Thursday Threesome #4: Top Gun, Robert Palmer, Michael Jackson

We’re back again for the final installment of Thursday Threesome where we present three songs that are seemingly unrelated, let you watch/listen to the videos THEN reveal how they’re related. Ready? Let’s go!

#1 “The Top Gun Anthem”

#2 Robert Palmer “Your Mother Should Have Told You”

#3 Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”

Think you know the connection?

Here we go…

This week’s songs feature Steve Stevens on guitar. Stevens is most recognizable as the guitarist for Billy Idol. He’s also played for Vince Neil (of Motley Crue fame), Sebastian Bach (of Skid Row) and also has an accomplished solo career. In my opinion, he’s one of the most underrated guitar players from the 80’s. His guitar work on several Billy Idol tracks from the Rebel Yell album are some of my favorite licks and riffs. Some notes about the songs:

  • Stevens collaborated with Harold Faltermeyer (of “Axel F” and Fletch fame) for the Top Gun single. The single won a Grammy in 1987 for best instrumental performance.
  • Steve considers Robert Palmer one of the most intelligent people he’s ever met not only musically (“he knew so much about music, inside and out”) but overall (“there wasn’t a topic that he couldn’t hold a conversation on and make us all look stupid”).
  • On “Dirty Diana”, Steve says he never earned a penny from playing on that song.

One personal anecdote about Steve Stevens: During his solo on the Billy Idol song “Rebel Yell”, he produces a ray gun type sound from his guitar. For the life of us, my guitar playing friends and I couldn’t figure out how he did that until we saw him in an MTV interview and he explained that he achieved that sound by actually holding a toy laser gun up to his guitar pickup and pulling the trigger. Naturally, I was compelled to buy a similar type toy gun. And yes…I figured out how to produce the same sound. 🙂

For more fun, check out previous Thursday Threesome articles.

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About Eric Vardeman 13 Articles
Curator of 80's playlists. Tulsa Curling Club founder. Known to play guitar and sing at times. Boomer Sooner. Los Lakers. Dallas Cowboys. Star Wars nerd. Olympic enthusiast. Christmas nut.