Some very interesting revelations at the end of this one. Where are those tapes and will they ever be released?
I would love to hear the original “Hollywood Vampires”, or a version of it, playing Elvis and doing other interesting musical excursions. Time to release those tapes, Alice? Vince? Steeeeveeen? 🙂
Alice`s golden age…
The Killer phones from New York to thank SOUNDS readers for his Poll wins and tells Steve Peacock about his latest `sickening` show
It`s sixty degrees in the afternoon in New York, and Alice Cooper reckons the fact you can go around without a coat in New York in January is about the most exciting thing that`s happening there. That and Bette Midler.
Alice has been off the road for two months, finishing off the new album “Billion Dollar Babies” and getting the new stage show ready. And he`s bored. “God,” he crackled over an echoey trans-atlantic phone line, “I`m just going crazy. I`ve been going out to bars every night and getting blind drunk.”
They still have the big house up in Connecticut, but Alice has moved back into the city – “I was coming in here every night anyway, so I thought I might as well move in.”
He`d phoned basically to thanks SOUNDS readers for voting them so high in the poll. “Hey, I really have to thank you people for all the awards,” he said, with all the breathless excitement of an unsuspecting Oscar winner, “we really didn`t expect anything like that. The guys just picked up the paper and went `What….?`
“I think there are going to be a lot of groups coming up now who`re going to be doing like Hollywood publicity stunts. I like the idea of that because I think it brings a lot more theatre into the rock business and I think the next five years is going to be the time when stars will be born – personality stars.
“I mean, have you seen Bette Midler? She puts on such an incredible show, she`s as good as Barbra Streisand. I hope she doesn`t mind being compared to Barbra Streisand, but she really is that good on stage.
“And I think we`re going to see a lot more glamour in the rock business – real glamour like you used to get in Hollywood in the 30s when all the stars created their own, very individual images. It seems like the doldrums period we went through in the rock business for a while is over now.”
Though rock never really has had anything that approached the golden age of Hollywood has it? It was more that there was a style of star that people followed – Elvis, Beatles, Stones – than a cluster of very distinctive personalities.
“Yeah, I guess so – you only ever really had maybe two personalities, one Beatles and one Rolling Stones and everyone else latched on to one of those. But I think it`s going to happen now.”
But for Alice Cooper, the next few months at least look set for some heavy work. There`s a new stage act ready, and they`re going to take that on the road right through the States for three months, and then back to New York either to go on Broadway, or for a week at Madison Square Garden. Then Europe. What had happened to the “Alice At The Palace” Broadway show idea?
“I get about three calls a day about that – it`s really up in the air at the moment – it`s on, it`s off, it`s on… so I think what we`ll do is take this show out and cover the country in three months, and then put it on Broadway when we get back if we can, otherwise a week at Madison Square Garden.
“The new show has some really sickening things in it, so we`re dividing it up into three acts related to colours more or less – white, black and red – so people don`t have to take too much all at once. And we`re going to be using about six times the lighting we`ve ever used before, and travelling with 30 technicians – it`s really going to be an extravaganza.”
What was there in it that was so sick? “Listen – there`s one scene in it that`s so sick even you`ll cringe. It`ll make brave men shiver. I was talking to this magician who`d seen it, and he thought something had gone wrong – I can`t go into the specifics because I don`t want to let the cat out of the bag – but he thought something had broken and the guy really was dead at the end of it.
“The new show`s going to be more `Billion Dollar Babies` than any of the other albums, because we`re getting pretty tired of doing a lot of those old songs – `I`m Eighteen` and things like that – but then I guess we may have to do them still because people really scream out if you don`t.
“But by the time we get to Europe we should have a whole new thing to listen to – we`re going to be using a mellotron and things like that, more of a production.” Would they be using extra musicians? “Yeah, but I don`t know who yet; we just want to get some different sounds instead of just the five musicians – like the Stones use Price and those guys, but on a slightly different level because these guys will be older. 45-50-year-old musicians.”
And then there`s the album itself. Donovan`s on the title track, singing the second and fourth verses and doing a kind of dialogue with Alice. “He`s really one of the nicest guys I`ve ever met in my life,” said Alice. “He was down at the studios in London and I went along to some of his sessions and asked him if he wanted to come along. We just got drunk together, you know? Which is not odd at all.”
Then there`s “Hello Hooray” which is the new single – a ballad, and the only song on the album they didn`t write. “There are a couple of real rockers on the album we could have used, but I really wanted this one out as a single because it`s another direction, another whole aspect of what we can do.” And there`s a song that includes guitar parts from the “I Spy” theme, and from “Goldfinger”, and a song called “I Love The Dead” about a necrophiliac.
What had happened to the sessions in London with Nilsson and Keith Moon and Marc Bolan and Flo and Eddie and Rick Grech? “We`re going to save those because they were on a different idea to what we were doing on this album. They were mostly old Elvis songs.
“And we did a half-hour version of `Coconuts`. A dirty version.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Pink Floyd, Tony McPhee, Rick Wakeman, John Martyn, Graeme Edge, Jimmy Karstein, Stevie Wonder, Roxy Music, Colin Blunstone, Jerry Lee Lewis, Todd Rundgren, Gerry Lockran, Stomu Yamash`ta, Alan White, Bob Henrit.
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