Circus Raves

Circus Raves - April 1974 (USA)

Circus Raves
(April 1974)

Originally Published: April 1974

Alice Cooper Jail House Rock

Author: Robbie Granit

The concrete walls seemed to stretch for miles, the pungent smell of disinfectant permeating the air. Each footstep, every movement, caused tiny echoes to reverberate through the gloomy passageways. It might have easily been the bowels of a huge coliseum, but instead it was a jail, and it house five of the most dangerous personalities alive in rock and roll today. Past a cell where Bogart quietly ate his lunch, beyond the bars where Cagney read a letter from a sweetheart he hadn't seen since being locked up for grand larceny, next to the wooden cot George Raft lay on, waiting the Alice Cooper band

The world's biggest musical menace looked strange, even for Alice. Dressed in striped prison uniforms, Alice and the band were shackles with heavy lead balls and chains. Six Keystone Kops dotted the depressing corridors of the jail, as the Cooper group plotted a way out. Someone slipped Alice a hairpin, and as he watched the female Keystoners fall asleep, he quietly opened the door to his cell. The five Cooper characters tip-toed down the jailhouse corridor past the sleeping guards - until one of them stirred. Then all hell broke loose. Alarms sounded, Kops scurried, and the chase was on!

Alice made a flying dash for the door with his group close behind him. Glenn brought up the rear as the slapstick chase continued into Manhattan's busy mid-town shopping district. The luscious female Keystone Kops followed closely - through alley ways, over cars and behind office buildings. Finally, the band of weary outlaws, ball and chain flung over their shoulders, turned down Second Avenue. The Fillmore East loomed in the distance. When they reached the doors of the hallowed auditorium, they ducked inside.

The huge building was deserted. The acres of seats were empty. But up on stage stood the famous chrome Cooper stage set from their last, legendary tour. The with Keystone Kops not trailing far behind, the group jumped on the stage, materializing saws and axes to chop through their balls and chains. Finally free of their convicts' charm bracelets, they dash not for the door, but for their instruments, and quickly broke into the first chords of "Teenage Lament '74". As the final notes of the new Cooper song reverberated through the empty Fillmore, the police arrived and fought it out with the group on stage.

Bad dream? Bed time fantasy? Nope. Just another day in the life of the Alice Cooper band as they were filmed for a sequence in Top of the Pops. When Alice and the boys were asked to appear on the English version of "In Concert" they naturally decided to do something very different. After all, what would Alice Cooper be if he just got up on stage and played? So the entire Cooper organization, known aptly as Alive Productions, led by mastermind Shep Gordon and flanked by female staff dressed in Keystone Kop uniforms, went off to the 30th Street Precinct in New York to shoot themselves a movie.

The entire production was supervised by Hitchcock. Hitch, who does indeed have a first name, is intent on being known as Hitchcock, a la Chip Monck. Ronnie Hersh did all of the camera work under Shep Gordon's direction. The set at the Fillmore had been up anyway, since the Coop was busy rehearsing there was his mini-tour that took place last December and January in preparation for another monster cross-country tour. The entire sequence, which is actually hysterically funny just because the Cooper people always enjoy themselves and are in turn a joy to be with, went without any major problems. Except, of course, for the Dave Libert episode. Libert is Alice's road manager, a job which in itself might indicate that Libert should have some ability and brains. But Libert couldn't help exploring the empty cells of the abandoned jail. He slipped inside one and slammed the barred door behind him. Then he pounded on the bars trying to attract attention by demanding bread and water. After a few chuckles he tried to leave. Foiled again, Libert. The door was firmly locked in place. The Sergeant of the precinct was called, but the keys where nowhere to be found. Over two years ago, the detention facilities of the jail had been close, and the station house was now a traffic control center. The keys disappeared when they stopped bringing in the cons. Libert had found his Elba, and he might still be there.

The filmed segment is not planned for broadcast in the United States. But keep watching these pages for further information about "Teenage Lament '74" and the further adventures of Alice and Con.

Cooper Wins Church Key

The scene is one of those red-carpeted ballrooms with the mirrors on the walls and the trunk-like stands filled with sand for snuffing cigarettes in. The place is the Sheraton Inn in South Madison, Wisconsin. In this gilt and plastic den for-a-night Alice Cooper and his hearty gang are nested for twenty hours. But now the evening is young, and the beastly rockers have elected to hold a press conference attended by local Mayor of the town. Little do Alice and his merry gangsters suspect that the jolly city official is about to present the motley crue with the keys to the city.

Around 50 presspeople have gathered here under the glittering chandaliers to see for themselves what this fantastic phantom of a humanoid is all about. Ms. Cooper arrives wearing no make-up but the local DJ who hosts the proceedings sets of the action with a fashion show, anyway. Maybe Aunt Alice will get some new grooming tips from the Madison houses of chic. At last Alice meets the Mayor and is presented with the key. However, in this case, the key is not that item you insert in a lock, but a huge gigantic gold-coloured can opener. Along with the oversized church key the Mayor presents the king of Kink with a large silver box which resembles a coffin.

Throughout the entire proceedings Monsieur Cooper guzzles steadily from a series of Budweiser beer cans. The next day the baby-chopper zooms out of the Midwest, leaving a wake of choas strewn across Wisconsin stages.

Alice Cooper - Muscle Of Love
(Warner Brothers)

Alice really gets his chances to flex here, and the result is pretty impressive. I could have done without the horns and some of the background vocals, but "Hard Hearted Alice" is definately this group's best ballad yet. Not quite as heavy as Billion Dollar Babies, and not quite up to that record's solid overall excellence, but there ain't much slack here, baby. They're still one of America's finest rocking outfits, both live and on disc, and this record'll keep me satisfied for awhile. Go pull your Muscle of Love today.