(October 16, 1989)
Originally Published: October 16, 1989
Place: Oakland Apartments, West Hollywood.
Musicians pour into this celebrated abode, as do actors when they arrive in Hollywood to find work in the city of the lost Angels. If they're working on records or films, they tend to stay here. Joey Tempest and Europe hung out here once!
It was hot and smoggy. An open topped Ford was rolling towards the gates that cut the apartment block off from the outside world. The glass box was empty - normally there would have been a guy sitting in there keeping control of everything. There was a telephone inside and a guest list. No strangers can get in. At least in theory. In practice this was easy. There was no security man to be seen. But precautions have been taken. In an emergency, gates can be opened by a button from the car. The driver of the red car was planning to get in with the help of a little button. He is Toby Mamis, Alice Cooper's 'personal manager'. Edgar Klusener his passenger (that's me), watched and saw the wrong barrier open. So Edgar climbed over the foot-high concrete barrier onto the other side and opened the magic barrier.
Toby put the car into reverse gear, drove back a few yards, manoeuvred the red vehicle into the empty entrance and let it roll towards the open barrier.
It went down instantly.
And there was still no watchman to be seen for miles.
But at least we now know how the thing works. So we pressed the knob again, hard and long - and nothing happened. This is getting to much for Toby.
Alice Cooper, was still waiting in his apartment for us. We were meant to pick him up for a date at the 'Hollywood Live'. We only had fifteen minutes left, and we just couldn't reach Alice. So time was short, especially as Dave Mustaine was waiting at the 'Hollywood Live' as well, he was waiting to be executed with the MTV camera team that were going to film him being executed. But what could we do?
Toby was pretty pissed off by now, knew what was to be done. He jumped out of the car, ran over, took off the receiver in the security guard's glass hut and demanded to be let in immediately. The answer was that the barriers started dancing up and down a bit.... Until another car drove forward, pressed on the button and was let in fast and without a problem.
What the hell was going on?
"I've just realised what's going on here," said Toby, "The same thing happened with Alice this morning. Have you ever heard of a 'Candid Camera'?"
And that's what had happened. Some camera men from the TV show 'Candid Camera' had positioned themselves in the bushes, manipulated the barriers and had filmed not just Alice earlier on, but Toby and Edgar later and loads of other famous people. The American TV viewers should have something to laugh about.
Except not at Alice Cooper. He didn't give the sow the go ahead to show the clip. Although "I love the show! I try and never miss it...."
It's different to watch something and have a laugh when you're the victim of the joke.
Hollywood Live: Convention Time In Hollywood
The Hollywood Live is a massive club situated on three separate floors. The biggest room is on the ground floor, where the largest stage is also situated, where things are beginning to happen. Steve Jones will go on stage here in a few hours, so will Vain. Jason Bonham was supposed to but couldn't because of an arm injury. A massive 'electric chair' has been built up on stage, Dave Mustaine, looking well wrecked was standing in front of the stage.
What on earth was happening? Alice Cooper explained: "This is all promotion for the new Wes Craven film 'Shocker', with Kane Roberts in a leading role. The premier will take place quite soon, and it's all being promoted by MTV. Desmond Child and I wrote some of the soundtracks to the film, so we were asked to take part in the party. The tracks are played by various musicians. We wrote the title track for the film for Megadeth, 'No More Mr Nice Guy'. Other tracks are 'Sword And Stone', written by Desmond, Bruce Kulick and Paul Stanley, performed by Bonfire, 'Demon Bell' (Desmond Child, Jason McMaster), played by Dangerous Toys or 'Love Transfusion' (Desmond Child, Alice Cooper, Vladamir Matetski), performed by Iggy Pop and 'Shocker' (Desmond Child, Jean Beauvoir, Guy Mann-Dude), played by the Dudes Of Wrath."
The premier of the film 'Shocker' will take place in the middle of October in New York, and the soundtrack will be simultaneously released on LP, CD and tape.
MTV will advertise the soundtrack in advance with various clips. Which is where Dave Mustaine comes in, where he is meant to sit himself down in a surprisingly realistic looking electric chair. The hang-man, donning a traditional black mask, is represented by Alice Cooper who turns the dial up to the limit and then, once he has completed this, he turns around to the audience and shows his real identity. In other words: MTV produces it's own little horror spectacle.
America's music programme giant has been playing a leading role in Alice's recent life anyway. MTV's 'Headbangers Ball' will be presenting the man's world-wide tour, including the British leg of it.
The tour will be commencing in the far North, pretty close to the polar circle, in Helsinki, Finland. The Cooper train will fight it's way through the more temperate zones, playing the U.K. Towards the end of the year.
We can expect a massive show. We will be presented with three completely separate stage sets. Alice will offer a live offering of most of his achievements to date, blood and horror, sex and fantasy/ and of course 'School's Out'.
The question is, who will be supporting Alice on his European stages? We don't know the answer yet, because the search is still on for musical cohorts. And some of the results surprise Alice:
"All musicians who ever play with me have to at least be familiar with everything I have done to date. So they should know the 'Trash' album, and maybe the more well known tracks I recorded previously. Well, the guys who have auditioned already, didn't just know what I had played in the past, they could even play individual parts perfectly. And that was quite a problem for me: it meant that I had to give all I had during the auditions, so as to keep up with the other guys."
And Mr. Cooper should really take that as a compliment.
So it's still a well guarded secret as to who will be accompanying Alice Cooper - but hopefully we shall soon be told.
'Free Association' is the name of the game played frequently by psychiatrists and psychologists to find out the truth, the character and personality of a person. A game that people frequently enjoy playing in private circles as well. A word or an expression is mentioned, and the other person has to say what comes to mind spontaneously. Let's have a look what Alice Cooper comes up with:
"The most important thing in the world. I've always tried to have as much fun as possible - in every situation and moment!"
"Fun and enjoyment, better than any drug! You can't get enough of it."
"The complete opposite of enjoyment. I hate politics. Politics is a game you can't see through, played by men in grey suits, strange people for whom the feeling of power is more important than an orgasm. The price in this game is our whole world, our life, people and nature. Politics is a game without rules, in which people are always the losers..."
"They are the players in on of the game with the most to lose. Politicians are like a mafia. I hate them!"
"I'm a really untypical rock'n'roller. I've been working with my manager for more than twenty years, and we still love each other. Shep Gordon and I haven't had a contract to this date, we just trust each other implicitly. Shep was always there when things weren't looking so bright and rosy as well. I reckon we must be a pretty unusual team - but we're still successful!"
"I'm an avid TV addict. Nearly everything I know about the world was gained watching TV, watching the news programs, the home and foreign reports, cultural shows and so on. Of course most of the information I have gained by watching television is changes, filtered and has been rehashed, reflecting reality only in certain ways. So my vision of the world is one that is only in part true of what is really happening in the world."
"Strange that you came up with that. My wife teaches ballet in Phoenix, Arizona. I'm about as little interested in ballet as she is in rock'n'roll. Our worlds hardly touch each other - that's probably the reason our marriage is still intact. When I saw my wife for the first time, she was just warming herself up on a bar with one leg sticking straight up in the air and nearly touching her nose. I saw that, and realised how many fantastic possibilities might arise..."
"I love golf. I have had to put the clubs to one side for the moment, because rock'n'roll has priority. Music has taken over 95 percent of my time, my whole life revolves around rock'n'roll..."
"Indescribable. You can't just define love, everyone experiences the feeling in a different way."
"The other side of love. Indescribable."
"Real life. It's horror what TV brings into our houses every day, realistic impressions of war, hardship, blood, murder and death, the joy of portraying all the horror in a sensationalist way that reality brings us daily, reality on every corner, as brightly coloured and over dimensional. The horror of daily life, naked and ugly on the screens, and also directly in front of our own front doors, so massive and realistic that even the most blood thirsty horror film is just a weak reflection of reality. What we do on stage, in films, in literature or in the theatre is only a fictitious horror, an attempt to cope with the mad reality with all artistic possibilities. Even artists the most realistic performances by an artist will still get nowhere near to describing daily horror realistically, because human fantasy just doesn't reach that far."
"I don't have any really moving visions. But I am a really visually fixated person. I literally think in pictures and stories. In a way I'm a real visionary. I often lie awake at night and all the days events, moving past my inner vision like a film, and I sometimes wonder whether these head sequences would work best as a film or as a video. Or even on stage..."
"One of the most important aspects of human life, as well as improving the quality of life, something only appreciated by people who don't have it. I'm still always shocked how little people use the freedom they have, and how gladly they are restricted from various powerful groups, politicians, rules and societies 'norms'. I really believe that every person should be forced to experience a restricted society, so he understands and realises how important a basic freedom is, how much we need it to live in a fairly human way. Only if you really know what freedom is, and how important it is to us as individuals, only he is then able to stand up against any restriction, and if need be to fight for it as well."
"I think the feeling of freedom has a special meaning for me because I suffer from a slight claustrophobia. I hate shut, close rooms, I always live in fear of being shut in a lift one day - maybe even for hours."
"Freedom means for me the possibility to live my life like I want to MYSELF, without having to force myself into a mould, without having to fit in anywhere. Freedom means expressing myself when, how and to what I want to, that I can travel when and how I want to, that I can lead my life how I want to. Freedom and rock'n'roll are inextricably linked. Rock'n'roll and rock musicians just couldn't survive under restrictive conditions, because the music as well as the musicians always want to experience everything to the full - which is why they always are in conflict with all the mechanisms and groups that try and restrict existing freedom..."
We took Alice by his word, and decided to end the story at this point.
Oh yes, Dave Mustaine survived the execution. We'll be taking a closer look at Megadeth in the near future.
The soundtrack to 'Shocker' will also be released this year. Apart from the already mentioned bands, Saraya, Voodoo X and Dead On will also be included.
The DUDES OF WRATH consist of Alice Cooper, Paul Stanley, Tommy Lee, Vivian Campbell, Rudy Sarzo, as well as the afore mentioned guitar virtuoso Guy Mann-Dude.