In Utero 2

in uteroIn 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 discoveelviscooperred 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.

jesseJesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before him.

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 ClooneyJohn Goodman, and Holly Hunter.

the darkThe film “The Dark Half” starring Timothy Hutton as Thad Beaumont was released in conjunction with Nirvana’s album In Utero in 1993.

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Iggy Azalea

iggyKurt Cobain often talked about The Stooges and Iggy Pop went on to record songs I wrote.  This includes  “The Passenger” which Michael Hutchence was not only present when I wrote it, but went on to record a fabulous version for the 1995 Batman Forever soundtrack.

It was after that I decided to give another artist the name “Iggy”.  This would become the stage name of the Australian artist Iggy Azalea who would record songs I wrote.

screen-capture-3In 1967, Alabama native Tallulah Bankhead would be a special guest as the villain “The Black Widow” on an episode of Batman.

The character name “Black Widow” was suggested for the title to a new song which I would write.  The song would be recorded with the artist I named Iggy and another artist I gave the stage name Rita Ora.

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Elvis, Alabama, and The Farriss Brothers

samphillipsHey little sister what have you done?
Hey little sister who’s the only one?
Hey little sister who’s your superman?
Hey little sister who’s the one you want?
Hey little sister shot gun!

It’s a nice day to start again.
It’s a nice day for a white wedding” – White Wedding Recorded by Billy Idol

Elvis_-_Little_SisterAs a teen, it was Michael Jackson who told me Elvis Presley was discovered by Alabama native Sam Phillips who founded Sun Records.  This is when I started writing the song “White Wedding” with lyrics inspired by the song Little Sister written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and recorded by Elvis (1961).

It was during this time  I also made up the song “Girls, Girls, Girls”  recorded by  Mötley Crüe, borrowing the title from the 1962 Elvis film Girls! Girls! Girls!, named after the Coasters’ song.

MJ started making references to Elvis through his public life, as did many others who were involved.  This includes Steve Clark of Def Leppard who faked his death.

INXSMichael Hutchence asked Tim Farriss to say his birthday is August 16th and INXS was born on August 16, 1977, the day Elvis died.

This is the anniversary of Michael leaving the public life on the day JFK died in 1963 on Elm Street in my father’s home of Dallas, Texas.

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Atlas Corporation

hughesIn 1948, Howard Hughes, Albert R. Broccoli’s mentor and long time friend, gained control of RKO by acquiring 25 percent of the outstanding stock from Floyd Odlum‘s Atlas Corporation.

Many of RKO’s films were brought in for me to watch, such as the 1942 film Cat People which I worked on ideas for the remake released in 1983 as well as the theme song recorded by David Bowie.  Other RKO films we decided to do remakes of were King Kong (original 1933), Little Women (original 1933), Alfred Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. SmithJoan of Arc (original 1948), The Ghost Ship (original 1943), and Dick Tracy which was Madonna’s idea.

mr blandings builds his dream houseAnother film that I loved is Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948).  The original “Mr. Blandings” was brought in for me to watch when I was teenager.  I connected with the film, since my mother is a real estate agent and I had been through many home renovations growing up.

whamMr. Blandings (Cary Grant) is an  account executive in the advertising business.  His latest ad campaign is for the fictional product “WHAM!”.

wham!This is where I got the idea to name a group “WHAM!” who would record songs I made up.

I was asked to give the singers their stage names which was soon after I met George Lucas.  I came up with the name “George Michael”, with Michael for Michael Hutchence and Michael Jackson.  Hutch had already told me he was giving part of my writing credit for the INXS songs to Andrew Farriss, so I named another singer Andrew.

Money_pit_movie_posterIt was the film “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” that inspired me to come up with the comedy The Money Pit (1986) starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.  The film was co-executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

During the 1950’s, RKO was in turmoil under Hughes leadership as he was more interested in his aviation projects.  The only smash hits released by RKO came out during this period and neither were in-house productions: Goldwyn’s Hans Christian Andersen (1952) followed by Disney’s Peter Pan (1953).

frozenIt was with Michael Jackson, I worked on adaptions of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” for the Tom Hanks vehicle “Splash” and later ideas using Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” for songs such as “Frozen” recorded by Madonna and “Snow White Queen” recorded by Evanescence.  Both stories would be revitalized by Disney as “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen” which takes it’s name from my song.

Of course, we made many references to “Peter Pan” which includes my nickname of Tiger Lily from Michael Hutchence, Michael Jackson’s Neverland, the vampire film “The Lost Boys” which INXS provided a song for the soundtrack, and the Spielberg film “Hook” starring Robin Williams.

THE MONEY PIT

OzzyOsbourne_MrCrowley_Single_1980During the time we were working on ideas for the film “The Money Pit”, I was writing songs which would be recorded by Ozzy Osbourne.  These songs included “Crazy Train”, “Bark at the Moon”, and “Flying HIgh Again”.

This is why I named the character Anna Crowley portrayed by Shelley Long for the song “Mr. Crowley” and Walter Fielding, Sr. (portrayed by Douglass Watson) fled the country after embezzling millions of dollars from their musician clients.

Of course, I also had to name a character “Max”.

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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, hekurt was able to claim it for an Australian artist.

“Saw a million pieces of the shape I’m in
Hanging from a chandelier” – Put the Pieces Back Together by Michael Hutchence

 

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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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