Lex Neon on Alice Cooper

Oddly enough, Lex has nothing to say to open this blog on Alice Cooper. He just sits there listening to “Under My Wheels” and shouts, “Now that’s rock and roll. That sound is the glory of rock.” We salute Alice, born February 4.

I was about to take the Rhino Records Ultimate Rock Quiz at Tower Records. It turned out that the event coincided with the release of Alice Cooper’s box set. I was sitting at one of the many tiny desks in a mock classroom, located on the Tower parking lot. Suddenly, I heard my favorite Alice Cooper song cranked to maximum volume.

From the outside PA system, the bustling Sunset Strip in L.A. came to life via the sounds of Alice Cooper’s “Public Animal 9” from the ’72 classic album, School’s Out. Suddenly, a white limo pulls in front of the parking lot’s mock classroom. And who should get out of this beautiful automobile but “the Coop” himself. The “class” went absolutely nuts!

Some of us got to shake his hand as he made his way through the class to officially start our rock and roll quiz. I was deeply honored to shake his hand. I even got the chance to tell him that I really dug his music. He said thanks, and headed to the front of the “class.” It was cool.

My first memory of Alice Cooper is Welcome To My Nightmare. I remember the album being well stocked at my local record shop. I also remember watching part of the television special, and being really scared by Alice’s looks. To me, Alice Cooper meant “scary monster guy in top hat and tux.”

He popped up on my radar with a cover of a Beatles song. The movie with which it was associated was a train wreck called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton. The Coop was also in the movie, singing “Because.” I have say it – Alice Cooper sure looked weird behind that mustache!

He popped up again when my Aunt Ava started collecting Alice Cooper albums. Of course, I borrowed them and studied them. These guys were bored teenagers in Detroit. Add beer, horror movies, comic books, and rock music and voila! You have Alice Cooper. I really dug the music created by the original five members of Alice Cooper, with special emphasis on the music recorded between 1970 and 1974. Their albums are classic examples of great American 70s album rock.

One of my favorite memories is driving at top speed to the Coop’s classic “My Stars” from School’s Out. I was on my first “real” date, and I had to get her back to her parents before a certain time. We ran late, of course. You haven’t lived until you hear “My Stars” at 85 miles an hour with a plume of auburn curls flying against your neck. Whoa, mama!

Well, my final score on the quiz was a miserable 93 out of a possible 100 points. So, I didn’t get a free Alice Cooper box set. But, I got to see one of the greats up close. As I sit here, “Be My Lover” plays in the background.

Well I told her that I came from Detroit City
And I play guitar in a long-haired rock and roll band
She asked me why the singer’s name was Alice
I said, “Listen, baby. You really wouldn’t understand.”

Happy birthday, Coop! Let’s play a round or two of golf when you get the chance. I hear you’re a pretty good player. I’m ready to go “clubbin'” when you are.

(Lex Neon is the musical mastermind behind the music of indie sunshine pop / rock band Poppermost.  For more info, go to http://www.poppermost.com/)

Note: The date listed on the album shown below is for the remastered version. The original was released 1974.

Currently listening :
Greatest Hits
By Alice Cooper
Release date: 14 March, 2006
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~ by Poppermost on September 6, 2008.

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