In ’82 Van Halen released a cover of Roy Orbison’s song Oh!, Pretty Woman on their Diver Down album. This is one album my brother had and I loved. My favorites being the cover of Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) and Hang ‘Em High. But, my all time favorite cover of Van Halen’s is Ice Cream Man, which Tommy Lee seemed to enjoy whenever I would sing it.
Joe Elliott started paperwork getting a passport for me in the summer of ’83. It was unknown to me his intentions, but when I returned from my grandmother’s funeral, my adopted mother’s mother, in Georgia the first of Oct ’83 everyone seemed to be upset about my disappearance.
I told them of my grandmother’s long battle with Leukemia which she had been in remission with for years. Joe wanted to do a movie about it, knowing I had also been babysitting off and on during the summer for a little girl in remission from Leukemia. Kurt Cobain spoke up knowing my cousin had Type 1 Diabetes and worked for Xerox. Of course, Kurt was a walking Encyclopedia of music and knew that Zerox was an early Adam & The Ants song. There is actually an early home movie of Kurt trying to tear up a copy machine. http://youtu.be/NxS_55Ql1Ks While discussing the idea Joe came up with the title naming it Steel Magnolias released in ’89.
My adopted father’s mother, Isabel, a redhead herself, once owned a beauty shop named Belle’s House of Beauty in Texas. The picture is of my brother getting his first haircut. This is where they got the idea for the beauty shop in Steel Magnolias and also name the character Belle Marmillion.
Tom Cruise would go on to adopt a little girl with Nicole Kidman and name her Isabella.
Kurt Cobain later would talk about how Nirvana would practice above a beauty shop in the early years. My grandmother’s birthday, February 24, also happened to be the day Kurt and Courtney got married in 1992.
(My grandmother’s Social Security Card application)
Michael Jackson knew I loved the tv show Beauty and the Beast which ran from 1987 to 1990 starring “Linda Carroll” Hamilton (Courtney Love’s mother’s name is supposedly Linda Carroll) as Belle and Ron Perlman as the Beast Vincent. Linda Hamilton is the ex-wife of film director James Cameron (this is important and will post about the development of Titanic later). Disney put into production the development of Belle about this time and released the animated Beauty and the Beast in 1991.
Sometime during all of this the actor Eric Roberts found out what was going on and invited to Alabama to meet me. His motive was in looking for scripts for his sister, Julia, another redhead.
Plans for a trip were rescheduled for the weekend before Halloween which fell on a Monday. I didn’t know this would mean skipping a day of school. They dressed me in a brunette wig and large sunglasses and we left on Joe’s private plane. We arrived in Dublin and Joe took off through customs and the airport ahead of us being mobbed by paparazzi. I heard Kurt ask if Joe had let them know he was arriving. Joe gave a quick interview distracting them while we finished in customs then climbed into a Range Rover. We climbed into the Range Rover parked behind his.
The home was large, but not quite what one would call a mansion by today’s standards. It had a mortar and rock facade in a very European style. Joe met us at the door and came up behind me putting his hands over my eyes leading me through the front hall into the main living area. When he took his hands away I was staring at green rolling hills through a window that spanned the length of the room. The window was made up of panes of beveled glass which obscured the view some. I gasped as a white hairy beast rounded one of the green mounds charging toward the home. At first I thought it was a horse. A few seconds later this mud covered behemoth was sitting on the white marble in front of me. This is when I realized it wasn’t a horse at all but a dog, a Great Pyrenees actually.
Development of the script for the ’90 movie Pretty Woman was well under way on this trip and changes were being made. Joe decided to use Lauren Bacall’s dress in the 1944 film adaption of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not as inspiration for the “hooker dress”.