Island Records

blackwellChris Blackwell, founder of Island Records and the man who proclaimed me his enemy when I was 15, named the record label for the  Harry Belafonte song “Island in the Sun” which was the title song for the 1957 film. Island_in_the_Sun_1957The film, “Island in the Sun” was directed by Robert Rossen.  One of Rossen’s better known films is the The Hustler (1961) starring Paul Newman. While I was working on other projects, Tom Cruise decided he wanted to make a remake loosely based on “The Hustler” which was newly titled The Color of Money (1986).

JAMES PATTERSON

James Patterson (pen name) – The last film Robert Rossen wrote and directed was the 1964 film Lilith based on a novel by J. R. Salamanca.  The film had many big stars such as Warren Beatty, Peter Fonda, and Gene Hackman. The film also starred actor James Patterson as Dr. Lavrier.  Patterson had appeared in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night, episodes of the tv shows Flipper, The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza, Felony Squad, and two episodes of Mission Impossible.  The latter of which one reason Tom Cruise wanted to the Mission Impossible film series. The real James Patterson died in 1972.

ALEX CROSS

Fury_posterThe real Alex Cross that I named my character for was the actor Alexander Augustine Cross from Monmouthshire, Wales.  He appeared in Fritz Lang’s 1936 film “Fury” (aka Furie) along with Bruce Cabot who made his last screen appearance in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever with Sean Connery

cool worldCOOL WORLD (1992)

Robert Rossen also wrote the 1960 play “The Cool World” (it was made into a film 1962) which I used the title to come up with a vehicle for Brad Pitt.  Script ideas for the 1992 live-action/animated film “Cool World” comes from the 1946 film “A Matter of Life and Death” (working title Stairway to Heaven) starring Roger Moore’s friend David Niven.

Alexander_great_posterALEXANDER THE GREAT (2004)

Robert Rossen wrote, produced and directed the 1956 film “Alexander the Great”.  In the 1990’s, I read the 1972 novel “The Persian Boy” by Mary Renault and wanted to make a film about Alexander the Great based on the novel.  Unfortunately, the estate of Renault would not give permission to use her novel, but the 2004 film is loosely based on it.

LOLITA

LolitaPoster“Just like the old man in that book by Nabokov” – Don’t Stand So Close to Me recorded by The Police

James Mason starred in the 1957 film “Island in the Sun”.  He is probably best known for appearing in the 1962 adaption of Vladimir Nabokov novel Lolita. After Joe Elliott of Def Leppard stalked, drugged, raped and kidnapped me and then Chris Blackwell of Island Records was called in to keep it quiet, I started using references to Lolita in my work.  I didn’t identify with the spoiled and overtly-sexualized Lolita character, but could draw a correlation between the character Humbert Humbert portrayed by James Mason and Joe Elliott.Crushposter93 This lead to me writing the song  “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” recorded by The Police. It also lead to me working on script ideas for the 1992 film Poison Ivy starring Drew Barrymore and the 1993 film The Crush starring Alicia SilverstoneFor “The Crush” I named the character Nick Eliot for Joe Elliott and named a character for myself.

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Terence Young

terence_mainTerence Young is best known for being the director of the first three James Bond films, Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Thunderball (1965).

I was given a list of his work to use and come up with new film ideas, television shows, and to write new songs.  With the list of his work, I was also given a list of the actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, etc. to work from.

RASPBERRY BERET – PRINCE

red beretThe Red Beret (1953) – My prerogative to change, and wrote the song “Raspberry Beret” recorded by Prince.

COLIN JAMES FARRELL

“Colin James Farrell” stage name – The Red Beret starred actor Alan Ladd who appeared in the 1939 film Rulers of the Sea, in which he played a character named “Colin Farrell.”  The Irish actor who uses the name also uses the first name of Ian Fleming’s James Bond character for his middle name.  It was my idea for the Irish actor to read Ian Fleming’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” in the remake of my film “Total Recall”.

WHEN DOVES CRY – PRINCE

when-wolves-cryL’Arbre de Noel (US: The Christmas Tree aka When Wolves Cry) (1969) – Again my prerogative to change, and came up with “When Doves Cry” recorded by Prince.

HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS (1989) & HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KIDS (1992)

A Child’s Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car (1965 tv short) – Terence appeared in the tv short as himself.  I came up with the ideas for the 1989 film “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and 1992 sequel “Honey, I Blew Up the Kids”.

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Pinewood Studios – Home of the James Bond films

To begin with, I was given a list of films and television show titles filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, home of the James Bond films, to use and come up with original script ideas for films or television shows to be released in the US.  In some instances, I used the film or tv show titles to write a song.  This is not a complete list…

LET”S DANCE – DAVID BOWIE

the_red_shoes_1948_movie_posterThe Red Shoes” (1947) – I first used the film title in the lyrics of the song “Let’s Dance” recorded by David Bowie (1983).  “Let’s Dance” (1950) was also a film title starring “Betty Hutton and Fred Astaire“.  I later used “The Red Shoes” to come up with ideas for Red Shoe Diaries (1992) for Showtime.

OBSESSION – ANIMOTION

Obsession_(The_Hidden_Room)_posterObsession” (1947) – This was a film released in the US as “The Hidden Room” – I used the British title to write the song “Obsession”  recorded by Animotion (1983).  A version of the song would be used in the theatrical trailer for 1986 film 9½ Weeks which I worked on the script.

“THE NET” (1995)

  • ThenetThe Net” (1952) – Working with Steve “The Woz” Wozniak, of Apple Computers, and Bill Gates, on ideas for the World Wide Web and computers influenced me at times.  One of the first films scripts I came up with, War Games (1983), happened while working with The Woz.  It eventually lead to me working on ideas using the 1952 British film title for the 1995 starring Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam and Dennis Miller of the same title.

PURPLE RAIN – PRINCE

The_Purple_PlainThe Purple Plain (1954) – Robert Parrish, who directed The Purple Plain with Gregory Peck also directed the 1967 adaption of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.  The film, also starred Bernard Lee who is known for portraying “M” in the James Bond films.  I changed the film title just a bit, which is my prerogative, and wrote the song “Purple Rain” recorded by Prince (1984).

Designing Women (1957) – The Purple Plain starred Gregory Peck, who in 1957 starred in the film “Designing Women” which I used the title to come up with original ideas for the television show launched in 1986.

Cape Fear (1961) – Peck appeared in the 1961 film as Sam Bowden.  He would also appear in the 1991 remake as Lee Heller which I also worked on script ideas with Robert De Niro.

The Day of the Jackal (1973) – Actor Maurice Denham, who appeared in The Purple Plain, also appeared in the The Net and in the 1973 film “The Day of the Jackal” based on Frederick Forsyth’s novel.   I worked on the script ideas for the loosely based film The Jackal (1997).

Hysteria (1965) – Actor Maurice Denham, also appeared in the film Hysteria which was used to write the title song Hysteria recorded by Def Leppard (1987).

The Nanny (1965) – Actor Maurice Denham, also appeared in the 1965 film “The Nanny” which I not only used as part of the inspiration of the song “Fat Bottom Girls” recorded by Queen, but also to come up with ideas for the The Nanny tv show which launched in 1993.

SundaybloodysundaySunday Bloody Sunday (1971) – Most people do not realize that Sunday Bloody Sunday is actually a film title, which Maurice Denham appeared in, and I used the title to write the song Sunday Bloody Sunday recorded by U2.  Before this, Bloody Sunday (1965), was the violent suppression of a March 7, 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama by state and local law enforcement.  What happened in 1972 in Ireland is known as the Bogside Massacre, but after I wrote the song the government changed the name.

Shout at the Devil (1976) – Roger Moore starred in Shout at the Devil along with actor Maurice Denham.  I used the film title to write the title song Shout at the Devil recorded by Mötley Crüe.

The Chain (1984) – Maurice Denham was filming The Chain when I wrote the song  “The Chain” recorded by Fleetwood Mac using the film title.  Other songs I wrote and released on the album Rumours includes, “Go Your Own Way“, “Dreams“, “Don’t Stop“, “You Make Loving Fun”  and Gold Dust Woman.

THE LION KING (1994)

SimbaSimba” (1955) – Actor Earl Cameron had portrayed Quarrel in the James Bond film Dr. No (1962) also starred in the film Simba.  Working with Michael Jackson, we came up with ideas for 1994 animated film “The Lion King” with the film centering around the life of a young lion we named “Simba”.

LOST (2004-2010)

Lost (also called Tears for Simon) (1956) – I used the film title to come up with ideas for the television show which aired in 2004 to 2010.  It was great influenced by having worked on ideas for Jurassic Park film series and the reality tv series “Survivor” with Bob Geldof.

TITANIC (1997)

A_Night_to_Remember_(film_poster)A Night to Remember (1957) – The 1957 British film recounting the final night of the RMS TitanicSean Connery would be uncredited as Steerage Passenger.  This lead to the making of the 1997 film Titanic attributed to the man I gave the stage name James Cameron for Ian Fleming’s James Bond character and actor Earl Cameron who appeared in Simba as well as Dr. No.

SQUARE PEGS (1983)

The_Square_Peg_FilmPoster

  • The Square Peg (1958) – The title was used to come up with the short lived kids tv show “Square Pegs” featuring a young Sarah Jessica Parker.

YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG – AC/DC

All_Night_Long_FilmPosterAll Night Long (1961) – This was a film title I often used writing songs.  This includes for “You Shook Me All Night Long” recorded by the Australian band AC/DC and “All Night” recorded by Def Leppard.

1999 – PRINCE

Space1999_Year1_Title

Space: 1999 (1974) – I used only part of the title for the little known British tv show to write song “1999” recorded by Prince.

KRYPTONITE – 3 DOORS DOWN

Superman_ver1Superman (1977) – Pinewood studios is not only considered home of the James Bond film series, but the Superman film series.  I often used references to Superman in songs, this includes writing “Bicycle Race” recorded by Queen, “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” recorded by Spin Doctors, “Superman’s Song” recorded by the Crash Test Dummies, and “Kryptonite” recorded by 3 Doors Down after I heard about Chistopher Reeve’s accident in 1995 that left him a quadriplegic.

I also worked on ideas for the 1984 spin-off Supergirl and the 1993 television show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

THE CLASH (Band)

Clash_of_the_titansposterClash Of The Titans (1979) – I used the name of the film to name the British band “The Clash” fronted by Joe Strummer.

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Chris Blackwell of Island Records

chris

When I met Chris in May of 1983, he was no stranger to Alabama. In 1971, he brought Jimmy Cliff to record in Muscle Shoals. Several cuts, including “Sitting in Limbo,” ended up on the soundtrack of the cult reggae film, “The Harder They Come.” He booked the studio and brought Steve Winwood’s band Traffic to Muscle Shoals to record as well.  Both artists were signed to Island Records.

Steve Winwood’s brother, “Muff”, also worked for Island Records and produced the first Dire Straits album.

In 1977, Chris founded Compass Point Studio, Nassau, Bahamas. Labor Day weekend I was off to Nassau and missed the first day of high school.

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Missing Persons

missingI went to THE POLICE in late May of 1983 when I was kidnapped from my home by Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Kurt Cobain who was working with the band, and another man I never knew his name and they took me to the hotel in downtown Birmingham.

Joe was able to escape the hotel with many of his roadies, but Kurt and the other man were taken in for questioning.  So, it was a surprise when I woke again to Kurt staring me in the face and found myself back at the hotel the next day.  Throughout the summer, this continued to happen and I didn’t understand why they were not in jail.

It was during this time I tried to play along, to make up songs, other times I would get mad and fought back.  It didn’t seem to matter to them as long as they got what they wanted.  My trail of breadcrumbs in naming bands and song lyrics didn’t seem to get the police or the public’s attention either.  This included naming the band “The  Police, “Warrant”, and even “Missing Persons”.

Among the songs I wrote and recorded by Missing Persons included “Destination Unknown,” “Words,” and “Walking in L.A.”.

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Florida Georgia Line

flora bamaI grew up hearing about the Flora-Bama bar situated on the Florida and Alabama state lines in Perdido Key Florida.  Even though I do not consume alcohol, many of my friends talked about their wild nights hanging out there on vacation.  About 10 years ago, I finally went for a night out to check it out for myself.  florabama2

It was after this that I decided to name a new band The Florida Georgia Line, for the states that my much loved grandfather was born in (Florida) and died in (Georgia).

miles11For this group, I wrote the songs “Cruise” and “This Is How We Roll“, both a throw back to when I was a teen cruising and tradition continues among the young and young at heart along the strips of Gulf Shores, Alabama to Panama City Beach strip.

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Damn Yankees

Damn_Yankees_1958Damn Yankees was a 1955 Broadway musical turned film in which the song “What Lola Wants, Lola Gets” became famous.

maxwell caulfieldMuch of what they were teaching me about the entertainment industry was lost on me, but I made many connections to some films.  Tad Hunter who appeared in the film version of Damn Yankees had appeared in the 1982 film Grease 2.  At the time, I had a poster of actor Maxwell Caulfield who had a lead role in Grease 2 on the back of my bedroom door.  When Joe Elliott of Def Leppard entered my life he ordered that the poster be taken down and posters of him and his band be put up in my room.

Later, Kurt Cobain found out about J.D. Salinger’s character Holden “Caulfield” and decided to use him as inspiration for his public persona.

At the time, I was working on ideas for horror master Vincent Price, such as using his voice on Thriller with Michael Jackson and in Edward Scissorhands, and found out that in the 1970’s he starred as Applegate in summer stock productions of the show Damn Yankees.

When asked what I wanted to name a new band, made up of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent, and Michael Cartellone (then an unknown drummer, but one who would later join Lynyrd Skynyrd) I told them “Damn Yankees”.

Before the invention of the band Damn Yankees, I had been writing songs for the band Styx and the Montgomery, Alabama native Tommy Shaw.

gremlinsThe new band would record my song “High Enough“.  The song “Damn Yankees” would be on the soundtrack for “Gremlins 2″ which I had worked on the original with the title inspired by Roald Dahl’s children book (seen left).  Dahl is known for his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and worked on the script for James Bond author Ian Fleming’s children book “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.  Fleming’s step cousin actor and horror master Christopher Lee appeared in Gremlin’s 2.

I find it unfortunate that Styx is doing shows with Def Leppard.  Can only hope they are keeping an eye on Joe Elliott and keeping him from abusing other little girls.

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