
I must confess, I still believe
When I’m not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time” – …Baby One More Time performed by Britney Spears

At fifteen, I  used the techniques Joe Elliott of Def Leppard taught me of taking songs I knew to draw upon for writing songs.  For “…Baby One More Time” performed by Britney Spears I was inspired by Pat Benatar’s 1980 hit song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.   Lyrically the song was inspired by Billy Squier’s “Lonely is the Night”, Shawn Cassidy’s ’78 cover of “Do You Believe in Magic”, and Roberta Flack’s 1979 cover of “Killing Me Softly”.  There are references to Prince, the song “The Beautiful Ones, and the funk ensemble The Time.  

The pseudonym Max Martin was devised with Max being one of the nicknames I gave Michael Hutchence of INXS for the Australian movie Mad Max.  Later Hutch would name his side project Max Q.    

The album “…Baby One More Time” would be released 16 years after written on my birthday, January 12, 1999.

Cobain can you hear the Spears singin’ songs off station to station” – Californication performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Taking a que from lyrics in “…Baby One More Time” Prince released the 1987 album “Sign “☮” the Times” and then changed his name to the “Love Symbol” knowing Amy means beLOVEd.

I chose the 2009 album title “Circus” which includes the single “If You Seek Amy”  for Def Leppard’s 1987 song “Animal” with the music video taking place at a circus as well as it being in the lyrics.


Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love Myths

Kurt Cobain did not have a relationship with a girl named Tracy Marander. This was a girl he knew and gave the name Tracy for my ex-boyfriend. (See 1982 of which the page is bound into my school annual)

Kurt does not have a sister named Kimberly Dawn. Kimberly is my sister-in-law’s name. Dawn is the street I lived on in 1983 when I met them.

Kurt claimed to have an aunt named Mary, for the Mary in the song “Lose Control” performed by Evanescence which I wrote when I was 15 in 1983.

Leland Cobain is not Kurt’s grandfather’s name.  In 1957, Frances Farmer met Leland C. Mikesell, an independent broadcast promoter from Indianapolis who helped her move to San Francisco.

In all the years I knew Kurt, I never once saw in inject himself with a syringe. That is not to say he didn’t do drugs.

The movie Straight to Hell released in 1987, the actress which goes by the stage name Courtney Love looking very much pregnant and I don’t believe that is padding.  Do you?  There is a girl who is part of their clan which Kurt Cobain claimed as his half-sister Breanne, who would be about the right age.  Actually, Breanna is my cousins name which he used.

Courtney’s character’s name in the movie Straight to Hell is Velma. In the town where I grew up, Trussville, there is a bar by the name of Velma’s Place.

Just as Courtney Michelle Love is not her real name.  Her birth certificate is a fake showing her father at age 15 and mother age 20 at the time it happened to be recorded in 1973.

  


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.