Bauhaus

BauhausIt was after I made up the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” the name of the German art school was brought to my attention.  The first Bauhaus, or “School of Construction”, was founded by  Walter Gropius in Weimar.

Lugosi had roles in several films in Weimar before arriving in America as a seaman on a merchant ship.  He draculafirst appeared as Count Dracula in a 1927 Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s novel.

This lead to coming up with ideas for the vampire horror film The Hunger starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon.  The film would not on feature my song Bela Lugosi’s Dead, but also the band Bauhaus.

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Tesla

max schreck“It’s bigger than Germany” – Love Bites

It was after being introduced to the 1922 film Nosferatu starring the German actor Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I made up the song “Love Bites” recorded by Def Leppard.

Then someone decided to introduce me to the horror master Bela Lugosi who is famous for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 film also loosely based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

This was during the time I learned about Lugosi’s 1960’s television show Thriller (U.S. TV series) and made up the song “Thriller”  recorded by Michael Jackson.  I also made up the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead“, the first single by the band I named Bauhaus.

ReturnofthevampireThe someone brought in the 1944 film The Return of the Vampire starring Lugosi as  the dual named character Armand TELSA / Dr. Hugo Bruckner.  I liked the name Tesla and I was told about the inventor Nikola Tesla, the Electrical Engineer who immigrated to American to work with Thomas Edison It was during this time I not only decided to name a band Tesla, but also the Australian band AC/DC.  Both bands would record song I made up.

Poster_-_White_Zombie_01_Crisco_restorationA few years later, I decided to name another band.  This time for Lugosi’s 1932 film “White Zombie”…giving it’s lead singer the stage name Rob Zombie.

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Secrets of Shrek

ladyhawkePrincess Fiona

One of my favorite films that I worked on script ideas is the 1985 Ladyhawke starring Matthew Broderick as Philippe Gaston, “The Mouse”, Rutger Hauer as Captain Etienne Navarre, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Isabeau d’Anjou.

In the film Navarre and Isabeau are cursed. By day Isabeau becomes a hawk, and by night Navarre becomes a wolf.  I borrowed this idea for Princess Fiona in Shrek to become an ogre by night.

The character  was named for Ian Fleming’s character Fiona Volpe, in the film Thunderball starring Sean Connery.

Donkey

Donkey_from_ShrekDonkeys have been used in literature throughout history, for example in the Bible, George Orwell‘s 1951 Animal FarmC. S. Lewis‘s 1956 The Last Battle, and in 1940 Disney film FantasiaIan Fleming’s Goldeneye, now the Goldeneye Hotel and Resort owned by Chris Blackwell, once was a donkey racetrack.

Appearance of Shrek

ssWhen coming up with the appearance of Shrek the ogre, I asked for him to resemble the actor Max Schreck as Count Orlok in the film Nosferatu.  This includes the “curled” ears.

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Shrek

max schreckIt’s bigger than Germany” – Love Bites

While working on ideas for the vampire film “The Lost Boys”, someone brought in the 1922 film Nosferatu starring the German actor Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok for me to watch.  The film is an unauthorized adaption of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula.

Pg 2 Fam History cropBeing adopted, my heritage was important to me growing up.  My adopted mother requested background information about my birth family and I grew up knowing that I was of German-English descent.  (Seen in the above document.)  Learning about other German’s, such as Max Schreck, also became important to me.  I have always loved the  name “Max” and coupled with the title to the Australian film “Mad Max” this is why I gave Michael Hutchence the nickname “Max”.  Michael would later name his solo album “Max Q”.  It was during this time I named the band Berlin for Max Schrek’s birthplace.

I started making references to “biting” or vampirism in song lyrics during this time and lead to me making up the song “Love Bites” recorded by Def Leppard with the lyrics “It’s bigger than Germany” and later song lyrics such as “The world is a vampire” in the song “Bullett with Butterfly Wings” recorded by The Smashing Pumpkins.

In films, it lead to the reference of vampires in the Body Double (1984), the making of Dracula (1992) starring Gary Oldman who had appeared as  Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy(Love Kills) in which Courtney Love made her debut, in 2000 a fictionalization of the making of Nosferatu titled Shadow of the Vampire starring John Malkovich was released, also released in 2000 Dracula 2000.  I also named the character  Max Shreck portrayed by Christopher Walken in the 1992 film Batman Returns.

shrekDuring the time we were working on ideas for the first book in the Harry Potter series, the idea for a “troll”  was added to the list of characters.  This lead to the separate idea for a lovable “ogre” I named “Schrek” for the German actor and renamed “Shrek”.  Of course, there is an ogre in the fable “Puss in Boots” and  in the early 80’s I had made up the song “Puss ‘n Boots” recorded by Adam Ant.

puss n bootsThis also continued my working relationship with Steven Spielberg which dates back to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Poltergeist, Gremlins, etc.

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Chandelier

come as you are kurtI’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier” – recorded by Sia

Kurt Cobain continued to be my muse while writing songs.  What many do not know is that I also made up the song “Come As You Are” recorded by Nirvana and sometimes would come up with ideas for the music videos for my songs.

As I’ve mentioned before, the album title “Nevermind” came from the artist Prince giving me the pseudonym “Alexander Nevermind” and am credited as such on the song “Sugar Walls” recorded by Sheena Easton.

Years after it’s 1992 release, with Michael Hutchence I made up the song “Chandelier” inspired by the music video for “Come As You Are”.  I also came up with the idea for the artist recording it to perform with her back to the audience.  By not showing her face while performing, it was my way of claiming the song.

Since Michael was with me when I made up the song, he was able to claim it for an Australian artist.

kurt

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Face Time

facebookFrom the beginning, I loved working with Steve Wozniak on ideas for the World Wide Web.  It grew out of the ideas of wanting to communicate with family and friends.  The idea for web “pages” happened to be based on pages of a book and as a way for people and business owners to draw a larger clientele.

Social media sites continued my desire for family and friends to communicate who might live in all parts of the world.  This came about with developing new ideas for the cellphone which includes “texting” and sites such as “Twitter”.  It was around this same time I was asked to come up with other ideas for “socializing”.  At that time in my life, friends I grew up with had moved away and started their own families, my family members lived or worked all over.  I wanted a gathering place, a safe place, to share the life of my family and friends.

FaceOff_(1997_film)_posterThe name of “Facebook” came from the idiom “Face Time” and from the original idea of the Web “page”.  It was also to draw a connection to having worked with Michael Hutchence and John Travolta on the 1997 film Face/Off and inspired by the 1960 French-Italian horror film Eyes Without a Face (Les yeux sans visage) that I used as the title to my song recorded by Billy Idol.  INXS provided the song “Don’t Lose Your Head” for the films soundtrack.

I later heard they were going to turn my ideas over to some college kid Bill Gates met named Mark Zuckerberg.

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iPhone Home

v episode 2 ET makes appearanceAlien communication devices were a theme used in my film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and in my television show “V“.  E.T. wanted to phone home and the “Visitors” had handheld communication devices.

After working on ideas for the film, Michael Jackson made sure an E.T. doll made an appearance in my television show “V” (seen left).

The television show director and writers were anxious to get my opinion or ideas for the direction of the show and I was able to watch episodes before being aired.

v iphone pic 1In the episode “Dreamnought”, I noticed the handheld alien communication device.  It had a keypad with alien language, a camera, and screen.

I thought the size and shape would be perfect for a real communication device and presented the idea to Steve “The Woz” Wozniak after working on ideas for the “Cell Phone” which launched on October 13, 1983.

v iphone pic 2

Other episodes of the television show “V”, the device resembles more what I named “The Blackberry”.  Steve did want me to name the “research” team who would develop my phones.  This was during the time I made up the songs “Emotions in Motion” recorded by Billy Squier and “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” recorded by John Parr.  It only made sense to nv iphone pic 3ame the company “Research in Motion” (RIM).

Just as a side note, I asked that the original episodes for “V” to never be aired in reruns after 1984.  There are also episodes missing, showing the aliens using the communications devices, from all of the taped collections sold to the public.  This was my idea so no one would know where the idea came from after the iPhone and Blackberry were launched.

 

 

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The Visitors

The idea for an alien television show came from humble beginnings, as a “visitors” pass on one of the characters in a James Bond film. This was the first time I associated being kidnapped, tortured, and returned home to the stories I heard about alien abductions.

Someone asked me if I knew any aliens and I said, “Mork from Ork.”  I quickly came up with the idea for the uniforms worn by the aliens to resemble Mork’s.  In fact, after watching a few of the installments I complained that the uniforms were not similar enough.

I also named one of my characters for Robin Williams.

Diana (pictured left)

 

INVASION
Being a fan of Star Wars, I was excited to meet George Lucas.  Before leaving, he mentioned an actor who tried out for  Hans Solo and a friend of Mark Hamill who needed work.  He didn’t have a stage name yet and I was asked to give him his name.  I gave him my father’s first name of Robert…and for the country who was invading mine.

Robert Englund as Willie

I gave characters the names of those who entered my life during that time, Diana, Charles, and Elizabeth.

General Maxwell Larson

Over the months I would add characters, such as General Maxwell Larson who was known as “The Butcher of Birmingham” and made Alabama a smorgasbord.

Larson would be stylized with gold chains for another one of my characters named “Mr. T” in my show The A-Team.

After working on ideas for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and my television show “Dallas”, I added Mary Kruger to the lineup who was known as “The Dark Angel of Dallas”.

General Larson and Kruger showed up on the episode The “Visitors’ Choice”.

On the homefront, the citizens of Birmingham, Alabama met force with force as the Visitors attempt to subdue the city once known as The Pittsburgh of the South, employing guerilla tactics, carrying the fight to the streets.  The residents maneuver the Visitors into the BLACKWELL Oil Refinery, then set it afire.  At this hour, the fire rages out of control and it is said you can hear the REBEL YELL in the streets of Dixie tonight.” – Howard K. Smith for the Freedom Network

The above Freedom Network report by Howard K. Smith from the “The Overlord” episode was made up by me to reference the man who proclaimed me his enemy, Chris Blackwell of Island Records, Birmingham, Alabama being my birthplace, and at the time I had already made up the song “Rebel Yell” recorded by the artist I gave the stage name Billy Idol and worked on ideas for the film “Firestarter” (a reference to Def Leppard’s 1983 album titled Pyromania).  Much of the news report was inspired by discussion I had with Michael Jackson who told me about the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham.

PEACE

My attempt at peace came in the form of naming a character Elizabeth.  The half-human half-alien child born to Robin who was meant to bring peace between the two species.  After working on ideas for the book to film Firestarter, she would exhibit powers of telekinesis.

Her nickname of “The Starchild” came from meeting members of the band Kiss and Paul Stanley’s persona.

THE DIRECTOR

Every time I watched a new installment of “V” before the release I noticed the name of the director, Bruce Seth Green, flash across the screen.  Bruce also worked on many other of my creations, such as “Knight Rider”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel”, “Dawson’s Creek”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Baywatch”, and “Highlander”.

A new redheaded actor needed a stage name and I was asked to come up with it.  I gave him the name of Seth Green.

MICHAEL

Of course, with Michael Jackson and Michael Hutchence in my life I named a character for them.  The character Michael Donovan, news reporter and Freedom fighter, would be portrayed by actor Marc Singer.

Lori Singer and Kevin Bacon in Footloose

After working on ideas for the film Footloose, I was asked who I wanted to portray the character Ren McCormack.  Since my knowledge of what actors were available at that time, I asked for Marc Singer to take the role.

Marc’s sister, actress Lori Singer, was chosen for the character Ariel Moore.  The character name of Ariel was chosen after Michael Jackson and I decided to name Disney’s Little Mermaid and my work on the script for the film “Splash.

I was told Marc was not available for the role and Kevin Bacon, who appeared with Val Kilmer and Sean Penn in Slab Boys, was available.  Of note, Sean Penn had already been filming Taps (with the then little known Tom Cruise) and  Fast Times at Ridgemont High of which I worked on script ideas.

The idea for Kevin Bacon’s “Six Degrees of Separation” came from a discussion about how I ended up working in the industry and the actors chosen to appear in my projects.

A note on the film “Footloose”:  The idea for the film came from a discussion about my church, the Church of Christ, ban on dancing and the title comes from a little known play which Alabama native Tallulah Bankhead appeared in 1920 by playwright Zoe Akins.

Seen right is a photo of the actress with The Who’s guru Meher Baba and part inspiration for their 1971 song  “Baba O’Riley“, which Nirvana would record a cover.  I would use Baba’s saying, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (1988) to make up the song recorded by Bobby McFerrin.  Baba also called himself the “Avatar” which became the title of a film I worked on script ideas with James Cameron.

 

 

 

 

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Who you gonna call?

From Russia With LoveIt is not a new idea to turn science fiction into fact. Some even say, “Life is stranger than fiction.”

When they started making me watch all the James Bond films in 1983, I wondered if any of the gadgets “Q” invented were based on actual electronics or tools in the spy field. As a teen, I had heard a rumor that NASA borrowed an idea from Star Trek. Then meeting Steve Wozniak who told me about CERN developing the intranet, even made me think that these things were possible.

Bond on Car Phone

In the 1963 film “From Russia With Love”, James Bond not only had a pager which notified him when he needed to contact “M”, but he also had a radio phone installed in his car.  This intrigued me since my mother had retired from the phone company after 25 years of service.

I proposed the idea and my “cell phone” was created.  When it was ready I asked them to launch it on my father’s birthday of October 12th.  Then they asked me, “who do you want call?”  My first response was of course a relative of the Scottish born Alexander Graham Bell, knowing Sean Connery who appeared in the film was also Scottish.

It was only later, when I made fun of them that I came up with “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” which I was encouraged to make into a song.  (Hint:  What is another name for a spy?…ghost…spook)

The first commercial cell phone (car phone) was not introduced on my father’s birthday, but on October 13, 1983.

 

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

1.  Me.

2.  Chris Blackwell, of Island Records, proclaimed me his enemy in May of 1983 after I refused to keep quiet about being raped.  Chris Blackwell’s mother had an affair with James Bond author Ian Fleming.  Chris worked on the set of the James Bond film Dr. No. 

3.  Albert R. Broccolli, film producer, best known for producing the James Bond films at Pinewood Studios in London.  Formed Warwick Films and signed American actor Alan Ladd to his studio. 

4.  Alan Ladd, Jr.,  famous for giving George Lucas the go-ahead to make Star Wars.

5.  George Lucas, founded Lucasfilm

6.  Pixar, part of the computer division of Lucasfilm, co-founded by Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company I named “Apple Computers”.

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Dave Grohl’s Fake Birthday

Courtney Love ObitThe former drummer of Nirvana known by the stage name Dave “Eric” Grohl starting hanging around after Kurt Cobain had decided to give the actress/singer the stage name of Courtney Love.  The name for the actress/singer comes from the January 14, 1985 obituary for a woman from Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The middle name for the drummer came from my brother “Eric” and his public birthday for his bio came from the January 14, 1985 obituary (see above).

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