Good Morning Vietnam!

Michael Jackson and I talked about Muhammad Ali burning his draft card. It upset me for those who did go to Vietnam, fought, died, or returned home permanently injured. It was a hugely criticized war in which the anger was turned on those who fought and died for us.

I talked to Tom Cruise who decided to do a film based on the life of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, titled “Born on the Fourth of July” released in 1989. I also talked to Robin Williams who decided to do a film based on the experiences of AFRS radio DJ Adrian Cronauer in the film titled “Good Morning Vietnam” released in 1987.

After the soundtrack was picked for the film “Good Morning Vietnam”, I was given the information to use for my projects.  I chose  “Like Tweet” by jazz guitarist Joe Puma and Eddie Hall.  From the album, I used “Panic in the Birdcage” to come up with ideas for the Robin Williams film “The Birdcage”.

“Like Tweet” was also partially responsible behind me working with Steve Wozniak on ideas for “Twitter” and what I named “Tweets” and giving the the singer  the stage name “Tweet”.

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Stand By Me

feldman on mork“Well, they are still trying to slow me down and cannot post any new photos.  This is about the connection of naming the Stephen King film “Stand By Me” starring the child actor Corey Feldman introduced by Robin Williams and me making up the song “Train in Vain” recorded by The Clash.”


When I started working with Robin Williams on script ideas, the child actor Corey Feldman who appeared on Mork and Mindy in 1980 (seen left) started appearing in films we worked on.  This would include in the Peter Pan titled film “The Lost Boys” which I worked on script ideas with Michael Hutchence and INXS provided a song for the soundtrack.   With Robin, I came up with the idea for him to be the family man Peter who had forgotten his past life as Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, and Neverland in the film adaption named “Hook”.

Corey would go on to appear in the film adaption of Stephen King‘s “The Body” which I renamed “Stand By Me” for the Ben E. King song.  It was not unusual for me to name films which I worked on script ideas for song titles as a teen and consider it to be one of my “signatures”.  These films included “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Satisfaction” (renamed Girls of Summer),  “Pretty Woman”, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, “My Girl”, etc.  With King, working on script ideas for “Stand By Me” also lead to coming up with his novel “Cujo”.

“Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way” – Train In Vain recorded by The Clash

It was during this time I came up with the lyrics for the song “Train in Vain” which repeats the title “Stand By Me” in the lyrics.   Other influences while making up the song was Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” which is also used in the lyrics.

Many years later, when meeting Victoria’s Secret model Heidi Klum, we decided to give her the nickname “The Body” for the original title to Stephen King’s novel.

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Robin Williams

robin as peter“I can fly, my friends” – The Show Must Go On recorded by Queen

Recently I proposed the following question about the death of Robin Williams (seen left dressed as Peter Pan from the film adaption I named “Hook”)…

“Could there be a connection between the reports of Robin Williams found hanged with a belt and the death of Michael Hutchence of INXS who was found naked and hanging by his leather belt?”

You may question if Robin Williams and Michael Hutchence even knew each other.  The answer would be “YES”!!

feldman in lost boysI was with Michael Hutchence when I met Robin for the first time.  We talked about me being a fan of his character Mork from the television show Mork & Mindy.   Michael also told Robin about giving me the nickname “Tiger Lily” for the Peter Pan character.

This is when Robin spoke about the child actor Corey Feldman who appeared on an episode of Mork & Mindy in 1980.  Feldman would be chosen to appear in the “The Lost Boys” (seen right) which the film’s title comes from Peter Pan and the soundtrack included a song from INXS.

neverlandtink“We’re off to Never Never Land” – Enter Sandman recorded by Metallica

During these early days in 1983, I met Michael Jackson who decided to build a ranch naming it “Neverland” for the fictional land in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.  It was MJ who asked me if I knew who Disney’s mascot was and I only knew it was  a little fairy who flew across the screen.

Feldman not only took to dressing like MJ, but also spoke out about the pedophiles in the entertainment business which was to draw a connection to what was happening to me.


feldman and mj


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Peter and Tiger Lily

robin as peterCould there be a connection between the reports of Robin Williams found hanged with a belt and the death of Michael Hutchence of INXS who was found naked and hanging by his leather belt?

Remember…Tiger Lily!!

tiger and peter


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Oh Robin

Robin WilliamsRobin, you will be sorely missed.  My heart goes out to the William’s family.

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Simmer Down

scarlett pinching cheeks“Have you got color in your cheeks?”

I made up many silly songs over the years and when I made up the song “Do I Wanna Know?” recorded by the Artic Monkeys it was no different.


“Spilling drinks on my settee…”

The image of Scarlett O’Hara pinching her cheeks flashed in my head while I made up the song.  Other images that flashed around  happen to be the moment Scarlett met Rhett Butler as he popped his head over the settee and later when he brought her the beautiful green hat during her mourning period.

cheri oteri

“Simmer down…and pucker up”

For some reason, around Alabama people pick up sayings which often become annoying after a while, such as “Gitter Done”.  One I could draw a connection to was Cheri Oteri’s redheaded Nadeen character often exclaiming “Simmer Down Now”.  The character reminded me of Alabama native Polly Holliday‘s character Flo from the 1970’s television show Alice.Flo

This was all due to conversations with Michael Hutchence of INXS and him giving his brother the pseudonym Rhett for the character in Gone with the Wind.

kiss“I’m trying to kiss you…”


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Let’s Dance

shirley and bojanglesWhen Michael Jackson and I started working together in 1983, we talked a lot about my favorite black actors.  Due to my age, I equated my relationship with MJ with that of the young child actor Shirley Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (seen here behind the scenes of The Littlest Rebel 1935).

Temple’s movies were deemed appropriate for me to watch at home.  Many of the films and/or film titles became inspiration behind songs I made up.  These songs included “Rebel Yell” recorded by Billy Idol which was inspired by the film “The Littlest Rebel” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” recorded by Bonnie Tyler with the lyrics “turn around bright eyes…” inspired by the 1934 Shirley Temple film “Bright Eyes”.  From the 1934 film “Bright Eyes”, the popular Temple song  “On the Good Ship Lollipop” inspired me to make up the song “I Want Candy” recorded by the group I named “Bow Wow Wow”.

jackson and etWhile working on ideas and naming characters for the film E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, I named the child “Gertie” or “Gertrude” portrayed by the very young Drew Barrymore for Shirley Temple’s mother (Gertrude Amelia Temple) and her brother “Elliott” for Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.

lets danceIt was Michael who told me about Gertrude Temple’s brief acting career appearing in the 1937 film “Ali Baba Goes to Town” along with British actor Roland Young.

Actor Roland Young in 1922 appeared opposite Drew’s relative, John Barrymore, in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.  Young went on to appear in the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story which I would later use the character name Tracy Lord for the stage name of Traci Lords and film title of Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel WashingtonIn 1950, Young went on to appear in the film “Let’s Dance” opposite Betty Hutton and Fred Astaire, which became the title of the song I made up and recorded by David Bowie.

talk-dirty-to-me-part-iii-posterTo tie everything together, in 1984 the actress I named “Traci Lords” appeared in the pornographic spoof of the film “Splash” (starring Tom Hanks) titled Talk Dirty to Me, part III.  It was during this time I made up the song “Talk Dirty to Me” recorded by Poison and released in 1987 on the album I named Look What the Cat Dragged In.  Many years later, I would make up the song Talk Dirty recorded by Jason Derulo.




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Sail Sale Sell…Sold!

The_Devil_Went_Down_To_Georgia_cover“The Devil Inside” – recorded by INXS

In 1979-80, The Charlie Daniels Band song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” became a very popular song in the South and would be used on the soundtrack for the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy” starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.  Patsy Swayze, mother of Patrick Swayze, was the film’s choreographer.

I was a fan of the song by The Charlie Daniels Band and even used it to come up with a skit with friends at a Christian camp in Georgia in the summer of 1980.  After being discovered, the idea of the “man sells his soul to the devil” became the basis for many songs I made up after learning about the “crossroad” myth associated with Robert Johnson who died at the age of 27.  I also often accused Michael Hutchence and others of selling themselves in exchange for fame.

During this time I was being introduced to the music of David Bowie who would go on to records songs I made up, such as “Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)”.   MWSTWUS2Many years later, Kurt Cobain heard me singing Bowie’s 1970 song The Man Who Sold the World while warming up and decided to record a cover.

Kurt, before he faked his death at the age of 27 in 1994, was often tweaking his public persona while I made up songs he would record.  When he decided to say he had been diagnosed  with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) as a child, I made up the song known as “Sail” recorded by the group I named Awolnation.

The imagery for the song came from the idea of an auctioneer harking “sell”, instead of “sold”.  The lyrics were also written to reflect the point of view of Kurt, with “Maybe I should kill myself” and “Blame it on my ADD”.

Another song I wrote during this time was “Come With Me Now” eventually recorded by the group I named the “Kongos”.  It also reflects the theme of a man coming to a crossroads inspired by the blues great Robert Johnson.

crossroadsSome of the songs I made up were a cross between rock and country which were recorded by Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and many others.  In early 2000, I had the chance to come up with the idea for a CMT television show with artists who recorded my songs which includes Robert Plant with Allison Krauss, Kenny Rogers with Alabama native Lionel Richie, and Def Leppard with Taylor Swift.  In honor of Robert Johnson, I named the show “Crossroads”.


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Brian May

mad maxWhen Michael Hutchence and I first met in 1983, he asked me if I had seen the 1979 Australian film Mad Max.  Since I had not seen the film, he told me about it and those who worked on the film.  One such person was the films composer, Australian Brian May.

It would be a short time later we were working on songs for my newly named band Queen.  I gave Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara) his stage name, which came from the label “Mercury Records” who Def Leppard released their 1983 album Pyromania under in the USA.

It was shortly after someone told me Freddie (Farrokh) was coming to meet me and I made up the creepy nursery rhyme “One two Freddy’s coming for you…” used in my 1984 horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.

During this time I also gave another member of Queen their stage name, this would be British guitarist Brian May.

vincent-gilMany years later I would give a country singer his stage name also from an actor who appeared in the 1979 film Mad Max.  This person was Vince Gil for Australian actor Vincent Gil who portrayed “Nightrider” and inspired the name of my American television show Knight Rider.

Nightmare6In 1991, the Australian composer Brian May worked on the score for what was to be the last film in my Freddy film series.

The Freddy film series was named for Elm Street where former President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

The Australian lead singer of INXS chose November 22nd as the day in 1997 to leave the public life.

maxq_11The title to the film “Mad Max” was instrumental in me giving Michael Hutchence the nickname “Max” and in him naming his solo project “Max Q”.

Of course, Johnny Depp had a role in my 1984 horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.  michael-hutchence-and-johnny-depp-michael-hutchence



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The Barefoot Contessa

Headhunter_coverAfter the May 15, 1983 Def Leppard concert at Boutwell Auditorium, I soon met members of the band Krokus who opened that night.  It was while learning about how the band chose the name, that I discovered one of the founding members was a trained chef.

Somehow most conversations turned to “food” with different band members who hailed from all over the world.  With Michael Hutchence and Tim Farris of INXS, I learned about the ever popular Vegemite.  Soon after I made up a song about it.  This song was “Down Under” recorded by the Australian group “Men at Work“.

While working on songs to be recorded by Prince, I made up another song with a reference to food after I made up the song “Darling Nikki”.  This same day, sitting across from Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, I made up the song “U Got The Look”.

Kurt Cobain thought it would be funny for me to make up a song about one of my mother’s favorite recipes for Pound Cake.  The song would be recorded by one of my favorite bands, Van Halen.

Barefoot_ContessaOne of their favorite topics were old films and television shows, most of which had ties to the James Bond film producer Albert R. Broccoli and his friendship with multi-millionaire Howard Hughes.

One such film was the 1954 film The Barefoot Contessa which not only starred one of Hughes former flames, Ava Gardner, but also Bessie Love who played small roles in the James Bond thriller On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971).  The latter of which became the title to my song about the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama called “Bloody Sunday” recorded by the Irish band U2.  Chris Blackwell of Island Records, who’s mother had an affair with the James Bond author, takes much credit for the band’s success.

30_th_book_bcahI was not only given the opportunity to come up with the idea for the “Food Network” but also in the format.  It was during this time I gave a chef the moniker “The Barefoot Contessa”.

Her stage name of “Ina Garten” was derived by me from the 1968 Iron Butterfly song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida“.


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