24 | N OV E M B E R
8 – 15 | 2013
W W W. S A N TA B A R B A R A S E N T I N E L .CO M
WE WON! 2013
BEST CLAM CHOWDER! & BEST OVERALL! (2012 PEOPLE’S CHOICE, too!)
Come in today and taste Santa Barbara’s Best!
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...continued from p.8 college, even though we knew we were going to L.A. to be in a band. I never even considered going anywhere to college. I did get my bachelor’s degree at Glendale University in fine arts.
So that’s another one that has a “citation needed.” It says that you were an art student, which is true. Then it says that you’re an admirer of surrealism and that Salvador Dali inspired some of the early stage antics. Absolutely! Now the thing is, it’s three of the guys in the band who were art majors. Salvador Dali was our hero before The Beatles came out. We were Salvador Dali fans, and never ever thinking that we would ever get to work with him. Tomorrow I’m going to be in Tampa Bay, where I’m going to be visiting the piece of art that he did on me. It’s the first moving hologram. I’ve got four million dollars in diamonds and I’m sitting there and I’ve got a Venus de Milo as a microphone. It’s very weird. We did it in 1973 or ’74. So I worked with Dali for about a week on this project. How were you able to meet him back then? He came to the show. He saw the show as surrealism. At the time, everybody had to go see an Alice Cooper show and give their opinion about what it was. Groucho Marx called it vaudeville. He said I was the last hope for vaudeville, and he would bring Fred Astaire, George Burns, Jack Benny, Mae West, all these people to our show, and they loved it. They saw it as pure vaudeville. Then Salvador Dali came to the show and he saw it as surrealism, because it had a lot of the same sort of imagery. There were crutches on stage and there were baby dolls and there were all these things that didn’t belong on stage up there, which he saw as surrealism. We were something to everybody. We were shock rock to a lot of people. We were glam rock to other people. We were hard rock to Detroit people. We were a lot of different things. What did you consider yourselves at that time? Well, we were a hard rock band. I mean, we were a Yardbirds-Who-type of hard rock band, but I always said, “Let the lyrics be the script for the show.” So if you say, “Welcome to my nightmare,” don’t just say it. Do it. Give ‘em the nightmare. We were the first to do that. Nobody had ever done theatrics before Alice Cooper. So we kind of broke that barrier down that you could do visuals and music at the same time.
And of course that was widely inﬂuential, and now, who doesn’t have visuals, right? Yes, that’s exactly it. After us, Kiss came out and Bowie came out after that. But in the beginning, we fought that battle that everybody went, “Oh well, you take their theatrics away and their sensational show and they’re not a very good band.” What they didn’t realize is that we did ten-hour rehearsals and nine hours was on the music. Because we realized that you couldn’t put the icing on the cake unless you have the cake. Our next “citation needed” refers to ’71 to ’72, just before “School’s Out” came out. It says, “Back then, the real criticism was aimed at questioning the artist’s sexual ambiguity rather than the stage gore.” We realized that all worked together. Here’s a guy named Alice Cooper. This is 1969, 1970. There’s nothing like this. There are snakes on stage, there’s a guillotine, there’s blood, there are baby dolls. It looks like some sort of demented nursery gone really wrong. It’s a nightmare, but the music is hard rock and it’s really solid and we have hit records. So nobody knew what to do. They just didn’t know how to take us. The sexuality… Alice Cooper was a guy. Back then, that scared everybody in the world. Nobody knew what I was. They thought that I was some kind of a transsexual. In fact, a lot of Rocky Horror Picture Show was based on Alice Cooper. Somebody showed the director’s notes to me one time. The original director’s notes for Dr. Frank N. Furter say “a la Alice Cooper,” “a la Alice Cooper.” Everything was “a la Alice Cooper” [laughs]. The funny thing was that the guys in the band… there was nobody gay in the band. Nobody was getting high. We drank beer. Every conception about us was wrong. We were probably more wholesome than the Partridge Family. It’s just that our stage show was definitely not wholesome. We were guerrilla theater. Rock didn’t have a villain. We had a ton of Peter Pans and no Captain Hook. I said, well, I’ll gladly be the villain. I’ll be the Moriarty of rock ‘n’ roll. That’ll be fine with me. I have the face for it. So I created Alice to be rock ‘n’ roll’s Frankenstein. The whole Alice Cooper thing was the personification of a real villain. How has the character of Alice Cooper changed over the years? Well, everybody got the joke. I think everybody finally got the joke. To us, the joke was the fact that here was this band that was just almost Clockwork Orange.
An Evening of Champagne n’ Oysters at
Corks n’ Crowns Tasting Room November 15th 5-8pm Oysters shucked to order by The Jolly Oyster, Special 8 ﬂight Champagne & Sparkling Wine Pairing with half-dozen oyster $30 One Night Discount of up to 30% off pre-order. Champagne Beer and Wine also available, Come warm up by the ﬁreplace and kick off the holiday season!
Corks n’ Crowns
Tasting Room and Wine Shop
32 Anacapa Street in the heart of Santa Barbara's Funk Zone
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11am-7pm