Rock Blog: Alice Cooper & Election Day

© Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK

October 17, 2016

It's around this time every four years where the iconic election songs come to mind. Cream's “Politician”,  The Byrds' “I Wanna be a Politician”, Gil Scott Heron's “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, The Who's “Won't Get Fooled Again” – (Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss?). And of course there's Green Day's “American Idiot”. But when we're just a few weeks away from electing our next president, I can't help but think about a guy who really never seemed to send much of a political statement at all - Alice Cooper. “Elected" was the tune. And just like a couple of other Alice nuggets, they have their place as musical benchmarks. 

In the spring, no matter your age, you're back in 1972, maybe even driving a Firebird with the windows down on the last days of high school, screaming "SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER." "I'm Eighteen" also brings back memories of high school defiance. But every 4 years when we reach the nitty gritty of choosing our next president, all I see is the guy who became Alice Cooper, dressed in red white and blue, rocking the Uncle Sam top hat snarling, " I'm your top prime cut of meat, I'm your choice. I want to elected." 

 

Alice Cooper was a band. Originally. It's wasn't until Vincent Furnier, the voice and face, stepped so far in front of the rest of the band, that he actually became Alice. Alice Cooper were outrageous from the start. They had the jump on Ozzy, Kiss, The Tubes and the rest who followed. Some referred to them as Shock Rock. A little more perspective on them, weird always connects with weird - Frank Zappa was the band's early mentor, signing them to his record label. Blood, makeup, guillotines, full on stage shows, songs about death and other assorted sick things. As a matter of fact, they had a song called "Sick Things". They were early adopters of the notion that while the songs might lure you, the stage performance would slay you.

 

If you want to jump into Alice Cooper, start with the album Billion Dollar Babies. You know some of the songs. At least you know "Elected", "No More Mr Nice Guy", maybe the title track, or the equally as great "Generation Landslide" and "Raped and Freezing". There's even a fun little ditty about necrophelia, called "I Love the Dead". This, friends, was heavy metal in 1973. It was brash, loud, confident and fun. It took a lot of chances. It was the pinnacle of Alice Cooper, their biggest album. They were the band every teenage kid loved and you parents absolutely detested. 

Now, you can catch them live when they come to the Emerald Queen Casino on October 20th. Or catch his most recent collective, The Hollywood Vampires, with Johnny Depp, Joe Perry and a rotating cast of rock's best. Or perhaps you might see him playing golf outside of Phoenix, where he's loved the sport for many years. And how metal is that?

 

On the morning of November 9th, half of us won't be happy because the nominee we voted for will have lost, and we'll settle for four years of discontent. That’s politics, and politics aren't much fun. But Alice Cooper is. So maybe Alice Cooper had it right, all those years ago: “Kids want a savior, don't need a fake /  We're all gonna rock to the rules that I make”. Or maybe it's just a fun poke at the whole system. 

 

- Sergeant Hairclub AKA Dave Richards