Tag Archives: Tommy Lee

Ode to the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Space may be the final frontier
But it’s made in a Hollywood basement
Cobain can you hear the Spears
Singing songs off station to station
And Alderaan’s not far away
It’s Californication” – Californication by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Like most Southerners, you could always find a bottle of chili peppers marinating in vinegar in our refrigerator ready at hand to sprinkle on what our hearts desired.  It was usually set out on the table after Mom cooked up a batch of turnip greens and even the occassional barbeque sandwiches.  

Kurt Cobain had a habit of raiding the refrigerator whenever he would show up and had noticed the bottle.  We all watched in amusement as he removed the cap and touched his tongue to it.  His face turned immediately red. 

Of course, Kurt also had to go through my record collection and there he found a rare rerelease of The Beatles St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album which a friend gave me Christmas 1978.  The musical film St. Peppers Lonely Heart’s Club Band was released in July of 1978 starring Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Bee Gees, and many more.

Kurt and Joe knew of a band in California in need of a new name and the name “The Red Hot Chili Peppers” was suggested (1983).

Michael Hutchence suggested Kurt take me to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show one night at a local theater.  Hutch wanted me to see the movie because of one of the actresses was Aussie Nell Campbell.  The next thing I know, I am being dressed in a Dr. Frankenfurter costume and then pushed out onto the stage.  Just for fun I asked Tommy Lee for one of his socks.  I stuffed part of the sock into the front of the costume leaving part hanging out.  Everyone thought it was funny and Anthony Kiedis and Flea jumped up from the crowd and said they wanted to do that.  Not know what they had in mind, the world actually found out. 

I also remember hearing Kurt say there is an Adam & The Ants song called Dirk Wears White Sox released in 1979.

If you will look at the cover art for RHCP “One Hot Minute” it looks like a redhead not a brunette sitting at a piano, doesn’t it?

(Amy Lee Piano Recital, Dallas, TX, December 1978)


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.


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).


Courtney Love Kills Never Never Land – pt 2

She’s only fifteen
She’s the reason-the reason that I can’t sleep
You say illegal
I say legal’s never been my scene, oh yeah
I try like hell but I’m out of control 

“All In The Name of” Performed by Motley Crue

I was running late getting ready the day I met Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.  He asked Kurt what the problem had been.  I laughed and told him I had been watching Rocky & Bullwinkle.   He then gave me the nickname Bullwinkle.  This is where William Gray, formerly of Evanescence,  got the nickname Rocky. 

I am mentioned as Bullwinkle on the first page of Motley Crue’s trashy book “The Dirt”. 

Once he became famous, Kurt Cobain started wearing a t-shirt with Natasha Fatale, from Rocky & Bullwinkle.

February of ’83 Motley Crue, INXS, and Oingo Boingo all performed at the US Fest in California. 

Oingo Boingo had worked on the soundtrack along with Billy Squier for Fast Times at Ridgemont high which starred Sean Penn (Tom Cruise’s ’81 Taps co-star in Taps).  Inspired by Adam & The Ants and INXS sound and sitting between Michael Hutchence and Adam Ant, I came up with the songs for Oingo Boingo’s ’85 Deadman’s Party album.  Which inspired the movie Weird Science.  In fact, Marco Pirroni became a little upset when I started singing Deadman’s Party.  I told him, “No One Lives Forever” and immediately made up the song.

INXS through part of ’83 had been touring with Adam & The Ants.  Most know that the man responsible for The Sex Pistols success, Malcolm McLaren, was also manager for Adam & The Ants.  As I’ve mentioned before, Stuart Goddard known as Adam Ant is the one who wanted me to read news articles for ideas to write songs.  Inspiring movies along the way. 

After meeting, Kurt and I had been talking about the Sex Pistol’s band member Johnny Rotten when he got the idea for the movie which became (Love Kills) Sid & Nancy.   Ideas for the movie were being mapped out as early as ’83.  The band Queen then released a song in ’84 titled Love Kills.

The Clash’s Joe Strummer performed the title track for the ’86 movie titled “Love Kills” which is in direct relation to me.

Walking out of England thinking of you were king taking on this world

On that bus that goes through Mexico a killer love finds a sweet Mexican girl

But in Mississippi we rushed into the room

Down in Dixie you were crying for dope

Down in Alabama they like home cooked fare yea

So we are going to strap you to the fryin’ chair yea

In 1983 the first inmate to be electrocuted by the State of Alabama after the United States reinstituted the death penalty in 1976 was John Louis Evans.

(Adam Ant friend of   Michael Jackson)


Courtney Love Kills Never Never Land – pt 1

Oh where are you going

And where have you been?

To the land of Never Never

And back again!

(The article is about Michael Jackson deciding to publicly visit my hometown in ’84.)

“While sitting between Kurt Cobain and Michael Jackson talking about building a new theme park, it was Kurt who gave him the idea to call it Neverland.”

Michael Jackson was brought in to meet me in ’83.  I spent a day hanging out with friends that summer who introduced me to the Thriller album.  Once Joe Elliott found out he sent the word to Jackson’s handlers about me.  The meetings were all very clandestine with one of his brothers actually meeting to give his approval.   

At first, MJ and I would talk about shows that I had seen him on, like Donny and Marie.  He wanted to know what I thought about his music.  I love all kinds of music, but am a die-hard Rock fan at heart.  You could say that it was MJ’s influence which led me deeper into pop and rap music. 

From an early age, I not only wanted to be a classical pianist, but also a gymnast and dancer.  MJ and I would sometimes have dance offs just for fun.  He would watch me for the sole purpose of trying to pick up a new dance move.  For the record, I never had any formal training in dance other than a brief stint as a cheerleader on a drill team like the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, but it was for a pee wee football team named the Rockets.  Yep, this inspired the song by Def Leppard called Rocket.

We talked about the singing school I attended in Dallas, Texas during the summers from the time I was four years old.  As a reward the whole group of kids were taken on a trip to Six Flags over Dallas at the end for a day.  MJ’s face brightened and you could see the wheels turning as I talked about it.  Kurt Cobain was pretty much my constant companion, he too could see the wheels turning.

Once the idea formed for an adventure park, Kurt told MJ about a place in Tacoma, Washington named Never Never Land he would visit as a child.     http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=241

(The park in Tacoma was demolished in 2010.)

MJ wanted animals at his park too.  Not sure why a chimp, but he was so little when MJ first brought him to meet me.  He told me he named him Bubbles for the stripper named Bubbles Cash who inspired the current day Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.  Somewhere along the way Bubbles name was used in the song Joe Elliott and I had started working on after we first met named Pour Some Sugar On Me. 

Take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up

PSSOM took it’s name from the very core of our southern lifestyle from putting so much sugar in our iced tea you can stand a spoon up in it, the SEC Sugar Bowl hosted in New Orleans where I have family, to our sugar white sands along the Gulf Coast.

My mother is the quintessential southern lady hailing from a small town in Georgia.  There is even a pageant for Miss Georgia Peach which a cousin of mine won the title.  To the right is my parents car on their wedding day.  So, this was added to the lyrics for PSSOM

 You got the peaches, I got the cream

Kurt Cobain made reference to this song in the Nirvana song Mexican Seafood.

Ah, the itchy flakes

It is inflaming

To the gels and creams

Kurt also made reference to Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commercial incident where MJ’s hair caught fire in his published journal on the page titled Uncertainty.  “Jesus its hot!  My lashes and brows are curling up and melting emiting the worst smell of burnt hair”

Even Michael Hutchence of INXS had influence not only on the song PSSOM, but also making reference to knowing MJ by covering Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood’s hit song “Jackson” along with his backup singer New Zealander Jenny Morris.

Hutch’s influence on the song came in the form of me reading a press release about the band.  Next to the article was a title that caught my eye about the television show Highway to Heaven being preachy (which also helped to inspire the song Papa Don’t Preach).  The reason it was important is because my mom always put saccharine in orange juice.

 Sweet to taste, saccharine

(There is actually another story behind all the crotch grabbing, MJ in the Bad music video and Hutchence here, but I will save it for later.)

Kurt Cobain made reference to saccharine in his journal on the page titled Sexually Transmitted Diseases, “Saccharine Trust – Peace Frog”.  Actually, the reference was two-fold as the drummer for Saccharine Trust, Earl Liberty, joined the band Circle Jerks who were friends of Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and Kurt wanted to talk to them about working on the soundtrack for the movie about The Sex Pistols.  This movie turned into ’86 (Love Kills) Sid & Nancy.   The original title to the movie (Love Kills) took its name from Michael Hutchence’s contributions to Freedom Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1982) – “Speed Kills”, “Forest Theme” (with Don Walker of Cold Chisel) and from my name, Amy, which means beLOVEd or to Love.  Not to mention we had already been working on the song named Love Bites, after I bit the heck out of Kurt’s arm one day.

The actress which would have a small role in Sid & Nancy started hanging around in late ’84.  Kurt came across an obituary with the name Courtney Love.  Before the credits were written for the movie he had her take the stage name.  There were a couple of reasons, the obituary was dated 2 days after my birthday, Jan 12th, which later was a day Kurt & Courtney said they met in ’89 at the Satyricon nightclub in Portland.