Tag Archives: dave grohl

Theory of a Deadman

In ’78 my family up and moved to Mesquite, Texas where I attended J.C. Rugel Elementary and my older brother attended  North Mesquite High School, where model Jerry Hall went to high school.   I was put into advanced classes and Spanish was a required course.  My best friend was a little Mexican boy named Jose.  We would sit on the curb after school and I would try to speak Spanish. 

The Mexican culture affected me greatly.  Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a celebration on November 1st and 2nd where family and friends gather to remember loved ones who have died.  Tradition includes building alters honoring the deceased placing sugar skulls, marigolds (inspiring Dave Grohl of Nirvana to write the song Marigold), and the favorite food and beverages of the departed, as well as, visiting graves with these as gifts.

While sitting between Michael Hutchence and Adam Ant I made up the song Deadman’s Party and No One Lives Forever which I mentioned in an earlier post.  Both bands  had a very distinctive sound, INXS being more Ska New Wave with Adam & The Ants being Punk Rock and New Wave.  Once I had an idea, a song most of the time would just spill out.  It was my way of conveying what I really couldn’t vocalize and veil it in song.  They would record me singing it and I would go over the rest (the instrumental part) with the other artists like Kurt or members of Def Leppard.

We talked about my brother coming home one day loaded with test tubes, I always figured he stole them from school.  My dad and brother set off to buy a bushel of grain to try their hand at making grain alcohol.  What they produced was a clear almost tasteless liquid.  From this conversation I made up the song Weird Science.  

Weird science!

Plastic tubes and pots and pans

Bits and pieces and

Magic from the hand

We’re makin’

Weird science!

Things I’ve never seen before

Behind bolted doors

Talent and imagination

Since Joe Elliott was standing in the doorway of a dressing room behind me as I made up songs, there was a reference to Def Leppard’s song Bringin’ On The Heartbreak and Photograph  as pictures.

 Weird science!

Pictures from a magazine

Diagrams and charts

Mending broken hearts (and makin’)

Weird science!

Something like a recipe

Bits and pieces . . . .

Bits and pieces . . . .

Bits and Pieces is a 1960’s song originally written and performed by members of  The Dave Clark Five.  The Supremes recorded a cover in 1964 (Diana Ross being a member who was a longtime friend of Michael Jackson), and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts recorded a cover for their 1981 album.  I am a huge Joan Jett & The Blackhearts fan.

Later I learned from a girlfriend about Alabama’s history in NASCAR racing starting with bootleggers.  Her family had a long line of bootleggers back in the day and most of my friends were known to go to Talladega Superspeedway for the races.   NASCAR racers Bobby Allison, Neil Bonnett, and Red Farmer were known as the Alabama Gang.  I told Tom Cruise about my friend which inspired Days of Thunder.

The idea for the band Theory of a Deadman came years later while I was writing songs which the band performs, including Low Life.  The band name came from talking to Michael Jackson about the Big Bang Theory and from the song Deadman’s Party.

Low Life performed by Theory of a Deadman even mentions Joe Elliott with me referring to him as Joe Dirt which inspired the 2001 movie.

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Victoria’s Secret In Bloom

Nirvana’s “In Bloom” was inspired by 2 songs I wrote.

When Doves Cry performed by Prince from the ’84 Purple Rain album “Dream if you can a courtyard An ocean of violets IN BLOOM”

The song title “When Doves Cry” was inspired by the ’83 movie Never Cry Wolf starring Brian Dennehy as “Rosie” and the cover of the 1975 album of The Best of Michael Jackson’s.

The second song was ’94 song performed by Seal “Kiss From A Rose”.  The title inspired by Dennehy’s character name “Rosie” in Never Cry Wolf and Def Leppard’s song Bringin’ on the Heartbreak and their friends in the band Kiss.   

“The stranger it feels, yeah. And now that your rose is IN BLOOM”

Brian Dennehy’s connection and Seal’s comes from the Australian band INXS and Michael Hutchence as well as my friend Tom Cruise.  Dennehy would go on to star in the movie F/X and F/X2 with Australian Bryan Brown who appeared in Cocktail with Tom.  Seal would go on the marry model and friend of Australian Elle MacPherson and Helena Christensen, Heidi Klum, who were all partly responsible for the success of Victoria Secret’s.  

Victoria’s secret?  She was my English childhood penpal whom we corresponded through the ’70’s PBS children’s show Zoom. 

With Michael Jackson, Hutchence and others an idea formed to do a Batman movie.  This movie was ’95 Batman Forever which starred Australian actress Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise’s Top Gun co-star Val Kilmer.  Hutchence did a cover of Bowie’s “The Passenger” and “Kiss From A Rose” was rereleased for the movie.


Pour Some Sugar On Me ~ Oh! Nevermind

With the release of Nirvana’s 20th Anniversary Edition of Nevermind, I thought fans would like to know where the title “Nevermind” came from.

The first song Joe Elliott and I worked on together was Pour Some Sugar On Me in May of ’83.  After discussing how much I loved Aerosmith’s ’75 Toys In The Attic album (Toys In The Attic being a euphemism for insanity which I used in Sweet Sacrifice “It’s true, we’re all a little insane“), we discussed my favorite songs off the album and how I would use it in a song. 

“Step inside, WALK THIS WAY”  

I always liked to draw connections between songs I wrote. The next would be the ’84 song Sugar Walls performed by Scottish born Sheena Easton.  Prince was allowed to claim the song under the pseudonym “Alexander NEVERMIND”.  This happened after I wrote all the songs for his ’84 Purple Rain album and gave him the idea for the movie.

There is actually a rumor that Prince wrote songs for Def Leppard, which would be a common misconception considering I wrote songs for both.