TRACKRECORD: a new section at where we talk to songwriters about one of his/her songs of the past. JEAN BEAUVOIR's first success came with The Plasmatics featuring the great and sadly late, Wendy O'Williams (R.I.P.). He's been working, writing, producing with/for acts such as Steven Van Zandt, KISS (co-wrote several of there mid-80's hits), Little Steven, The Ramones, The Pretenders, Lionel Ritchie, etc. As well as fronting his own bands such as Voodoo X, Crown Of Thorns, and of course his solo albums. 

"FEEL THE HEAT" from his first solo album "Drums Along the Mohawk", released on Virgin/Columbia Records in 1986, was chosen by Sylvester Stallone for his film, Cobra. "Crime is a desease. Meet the cure". COBRA debuted at the box office at No.1 and was a huge financial success with a weekend debut of 15.6 million and the song was a hit, charting Top 10 across Europe and Australia and reaching #73 on the Billboard Hot 100. The perfect summer party tune in my opinion and me thinks it's quite a lot of Prince at work here. By the way, Prince offered Beauvoir to join his backup band but the latter turned down the offer or so the legend goes. So what inspired the Haitian/American with the blonde mohawk to come up with "Feel The Heat" and its distinctive (danceable) hook in the first place? Read on to find out, here is: JEAN BEAUVOIR. 

"It just happened? I originally had a different groove on the song and actually my manager felt the song was ok, but thought there was something missing. I went back into the studio the next day and we came up with this groove while messing around. It was the right thing :-). It felt right to me, still does. I was pretty consistent regarding my thoughts on arrangements, especially at that time. I felt the verses were for telling the story, the choruses were to bring the point home and the solo was to really drive the message home, a climax. Then the breakdown was the breather, kinda like after sex :-). Then you mosey on out with the end choruses.

Does it capture my typical songwriting style at the time? I'm not sure what's typical for me. Especially at the time, I had so many influences and ideas in my mind from wanting to make a record for so long, that when I finally got the opportunity, everything just started to pour out? I just recorded as it came, in whatever form it flowed through my head? I mostly write about experiences or what I see happening around me. I've pretty much always done that, reflecting peoples lives. The song was about pressures felt, decisions you have to make as you go through life. Sometimes some feel they cant make it, but you persevere.

Any personal music influences that in retrospect shines through (in this particular tune) Not that I really hear. It's a strange combination of elements, the beat and groove is a bit Caribbean, the choruses are Rock. I had just bought a Roland Guitar Synth which I fell in love with and pretty much every sound that you would think is a keyboard is actually that guitar synth. The solo is rock. I had a lot of things on my mind!l.

What kind of input/influence did my record label have during the writing process? None, I was left totally alone. Richard Branson let me go record in Sweden and pretty much let me do what I wanted to do. Any fond memories? Absolutely! I love Sweden! I still go there often to work. ABBA pretty much gave me the keys to their studio (Polar) at an amazing rate, which I used for a couple of years. Moved the band over, I did my records, The Ramones and any other productions that came along there. It was a great time in my life.

By complete coincidence, the song ended up in Sylvesters Stallone's 'Cobra' picture movie. We were editing the video in a Hollywood editing room where Stallone was editing COBRA. He walked by the editing suite, heard the song and called my management office to say he wanted it for the film and as the song for the COBRA worldwide advertising campaign, which was the biggest campaign in Hollywood history at the time. I was stoked! A stroke of luck?

My thoughts about the fact that 'Feel The Heat' became more popular in Europe than in the states? It was the times, believe it or not, there was still segregation at radio, my US label Columbia had fought to get Michael Jackson on MTV, but MTV supported "Feel The Heat" massively with heavy rotation right from the beginning, but radio stations were not accustomed to a black Artist doing Rock, so it was a problem. There was black radio, black promotion and white pop, same at the label, I was in between and that limited the ability for it to really fly? This was not the case in Europe.

How did the Plasmatics fans/friends react to this song and the change of style? They knew me and I was always a bit broader than the rest of the band. That was my contribution to The Plasmatics. They were supportive and we always stayed friends. It wasn't an easy road getting a record deal as a singer/producer and writer after coming out of The Plasmatics. I was passed on by every label in existence! Took some years before I finally was signed by Virgin and Columbia. Any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes? Yes? Many!!! Just can't tell you about them at the risk of incriminating myself and everyone involved:). 

I'd like to once mention the 5 song free download as a gift. I know you've posted this on your site already and thanks! I'd like to get as many fans to sign up to my mailing list so I can keep them updated on what I'm doing, we're starting work on new Crown Of Thorns material and I have some other things on the horizon. Here' s the link:

The 5 tracks include Paul Stanley and Joey/Dee Dee Ramone co-writes + Solo & Crown of Thorns! Thank you and the fans for all the support throughout the years!!! More things to come! Stay tuned!


Interview by Urban 'Wally' Wallström

(c)2012 RockUnited.Com


Album:"Drums Along The Mohawk"
Columbia/Virgin 1986
Written by: Jean Beauvoir

The single reached #10 on several of the European charts and in Australia. It charted the Billboard 100 at #78 and it also featured in the 1986 Sylvester Stallone film 'Cobra'. A rather dodgy film but at least the soundtrack rocks.