Tag Archives: pete willis

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).

 


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).


Kurt Cobain and Charles Barkley

The Orange and Blue” also known as Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama

In 1983, basketball player Charles Barkley from Leeds, Alabama was on the Auburn University basketball team before going pro. 

After we met in ’83, Kurt Cobain wanting to make a public connection to me, made a connection to Barkley.  This is not only because Barkley grew up in a small town near where I grew up in Trussville, but also because there is a city near where Kurt grew up in Washington also named Auburn.

I’ve mentioned that Courtney Love showed up in our lives in late ’84 looking for a part in the movie (Love Kills) Sid & Nancy.  Kurt asked her to have a picture taken which she claims was taken while still a teenager at Hillcrest juvenile hall and I do believe that is Kurt in the picture with her.  Her hair is dyed red, almost the color of mine.

In 1993 Barkley was asked to appear on SNL with Nirvana.

 Kurt also made mention of me is in his journal “At peace ami. You’re a good one.”  Kurt was a self proclaimed bad speller.

There is one more connection to Auburn and that is to Michael Hutchence.  Hutch was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  Auburn is a suburb in western Sydney and named after Oliver Goldsmith’s poem The Desserted Village, which describes ‘Auburn’ in England as the loveliest village of the plain.


Top Gun to Foo Fighters

My face to the sky
Dreaming about just how high
I could go and I’ll know
When I finally get there

Taking off my glasses
Sun pokes through my lashes
And somehow I know
There’s a time for every star to shine

Everybody Got Their Something, performed by Nikka Costa, I came up with the song while hanging out on the beach surfing with Tom Cruise.  Tom had the 2002 movie “Blue Crush” developed which features the song.

Summer ’83, Tom Cruise told me about the movies he had been in.  He told me about his roles in Endless Love, the high strung Cadet Captain David Shawn in TapsThe OutsidersLosin ItAll The Right Moves, and the just released Risky Business as the entrepreneurial high schooler. 

So, I asked, “What are you going to do next?”  He told me, “I thought you might be able to help me with that.”  Basically, from the time he was 17 or 18 to 21 years old Tom had been given roles as a teenager in high school.  I smiled and asked, “When are you planning on growing up?”  He got a little choked up. 

I went through his movies in my head and his role in Taps really stuck out to me.  In fact, Kurt Cobain and I watched the movie together before meeting Tom and I wondered aloud, where he would go after graduating from military school.   Someone in the room spoke up and said, “Flight school!” 

Only a few hours from Birmingham, Alabama is the home of the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, popularly known as the Blue Angels [or the “Blues“] in Pensacola, Florida.  (If you read my early post you know that Bluey/Blue is Aussie slang for a redhead.)  I spent many summers on Pensacola Beach and have watched the Blue Angels practice flights up and down the beach.  It’s pretty amazing. 

I was a little worried.  In ’82 the blockbuster film An Officer and a Gentleman about a U.S. Navy aviation officer candidate had been released.  Many people loved this movie, but as a 15 year old kid I didn’t like it.  I have a problem about movies having a happy ending.  I also have a problem with  no one going to the bathroom in tv shows or movies.   It’s just not realistic.  Think about what all happens in a bathroom, the conversations you’ve had in a bathroom and, if lucky, the sex you’ve had in a bathroom.  

In conversation, we started developing some sort of an idea for a plot and eventually coming up with character names.  Unfortunately, I felt the need to kill off the lovable Goose (Anthony Edwards).  It couldn’t be Iceman (Val Kilmer) being Maverick’s nemesis, or Goose’s wife Carol Bradshaw (Meg Ryan), or one of the instructors.  I couldn’t think of any other character that might have the same impact.  

The ’70’s and ’80’s we were being inundated by commercial’s for Revlon’s Charlie perfume, which supposedly personified the independent woman.  So, I decided to give her the call name Charlie.

Since Pete Willis had left Def Leppard at about the same time Joe Elliott discovered me, I asked Tom if he would name his character for him.  Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was born.  The definition of a Maverick is an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.

There were 2 Rick’s in Top Gun for the 2 Rick’s in Def Leppard (Savage and Allen).  Whip Hubly as Lt. Rick “Hollywood” Neven and Michael Ironside’s character was named Lt. Cmdr. Rick “Jester” Heatherly.  Heatherly for Heather Locklear, and Jester for Motley Crue.  Motley refers to the traditional costume of a court jester.

After development of a script started, Joe Elliott and Tom Cruise placed an article in Rolling Stones which was picked up by The Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News, November 18, 1983.  Joe knowing I had lived in Texas for a while, had a close friend who was Mexican (Jose), decided to really make some news by voicing a racial slur.  He knew better, but it made the news.  If you will scroll down the article it mentions Cyndi Lauper’s ’80’s Blue Angel band and even further down mentions Tom Cruise.  Just to tie everyone together. 

For some reason I can’t upload the article as a picture, so here is the link http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=F-YiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0qUEAAAAIBAJ&dq=tom%20cruise&pg=6796%2C4798499

NOTE:  Tom decided to do the fantasy film Legend before Top Gun, which press releases about it inspired another song which I might come back to another time. 

Most fans of Nirvana or Kurt Cobain know of his obsession with the Seattle, Washington born actress Frances Farmer even writing the song “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle.”  This obsession started in ’86 when Frances Farmer’s ex-husband, Leif Erickson, died in Pensacola (home of the Blue Angels).

When I made up a new song named Lick, performed by Joi, Kurt Cobain named the album Star Kitty’s Revenge.  The kitty part being from The Pussycat Dolls which I founded, or to be politically correct co-founded.  The song can be heard in the movie xXx.  The “X” came from a song I wrote for my pet project Nickelback, a song named S.E.X.

“X is just to mark the spot ‘Cause that’s the one you really want” 

Inspiration for the song S.E.X. actually came from a very innocent place.  On trips to California I would go surfing with Tom Cruise and Michael Hutchence.  Surfers use wax on their boards and my brother had some Dr. Zog’s Sex Wax, surfer’s wax, which drummers sometimes use on their sticks.

Michael Hutchence knew the story about the surfer’s wax and had a charm made for his leather jacket which he wears in the music video for Need You Tonight.  INXS then released their 1990 album titled “X”.

Def Leppard followed suit by naming their 2002 album “X”.

(I forgot to mention that Adam & The Ants had a song titled S.E.X.)

For some reason, during all the research for the movie the term Foo Fighters (Allied aircraft pilots in World War II used to describe various UFOs or mysterious aerial aerial phenomena) had been mentioned.  It was something I remembered later on in ’94. 

I was pretty devasted by the loss of Kurt Cobain in my life.  It took me a long time to recover.  Finally, Dave and Krist approached the subject about what to do.  There are very few bands who have survived by the loss of a lead singer.  Actually, AC/DC was the only one that came to mind who overcame such a loss.   I looked Dave squarely in the face and said, “I want you to be the lead singer, but no more Nirvana.”  Dave had been a skinny goofy looking boy with no chin when he first started hanging around, but he had matured and there was something about him that made me think he could pull off being the lead singer.  For a long time he resisted making the transition from behind the drums, but hopefully it is a decision that no one has regretted.  Especially the fans. 

Some of the songs for the Foo Fighters had been written already before all this happened.  Big Me was inspired by Michael Hutchence showing up in about ’84 chewing on a minty candy called a Mentos.  I had never heard of a Mentos before, but it smelled really good.


Heart Shaped Box

Heart Shaped Box was inspired by Jessica Tandy, the original Blanche Dubois, and Vivian “Leigh” starring in Tennessee William’s A Street Car Named Desire.

(Inspired by Blanche’s Seahorse Pin ~ Kurt Cobain’s Seahorse drawing)

In 1982 Jessica Tandy and, Joe Elliott’s favorite actress, Meryl Streep starred in the movie Still of the Night which inspired me to write the song “Still of the Night” performed by Whitesnake.


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.


Rock Till You Drop

                                                                                                      Sunday, May 15, 1983, my friends invited me to the Def Leppard concert. I didn’t know who they were, but told it was a rock band. Of course, this was cool on so many levels being a 15 year old girl and never having been to a rock concert before.

Monday, May 16, 1983, I returned home from school, dropped my school books on the dresser as the doorbell rang. A young goodlooking guy with bright blue eyes smiled as I opened the door. Without a word he pointed to the old van parked at the top of my drive. The side door swung open and my mouth dropped as the lead singer in full stage costume exited. If the phone had not started ringing, distracting me, I might have been more concerned about how and why this man knew where I lived.

NOTE: In 1983 Def Leppard was on tour in the US promoting their January released Pyromania album as the support act for Billy Squier before embarking on their own Rock Till You Drop Tour.  They ended the tour with Billy Squier in April of ’83 in Seattle and Oregon.  May 15, 1983 the Swiss band Krokus was their opening act.  Little known fact, Kurt Cobain was on the road crew for this tour.