THE SUMMER DAILY
Saturday, July 21 1973
Page Eight THE SUMMER DAILY Saturday, July 21, 1973
By ANN HENCKEN
Associated Press Writer
For Alice Cooper, it's just
another routine performance, a
few of the old standards done to
Alice himself, more spectre
than superstar in -Ming the Mer-
ciless makeup on pale skin, ex-
periencing a mock decapitation
after singing "I Love the Dead."
Or slashing a sword at golden
torsos, mistreating baby dolls,
submitting to a "dentist" with a
BUBBLE MACHINES, a wink-
ing mummy, a seven foot tooth-
brush, an American flag unfurled
to the sound of Kate Smith sing-
ing "God Bless America."
It's all there, sight gags, silli-
ness and studied depravity. After
the guillotine act, a fake Alice
head is carried around the stage
triumphantly, w it h the group
marching behind. Stomping feet.
Clapping h a n d s. Screams for
STASHED LIKE a secret virus
on board a private jet, the Alice
Cooper band dropped in on more
than 50 American cities this
spring during their "Billion Dol-
lar Babies" tour.
The band grossed approximate-
ly $4.7 million, according to man-
ager Shep Gordon. Not bad for a
group unheard of three years
ago, for a bunch which chose a
woman's name and began an
assault on young audiences with
fake hangings, live boa constric-
tors and a seemingly endless sup-
ply of quirky gimmicks.
Conversation between a r tIi s t
Salvador Dali and Alice Cooper
at the unveiling of Dali's holo-
gram, a three-dimensional pro-
jection of Alice:
DALI: "ALICE COOPER is the
best exponent of total confusion."
Alice: "Dali is possibly more
confusing than I am. I never
understand anything he says.
Maybe that's why we get along
Dali: "Dali only makes ex-
hibits for people who can under-
Alice: "I'm usually so drunk,
I can't understand anything."
"IT'S MORE OR less the de-
cade of the star again," s a y s
Alice Cooper. "The old publicity
Away from the lights, however,
is another Alice. An Alice who
drinks beer, watches old movies
on the tube, wears baseball jack-
ets and has gone with the same
girl for five years.
Offstage, he is, by his own des-
cription, more Fred MacMurray
than satanic superstar.
ALICE COOPER started as a
goof. Back in Phoenix in 1964,
Alice and some friends, "The
Ear Wigs," did an imitation of
"The Ear Wigs" grew to "The
Spiders," started playing local
dates, staging fights and stab-
bing confetti-filled balloons.
The low point came in 1967 as
the group headed for Los An-
geles and the big time. Their van,
packed with eight people and
all their equipment, was in a bad
"OUR INSTRUMENTS were
all over the road," recalls one
of thegroup. "We lost most of
They scratched for a while in
Los Angeles, then signed w i t h
Frank Zappa's Straight Records.
Four albums, none a smash.
Then, in 1972, they released
"School's Out" which gave them
their biggest push and boosted
their prices for concerts from
$10,000 to $25,000.
TODAY IT TAKES two trucks
to haul the stage, sets and 40
tons of equipment for an Alice
Cooper performance. The bag-
gage includes four whips, s i x
hatchets, 22,000 sparklers, 58
mannequins, 14 bubble machines
and 28 gallons of bubble juice.
The plane the carried the band
across the country also carried
a blackjack table, several hund-
to show biz
red comic books, huge amounts
of beer, 14 cases of Scotch and
3,000 pounds of cold cereal.
"Alice stylizes the threat of
violence," says Danny Fields, an
editor at "Sixteen" magazine.
"He's popular with our readers,
girls aged 9 to 15. He's fun and
mysterious. Their love mystery
and death.But hde'likea heavil
ability to change it.
"Rock is based on continual
bombardment of the senses, As
the audience becomes tired of
what was exciting two years ago,
musicians are pressed to come up
with something more outrag-
eous . .
made-up guy who's goofing." Always
Alice cooper, says Jon Lan- hold matches
dau, a critic for "Rolling Stone," tillI cold.
is a return to show business.
"In the late 1960s, rock was
an expression of rebellion. In
the early 1970s, it's an expres-
sion of decadence, a lack of ser-
iousness, playing games . . It's
a combination of disilusionment
with the status quo and an in-
336 Maynard, 663-1812
1229 S. University, 665-2604
ANN ARBOR'S MOST Please: help prevent forest fires.
Room, 4th Floor
LOTS OF PEOPLE LOTS OF FOOD
Because Irsmy country. 00% ,>,..
And it's getting dirty. e'wv "
Keep America Clean. *.
Keep AmericaBeautiful. " en°
fot h publi good.
WITH THEIR SHOW business techniques that range from the in-
credible to the grotesque Alice Cooper has become one of the
biggest rock bands in the country today.
FREE ARTS FESTIVAL
ANN ARBOR STREET ART FAIR
SATURDAY, JULY 21,
(MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
11:00 .m. UILLEAN PIPES and NORTHUMBERLAND PIPES (Irish music,
12:00 noon FOLK DANCERS
1:00 OUR HERITAGE HOUSE puppets
2:00 OAK RIDGE RAMBLERS; dulcimers
7:30-9:00 LABYRNITH rock music. On the People's Plaza.
9:30-12:00 BIG BURGER AND THE DEL-TONES rock music. On the People's Plaza.
Presented by U-M Artists and Craftsmen Guild
and the Ann Arbor Council for Performing Arts
,. - ,