Tag Archives: movies

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

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Origin of the ! in P!nk

As I’ve mentioned in another post, it was in meeting Bob Geldof who starred as “Pink” in Pink Floyd’s The Wall released in ’82 who inspired me to give the stagename P!nk for an artist I was writing songs for.  Geldof is the singer, songwriter, author, and political activist best known for his work on Band Aid and Live Aid.  In the ’70’s he was the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats with John “Mutt” Lange producing some of their albums.  Lange who also produced Def Leppard’s ’83 hit album Pyromania.

As a child, I was inspired by the Danish entertainer Victor Borge to want to be a classical pianist.  It was Borge’s stage act on “Phonic Punctuation” which inspired the ! in P!nk.  I also hated when little girls would draw a heart at the top of an “i” which my friends were known to do, so to solve the problem I turned the “i” upside down.

Michael Hutchence and INXS knew of this and soon a movie script was developed titled “Pretty in Pink” released in 1986 starring another redhead, Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, James Spader, and others.  INXS lent the song “Do Wat You Do” to the soundtrack.

I would also make up the song “Pink” which would be performed by Aerosmith released in 1997.


Legend Movie Origin

If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says
“15 miles to the
Love Shack”
Love Shack, yeah, yeah
I’m headin’ down the Atlanta highway
Lookin’ for the love getaway
Headed for the love getaway
I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Love Shack

 – Love Shack performed by B-52’s

The book St. Elmo by Augusta Jane Evans in 1866, which St. Elmo, Alabama was named for and inspiration for the movie St. Elmo’s Fire, mentions another place I visited as a child Lookout Mountain, Georgia.  Some of the Def Leppard road crew, Kurt Cobain, Michael Hutchence, and others decided to head off on another road trip.  Of which, I told Tom Cruise when he came to see me again.

Located in Lookout Mountain, Georgia is the roadside attaction called Rock City, near the underground cave waterfall Ruby Falls.  Rock City is well-known for the many barn advertisements throughout the South and Midwest.  In total, over 900 barn roofs in nineteen states were painted by Clark Byers.

When Garnet Carter decided to make the area a tourist attraction he named the 700 acres Fairyland.  Mrs. Carter set out to develop the property into one big rock garden, marking a trail that wound its way through the giant rock formations, ending up at Lover’s Leap where LEGEND has it you can see seven states.  She also planted wildflowers and other plants along her trails, importing German gnome statues and other famous fairytale characters.

This trip to Lookout Mountain, the barn roof advertising Rock City, and a movie review about Legend inspired other songs I wrote, including the B-52’s hit song Love Shack.

The Aug. 26, 1985 movie review about the fairy tale movie “Legend” and words of the director Ridley Scott and illustrations from another fairytale called Alice In Wonderland inspired me to write the lyrics in the song “The Show Must Go On” performed by Queen.  

“We originally set out to make a kind of pantomime – a sophisticated “Jack and the Beanstalk.” – Ridley Scott

“Empty spaces – what are we living for
Abandoned places – I guess we know the score
On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for…
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime

and,

“My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly – my friends ”

The initial inspiration for the song, The Show Must Go On, came from Alan Parsons “Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)” which also inspired me to write the song “Day After Day” performed by Def Leppard.


Valkyrie Movie Origin

“It’s bigger than Germany” – Love Bites performed by Def Leppard

In a previous post I’ve mentioned how Amy means Beloved, to Love, and that I am of English and German descent according to my adoption records.  This is origin for the beginning line in the song Love Bites.

These are things Tom Cruise knew about me.  They all knew about me actually. 

One day Kurt Cobain and Tom were carrying on a conversation and I felt a little ignored.  So, to entertain myself I started singing, “Kill the Wabbit” from “What’s Opera, Doc?  Tom started laughing but then realized it was from Ride of the Valkyries, the popular term for German composer Wagner’s Act III of “Die Walküre”.

That wasn’t my only contribution.  Over the years they would ask my favorite movies and actors who had made an impression on me.  One such movie happened to be Kenneth Branagh’s adaption of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing released in ’93.  At about the same time of this movie I had also taken notice of commedian and actor Eddie Izzard.

To commemorate this brainstorming idea, Kurt had a picture made with a rabbit.

Yes, even Kurt’s love of turtles had a meaning.  Turtle is the nickname I gave Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.


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.