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An interviewer once asked Knight why so many of her songs seem to be about fighting. Not one to sit back on her laurels, Knight is still as passionate and driven about music as she was in her late teens. Chapman wasn't on the band's list of contenders but showed up and convinced them he was their guy. But band and producer had a harsh falling-out. Not every artist could deal Chapman's ego and power fetishes he once dressed as George Patton for a magazine shoot. He had rules about songwriting too: start with the title.
Look for an odd, strikingly weird twist that goes against the song's grain to put in, get it done in a day whenever possible. Stuff he wanted to teach aspiring talent. Take Motown or Stax, where a small army of songwriters and musicians and arrangers put together hit after hit for a stable of artists. Over the last thirty years, certain songwriters—Diane Warren, Mutt Lange, Babyface, Knight, and Chapman among them—made names as go-to folks who could pen you a hit almost overnight.
When Knight left Spider for California and songwriting, she was working with Chapman at his house when the phone rang: it was Pat Benatar.
When he hung up, Knight started playing a chord sequence Chapman loved. Then he said, "That's very catchy and commercial, so let's write something sick on top of it. Like… love is a battlefield. They did it in a day, as promised. The lyrics limn that Knight staple, a tough but tender woman. The last line to fall into place clinched it: "No promises, no demands. But she got over it. More important, she says, is that "Women artists responded to my ethos of female empowerment.
I was fierce and passionate and they connected with that. After finally leaving abusive husband Ike, she'd flown solo but not very high. The massive hit, with Tina stepping out from rhythm and blues and into rock, sparked the album ' Private Dancer ' to go multi-platinum.
And Turner became a Knight fan, recording her songs for years. Knight teamed with Nick Gilder and came up with " The Warrior ," a strikingly passionate lyric where equal partners "Who's the hunter, who's the game?
Smyth's glorious voice nailed the emotional tensions on this chart-topper. Is the story about you? Robert: I feel like graduating medical school might be slightly less difficult than writing a successful Broadway musical.
Holly: Definitely. I just got back from Europe where I was photographing castles in the countryside and doing a lot of black and white. I take it very seriously. Robert: For someone who is not anywhere near as famous as she could be, your name comes up a lot in conversations I have with other artists. I remember that night clearly because Paul thought he might want to produce them.
We were in the hallway as Axl walked by and he had heels on and was quite tall and really skinny with the long red hair of course. Should I produce them?
Paul loves the fact that I said it, and has never let me forget it. I suppose I was wrong. I was seeing them live and the sound at the Whisky that night was terrible. I definitely found Axl interesting as a singer.
That was undeniable. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Holly: It happens a lot. Someone texts me almost every day to say that they just heard one of my songs while they were out. Last year was a good year for me. I had a song in Stranger Things. Robert: While out in public, have you ever heard someone make a comment about one of your songs, good or bad, without them knowing you were there?
They were singing along and looking at each other and just having the best time, you know? It was actually more rewarding for me to just watch that go on.
It was like my own little Private Idaho moment, being able to see people enjoying my work. It surprises a lot of people when they discover his long history as a talented musician. On the other side of things, have you ever sat down to collaborate with a famous artist and been surprised by their lack of talent or musicianship? Holly: Many times. Sometimes I get together with artists and leave truly amazed, wondering how they made it.
There was one particular person who I was really looking forward to working with, but when we got together, he was far more interested in doing drugs and taking breaks. They would finish those songs without me. Let me hear something else. They had absolutely nothing to contribute.
Holly: Exactly. Tony Bennett is like that as well. Tony is not a songwriter but he is a great interpreter of them. He also always mentions the songwriters when he performs, which almost no one ever does.
Robert: In your very well deserved Songwriting Hall of Fame honor came.HOLLY KNIGHT is an accomplished songwriter, producer and musician. She has written hits for some of the biggest artists in music. Recently the songstress was nominated into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame for Her songs have won three Grammys for best vocal performance with Pat Benatar and Tina Turner in the rock category. She was voted Best Songwriter in Rolling Stones' 11th annual poll.