New York Times

Originally Published: March 16, 1975

Pop Notes: Here Come the King of Shock Rock

Author: Henry Edwards

Bace yourself: After 20 months out of the public eye, Alice Cooper is bringing a new dose of madness and mayhem to the nation's giant-sized arenas. Commencing on April Fool's Day in Chicago, the 27-year-old, snaggle-toothed, stringy-haired "Kind Of Shock Rock" will give 59 performances in 57 cities during a 14-week tour. Including in the itinerary is a visit to New York City's Madison Square Gardens on May 5.

"I craved the opportunity to convert my fantasies into the most totally theatrical rock 'n' roll extravaganza imaginable," Alice said recently in Toronto where he is taping a television special, "and now I've finally settled down to do it."

It will cost $250,000 to bring these "fantasies" to life, and costumes and props will account for a large part of the expenditures. Even though he is not a conventional rock sex symbol, Alice does plan to make 10 costume changes during the course of his performance. At one point in the evening, for example, he and his back-up musicians will appear dressed as winged rodents. Two dancers, costumed as huge furry spiders, will participate in a "fantasy" entitled "The Black Widow." A 10-foot-high Cyclops with a laser-beam eye and a detachable horned head will also figure in the Cooper phantasmagoria.

Alice Cooper's rock-music vaudeville of ghoulishness undoubtly is the pop world's most successful novelty item. His eight LP's - including a "greatest hits" collection - have sold 12-million copies during the past six years; in addition, his last blitzkrieg across America grossed five-million dollars. Will the superstar once again set out on a profit-making venture? Or have his fans - most of whom are in their early teens - grown weary of his pageant of peculiarity during his long absence from the stage? The first indication that Cooper's box-office power is as potent as ever came from Detroit where the 17,000-seat Olympia Stadium was sold out in five hours. In Detroit, at any rate, Cooper addicts as well as initiates have demonstrated that they are hungering for another demonstration of Alice Cooper's unsavory brand of rock 'n' roll.