“It was turning into another butterfly. You know, when you’re out on an ocean, you roll with the waves. Here comes these waves of bands from the Sunset Strip and New Jersey that are very slick, write really good songs and have great stage shows. I felt right at home. All of these bands reminded me of us.
“As it turned out, they would cite Alice Cooper as one of their influences. So I was a bit of a patron saint to all of the bands. I would listen to their records and say, ‘Geez, this is really good. What’s the common denominator?’ And the common denominator was Desmond Child. From Aerosmith to Bon Jovi, it kept coming up with that name. I said to Shep, ‘We gotta get in touch with this Desmond Child guy.’
“He was living in a commune in Charlotte, North Carolina. I don’t think he had any idea how big his songs were. Shep and I pulled him out of the commune and said, ‘Not only are we going to write with you, but we also want you to produce the album.’ All of this was new to him, but he did an amazing job.
“I worked with Aerosmith and wrote with Bon Jovi. It was really great because there was a lot of respect going on both ways. We came up with a lot of amazing songs. Next to Bob Ezrin, Desmond was the premier song doctor. The very first thing we wrote was Poison, which was the biggest international hit I’ve had - it was bigger than School’s Out.”