Tag Archives: top gun

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.

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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. 

 


Born on the Fourth of July !Because baby you’re a firework!

I am your living dead. I am your Memorial Day on wheels. I am your Yankee Doodle Dandy.  Your John Wayne come home.  Your Fourth of July firecracker exploding in the grave.” –  Former U.S. Marine Sergeant Ron Kovic, July 16, 1976

I really have nothing to say about the ’89 movie Born on the Fourth of July inspired by the life of former U.S. Marine Sergeant and activist Ron Kovic, except that it is a brilliant movie beautifully portrayed by my friend Tom Cruise.

The articles about Kovic did inspired me to write the song “Firework” portrayed by another of my alter egos Katy Perry.  She was given the stage name for singer, songwriter and music producer Linda Perry who claims to have written songs for artists which I actually wrote.

 This is a part of the article which I quoted above and inspired the song Firework and also Living Dead Girl performed by Rob Zombie.  His stagename “Zombie” comes from Michael Jackson’s zombies in the music video for Thriller and Rob for my dad’s name Robert.

The story behind the song Dragula released in ’98 and performed by Zombie is actually true except that I had already used “monsters” in the song Imaginary.  For some reason I started watching reruns of The Munsters, I was still just a kid.  I did suggest the jesters in the music video because of Motley Crue and for Jester call name in Top Gun.  

“Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry”

“Angels cry” was a reference to the ’98 movie City of Angels which I wrote the song Uninvited performed by Alanis Morrissette.  I will talk about the inspiration behind the movie and the song later.

“Dead I am the pool, spreading from the fool”

The pool is a reference to Def Leppard’s ’81 album cover for High ‘n’ Dry.  Kurt Cobain used this as inspiration for Nirvana’s ’91 album cover for Nevermind.  The fool is a reference to Def Leppard’s song Foolin released on their ’83 album of Pyromania.


Snow White Queen Origin

“Who will be the king and queen of the outcast teens? – Kurt Cobain

The British rock band Queen had a lot of influence on me in my everyday life as well as while writing songs.  It was a love of their songs which inspired me to want to write songs for them.  While watching a sneak peak of Top Gun before it’s release in ’86, I was inspired by the song Danger Zone performed by Kenny Login’s to write the song One Vision released by Queen in November ’85. 

The title and lyrically it was inspired by the first song Michael Hutchence and INXS performed for me in Jun ’83, The One Thing, from their ’82 Shabooh Shoobah album.  INXS also let me see the videos from some of their other performances.  In Melbourne a fan’s t-shirt caught my attention.  It was the symbol for yin and yang.  Feeling completely ignorant, sheltered, of other religions or beliefs from around the world I made it something of a project to learn more.  I also took an interest in Buddhism.  I realized the song would be controversial but what I felt is that the main message of any religion should be that of peace and love.        

In ’74 Queen released a song named White Queen (as it began), and I learned of the ’79 raid on the Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise’s proclaimed religion, called Operation Snow White.   These were inspirations for me to make up the song Snow White Queen performed by Evanescence.

Lyrically I was inspired by Billy Squier.

 Stoplight, lock the door.

Don’t look back.

Undress in the dark,

And hide from you,

All of you.

Stoplight is from Billy Squier’s Lonely Is The Night, “Red lights, green lights, stop and go jive“, which I also used in lyrics for Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On MeListen! red light, yellow light, green-a-light go”

I also used Billy Squier’s “In The Dark” in the lyrics for Snow White Queen.


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.


Victoria’s Secret In Bloom

Nirvana’s “In Bloom” was inspired by 2 songs I wrote.

When Doves Cry performed by Prince from the ’84 Purple Rain album “Dream if you can a courtyard An ocean of violets IN BLOOM”

The song title “When Doves Cry” was inspired by the ’83 movie Never Cry Wolf starring Brian Dennehy as “Rosie” and the cover of the 1975 album of The Best of Michael Jackson’s.

The second song was ’94 song performed by Seal “Kiss From A Rose”.  The title inspired by Dennehy’s character name “Rosie” in Never Cry Wolf and Def Leppard’s song Bringin’ on the Heartbreak and their friends in the band Kiss.   

“The stranger it feels, yeah. And now that your rose is IN BLOOM”

Brian Dennehy’s connection and Seal’s comes from the Australian band INXS and Michael Hutchence as well as my friend Tom Cruise.  Dennehy would go on to star in the movie F/X and F/X2 with Australian Bryan Brown who appeared in Cocktail with Tom.  Seal would go on the marry model and friend of Australian Elle MacPherson and Helena Christensen, Heidi Klum, who were all partly responsible for the success of Victoria Secret’s.  

Victoria’s secret?  She was my English childhood penpal whom we corresponded through the ’70’s PBS children’s show Zoom. 

With Michael Jackson, Hutchence and others an idea formed to do a Batman movie.  This movie was ’95 Batman Forever which starred Australian actress Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise’s Top Gun co-star Val Kilmer.  Hutchence did a cover of Bowie’s “The Passenger” and “Kiss From A Rose” was rereleased for the movie.