Tag Archives: Michele Bennett

Guns N’ Roses

Tom Cruise and I were talking about the beach and I had been to Pensacola, Florida recently.  He told me that when they were scouting for locations for the film “Taps”that they looked at the Naval base in Pensacola.

We talked about my grandfather who had been an avaitor and would also serve in the Navy during World War II.

Ideas started being thrown around for a film when a friend of Tom’s who was listening walked by and announced “Top Gun“.  Kurt Cobain jumped out of seat and said,  “Guns N’ Roses“.

We decided to give the lead singer the stage name “Axl Rose” for the character “Rose Axelrod” in Endless Love portrayed by actress Beatrice Straight.  Tom Cruise had an uncredited role in the film.

The first song I would write for the band was  “Welcome to the Jungle” inspired by Michael Hutchence and I working on ideas for the film Crocodile Dundee, the name of which was inspired by the Jungle Book song “Parade Song of the Camp Animals” about Bonnie Dundee.   Used in the lyrics is a mention of “disease” which was inspired by one of my favorite Beatle’s songs “Come Together” with the lyrics, “Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease”.

I continued writing songs which the band recorded and includes Paradise City and Sweet Child O’ Mine.  I would also write the song  My Michelle which was inspired by The Beatle’s song “Michelle”.  Michael Hutchence decided to give his first fake public girlfriend the name of Michelle (sometimes spelled Michele) Bennett.  Courtney Love would also choose the name for part of her stage name.

I would continue writing songs for the band including, “Mr. Brownstone“, “Patience“, “November Rain“, “Don’t Cry“, and more.

The band would claim Izzy’s girlfriend’s name is Desi which is a reference to Lucille Ball’s husband.  Izzy was my grandmother’s nickname and short for Isabelle.

Someone else wrote “Rocket Queen” which was a reference to the name of the pee-wee football team I cheered for.  This also inspired me to name a band “Love and Rockets” (former members of Bauhaus) and to write the song “Rocket” for Def Leppard.

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Freedom of Speech

I could see the look of horror fall across Frank Rich’s face as they told him he must keep quiet about his words, and his name, being inspiration to me over the years.  Courtney Love was nearly yelling at him while pointing at me with Michael Jackson quietly by shaking his head in agreement as others started crowding into the small hotel room.  As a journalist of entertainment news and the artists encroaching on his freedom of speech, this must have been difficult to hear.

The October 1, 1983 review of A Chorus Line titled “A Chorus of Love” was not only inspiration for me, but also to Michael Hutchence who found the Australian actress Kylie Minogue while seeking a girl who resembled the actress Donna McKechnie pictured with choreographer Michael Bennett in the review.  Hutch would also use the photo of Michael Bennett and Donna McKechnie as inspiration for publicity photos of him with Helena and Kylie.

Of course, Michael Bennett was  inspiration for choosing the pseudonym of the model who stood in for his  first public girlfriend Michele Bennett.  Michele Bennett also being the name of the ex-wife of former President for Life of Haiti, Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, who were married at the time Michael chose the name.  This is what inspired the actress who goes by the stage name Courtney Love to also chose the middle name of Michelle when she started hanging around.

Before Kylie was found, the curly locks actress Jennifer Grey was found for the role of New Yorker Francis “Baby” Houseman.  The character’s origin of New York chosen for The New York Times article by Frank Rich.  Grey’s surname inspiring the stage name of William “Rocky” Grey formerly a member of Evanescence.

The title to Dirty Dancing was chosen after I wrote Dirty Diana performed by Michael Jackson inspired by Prince’s 1980 album and song Dirty Mind while I wrote songs for the Purple Rain album released in 1984.

The picture of choreographer Michael Bennett in the review of A Chorus Line inspiring the character Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) being a dance instructor.  The name being chosen for music producer John “Mutt” Lange.

The character name of the personal physician of Max Kellerman (Jack Weston), being inspired by the pet name Max I gave Michael Hutchence in 1983.

The name Penny Johnson (Rhodes) was chosen for the girl who invited me to the Def Leppard concert on May 15, 1983 where Joe Elliott spotted me in the audience.  This was also the inspiration for Kurt Cobain to write the song Pennyroyal Tea, an herb that was used as an abortifacient drawing a connection to the character Penny who would seek an abortion in the film.  The herb, in fact, used as an insect repellent and by Indian women to relieve painful menstruation.  Supposedly some herbal books do claim it will induce an abortion, though the herb can result in death in large doses such as the case of an 18-year-old in 1979.

Michael Hutchence and Nile Rodgers would inspire me to make up the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” after telling me about actor Will Lee.  As a member of the Group Theater in the 1930’s, he appeared in The Time of Your Life as Willie the pinball machine addict.  Lee, who was best known for his much loved role of Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street, had passed in December of 1982.

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Fake girlfriend Michele Bennett

In late 1983, Hutch chose Michèle Bennett, the name of wife of former President for Life of Haiti, Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, as the name of his first fake public girlfriend.  The girl who posed in photos was a model INXS manager, Chris Murphy, hired for The One Thing music video.

The name was originally inspired by choreographer Michael Bennett from the review of A Chorus Line that inspired me to name a band Evanescence.

The photo’s that were supposedly taken at Michael Hutchence’s graduation were actually taken in 1983 by a professional photographer, not in the late 70’s.

Michael would often disclose tidbits about our relationship for his biography or articles, but often referring to me as Michele.

The only time I am referred to by my real name is in the lyrics of the INXS song Reckless Ways.

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