Category Archives: Nickelback

I wanna be a Rockstar! Nickelback Origin

In 1983 Joe Elliott released to the press he received a scar over one of his eyes due to a fan throwing a coin from the crowd in Spain during a concert.  It was his right eye and it wasn’t a coin. 

Knowing Joe released this to the press I started yelling at him, “I want my nickel back!” after making up a new song.  He would walk off smiling saying, “I know you do.”

I overheard someone ask why I said it was a nickel.  I bought a souvenir at  Rock City (see previous post “Legend Movie Origin”).   The souvenir was only a  nickel and in exchange received a wooden nickel back.   

It was then later decided to choose band members who were Canadian citizens due to the Canadian football position called a Nickelback.

“‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blond hair” – Rockstar performed by Nickelback

The song “Rockstar” was inspired by an article which Kurt Cobain showed me about Tom (Cruise) going to the Playboy Mansion to watch the Hagler-Hearns fight.  I was making fun of him and others when I made up the song.

Advertisements

I am Kid Rock!

Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy
(Get Ready)
My name is KIIIIIIIIIIIID…Kid Rock! – Bawitdaba

One day I overheard someone say, “That kid rocks.”  I took it as quite the compliment considering the artists which were usually hanging around.  

I happen to be goofing around when I started singing Bawitdaba.  It started with Kurt trying to say, “But, wait a minute Dude!” and I heard Bawitdaba in a sleepy haze while waking up. 

I was influenced by the song Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) recorded by Perry Como.  My dad was a big Perry Como fan and his albums were usually around the house.    

“up jump the boogy” was a reference to the INXS song “Jumping” off their self titled album released in 1980. 

The mention of D.B. Cooper in the song was actually about a feud with the ultra Southern racist U.S. Senator Edward W. Carmack who was shot down in Nashville, TN in 1908, the same year my grandfather was born.

I wish all of you could know how cool it was to have Tommy Lee playing drums while I sang this song for a few that had gathered after we put the final touches on the song. 

Another song I wrote which has connection to this one is “No Diggity” performed by the R&B group Blackstreet. 

I wrote All Summer Long performed by Kid Rock and is my take on Def Leppard’s friends Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama, which growing up in Alabama I was pretty sick of hearing so I thought I would write my own version.   In 1994 Nirvana started performing Sweet Home Alabama in concert and on MTV Unplugged expressed my sentiments about the song by performing a small portion.  When talking about the song I am the one who gave him the idea for someone in the audience to yell “Freebird”.  Yes, that was planned.

This did inspire the 2002 movie “Sweet Home Alabama”.  There is a coon dog cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama which is the hometown of Helen Keller and near Muscle Shoals, AL where Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded albums. 

(Amy Lee, 1972, Dallas, TX)

Another song is Cowboy I wrote performed by Kid Rock.  A connection to this song is the one I wrote for Nickelback titled “Rockstar”.


Eye On You

I watch you on the tv–you’re with me every place I go
I’m caught up in the daydream–I’m into everyone you know
Turn on the action–grab every minute
Learn every lesson–then live to regret it
I’m so distracted–my mind’s disengaged
Sharin’ the moments when you’re all the rage

I got my eyes on you
Got my eye on you… – Eye On You performed by Billy Squier

The idea for Eye On You came from Def Leppard’s groupie pass (shown).  It actually became quite the theme for cover art for other artists as well, other’s I wrote songs for.

It was used as cover art for the movie ’90 Frankenstein Unbound which Michael Hutchence of INXS had a small role as poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Hutch knew I was a Shelley fan and actually have a collection of his poetry which was collected by his wife Mary Shelley author of the original Frankenstein.

Def Leppard used the eye on the cover art for their ’92 Adrenalize album.  

Nickelback used it on the cover art for their 2001 album Silver Side Up which includes songs I wrote.

And, the band Skillet’s 2009 album which includes the song “Awake and Alive” which I wrote.  I named the band Skillet for that oh, so southern of accessories which comes in hand when you need to beat some lousy jerk over the head with it.  Next time I promise to make sure there is not hot oil in it.


The Firm

Top Gun was not the only movie that started being developed in ’83, but so was the ’93 movie The Firm.  I know, everyone believes it was a book published in ’91 by the Southern author John Grisham first and then was turned into a movie.   (Does anyone know bandmembers who say they are from Arkansas like Grisham? Evanescence sound familiar?)

Tom Cruise dropped his surname Mapother once he became a professional actor.  As some might not know, artists keep their press clippings.  

Some articles about a “credit attorney” from the Louisville, Kentucky firm Mapother & Mapother in a trial taking place in Washington (Kurt Cobain mentioned reading about it) kept popping up while searching for Mapother.  I even remember Tom saying he was related to them.  This may or may not be true. 

On The Firm movie soundtrack another connection to me and to Kurt Cobain was a song titled Never mind written by Harlen Howard and performed by Nanci Griffith 

The title to the book and film came from lyrics in Billy Squier’s song The Stroke“You put your right hand out give a firm hand-shake

Once the book/movie started taking shape I wrote the song Shakin’ Hands for my pet project Nickelback.

“Well she ain’t no Cinderella
When she’s getting undressed
‘Cause she rocks it like the naughty wicked witch of the west”

What inspired the lyrics happened to be when I met Michael Hutchence and INXS they told me Australia was called “Oz” for short.  I had also seen Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in the ’78 film The Wiz.  It was about someone, but it was a man/artist and none I have mentioned in this particular post.  Actually, I take that back.  I watched and listened to how Joe Elliott of Def Leppard and others treated women which appalled me.  Some of the lyrics in my songs sound sexist, but it was actually me throwing their actions and even words back in their faces.  

I became pretty good at reversing sexes in songs too, except for one song I wrote for one of my alter ego’s, Rihanna, and they left the mistake in when she recorded it.  The song was S.O.S.

Rihanna was given the name for one of my favorite Stevie Nick’s song Rhiannon.  When writing for Rihanna I was listening to a lot of Bob Marley/Reggae at the time and was also inspired by early ’80s INXS New Wave/Ska sound.

You may be asking yourself why I referred to Rihanna as my alter ego.  I considered all the artists I wrote for, except the established artists, my alter egos.  All of the songs were written and perfected well before the artist who performed them was found or discovered.  Some where even groom, such as Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.  The artists and the songs were all very much a personality and you will even find my strange sense of humor in some.


Sweet Sacrifice Origin

I’ve written about the origins of Evanescence in an earlier post, but here are just a few words about the songs.

Sweet Sacrifice and the duet Broken were two of the first songs I made up at 15 and told them the artist I wanted to perform it would be called Amy Lee.   

The title to Sweet Sacrifice was to tie into Pour Some Sugar On Me which I wrote with Joe Elliott of Def Leppard and to Sugar Walls which was performed by Sheena Easton. 

Sweet Sacrifice 

It’s true, we’re all a little insane.

But it’s so clear,

Now that I’m unchained.

I used what I knew at the time which was making reference to albums my brother had and I would listen to while he was not home.  His collection of albums included Aerosmith, Van Halen, Billy Squier, and ELO.  ‘The definition of Aerosmith’s Toys In the Attic (meaning insanity) influenced the first line, where Van Halen’s Unchained is mentioned in the third.

The line “Blow me away” from Sweet Sacrifice I used in another song performed by the Deftones named Change when I was 15 or 16 (’83 or ’84).  The title for Change was taken from David Bowie’s Changes, but the song itself was inspired by the ’46 movie The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Martha Vickers as Carmen (pictured). 

“Vivian is spoiled, exacting, smart and quite ruthless. Carmen is a child who likes to pull wings off flies. Neither of them has anymore moral sense than a cat. Neither have I. No Sternwood ever had.”– General Sternwood

Another line from The Big Sleep inspired the song Something In Your Mouth performed by Nickelback.

“If I did, she’d just suck her thumb and look coy. (about Martha Vicker’s character Carmen)”-General Sternwood

Years later Kurt Cobain decided to cover the band Flipper’s ’84 song “Sacrifice” and Def Leppard members wrote the lineA whole lotta somethin’ you can’t sacrifice” for the ’87 song Women.

The idea for the 2006 The Open Door album started with an 1844 photograph at The Getty Museum of the same name by William Henry Fox Talbot http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=71564

The change I wanted to make for the design of the album cover came in wanting it to show the image of Amy Lynn Hartzler walking out the door from the inside.