“I never meant to cause you any sorrow.
I never meant to cause you any pain.
I only wanted to one time see you laughing.
I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain” – Purple Rain performed by Prince
The day my friends called to invite me to the Def Leppard concert, May 15, 1983, it was a typical Spring day in Alabama. One minute it could be a beautiful sunny day, the next a storm brews and the skies turn grey. By the time Mom and I left for church it had started raining.
Not deterred when my normally curly hair turned to frizz, I straighten it again, going through half a can of Aqua Net hairspray. I then changed into something more suitable for a rock concert, a favorite asymmetrical military style white top, my tightest Levi’s blue jeans . The kind you have to lay down on the bed to zip up. And, two favorite accessory of the time, my learner’s permit and a purple comb in the back pocket.
Now, the comb had a use other than what it was intended for. At the roller skating rink if a guy liked you, he would steal it from your pocket ensuing a chase around the rink so to retrieve your property. Most of my girlfriend’s did this. In fact, Kurt Cobain alluded to this in a fictitious story written in his journal.
“We pulled into the parking lot behind the Thriftway as other zombies slouch bobbed with combs in their back pockets. There stood the Air Supply box boy holding a Les Paul with a picture from a magazine of Kool cigarettes lamenated on it, a mechanical redheaded biker boy and that tall lanky guy, the first to ever wear skin tight Levis. A bold and brave change from stacking finger or San Francisco riding gear. The played faster than I had ever imagined music could be played and with more energy than my Iron Maiden records could provide. This was what I was looking for, ah punk band. The other stones were bored and kept shouting, play some Def Leppard.” – Kurt Cobain’s Journal under the title “The Habit”
With the mention of zombies, Kurt was not only referring to Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video, but also to the stagename Rob Zombie whom I wrote songs for.
Joe (Elliott) found out I am a fan of Vanity 6, a girl group promoted by the artist Prince, which I had seen on Soul Train performing Nasty Girl released in 1982. They then brought in Prince’s albums released up until that point for me to listen to and learn his style. But, the song Nasty Girl would influence many more songs which I would be involved in writing, including Michael Jackson’s little sister’s 1986 Nasty.
I make reference to the “purple comb” in the lyrics for Erotic City.
“Everytime I comb my hair
Thoughts of U get in my eyes
U’re a sinner, I don’t care
I just want your creamy thighs”
The Lyrics for “The Beautiful Ones’ I allude to Def Leppard’s Photograph.
MAKE LOVE NOT WAR