Tag Archives: Bubbles

Bee Girl “Was you ever bit by a dead bee?”

Was you ever bit by a dead bee? – Eddie, 1944 movie To Have and Have Not

You might be under the impression that the “Bee Girl” era actually happened with Blind Melon’s song No Rain released in 1992.  It actually goes back further than to 1983 with Joe Elliott decided to use Lauren Bacall’s dress in To Have and Have Not as inspiration for Julia Robert’s hooker dress in the movie Pretty Woman (see previous post “Oh! Pretty Woman).

One day Kurt kept pressuring me to come up with a new song.  Joe Elliott was standing near by.  I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with them that day and I sat down on the stage.  I said, “I’ve got no new tale to tell.”

After a minute, I stood up and started making up a song which became No New Tale To Tell performed by some of the former members of the band Bauhaus who formed the band Love and Rockets.  The song was released on the 1987 album Earth, Sun, Moon album. 

If you do not know who Bauhaus is, they were featured in David Bowie’s and Susan Sarandon’s ’83 cult classic The Hunger with their song from 1979 “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”.

The music video for No New Tale to Tale was the start of the Bee Girl era along with the image of a monkey, a symbol for Michael Jackson’s chimp Bubbles.  This included Kurt Cobain’s collection of toy monkeys and the use of a toy monkey in the Alice In Chains music video Grind.

The idea to start naming bands for “fruit” came from the use of “peach” in Pour Some Sugar On Me performed by Def Leppard and U Got The Look performed by Prince and Shiela E.  It also came from me joking around with INXS sayingthey were the vegetables and I being the fruit. 

This is how I came up with the name when Billy Corgan asked me what he should name his band and I said “Smashing Pumpkins” and also  named the band “Blind Melon”, with Melons and Pumpkins being a fruit.

The band Krokus which had been on tour with Def Leppard on the Rock Till You Drop Tour in 1983, released To Rock or Not to Be (a reference to the movie To Have and Have Not starring Bogey and Bacall) in 1995 also used the image on the cover art.

One day while Kurt (Cobain) and I were working on songs, he pulled a sheet of notebook paper out of his back pocket which happened to be the lyrics for what would become “Bee Girl” performed by Pearl Jam.

“Bee girl, you’re gonna die.
You don’t wanna be famous, you wanna be shy.
Do your dances alone in your room.
Becoming a star will become your doom.
Bee Girl, be a girl

You know time is long, and life is short.
Begin to live while you still can.
Believe in nothing, believe me,
Those who can be trusted can change their mind.
When the anxious is the present, unwrap your gifts, take your time.
Everything you imagine needn’t be stuck in your mind.
Bee Girl, be a girl… “ – Bee Girl performed by Pearl Jam

“She should have stayed away from friends
She should have had more time to spend
She should have died when she was born
She should have worn the crown of thorns
She should have been a son” – Been A Son, Nirvana

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Man In The Mirror

I have written alot about knowing Michael Jackson, but not really about knowing Michael himself.  He was definitely an extraordinary man.  It was fun working on projects with him.  He was a kid at heart.  But, who isn’t or wouldn’t want to be a kid again?  One could only dream of the life he lived and being able to decide at the spur of a moment to want to build a fairytale park for kids or even create cartoons for kids and adults alike, including Pinky and The Brain and Sponge Bob.  We worked on ideas and dialogue for Pinky and The Brain together along with some other artists. 

Michael was a very influential artist, with a lot of powerful friends in the entertainment business, and other artists flocked to him.  We all are strange to outsiders, but only those willing to get close enough could truly understand us or our motives. 

Since I was still a kid myself when we met, while working on songs together he would make it a word game for me.   I remember laughing alot when he was around despite the main objective being to produce new songs.

I never got to spend as much time with Bubbles as I would have liked.  While still little, I would sing to him and make up new songs, one being Come Away With Me eventually to be performed by Norah Jones.  Bubbles would usually put his head on my shoulder and his hand over my mouth while I would sing.  It reminded me of when I read the biography of another Alabama native, Helen Keller.  I remembered her teacher, Anne Sullivan, would place Helen’s hand over her mouth while trying to teach her.  I suggested to MJ he should teach or have someone teach Bubbles’ sign language.  Bubbles’ trainer cringed when I started trying to teach him to give me a kiss. 

Kurt Cobain would call Bubbles his little buddy.  I know most people think that Kurt was weird, even I did at times, but he was a very talented and dedicated artist as well.  He started a collection of toy monkeys inspired by his little buddy which were used in the Sliver music video and a picture of MJ is on the wall.

 It took MJ five years to produce his next album after the success he had with his ’82 hit album Thriller.  Thriller was in direct competition with Def Leppard’s ’83 album Pyromania on the charts.  During those five years he was a very busy man.

Michael’s next album released in 1987 and titled “Bad”.  The songs I know what inspired them are as follows:

Dirty Diana – I know who it is about, but I’m not going to tell you.

Bad – One day we were joking around and I told MJ he was being bad and starting singing “You know I’m bad, I’m bad-
you know it”.

Smooth Criminal – The idea for this song came from lyrics in the song Joe Elliott and I worked on together titled Pour Some Sugar On Me.  “Easy operator come a knockin’ on my door” which the idea came from one of my favorite Disco era songs Knock on Wood performed by Amii Stewart.  Annie mentioned in the song is me, as in Little Orphan Annie.  My foster parents gave me the name due to my curly red hair since I was unnamed by my birthmother.  My adopted mother named me Amy.

Man In The Mirror – Michael got the idea to do this song from one of my favorite early Def Leppard songs titled Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes).  Kurt Cobain did a little home movie and in it he is staring into a mirror (pictured).

 

PINKY AND THE BRAIN

The Brain: I will accept nothing less than mahogany.

Pinky: There is no substitute for Diana Ross.

I actually came up with this line for Pinky.  The idea behind it was Amii Stewart’s Knock on Wood and MJ’s friend Diana Ross. 

I would always joke around that this was Joe Elliott and Kurt Cobain,  Joe thinking he was The Brain and Kurt being Pinky.  

Michael Hutchence of INXS would make reference to Pinky and The Brain in a “To Do List” in his journal supposedly written in ’84, but I believe he wrote it later than that. 

“4. Start my own stratdgy for WORLD DOMINATION!!” – Michael Hutchence

It was my idea for Brain to look and sound like Orson Welles, which The Alan Parsons Project used an Orson Welles radio spot and dialogue on their ’76 album Tales of Mystery and Imagination.  

Kurt Cobain would say he lived under a bridge for a while.  I think the actual bridge was the “bridge” of a song.  But, this inspired me in the development of Pinky & The Brain to want the Acme Lab to be located near a bridge.