Alice Cooper (photo by Roni Hoffman)
Welcome to my nightmare.
No, it wasn’t a real nightmare, it was a cool dream actually. That I was a writer for Creem magazine and I was interviewing Alice Cooper.
My dream was not that far fetched. I was a music journalist most of my adult life and have written for publications like The Aquarian Arts Weekly, Punk magazine, music.com and kevchino music. I’m also interviewed many artists for the entertainment sections of The Montclair Times, The Patch online, etc.
My adventures are documented in my first book: “On the Guest List Adventures of a Music Journalist” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X
But, no, I’ve never interviewed Alice. I never even thought of it. There’s so much music out there and while Alice Cooper isn’t one of my top 10 favorites, I do love him lots.
I was aware of Alice since childhood but what inspired me to buy his album “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell” in 1976 at the age of 12 was the song, “I Never Cry” (which I first had as a single). The B-side of “I Never Cry” was “Go to Hell.” I played both songs repeatedly and then got the album. Alice Cooper purists poo-pooed that album (and other stuff that Bob Ezrin produced). But what stood out most about my dream was that I asked Alice about Bob Ezrin. I told my husband this and he laughed.
Bob Ezrin, as a producer, knew how to attract the likings of young girls — at least me. Hey, I was 12 and listening to really cool music, but still, I was a girl and I wasn’t a musician either. And like most girls, I needed a softer touch, right? It’s perfectly normal that I’d be diggin’ something that was semi-commercial and borderline “not cool” such as “Goes to Hell” and “Welcome to My Nightmare.” And at the same time I was buying other Bob Ezrin produced records like “KISS: Destroyer.”
To this day I will argue with any Alice Cooper fan that “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell” is the BEST and most under-rated Alice Cooper album ever.
“Goes to Hell” is poetic genius. So much so that when I was a spoken word poet in the early 1990s, I spoke those lyrics as a “cover poem” to an applauding audience. “Goes to Hell” was my psych-song before I went on stage before a live audience. How can anyone deny such a clever tune?
And now, for the single 45-rpm record that I wore out as a little girl. The passion in the vocals sends chills up my spine, almost 40 years later. But “I Never Cry.”
When I was 12 and I’d spend endless hours listening to music, I’d display the album I was listening too. When “I Am The Coolest” was playing, my great grandmother was standing in the doorway listening to Alice saying, “I am the coolest, I am the baddest, I am the greatest …”
And looking at the cover to “Goes to Hell” she deadpanned, “But you’re ugly as hell.”
And, finally, the grand finale of “Goes to Hell” — “I’m Going Home” which wraps up the album beautifully. When I saw the comments on You Tube, I was touched to read that someone buried their father, who loved Alice Cooper, to this song.
Bob Ezrin, the mastermind behind some of my favorite albums.