Wow! Is that in bad condition! It even has paint on it.
What got me thinking about this one is that Bob Dylan ended this week's "Theme Time Radio Hour" with an Alice Cooper song. The theme today was school and the song was "School's Out" -- get it? -- because it was the end of the show. Lyrics: "School's out for summer/School's out forever/School's been blown to pieces." That doesn't resonate well these days, does it?
"Fantasy used to be a lot more effective than reality," said Alice Cooper...I don't know. He sounds pretty sensible. Maybe we should consult him about who to vote for. Back in 2004, we got a glimpse of his political opinion:
Now "you cannot shock an audience anymore. Audiences are shocked - and I'm shocked - by CNN. When you're seeing a real guy getting his real head cut off by real terrorists on television, and then you see Alice Cooper get his head cut off in a guillotine that's an obvious trick, well, it's not very shocking."...
Thirty-four years and the Columbine shooting later, Cooper stills fends off accusations that his music, and the music of other artists such as Marilyn Manson (who counts Cooper as a big influence), is somehow responsible for the actions of disturbed teenagers.
"I think any time that you're a personality that goes against the grain, you're an easy target," Cooper said. "If I wrote a song that said, 'Go out and buy yourselves some guns and go to your school and go kill everybody that you don't like and it'll be OK,' well, yeah, I think I'm responsible if somebody does that. But if I say, 'School's out,' I don't think that 99.9999 percent of the people will go, 'Yeah, school's out; I hated school, too; (I'm going to kill someone).' "
But, as Cooper acknowledged, "you're always going to have that 1 millionth of a percent that goes, 'Yeah, I know what I'll do ...' That person's going to do something horrible no matter what they hear."
Though he might have strong opinions, you won't hear Cooper giving his political views in his lyrics. For Cooper, rock 'n' roll and politics were never meant to be bedfellows.
"You won't find any political songs, excepted for 'Elected,' which is a satire, on my records. You're never going to find me promoting this candidate over that candidate because I'm sitting there going, 'Why should people who like my music ... vote for the guy I'm voting for?' " Cooper said. "Asking me who to vote for is like asking the guy who makes your pizza who to vote for."
Alice Cooper, a shock rocker back in the old days and now a fan of President Bush, says rock stars who've jumped on the John Kerry bandwagon -- Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen among them -- are treasonous morons.Back to "Eighteen." Why is there only one "t" in the word "eighteen"? Why have I never noticed that before? Anyway, I kind of doubt that I bought this 45. I think it's probably my brother's. He's three years younger than I am, and he liked a lot of things that I and my friends looked down on -- notably Grand Funk Railroad (they were an American band) and Emerson Lake & Palmer (yikes, that is one retro website). Looking for some links about Alice Cooper the first thing I hit in Google is my own old post. At some point in a blogger's life, searching for something in Google is like wracking your own brain for memories, except that it's easier, and you can cut and paste:
"To me, that's treason. I call it treason against rock-and-roll, because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics," the 56-year-old [said]....
"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal." (We think he meant watching C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," or maybe he meant perusing the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, but either way you get the idea.)
"Besides, when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."
[I]t's pretty random that I even went to see Alice Cooper at all. It was a long, long time ago, by the way. It was back when "I'm Eighteen" was a hit (1971). I'm not even sure if "School's Out" was out yet (1972). It was the summer of either 1971 or 1972, in an obscure part of southern New Jersey, and my younger brother wanted to go to the concert. Even though I thought it was embarrassing to go to an Alice Cooper concert--people my age (20 at the time) considered him a joke--I loved the single "I'm Eighteen," so I went. There was an elaborate stage show, which I can't remember anything about. I do remember, I think, that at one point he stripped off a layer of his costume and had on a skin-tight gold lamé body suit, and that was the sort of thing that just wasn't done at the time by anybody my friends would respect. In fact, I remember Iggy Stooge performing on campus (at the University of Michigan) in 1969 or 1970 and everyone shaking their heads and expressing pity for this late-stage has-been who was taking off his shirt, writhing on the ground, and suddenly stooping to the pathetic ploy of renaming himself Iggy Pop. How astounded we would have been if we could have known that 35 years later these two would still be around and would be respected and that Iggy would still look good with his shirt off.Sorry about calling the song "I'm Eighteen." It's just "Eighteen," you can clearly see from the record label. Anyway, I'm embarrassed that I was embarrassed to go see Alice Cooper back then.
...One of the reasons we thought Alice Cooper was a joke was because he was seen as a Frank Zappa side project, a Zappa prank. The album I listened to every day back then was "The Mothers Live at the Fillmore East," which includes some comical references to Alice Cooper:
Well, it gets me so hotYou can read all the lyrics here. [Not for the faint-hearted.] I still love that album! People who love the song "Happy Together" but don't know "Live at the Fillmore East" are missing a key perspective.
I could scream
ALICE COOPER, ALICE COOPER! WAAAAH!
ALICE COOPER, ALICE COOPER! WAAAAH!