With one concert under my belt I was looking in the NY Times every Sunday to see who was coming to town. Much to my surprise, The full inside page of the front cover was the announcement of Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies Show at Nassau Coliseum. I had become quite a fan of The Coop having purchased his entire catalog. Billion Dollar Babies just came out and I bought it immediately. I mainlined that album like a heroin addict.
Billion Dollar Babies was the fourth perfect Alice Cooper album in a row. Love It To Death, Killer, Schools Out were the other three. All of those albums spoke to me with their macabre themes, vaudevillian showmanship and of course that sense of humor. Perfect albums, ground breaking and hailed as masterworks by anyone in the hard rock and heavy metal business. Plus, the fact that Alice Cooper became known as “the group your kids should not listen to” made them that much more appealing.
I immediately got my tickets to see Alice. I remember the concert being months away and I actually counted the days. This would be only my second concert, but the first where I knew every song they would sing. I was beyond excited.
The day before the concert I was so wound up I actually ran a fever of 103. My mother, convinced I had some kind of flu, almost stopped me from going. It was the first time in my young life I had to fake “not sick.” It worked.
The day came and I still remember every minute of that show today. After hundreds of concerts, still on the list of my all time top 5. Alice Cooper is a true showman. He puts everything into it.
He tells a great story that at one of his shows he found out that Groucho Marx and Mae West were in the audience. They loved the show and called as good as anything they had seen on the vaudeville stages.
Turns out, Alice and Groucho remained close friends.
Of course, I later felt betrayed by Alice Cooper when I discovered he played golf with Bing Crosby. A far cry from eating a snake’s head, hanging himself, and chopping his head off. I was a little pissed at him for that.
I was even more pissed when he did “You and Me”, I’ll Never Cry” and a few other adult contemporary crap songs he put out. Alice Cooper was my first rock n roll disappointment. I later forgave him and still have a place in my heart for him.