DESMOND CHILD – “GENE SIMMONS Called Me A Song Doctor So That He Didn’t Have To Say I Was A Co-Writer”
November 28, 2023, 3 months ago
Desmond Child, the songwriter and producer behind dozens of Billboard hits including Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer", Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You", Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like A Lady", and Alice Cooper's "Poison", released his first memoir, Livin’ On a Prayer: Big Songs Big Life, back in September in North America via Radius Book Group. The memoir, which includes a foreword by KISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley, was released in the UK on November 2, published by Radius.
Desmond Child spoke to Greece’s Rockpages.gr to talk about his autobiography, life, career, and songwriting.
Child on songwriting: "I’ve written say 3000 songs. Of those 3000, maybe half of them got recorded. And out of those, 80 or 90 got in the top 40. Out of those maybe 20 or something were in the top 20. And then, maybe 12 were in the Top 10, and then maybe seven or eight went to No.1. So, it took 3000 songs, and a lot of them bad, to come up with some good ones, that lasted… that stood the test of time.
“Gene Simmons called me a song doctor so that he didn’t have to say I was a co-writer! I never doctor a song. I come in with a blank page. I don’t know what’s going to happen. And we collaborate together. On most of the songs, all of the songs I collaborated with Paul Stanley. So maybe, you know, Gene has had his own collaborators, so then they would come together and choose the best of the songs. So they were working double time.
“We had pretty good success together… ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’, ‘Heaven’s On Fire’, ‘Uh! All Night’, ‘You Make Me Rock Hard’, ‘King Of The Mountain’, ‘Who Wants To Be Lonely’… I love that song. I think that song’s very profound, you know? And it really wasn’t made for the KISS Army, let’s just put it that way. But, I think Paul had a need to be more expressive. So that’s how that song came about.”
Book description: Desmond Child is the ultimate hitmaker, contributing to some of the biggest smash global hits that helped ignite the success of music icons KISS, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, and countless others. In Livin’ On A Prayer, he reveals how he climbed his way to the top and beyond amid extraordinary circumstances and shares his very personal and unbelievable journey that shaped him into an artist of international renown.
For over half a century, Desmond Child has collaborated with the world’s most celebrated artists creating timeless hits, such as Bon Jovi’s “Livin' On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name” as well as Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “The Cup Of Life” amongst his vast catalog. But in Livin’ On A Prayer, Desmond himself takes center stage to share his transformational story from misfit outsider to cultural pacesetter.
In collaboration with legendary music biographer David Ritz, Child recounts his unconventional upbringing as his colorful family fled Cuba in the 1960s and fell into poverty. He details his shocking discovery at age 18 that the man he called “dad” was not his biological father after all, and he courageously bares his soul about navigating the trials of being a Latino gay man in the macho world of rock and roll. His is a story of willing himself to succeed and overcome impossible odds to establish himself as one of the most influential composers and lyricists of all time.