how much of the musical culture that I particularly
respect was actually designed to kick the sh*t out
of the hippy movement.
No, I'm not older than the hippies. I'm younger.
You'll see below, how Alice Cooper, an interesting
fella whose music I don't understand, enjoyed using
his show at hippy festivals, to scare the bejesus out
of those peace loving dopes.
The only Alice song I like is a little known B-side called
Eskimo Pie wherein Alice denigrates a frigid girlfriend.
"frigid as an Eskimo Pie" was the chorus
a classic in he-said she-saidBut since Eskimo Pies were a brand of ice-cream
sandwich in my 12-year old world, I found that
In my grade school days, the teachers would often play
"popular" music for any reason, in order to build a
bond with the kids, I suppose. But they used this
insipid hippy and happy music that made me sick.
Our teachers of course, could not live the hippy
lifestyle and teach, in those days, but my teachers
weren't former hippies either, by my estimation.
However, I thought they were a joke for trying to
reach us with their music.
Jonie Mitchell, Three Dog Night, Joan Baez,
[I'll troll my memory banks and come back
We were into Steve Miller Band, back then.
"Keep on Rockin me, Baby" (sexual)
"Take the Money and Run" (thieving)
"The Joker" (a piss-take on romantic music)
A whole different culture.
The musical movements that I've come to study
lately, mostly for historical interest, and because
of BBC4, are proto-punk and Heavy Metal.
I think they both congealed in the summer of 1969,
(no, not the Brian Adams song, but hang onto
those sexual overtones).
I saw The Stooges a few years ago and they
were still proto-punk fighting ready. Kick-ass
show. I'll find the Doris Day talk show that had
Iggy on , and she announced his band as
being the one that killed off the hippies (Yay!)
I still think they're amazing. Check this video.
Do ya get it?
[1:30 for I wanna be your Dog]
Another nail in the hippy coffin was the advent
of Black Sabbath. It used horror movie signature
keys to instill fear in all hippies.
[park your preconceptions about the wastoid Ozzy and
look at how groundbreaking this music was, particularly
I'm sorry , hippies were a good reaction to
the violence of the Cold War, but as a cultural
movement, they were ughh. One too many
checkit: The Guardian
Alice Cooper's festival tales of terror
The original shock rocker on his surprise folk festival booking, rocking out with Foo Fighters and why golf is the best form of therapy
Interview by Louis Pattison
Friday 10 May 2013 23.59 BST
Alice Cooper festivals guide2013
Last year you played extreme metal festival Bloodstock. This year you're at Fairport's Cropredy Convention. Different crowd, right?
Did you ever see that film The Producers? It's going to be like Springtime For Hitler – the audience all there with their mouths open wide. But I love that reaction. Last year we played Bonnaroo, and it was like going to summer camp – everyone's green, everyone's groovy, eating tofu. And then here comes Alice Cooper, on at midnight. We're the ghost story at the end of camp-out.
Do you alter your repertoire for a festival show?
To us, an audience is an audience. Put us in front of a Sinatra crowd and we'd play the same show. I have never gone out there with the attitude, 'Boy, I hope you like us tonight'. I'm like, grab 'em by the throat, make them like you! But we know they want to hear all the hits, and we don't shy away from that – we had 14 Top 40 hits, and all of them are in the show. You have to close with School's Out and Elected, or the audience are like, 'What are you doing?'
The Alice Cooper show is big on theatre. What's your favourite set-piece?
We've got this opening thing where Alice comes on stage through a shower of sparks, and every night you can hear the audience gasp. I love that; it means we've already got 'em. Also, there's the bit where Alice goes on the operating table during Feed My Frankenstein. They throw the switch, and it's like something from a 30s Frankenstein movie. It looks great in the dark.
Have festivals changed a lot since the 70s?
Well, back then we were playing alongside Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. We stood out. I remember one show: 'In one hour, Santana. In three hours, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.' And then it was like, 'WARNING – in five hours, Alice Cooper will be on. If you are on the brown acid, please report to…' We just laughed our heads off, because none of us ever did drugs. We were drinkers. But we loved to scare the hippies.