Tag Archives: Madonna

I [Heart] Amy Lynn Lee

It may or may not be surprising to find out that both terms Kinderwhore and Riot Grrrl originated in conversations about my life between Kurt Cobain and myself. 

Kurt came up with the band name Amy Carter and the idea for a zine “I [Heart] Amy Carter”.  The band members consisted of Tammy Rae, Kathleen Hanna, and Heidi Aborgast.  

We were discussing former President Jimmy Carter who’s home state is Georgia, same as my adopted mother’s.  I told him Amy Lynn Carter and I shared not only a first name and middle initial, but we also both have red hair.  (origin for stagename Amy Lynn

In 1991 Nirvana released the song On A Plain written in reference to President Jimmy Carter’s home town of Plains, Georgia.

(Left, young Amy Lynn Carter, fourth daughter of U.S. President Jimmy Carter)

(Bottom Right, Amy Lee, January 1976 on 8th Birthday)

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Lies of the Beautiful People Origin

“Well if you think real beauty’s on the outside
Well that’s a far cry
From the truth
Maybe all the information you received
Well you should not believe
There’s no proof
Save yourself from all the lies of the beautiful people
It’s time to run from the lies of the beautiful people” Lies of the Beautiful People performed by Sixx: A.M.

Not long after Joe Elliott and I met we were talking about my favorite Beatles song which happened to be Helter Skelter.  At the time I didn’t know of the California band by the name of Motley Crue who had been performing a cover of the song  which would be released in September of that year on the “Shout at the Devil” album. 

We talked about the meaning of the song and I found out there was actually an amusement ride called “Helter Skelter” in England.  I had a collection of Beatles songs which included the song, but not the White album which had been released the year I was born, 1968.  Joe proceed to tell me and Kurt Cobain the sordid history of the White album and the song. 

The term ‘helter skelter’ was far less well known in the US.  To the psychopath Charles Manson it was a coded prophecy for an apocalyptic race war (or Armageddon).  This is why Kurt at one point drew an “X” on his forehead and had his picture taken.  Def Leppard would release the song Armageddon It on the Hysteria album in 1987.

It wasn’t long after this discussion that I met Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue who in February of ’83 had performed at the US Fest in California with INXS.  (This is when Tommy Lee gave me the nickname Bullwinkle.)

Joe took some time off in June from the Rock Till You Drop tour, claiming a sore throat, while we all worked on new songs.   About this time Pete Willis left the band and they called in their friend Phil Collen of the band Girl to fill the vacancy.  They went back to California to the movie studios and filmed the original music video for Photograph with the stabbing knife at the beginning and using images of Marilyn Monroe.  Joe later made a second version with a black cat like mine at the beginning (see The Pussycat Dolls to Papa Don’t Preach post).

After coming up with the song The Beautiful People I also came up with the stagename “Marilyn Manson” for Def Leppard’s use of Marilyn Monroe in Photograph and the story about Helter Skelter and Charles Manson drawing a connection to Motley Crue.

This is also where I came up with the stagename for Eminem (M&M for Marilyn Manson) after writing songs which he would perform.  It was Michael Jackson’s suggestion for the spelling of the name.

I would go on to make up the song Beautiful performed by Christina Aguilera after Courtney Love gave me a compliment.  Courtney and I did not get along and it surprised me when I overheard the compliment.  So, in a turn of kindness I made up the song.  This song was based on ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down.

Years later I would makeup a third song titled Lies of the Beautiful People and I asked Nikki Sixx if he would perform it so to tie into the other songs, The Beautiful People and Beautiful.  We then came up with the band name Sixx A.M. (A.M. being the first 2 letters of my name).


Lithium is My Chemical Romance

“Love is like a bomb” – Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard

In 1958, Scientist developed a cheap H-Bomb using Lithium, atomic #3.  

In 1959, musical humorist, Tom Lehrer, recites the names of all the chemicals known at the time, sung to the tune of the Major-General’s Song from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.  I could nearly sing the whole song as a kid and recite each chemical with it’s atomic number.  

PRETTY WOMAN QUOTE: 

Old Lady at Opera: Did you like the opera, dear?

Vivian: It was so good, I almost peed my pants

Edward Lewis:  She said she liked it better than Pirates of Penzance

The character Edward Lewis was named for my grandfather, who started his ministry in Georgia the 1930’s, his middle name was Edward and his grandmother’s maiden name was Lewis.  The character Vivian for Vivian Leigh who starred in A Street Car Named Desire (which inspired Heart Shaped Box) and as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind (which partly was my inspiration for the Goth meets Scarlett look for Amy Lynn Hartzler).  Michael Hutchence’s brother’s name is Rhett.  

My grandfather’s first name was Miles and in Kurt Cobain’s journal under the title Uncertainty wrote “I wish someone could explain to me why exactly I have no desire to learn anymore, why I used to have so much energy, and the need to search for Miles…” 

When Michael Jackson brought Madonna to meet me and talk about the songs, we also discussed her fashion.  I had mentioned after seeing her first music video for “Everybody” I was concerned her fashion did not only match her voice, sound, or dance style, but also did not have national appeal for girls who would want to imitate her.  I was a fan of Prince’s girl group Vanity 6 and the Goth girl at heart loved Billy Idol’s music video for the ’82 White Wedding

I told her about an article titled “Boy’s Toy turns out to be a bomb” in Oxford, Alabama and bombs being a “theme” of some sort in my songs.  At first we discussed making a necklace that said Boy Toy.  Instead we decided it would not be large enough and talked about it being a belt.  She agreed to think about it.

Even in the best families bad things happen.  My adopted father had been the one who had hoped for stardom as an artist.  He went to college on a music scholarship playing the drums and had been in a jazz band.  His true wish, which we all thought was silly, had been to become the next Pat Boone.  Over the years he seemed to disappear more and more into a bottle of vodka as reality set in on him and the most he could hope for was to lead the service at church in song.  Most of the members at church did not notice his behavior.  Finally, my parents divorced in the Spring of 1983 before the Def Leppard concert in May. 

While scouring news articles for ideas to write songs I came across one mentioning Lithium as a way to reduce alcohol craving.  I was interested in the study for my dad.       

 All these things inspired the idea for the songs Lithium both performed by Nirvana and by Evanescence.  

I also tended to use the number 3 in songs, actually I liked using numbers in songs, eventually even making up the song “3” performed by Britney Spears.

Yes, I even named the band My Chemical Romance.


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.