Category Archives: Ricky Martin

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.


Man in a Box

I’m the man in the box
Buried in my ****
Won’t you come and save me, save me
Fear in my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Fear in my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

I’ve mentioned how Alan Parsons’ song Turn It Up inspired the ’98 movie City of Angels in my previous post.  Michael Jackson’s ’88 hit song Man in the Mirror and the music video for Turn It Up inspired me to write the ’91 hit song Man in a Box performed by  Seattle band Alice In Chains.  Again, the Def Leppard song Wasted is mentioned in the lyrics. 

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won’t you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dancefloor wantin some more what
Come Mr. DJ won’t you turn the music up 

The title “Turn It Up” inspired the lyrics when I wrote Pon de Replay, the debut song for Rihanna

Ricky Martin and Robi “Draco” Rosa of the Puerto Rico boy group Menudo showed up in my life about 1984.  The music video for Turn It Up  inspired the music video for Ricky Martin’s 2000 song She Bang.


Imaginary Origin

I linger in the doorway

Of alarm clock screaming

Monsters calling my name

Let me stay

Where the wind will whisper to me

Where the raindrops, as they’re falling, tell a story

Like most American children I grew up watching Sesame Street with my favorite character being the supposed imaginary friend of Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus.  In 1985, 20/20 and 60 Minutes aired a graphic piece about pedophiles and sexually abused children.  Because of this, the writers of Sesame Street decided to finally introduce Snuffy to the main human cast feeling that children might keep quiet about being abused if they felt adults would not believe them.

I had called Kurt Cobain my imaginary friend and would introduce him as John to friends (while he was still unknown).  I would often find things missed placed in my room and not realize Kurt had moved it or even taken it.  It was years before I found out he kept a hair barrette I wore as a little girl with him.  He was also known to change my alarm so I would be late getting up for school.  Most of the time he would just let himself into the house on days he was in town.  I sometimes would walk in finding him feeding my cat or giving her milk.  If you haven’t noticed we both had a thing about cats, naming his Spina Bifida.  When I told him I thought of him as my imaginary friend, he told me I was his and gave me the name Boddah.  Later making the tape of him sounding like a little boy calling for his friend Boddah and then addressing his suicide note to me.

I’ve had some WOW! moments in my life.  One would be hanging with Robert Downey, Jr. while he read lines for a movie and later pitching the idea for him to play the role as Ironman’s Tony Stark.  Another would be Michael Jackson bringing Elizabeth Taylor to meet me.  It was during a time that Richard Burton, her ex-husband, had been very ill.  She kept in touch with him and talked about him a lot that day, reminiscing about their love affair and his affairs.  Unfortunately, Burton passed away August 5, 1984. 

Taylor had starred along with Paul Newman in the ’58 movie Cat On A Hot Tin Roof based on another play by Tennessee Williams (A Street Car Named Desire inspiring Heart Shaped Box, see earlier post).  I told Taylor that Kurt Cobain reminded me a lot of a young Paul Newman in looks.  Kurt didn’t always play the part of the grunge rocker and was actually a very goodlooking guy.

“One of those no-neck monsters hit me with some ice cream” – Maggie The Cat

Not only did I use “monsters” in the lyrics for Imaginary, but it inspired songwriter Draco Rosa’s “Maggie’s Dream” and my artist Lady Gaga calling fans “monsters”.  Draco and I worked on songs for Ricky Martin and others together.

Using different flowers in songs was inspired by the Swiss band Krokus having been on the Rock Till You Drop tour with Def Leppard.  Joe Elliott claims his birthday as August 1st, being the same day in 1981 MTV came online.  This would make his birthflower a Poppy.  Kurt used the image of paper poppy flowers in Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box music video.

 “And watch my purple sky fly over me (flowers)”

This was to draw a direct connection to the song Purple Rain, which I wrote for Prince.

I would go on to make up the song Paper Sun which was released on Def Leppard’s ’99 Euphoria album. 

The lyrics to Paper Sun,  “Is the anger inside of you A gift from father to son” was inspired by the ’87 movie Like Father Like Son, as well as the British band Queen’s ’74 song “Father to Son”. 

Several times in the song Paper Sun I reference another song I wrote, Coming Undone performed by another band I founded named Korn.

Keep holdin’ on when
My brain’s tickin’ like a bomb

The bomb was taken from Pour Some Sugar On Me “Love is like a bomb”

 Guess the black thoughts have
Come again to get me
Sweet bitter words

Sweet bitter words is for 3 song I wrote, one being Sweet Sacrifice, an early song I wrote for INXS named Bitter Tears, and the other being Bittersweet Symphony performed by The Verve.

Unlike nothing I have heard
Sing along mocking bird
You don’t affect me

To Kill A Mockingbird, is a Southern Gothic novel written by Alabama native Harper Lee.

I made reference to my song Change performed by The Deftones, but Kurt Cobain made reference to the lyrics in Bittersweet Symphony “I am here in my mold” in his lyrics for Mexican Seafood.

 “To a fungus mold is my injection”