Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcome to my nightmare, I hope I didn't scare you ...

2010-04-28-IMG_7058She asked me why the singer's name was Alice I said listen baby you really wouldn't understand ("Be My Love" Killer)

So, last night, Alice Cooper was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (by Rob Zombie). All I can say is, well, it's about time!

Lines form on my face and hands lines form from the ups and downs / I'm in the middle without any plans I'm a boy and I'm a man / I'm eighteen and I don't know what I want eighteen I just don't know what I want ("I'm Eighteen", Killer)

Alice, from the early days when Alice was a band, to the later days when Alice was just a whacked out Vincent Furnier, there were always great songs. From the early ones like "Earwigs to Eternity" from the Frank Zappa discovered Pretties for You; through the brilliant '70s albums, Easy Action, Love it to Death (with the seminal song, "I'm Eighteen"), Killer, and the masterwork, Billion Dollar Babies. And oh, yes, I left off School's Out (great song, ok album).

Muscle of Love, the last album of the Alice Cooper group, was notable for it's amazingly complex cover (a shipping box with all kinds of extras tucked in) as well as the "lost" James Bond theme, "Man With the Golden Gun" and the hit, "Teenage lament '74."
Welcome to my breakdown.
I hope I didn't scare you.
That's just the way we are when we come down.
We sweat and laugh and scream here.
'Cause life is just a dream here.
You know inside you feel right at home, here.
Yeah, Welcome to my nightmare yeah, hey, hey, hey... ("Welcome to my Nightmare")
The solo years kicked off with the theatrical and great Welcome to My Nightmare and the less great Alice Cooper Goes to Hell.

And from then, things got hazy; Lace and Whiskey had some good songs (the remake of "Ubangi Stomp" for one), but there followed weird albums (like From the Inside with lyrics by Bernie Taupin and yet another amazingly complex cover that involved gate folds, cutouts, and other paper construction tricks).

The 80s brought some good songs, "Clones (We're All)", "Teenage Frankenstein", "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)", "Poison". Likewise, the 90s and 2000s saw "Hey Stoopid", "Feed My Frankenstein", "Lost in America", and the great "Brutal Planet":
It's such a brutal planet
It's such a living hell
It was a holy garden
That's right where Adam fell
It's where the bite was taken
It's where we chose to sin
It's where we first were naked
This is where our death begins
Here's where we keep the armies
Here's where we write their names
Here's where the money god is
Here's our famous hall of shame
Here's where we starve the hungry
Here's where we cheat the poor
Here's where we beat the children
Here is where we pay the whore
So, here are a few memories of Alice:
  • December 1975, my second live concert (the first was Elvis), Alice's "Welcome to My Nightmare" show at the Sahara Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. I went with my mother (!), some of her friends and some other kids from school. It was quite a show. 
  • July 1976, trying to decide between Three Dog Night's Greatest Hits and Alice Cooper Goes to Hell at the record store (Alice won).
  • April 1977, riding my bike to the record store to get the new release of Lace and Whiskey (along with the also new release, The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl).
  • April 2010, being in Rochester, MN and seeing the marque at the Mayo Civic Center for the upcoming show, "The Gruesome Twosome Tour with Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie".

2010-04-28-IMG_7059

I can't get a girl
cuz I ain't got a car
I can't get a car
cuz I ain't got a job
I can't get a job
cuz I ain't got a car
So I'm looking for a girl with a job and a car
Don't you know where you are
Lost in America
I can't go to school
cuz I ain't got a gun
I ain't got a gun
cuz I ain't got a job
I ain't got a job
cuz I can't go to school
So I'm looking for a girl with a gun and a job
Don't you know where you are
Lost in America
("Lost in America")

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