Tag Archives: rick allen

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.


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


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.


Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love Myths

Kurt Cobain did not have a relationship with a girl named Tracy Marander. This was a girl he knew and gave the name Tracy for my ex-boyfriend. (See 1982 of which the page is bound into my school annual)

Kurt does not have a sister named Kimberly Dawn. Kimberly is my sister-in-law’s name. Dawn is the street I lived on in 1983 when I met them.

Kurt claimed to have an aunt named Mary, for the Mary in the song “Lose Control” performed by Evanescence which I wrote when I was 15 in 1983.

Leland Cobain is not Kurt’s grandfather’s name.  In 1957, Frances Farmer met Leland C. Mikesell, an independent broadcast promoter from Indianapolis who helped her move to San Francisco.

In all the years I knew Kurt, I never once saw in inject himself with a syringe. That is not to say he didn’t do drugs.

The movie Straight to Hell released in 1987, the actress which goes by the stage name Courtney Love looking very much pregnant and I don’t believe that is padding.  Do you?  There is a girl who is part of their clan which Kurt Cobain claimed as his half-sister Breanne, who would be about the right age.  Actually, Breanna is my cousins name which he used.

Courtney’s character’s name in the movie Straight to Hell is Velma. In the town where I grew up, Trussville, there is a bar by the name of Velma’s Place.

Just as Courtney Michelle Love is not her real name.  Her birth certificate is a fake showing her father at age 15 and mother age 20 at the time it happened to be recorded in 1973.

  


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.


Eye On You

I watch you on the tv–you’re with me every place I go
I’m caught up in the daydream–I’m into everyone you know
Turn on the action–grab every minute
Learn every lesson–then live to regret it
I’m so distracted–my mind’s disengaged
Sharin’ the moments when you’re all the rage

I got my eyes on you
Got my eye on you… – Eye On You performed by Billy Squier

The idea for Eye On You came from Def Leppard’s groupie pass (shown).  It actually became quite the theme for cover art for other artists as well, other’s I wrote songs for.

It was used as cover art for the movie ’90 Frankenstein Unbound which Michael Hutchence of INXS had a small role as poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Hutch knew I was a Shelley fan and actually have a collection of his poetry which was collected by his wife Mary Shelley author of the original Frankenstein.

Def Leppard used the eye on the cover art for their ’92 Adrenalize album.  

Nickelback used it on the cover art for their 2001 album Silver Side Up which includes songs I wrote.

And, the band Skillet’s 2009 album which includes the song “Awake and Alive” which I wrote.  I named the band Skillet for that oh, so southern of accessories which comes in hand when you need to beat some lousy jerk over the head with it.  Next time I promise to make sure there is not hot oil in it.


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.


Pour Some Sugar On Me ~ Oh! Nevermind

With the release of Nirvana’s 20th Anniversary Edition of Nevermind, I thought fans would like to know where the title “Nevermind” came from.

The first song Joe Elliott and I worked on together was Pour Some Sugar On Me in May of ’83.  After discussing how much I loved Aerosmith’s ’75 Toys In The Attic album (Toys In The Attic being a euphemism for insanity which I used in Sweet Sacrifice “It’s true, we’re all a little insane“), we discussed my favorite songs off the album and how I would use it in a song. 

“Step inside, WALK THIS WAY”  

I always liked to draw connections between songs I wrote. The next would be the ’84 song Sugar Walls performed by Scottish born Sheena Easton.  Prince was allowed to claim the song under the pseudonym “Alexander NEVERMIND”.  This happened after I wrote all the songs for his ’84 Purple Rain album and gave him the idea for the movie.

There is actually a rumor that Prince wrote songs for Def Leppard, which would be a common misconception considering I wrote songs for both.


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.