Hit Parader

Hit Parader - January 1973

Hit Parader
(January 1973)

Originally Published: January 1973

Alice Cooper

Pupil Power

Author: Roy Carr

"You see, there's actually no point whatsoever to our act," confesses Alice Cooper.

"Neither is there a solution or conclusion to what we do in front of an audience. All we do is throw out these ideas and then let people who are watching us interpret it as they see it and act accordingly.

"It's as straightforward as that."

With the second coming of rock in the mid 1960's there was a sticker circulated for a short period stating, "We are the People your Parents Warned You About." Had it come a little later, it could have been conceived with Alice Cooper in mind.

In the eyes of middle class America Alice Cooper is regarded as a pervert and blatant purveyor of bad taste.

Declares Ms. Cooper: "Bad taste... believe me, there's not such a thing nowadays as bad taste. How can anyone say that there's such a thing when the top box office movies are 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'Straw Dogs'."

Cooper also realizes that as long as he continues (with snake, axe, make up, electric chair and songs about 'Dead Babies') to aggravate the paranoia among the Mother of America, his rapidly escalating success is guaranteed.

"You know as well as I do, that today most people are only interested in flagrant sex and violence... to the point where it's becoming a pre-occupation. They just delight in witnessing a gory accident or sit glued to their television sets watching disaster, rape, war and murder," says Alice.

This is more ammunition for those who insist that Alice and Friends are wilfully intent on corrupting. Not since the early Presley or the present Jagger, has anyone individual succeeded in alienating his elders and, at the same time, win over a large segment of the youth culture.

Cooper sits back, bejewelled hand resting on leotarded knee and smiles with satisfaction from beneath his heavily mascaraed eye-lids.

"I just love to scare people," says the mock bisexual bogey man. "From experience I know my parents were really scared of the Rolling Stones when they first came to America and appeared on television. It makes an act like us so much more personal for the kids when their parents openly hate us and show concern when the kids start to copy us by wearing eye make up."

Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" as part of the soundtrack to the film, "The Blackboard Jungle," had an alarming and far reaching effect on the younger generation. Alice Cooper reckons that his big break-through will come with his single, "School's Out" among the militant Pupil Power Movement.

"Pupil Power is a great thing so long as it has some constructive purpose.

"I've noticed that kids today are a lot smarter than when I was a kid. Personally speaking I think that if a kid can take care of himself then he should be encouraged to do so. It makes him more of an individual... it gives him more confidence and eventually makes that person far more self assured.

"The trouble is that kids in America are too spoon fed and that's wrong. In the long run that can prove very harmful.

"I'm not a real revolutionist. I'll leave that to other people but in all honesty I believe that school kids should be given a far better deal.

"I can remember getting kicked out of high school no less that eight times because my hair was just one inch longer than the school regulations stipulated, which was ludicrous. Believe me, I am in total sympathy with many of the kids in what they are forced to endure under the present eductional system."

"Alice at the Palace" is the name of a Broadway show that's set to open at the Palace Theatre, New York in October... with Ms. Cooper as star.

Says Alice: It is my intention to progress into total environmental theater, where nobody can get away, for the simple reason that they are part of the concept. As far as the show is concerned we'll probably just do it for a week and then, depending on the reaction, either take it on tour or sell it to a touring company.

"In the same way we are currently working on our first film, which, like our stage act, has no positive conclusion. It will incorperate both documentary snippets and pre arranged situations, to the point where it will be humorous in some parts and spinetingling in others.

"Probably you won't know what to make of it. But that's neat.

"Music is still very important to us and we have realized this. When we first started out people were not listening to what we were playing. All they did was look at us in one dimension.

"I suppose I have to conceded that we are easier to look at than listen to...

"But our act is designed to cause excitement and to baptize the audience in total energy. But even this can limit an audience's freedom.

"People have got to get into our music more than they have in the past and it appears from the success of our last album and single that this is what they are doing.

"I think the future direction of rock entertainment though, will be the video tape. I'm quite certain it will take over from a lot of concerts. People are wising up-they want to be entertained. They want to be involved.

"Who wants to go to a rock concert and see three or maybe four groups just standing motionless churning out the same rubbish."

(Kindly submitted from the collection of Justin Melnick).