Tag Archives: Billy Squier

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.

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Adele Origin

“There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, and it’s bringing me out the dark
Finally I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare
See how I’ll leave with every piece of you
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do
There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it’s bringing me out the dark
The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep”  – Rolling in the Deep performed by Adele

This song was for Michael Hutchence after he broke my heart.  I again make reference to Billy Squier’s “In The Dark”, to Def Leppard’s ’83 Pyromania album, to the ’97 movie Titanic which I often made references to, and to “The Open Door” which would go on to be the title of Evanescence’s 2006 album.  I also make reference to the 1960 French film Breathless by Jean-Luc “Godard”, this was my way of drawing a connection to knowing Stuart Goddard better known as Adam Ant.  One other reference is to Michael Jackson’s hair catching fire during the taping of the Pepsi Commercial.

“Think of me in the depths of your despair
Making a home down there

This line is me making a reference to Australia being called “Down Under”.  The name Adele is the name of an island in Western Australia.  Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, Blue is Aussie slang for redhead (me).

 


Corn with a K

“Hey you, hey you devils little sister
Listening to your twisted transistor
Hold it between your legs turn it up, turn it up
The wind is coming through can’t get enough

A lone-ly life where no one understands you
But don’t give up because the music do
Music do!” – Twisted Transistor performed by Korn

The song Twisted Transistor itself was inspired by watching my brother and dad build a transistor radio, as well as nights I would try to spend some time with my dad while he worked on televisions.  Yep, the failed musician turned television repairman.

There are many references to other songs I loved just in the lyrics I’ve posted here.  In 1961 Elvis released the song “Little Sister” and it was released again on the ’77 soundtrack album Elvis in Concert which I have in my collection.  As usual, I make reference to Alan Parson’s song “Turn It Up” and to Billy Squier’s song “Lonely Is the Night” released on the Don’t Say No album.

I’ve written about “Coming Undone” in another post. 

“Ya’ll Wanna Single”, happened a day I was mad at Kurt Cobain and Joe Elliott.  There were moments when they would push too hard for me to come up with new songs so I would express myself in a song.  This is where Freak On A Leash came from as well, I felt like I was being kept on a short leash.

Falling Away From Me, Kurt actually makes reference to the fact that I used ‘It’s gonna be better tomorrow’ with the voice of Jean Stapleton who is known for her roll as Edith Bunker by writing Sally Struthers in his published journal.  This was also a reference to a famous line by Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind, “Tara! Home. I’ll go home. And I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all… tomorrow is another day.”

With the cover of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Another Brick In The Way pts. 1, 2 & 3, it was a way of referencing Bob Geldof’s character as “Pink” in the movie and also a way to honor such an inspirational band.  When they asked me who I wanted to do the version I could only think of Korn performing it.  

There are a few other songs which I may come back to at another time.


Backstreet Boys Origin

Back street boy gonna sell you some sin
He’ll wind you up–he gonna suck you in
The blood say yes–the mind say no
The voice in your ear say you go – go – go
Run down–you really run down–you really run down
Cool down–you never cool down–you better cool down” – Emotions in Motion

The Backstreet Boys group which formed in 1993 took it’s name from lyrics in Emotion In Motion performed by Billy Squier.  It was Robi “Draco” Rosa’s, formerly of the boy group Menudo, idea while I was singing the song.


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.


Snow White Queen Origin

“Who will be the king and queen of the outcast teens? – Kurt Cobain

The British rock band Queen had a lot of influence on me in my everyday life as well as while writing songs.  It was a love of their songs which inspired me to want to write songs for them.  While watching a sneak peak of Top Gun before it’s release in ’86, I was inspired by the song Danger Zone performed by Kenny Login’s to write the song One Vision released by Queen in November ’85. 

The title and lyrically it was inspired by the first song Michael Hutchence and INXS performed for me in Jun ’83, The One Thing, from their ’82 Shabooh Shoobah album.  INXS also let me see the videos from some of their other performances.  In Melbourne a fan’s t-shirt caught my attention.  It was the symbol for yin and yang.  Feeling completely ignorant, sheltered, of other religions or beliefs from around the world I made it something of a project to learn more.  I also took an interest in Buddhism.  I realized the song would be controversial but what I felt is that the main message of any religion should be that of peace and love.        

In ’74 Queen released a song named White Queen (as it began), and I learned of the ’79 raid on the Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise’s proclaimed religion, called Operation Snow White.   These were inspirations for me to make up the song Snow White Queen performed by Evanescence.

Lyrically I was inspired by Billy Squier.

 Stoplight, lock the door.

Don’t look back.

Undress in the dark,

And hide from you,

All of you.

Stoplight is from Billy Squier’s Lonely Is The Night, “Red lights, green lights, stop and go jive“, which I also used in lyrics for Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On MeListen! red light, yellow light, green-a-light go”

I also used Billy Squier’s “In The Dark” in the lyrics for Snow White Queen.


Courtney Love Kills Never Never Land – pt 2

She’s only fifteen
She’s the reason-the reason that I can’t sleep
You say illegal
I say legal’s never been my scene, oh yeah
I try like hell but I’m out of control 

“All In The Name of” Performed by Motley Crue

I was running late getting ready the day I met Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.  He asked Kurt what the problem had been.  I laughed and told him I had been watching Rocky & Bullwinkle.   He then gave me the nickname Bullwinkle.  This is where William Gray, formerly of Evanescence,  got the nickname Rocky. 

I am mentioned as Bullwinkle on the first page of Motley Crue’s trashy book “The Dirt”. 

Once he became famous, Kurt Cobain started wearing a t-shirt with Natasha Fatale, from Rocky & Bullwinkle.

February of ’83 Motley Crue, INXS, and Oingo Boingo all performed at the US Fest in California. 

Oingo Boingo had worked on the soundtrack along with Billy Squier for Fast Times at Ridgemont high which starred Sean Penn (Tom Cruise’s ’81 Taps co-star in Taps).  Inspired by Adam & The Ants and INXS sound and sitting between Michael Hutchence and Adam Ant, I came up with the songs for Oingo Boingo’s ’85 Deadman’s Party album.  Which inspired the movie Weird Science.  In fact, Marco Pirroni became a little upset when I started singing Deadman’s Party.  I told him, “No One Lives Forever” and immediately made up the song.

INXS through part of ’83 had been touring with Adam & The Ants.  Most know that the man responsible for The Sex Pistols success, Malcolm McLaren, was also manager for Adam & The Ants.  As I’ve mentioned before, Stuart Goddard known as Adam Ant is the one who wanted me to read news articles for ideas to write songs.  Inspiring movies along the way. 

After meeting, Kurt and I had been talking about the Sex Pistol’s band member Johnny Rotten when he got the idea for the movie which became (Love Kills) Sid & Nancy.   Ideas for the movie were being mapped out as early as ’83.  The band Queen then released a song in ’84 titled Love Kills.

The Clash’s Joe Strummer performed the title track for the ’86 movie titled “Love Kills” which is in direct relation to me.

Walking out of England thinking of you were king taking on this world

On that bus that goes through Mexico a killer love finds a sweet Mexican girl

But in Mississippi we rushed into the room

Down in Dixie you were crying for dope

Down in Alabama they like home cooked fare yea

So we are going to strap you to the fryin’ chair yea

In 1983 the first inmate to be electrocuted by the State of Alabama after the United States reinstituted the death penalty in 1976 was John Louis Evans.

(Adam Ant friend of   Michael Jackson)


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.


Rock Till You Drop

                                                                                                      Sunday, May 15, 1983, my friends invited me to the Def Leppard concert. I didn’t know who they were, but told it was a rock band. Of course, this was cool on so many levels being a 15 year old girl and never having been to a rock concert before.

Monday, May 16, 1983, I returned home from school, dropped my school books on the dresser as the doorbell rang. A young goodlooking guy with bright blue eyes smiled as I opened the door. Without a word he pointed to the old van parked at the top of my drive. The side door swung open and my mouth dropped as the lead singer in full stage costume exited. If the phone had not started ringing, distracting me, I might have been more concerned about how and why this man knew where I lived.

NOTE: In 1983 Def Leppard was on tour in the US promoting their January released Pyromania album as the support act for Billy Squier before embarking on their own Rock Till You Drop Tour.  They ended the tour with Billy Squier in April of ’83 in Seattle and Oregon.  May 15, 1983 the Swiss band Krokus was their opening act.  Little known fact, Kurt Cobain was on the road crew for this tour.