Alice Cooper 2015 – First rain of glitter redux

I had the opportunity to go see Alice Cooper this week when a friend was kind enough to buy tickets and invite me (Tracy D.) It was just them, no opening band, and they played a bunch of hits. As usual, they started with “Hello Hooray” and rained glitter down like a sheath in front of them. They did an “I Love the Dead” tribute to Morrison, Lennon, and Hendrix, which Tracy wasn’t nuts about (“rather hear more Killer”) but I kind of enjoyed it. More and more older artists are paying tribute these days.
There were times during “Ballad of Dwight Fry” that I was almost having flashbacks of the original Alice Cooper lineup being onstage like the first time I’d seen them in 1971, a hugely influential concert for me that left not only audio but visual imprints that will always stay with me. Rather than rehash anymore, I’ll simply repost a blog I wrote some years ago:

I rarely hear Alice Cooper credited among the glam community.  A lot of people remember where they were when Kennedy got shot.  I remember being on the 18th row, center aisle seat April 28th, 1971 when the curtain went up on the Love It to Death tour.  I was a bonafied commune-dwelling hippie in my first year of college, and that concert remains in my memory as a brilliant blue lame flash of adrenalin that left me open mouthed and hungry for change.

There was this silly sort of class thing among hippies: the longer the hair, the earlier you had become one, and hippie royalty could be pretty much measured by it.  So here I am immersed in freakdom but restless, always restless and always riding the fringes of what was accepted hippie music fare, preferring something with a little more life to it at times.  And out comes the longest-haired guys I’ve ever seen dressed in blue sequins and silver lame and wearing makeup and straightjackets.  And they’re just unapologetically loud and the guitars and even the bass is just so irreverently blazingly bold!

“Hello! Hooray! Let the show begin,
I’ve been ready.
Hello! Hooray! Let the lights grow dim,
I’ve been ready.”

I have to say this Alice Cooper show was my first glam experience.  By 1971, Hunky Dory was out and TREX had some acoustical albums out and had just released Electric Warrior, and glam was well formed and starting to really bloom.  RoxyMusic had just emerged.  Certainly Cooper went on to fit more into the hard rock genre, but Alice was the first band I saw pull out the heavy theatrics that glam would become known for a year or so later when Ziggy rose to personify the genre.

“Ready as this audience that’s coming here to dream.
Loving every second, ev’ry moment, ev’ry scream.
I’ve been waiting so long to sing my song
And I’ve been waiting so long for this thing to come.
Yeah – I’ve been thinking so long I was the only one.

Roll out! Roll out with your American dream and its recruits,
I’ve been ready.
Roll out! Roll out with your circus freaks and hula hoops,
I’ve been ready.”

By 1973, when Alice Cooper released Billion Dollar Babies, glam was in full thrush, the most exotically beautifully man-eating butterfly of the entire music chain.  And it was at this point that the paths of Alice Cooper versus the paths of the sparklingly dark visionaries began to diverge.  Alice Cooper had its own identity and never veered from it.  Its influences seemed to be largely horror and American commercialism, while Roxy and Bowie and TREX had UK folk roots tinted heavily by contemporary art influences.  And of course, it goes without saying that all were influenced by the music leading up to their point.  Alice Cooper was my first rain of glitter, and I still consider them to be my earliest glam influence, because they bolted out of the sixties cocoon and took me with them.

“I can stand here strong and thin.
I can laugh when this thing begins.

God, I feel so strong,
I feel so strong,
I’m so strong,
I feel so strong,
So strong,
God, I feel so strong,
I am so strong!”

(And thanks Tracy for bringing it all back to me and being one of my top two favorite people of all time to listen to music with.)

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