Cavalier - November 1971 (USA)

(November 1971)

Originally Published: November 1971

A Ball for Alice Cooper

Hairy chest and hairy legs in hotpants, rhinestones, and mesh stockings; drag queen and cigarette girls; a gorilla; fops in fancy finery; women, real women, in shapeless dresses and feathers - all had come to dance and dine at "Alice Cooper's Coming Out."

And of course, there was Alice, himself, skinny - almost emaciated - with squiggly lines of mascara radiating from his lovely eyes, making his grand entrance through the doors of Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel in tuxedo and flowing hair, tripping lightly to the strains of "Stairway to the Stars."

(Alice Cooper is the lead singer of a rock group with the same name - one of the most bizarre groups around, as you might imagine.)

Oh, it was quite a party. In the mirror-paneled Venetian Room. Almost everyone was there: Richard Chamerlain, and John Kay, and Randy Newman, Michele Carey, Rod McKuen, Gordon Lightfoot, Donovan, and Cynthia Plaster Caster. The Cockettes were there, too - Goldy Glitter, Sylvester, Miss Pristene Condition, etc. - strewing long-stemmed red roses in Alice's path. And also doubling as cigarette girls.

The entertainment was interesting, too. Edward Gould's strings played things like "Somewhere My Love" and "Moonglow." (One member of the four-man group thought they were going to play for a summer debutante's coming out and figured somebody had just goofed.) TV Mama sang and stripped. And there's a lot of TV Mama to strip. Alice Cooper changed from his tux to a silver-studded body stocking and sang, but didn't strip, fortunately. And all the while the many guests boogied up to the bar for liquid refreshments.

There was a three-tiered, multi-colored cake saying "Happy Bastille Day, Alice Cooper," from which sprang Miss Mercy of the GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously) throwing frosting at the glittering guests.

It was sheer absurdity. A tribute to Alice Cooper's Coming Out. But to what and from where, nobody seemed to know. It was also in honor of Bastille Day and Health through Happiness week, and it was quite a ball that Warner Brothers gave for Alice Cooper.

Back in the early 1900's in Zurich, there was a movement in painting, sculpture, and literature known as "dadaism." The term was picked at random from a German-French dictionary to represent the aims of the movement, which were complete absurdity - nihilism. Products of the movement took the form of wild, irreverent concoctions conceived in a spirit of complete abandon. It seemed harmless enough, funny even. But, in reality, the absurdity of dadaism was a rebellion against social convention and great disillusionment brought on by the World War I holocaust.

Back then it was dadaism. Now it's Alice Cooper.