Thursday, November 22, 2012

Me 'n Alice Cooper

Sometimes you have to break out of your comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary – out of the norm – just to have the experience of it, to (maybe) satisfy a curiosity, or just to say you did it.

Well, this is going to sound odd, I know, but Alice Cooper did all that for me, and more.

For a birthday gift, my friend, his number one fan, took me to see Alice Cooper in concert. Although I’m not his number one fan, she is, and my curiosity about the infamous rock legend had me sharing the experience with her.

I knew only a bit about the great Alice Cooper – his signature ‘evil’ teardrop black makeup around his eyes one of his trademarks. I knew some of his songs, and kinda knew what I was getting into: hard ‘shock’ rock with a hint of psychedelic. With past albums named like ‘Love it to Death’ and ‘Welcome to my Nightmare,’ I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

We are of different generations, me, her and Alice. When I was a toddler, his colourful career was in bloom and my friend was 13 and entering her rebel years – hence her attraction to him. His classic song ‘I’m Eighteen' was a hit in 1971 when I was born, his next big hit ‘School’s Out’ in 1972 had everyone rockin’ hard when I was toddling around. Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier) was born only a year after my dad in 1948.

The badass rocker that parents loved to hate of the 70’s drew my rebel friend like a moth of a flame. Where at 13 I wanted to marry Rick Springfield, at 13 my friend loved everything rebellious about Alice Cooper. While I was new to the world, my friend with classic teenage rebelliousness savoured his ‘dark side’ and relished in unfavourable parental attitudes – what teenager doesn’t? His bad boy ways drew her in, and with nary two dimes to rub together, she made big BIG plans to hitchhike to Toronto to see his concert – yes, at age 13.

She never got there.

So 40 years later, I shared in her lifelong dream.

Plumes of smoke instantly billowed above the heads of his fanatical fans as soon as he walked on the stage – and not the kind of smoke of the dry ice persuasion, if you know what I mean. Where I tried not to inhale, I realized I was a far cry from wishing I could throw my Care Bare panties on stage of a Rick Springfield concert in the 80’s.

From flamboyant outfits with garish top hats to finish off the ensemble, he strutted around the stage, his guitarists racing from one side of the stage to the other. He sang, performed and existed on that stage for the crowd – all while waving around swords, whips and riding crops. From wearing lab coats smeared in blood to be transformed on an operating table to a 10 foot Frankenstein, to later wearing a pink straight jacket and struggling to ‘be’ as he sang, to then paying homage to the past greats like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison (complete with gravestones on stage), he rocked the house while fireworks, spotlights and smoke (of ALL kinds) hung heavy in the air.

Baby dolls made to look dead (from one of his songs) decorated the evil looking stage, and at the end, streamers and paper confetti shaped in feathers (reminiscent of the ‘Chicken Incident’ in a 1969 concert in Toronto involving a chicken, a story that was twisted by the press) made the whole experience a spectacular spectacle. HE was a spectacular spectacle.

My friend is a ‘good girl,’ as am I, but Alice brought out the bad girl in both of us that night. Her with her earplugs (just in case) and opera glasses to see him better, and me worrying if I had enough hairspray in my hair to withstand the rambunctious crowd, never mind constantly concerned if my umbrella was still in my purse to protect my hair from the rain after the concert, we were BAD, we were EVIL and we were ROCKERS!

We missed parts of the show while worrying how to work our cameras.

After the concert, with our ears ringing, us grinning from ear to ear (I didn’t inhale the second-hand smoke, I was just happy to be there), and her sporting her Alice Cooper T-shirt that took a vast amount of decision-making to finally settle on the RIGHT ONE, we followed the wound-up crowd of long-haired rockers, many dressed-up as Alice, out the door of the theatre. With our purses tucked under our arms, our fashionable scarves knotted artfully around our necks, and feeling like the BAD ROCKERS we are, we made our way through the streets to 7-Eleven. I had the munchies for some reason.

In the end, I loved every, EVERY minute of it. Not an avid concert-goer myself, I don’t have much to compare to. But of ALL the concerts I have seen, THAT – whatever THAT was – was something I will not soon forget. I had an experience I will cherish, I can say I saw a rock ‘n roll legend, I did something different. I can say I am BADASS.



  1. Now that is a true friend, going to an Alice Cooper concert when you're not even a fan! Love the photos. What a hoot!

    1. We had just the greatest time - and my friend made me a fan, indeed! Big shout-out goes to her for taking me, and for us being able to share the experience together! Loved every moment, and the memories are ones I will cherish always! Thanks for reading, Ros!

  2. You are one ultra cool rocker Lisa! Glad you had such a rocking time!

    1. Thank you, Jodie! It was a great, great night, indeed! THanks for reading! Lisa

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    1. Thank you, Canada Goose 'anonymous' for your kind words. I will definitely check out your website! Thanks for stopping by! Lisa