Saturday, June 4, 2011

Alice, Sweet Alice

I'm a freak. I don't mean that to say that I'm a hippie, stoner, Punk Rocker or some other fad. See, I'm always that one step off. As an example, I've been thinking about how much I loved Alice Cooper. Not so strange? Here's the thing, I kinda sorta hated the 1970's Alice Cooper ( a couple of songs were worthwhile, but otherwise, useless to me) and I definitely hate the sober, resting on his laurels Alice of the 1990's onwards. The Alice Cooper I love is the blackout drunk from the early to mid 1980's. Yup, the totally disowned records: Flush the Fashion, Special Forces, and Zipper Catches Skin. I still listen to those records, but when I mention how much I like Alice Cooper, people think I mean stuff like Only Women Bleed, and School's Out, both of which are absolute drek to me, and were part of the reason I hated music in the 1970's.
So, I mention song I like, such as "Who Do You Think We Are" and "Grim Facts" and "I like Girls", and people have no idea. I think that the reason why I like them, and the reason why Vincent Furnier was so self destructive while making them are two sides of the same coin: this is the point where the wheels had come off- where the pieces were worn out and couldn't be made to work. See, that's right where a shock rocker becomes truly shocking. He wasn't playing at being a monster, he was doing everything he could to stop the monster he was becoming, even if it killed him. The music was furious and thrashing, like the band, even was trying to escape from Rocknroll. That's where it gets interesting to me, because that's an honest tension, and something I can understand- the point at which you cannot continue with where you've been going, but you don't yet understand where you should go next. So, you do fake new wave songs dressed half in drag, and half like Rambo. That clicks with me.I can relate to that. See, that's what I mean by saying that I'm a freak- I've always been on that edge where the past has to be dropped, but I can't see the future, just yet. I've grown comfortable with that feeling. I don't think Alice ever did, and so, believe it or not, I feel sorry for the man Vincent Furnier has become.

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