Los Angeles, December 12, 2022 — “The Best.” “Love Is a Battlefield.” “Invincible.” “The Warrior.” “Better Be Good to Me.” If you were young and living from “heartache to heartache” during the ’80s — or even if you weren’t born until decades later — chances are you know the words to every song written by the inimitable Holly Knight.
In I Am The Warrior: My Crazy Life Writing the Hits and Rocking the MTV Eighties (Permuted Press; December, 2022; ISBN-13: 9781637584392; Hardcover), author Holly Knight, with a Foreword by Tina Turner, offers a juicy and provocative love letter to the ’80s against the backdrop of her creative process of bringing her chart topping mega-hits to life through the timeless vocals of Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Patty Smyth, Rod Stewart, John Waite, Chaka Khan, Bon Jovi, Cheap Trick, Heart, Meatloaf, KISS and many more.
Knight, who is a Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, recounts,”I’ve been fighting my whole life for the things that mattered to me. It started when I was a child. But as I got older, I was able to articulate in a more elegant and creative manner what was most important to me: independence, autonomy, expressing my own voice, anarchy in all its glory, and, essentially, telling people to fuck off in a clever way.”
Taking readers back to the go-go ’80s of big hair, extra-large egos, wild parties and wildly popular music videos, I Am The Warrior reveals how Knight broke into the rock scene and became one of its most in-demand songwriters. With raw honesty, remarkable humility and lots of humor, she shares:
– Her first passion — the piano — and how she turned to rock music as a teenager in New York City to escape her mother’s explosive tirades and physical abuse.
– How she ran away from home with a 20-year-old drummer at age 15, and, after four years of ping-ponging between odd jobs and food stamps, got invited to join her first band. “I’d found my tribe,” she states.
– Her days of playing keyboards and singing back-up vocals for Spider, how she ended up playing on KISS’ “Unmasked” record, and how she got to know Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley — and Ozzy Osbourne.
– How the inspiration to change her surname to Knight came to her in a dream, and how she became a songwriter. “I stumbled upon it,” says Knight, “and discovered that I was better at it than I thought I would be.”
– Her debt to MTV. “I was 25 when the channel launched in 1981,” Knight writes, “and it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.” In a flash, she became known for writing empowering songs with an attitude for female artists like Pat Benatar. VJs Martha Quinn and Nina Blackwood would often drop her name.
– How she rebounded from a failed marriage, flirted with Don Johnson and Steven Tyler, and hung out with Rod Stewart and Jon Bon Jovi.
– The story behind her breakout hit, “The Warrior.”
– How she met Tina Turner and formed an amazing collaboration that resulted in writing nine songs for her. Knight tells how she originally wrote “The Best” for someone else and how the song found its way to Tina, which in the decades since its release has become an anthem of empowerment for every type of occasion. The song’s durability has been covered by everyone from Céline Dion to James Bay and Wynonna Judd. Knight states, “‘The Best’ is so well known by Tina, when people do it, it’s like an homage to her … It just keeps going. It really has a life of its own.”