In the past, I have written about where Kurt came up with the idea for the artwork for the Nirvana album “In Utero”. This being a fresco from the ruins of Pompeii, Italy in the Villa of Mysteries. A picture of the fresco graced the cover of a booklet I purchased at a Pompeii exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, in 1978 which Kurt found in my closet after we met.
What I haven’t written about is where Kurt came up with the title to the 1993 Nirvana album In Utero. As usual, Kurt made many connections to things I worked on or we worked on together through his music. Things I liked, such as my favorite number “3”. This is why there were only “3” main members of the band Nirvana, the idea to write the song “Lithium” is because the atomic number on the periodic table is “3”, and why Nirvana only released “3” albums.
When I started working with Michael Jackson, he told me about Elvis being discovered by Alabama native Sam Phillips who founded Sun Records. Even as a teen, I was a huge Elvis fan. This is why MJ made so many public connections to Elvis, which included proclaiming himself “The King of Pop” after we discussed Elvis being known as “The King of Rock”, Elvis adopting a chimp named Scatter and MJ adopting Bubbles, even in his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley.
This wasn’t lost on others, such as Michael Hutchence of INXS who decided to say the band was born on the day Elvis died and Tim Farriss using the same day as his public birthday.
While working on ideas for the Stephen King book to film “The Dark Half”, naming a character George “STARK” using my last name for the character. I remembered MJ telling me about Elvis being born a twin.
This lead to coming up the character Thad Beaumont, in “The Dark Half”, having an unborn brother who was absorbed into Thad in utero.
As a side note, the character Alan Pangborn, the Sheriff of Castle Rock, was named for the actor Franklin Pangborn who appeared in the 1941 film Sullivan’s Travels. I have written about the film “Sullivan’s Travel” before as being the origin of coming up with the idea for the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? starring George Clooney, John Goodman, and Holly Hunter.