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Archive for the tag “1976”

Welcome to My Nightmare, A Dream About Alice Cooper (and Bob Ezrin!)

Alice-Cooper-offstage_EDIT_w1Alice 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.

Alice CreemMy 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-EzrinBob Ezrin, the mastermind behind some of my favorite albums.

Peter Lemongello – Love ’76

PETER LEMONGELLO.

I vaguely remember him and the 1976 commercial that took this former cabaret singer to new heights in his career. The kitschy commercial helped him become the first person to sell over a million records via television marketing.

Peter Lemongello went on to perform at Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.

I found his website: http://www.plemongello.com/ and see that time was very good to this man, he looks great! He is still performing in Florida, where he resides.

I also found his Twitter account, but see that he hasn’t updated since 2009. Shame I didn’t realize he performed at Trumpets, in Montclair, New Jersey in 2009. I would have went. As a reporter I covered quite a few acts that performed at Trumpets.

According to Wikipedia, what Lemongello accomplished is still being studied at college marketing courses and in advertising agencies.

Genius!

1976: Got My KISS Record Out!

The Album That Changed My Life — for about a few hours

Kiss was very significant in my life.

They were the first “cool” band I listened to. Destroyer was my first “real” album. Before that it was Sonny & Cher, Bay City Rollers, AM Gold hits on the radio and my mom and uncle’s Elvis, Tom Jones and Johnny Cash records. Mind you, all this stuff is considered cool today, but it wasn’t back in 1976, age 12.

Around this time, I beat up the school bully.

My grandmother always taught me, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose a fight, just get one good punch in, show them you’re not scared.

So, here I was 12-years-old, and the school hero for beating up a bully. All of a sudden I was mad popular, after being the shy skinny pimple kid with glasses that no one would talk to because they gave up on me because I was too shy to talk to them. Fair is fair and it never bothered me much that I didn’t have friends. I was a loner.

But now that I had friends, I decided to throw a party in my grandmother’s basement and invite all my new friends.

I was suddenly too cool for my own classmates – the 7th graders. Instead, I invited all the 8th graders.

But the 7th graders were begging me to invite them too, so I invited the ones who begged the hardest.

That night, the kids all started pouring in. Twelve- and 13-year-olds brought beer and other alcoholic beverages.

A lot of the boys were still short and it was hilarious seeing mismatched short, skinny boys with girls who were overdeveloped for their age.

I only had my one Kiss album, “Destroyer,” and that’s all we listened to all night, over and over.

Pre-teen and teen-aged kids got drunk, cried and made out like crazy.

I only had a few sips of beer … to fit in. (I didn’t get drunk. I didn’t cry. Nor did I “make out like crazy.”)

Nobody fought or wrecked anything. I considered the party a success.

When “Beth” played, the cutest boy in the school sang to me, replacing my name, “Maryanne” every time Peter Criss sang, “Beth.”

“Maryanne, what can I do?”

It was the first time a boy ever sang to me. But when it came time to kiss him, I was afraid. So I lost out.

Monday morning all the kids said to me, “Great party!”

Sadly, my mother found out about the beer. I got in trouble, and felt resentful of my new friends.

I started drifting away from them and slumped back into my loner stage.

But I continued to buy Kiss records. And also moved on to Queen and Aerosmith.

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