Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

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.

Advertisements

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


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).

 


Purple Rain Origin

“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


Candyman song Origin

“Tarzan and Jane were swingin’ on a vine
Candyman, Candyman
Sippin’ from a bottle of vodka double wine
Sweet sugar candy man” – Candyman performed by Christina Aguilera

In 1971 Sammy Davis, Jr. covered the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory song “The Candy Man”.  He performed this song many times on television shows while I was a little girl and happened to be a favorite of mine.

Michael Jackson did a little research and found out one of the producers of the “Sammy Davis, Jr.’s Now” album happened to be Don Costa who was best known for his work with Frank Sinatra.  Costa had a daughter by the name of Nikka Costa who would go on to perform the song I wrote titled “Everybody’s Got Their Something.” 

This inspired me to write the song “Candyman” performed by Christina Aguilera.  It would also draw a connection to Pour Some Sugar On Me which I co-wrote with Joe Elliott and other songs I made up as well. 

“Sippin’ from a bottle of vodka double wine”, was inspired by a photo of Joe Elliott of Def Leppard (see left) and the 1981 Def Leppard song Me & My Wine.

“He had tattoos up and down his arm”, I was referring to Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.  This actually dates the song due to the few tattoos Tommy had when we met in 1983.

I had been a longtime fan of the actor Johnny Depp dating back to his first appearance in 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street and knowing the origin of the song starred in the 2005 remake of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.


Origin of Pink’s Album Titles & Songs

“You make me sick
I want you and I’m hatin it
Got me lit like a candlestick
Get too hot when you touch the tip, I’m feelin it, I gotta getta grip
And it’s drivin me crazy baby don’t you quit
Can’t get enough of it
You got me goin again
Baby, you got me goin again
You make me sick” – You Make Me Sick performed by Pink

We listened to a lot of disco at the roller skating rink such as The Gap Band, Midnight Star, George Clinton & P-Funk, The Commodores, The Brothers Johnson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Richard Berry’s “Louis Louis” influenced many of the songs I wrote for my alter-egos.  These particular songs were also influenced by Joan Jett and Pat Benatar.  

The 2000 album and song “Can’t Take Me Home” was from 1983 Joe Elliott released an article about Def Leppard in Goldmine which the headline read, “The Heavy Metal Band You Can Bring Home to Mother.”

You Make Me Sick:  Kurt Cobain and I watched a lot of movies together.  Sometimes Michael Hutchence would be there when INXS had some down time.  On one of these occasions we watched the 1981 British comedy Time Bandits by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam.

Inspired by a conversation between the characters while sitting on the S.S. Titanic before it went down, Kevin said to Randell, “You make me sick!”

The 2001 album and song “Missunderztood” came from a headline about INXS in 1985 (see pic).

 Don’t Let Me Get Me: The other artists could not seem to understand why I didn’t want to be famous.  Only thing hold me back was stage fright and the struggle with how I might be perceived by my grandfather, the preacher.  Not knowing what they actually had in mind for me, I figured they would have just thrown me out there as the next Tiffany or Debbie Gibson which wasn’t me or the image I really would have wanted to project.  It was an inner struggle which I projected in the song.  I make reference also in the song to Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood.

Just Like A Pill: The idea for the song and is influenced by overhearing things after Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s drummer, wrecked his car December 31, 1984 and lost an arm and their song “You Got Me Running” from the High ‘n’ Dry album.

Get This Party Started: There was only one influence on this song and it was Michael Jackson’s friend Diana Ross who released the song “I’m Coming Out” in 1980.

Family Portrait:  It was a self-portrait of my family and somewhat had been happening up until my parents divorced in ’83.  I didn’t want parents to stay together, though at times I still missed my brother and dad after they moved out.

2003 album “Try This” 

Trouble:  This is just my take on the old saying, my middle name is trouble.  In the lyrics I make reference to Tom Cruise who starred in “The Firm” 1993.   

God Is A DJ: Pretty much self-explanatory.  I always liked to make up inspirational songs to not only get people moving, but in life as well. 

2006 “I’m Not Dead”

Stupid Girl: After meeting Hutch, knowing I didn’t want to be famous, he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  At fifteen I didn’t have a clue, but Mom always told me I could be anything I wanted to be even the first female President.  This song was heavily influenced by watching some of the females that would hook themselves up with the male artist looking for help with their careers. 

U + ur Hand: This was another version of a song I wrote when a kid.  The other was called Darling Nikki, named for Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue though it was not about him, and performed by Prince.  It was also inspired by Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail.  “I’m not here for your entertainment” was a take on “Let Me Entertain You” a song from the musical Gypsy.   After I came up with the song Kurt Cobain wrote the song “Smells Like Teen Spirits” if that tells you how long ago this song was written.

2008 “Funhouse”

Funhouse:  I wrote this song sometime after 1989.  The officials had been talking about tearing the Auditorium down where we worked on most of the songs.  I asked them to make it part of the museum.  Of course, the lyrics were inspired by Def Leppard’s Pyromania album and the song PhotographI also had become fascinated with the Cirque du Soleil performances which influenced the song, as well as, advertising art & pinup art.

So What: This happen to be written after I was married.  I remember Alecia reading the lyrics and asking, “I’ve got to get married?”   

Sober: I wrote this after “Call Me When Your Sober” performed by Evanescence and I make many references to Evanescence songs I wrote including “Broken”.

These are just a few I wanted to mention.


Michael Jackson’s Black or White Origin

“I Took My Baby
On A Saturday Bang
Boy Is That Girl With You
Yes We’re One And The Same
Now I Believe In Miracles
And A Miracle
Has Happened Tonight
But, If
You’re Thinkin’
About My Baby
It Doesn’t Matter If You’re
Black Or White” – Black or White

Michael Jackson’s song Black or White released in 1991 was inspired by INXS.  In 1982 INXS released a song titled Black and White on their Shabooh Shoobah album.  Of course, having met INXS before meeting MJ in ’83 I pretty much knew all their songs. 

With Michael Hutchence and Tim Farris, we talked about the similarities in our countries in that we shared a history of racism.  It was also a conversation I had with MJ.  Fortunately, I grew up in a South that was changing.  We talked about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march on Selma, Alabama.  I wanted to break down the barriers of symbols which were found offensive.  Symbols used in the Black or White music video were “KKK” and the swastika.

(Martin Luther King, Jr. and marchers on Selma, AL.  The photo was taken by family friend and fashion photographer Spider Martin who committed suicide 9 years to the day that Kurt Cobain’s body was found. )

By the time of MJ’s release of Black or White, I had written the song “Raise Your Glass” which would go on to be performed by P!nk.  Kurt Cobain would sometimes play air guitar while I would sing and it influenced “Raise Your Glass” and Macaulay Culkin was doing an imitation of Kurt in the Black or White music video.

Kurt also made references to the KKK or other symbols of controversy because of this.


What Women Want movie Origins

“What a girl wants
What a girl needs
Whatever makes me happy and sets you free
And I’m thanking you for knowin’ exactly
What a girl wants”

The former ’79 Mad Max star, Australian Mel Gibson, came to see me and, along with Michael Jackson, I pitched him the idea to do the movie “What Women Want” released in 2000.  The idea actually came from the song I wrote “What a Girl Wants” which would be released by Christina Aguilera in 1999.

In the song lyrics for “What a Girl Wants”  I make reference to another girl group I named and wrote songs for,  TLC’s second album Crazy Sexy Cool released in 1994.

   “Somebody sensitive, crazy, sexy, cool, like you-yeah, What a girl wants”


Nine Inch Nails

About 1986 Trent Reznor showed up to help out on keyboards while  perfecting songs.  I believe they had already filmed or it was in the works for him to be in the Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox movie Light of Day released in Feb. ’87.   

The movie Real Genius starring Tom Cruise’s future Top Gun co-star, Val Kilmer, was released in Aug. ’85.   I loved the movie and Trent had not seen it yet so I quoted some of it to him.

 (Val Kilmer’s character Chris is hitting on Deborah Foreman’s character Susan)  

Chris: So, if there’s anything I can do for you, or, more to the point, to you, you just let me know.
Susan: Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?
Chris: Not right now.
Susan: A girl’s gotta have her standards.

Trent took “six-inch spike” and turned it into Nine Inch Nails, after which I started calling him Real Genius.

I also told Michael Jackson about the movie.  In Val Kilmer’s dorm room, there is another genius who is a burn out by the name of Lazlo Hollyfield who has made a tunnel out through the rooms wardrobe.  Val gets a new dorm mate by the name of Mitch.  One day, Mitch finally follows Hollyfield down into the tunnel once he figures out how to open the secret panel.  Once the secret panel opens written on the back wall is, “THIS IS IT”.  (Michael Jackson’s concert documentary “This Is It” was released in 2009.)

Trying to draw a connection to Def Leppard’s song Animal released on the ’87 Hysteria album, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, and some of the INXS members attending Forest High School in Sydney,  I made up the song “Closer” performed by Nine Inch Nails. 

 


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.