Billion Dollar Baby


Bob Greene was the author of the book 'Billion Dollar Baby', one of the essential reads for an Alice Cooper fan if you can find it (it's on 'the Net'). Greene traveled as a member of the band during the 'Billion Dollar Babies Holiday Tour' of '73 and also played the part of Santa at the end of the shows.
The book is probably the closest that anybody not on the tour could get to knowing what it was like to be with Alice Cooper during the height of his/their success. It starts out in the studio with Alice putting the last touches to what became 'Muscle Of Love', through rehearsals and onto the road and vividly shows a band on the brink of disintegration. You meet all the main players of the tour and can see how the pressures within the band were taking their toll.

Alice has stated that the band used to stage certain events for Greene to write about, and Neal and Dennis have stated that Greene only wrote about the negative things said, deliberately leaving out the positive comments, but even so, the book features a good reference point for this period. It can also be said that while there were many reasons behind the band not reconvening after 'Welcome To My Nightmare', the book probably played it's part.

HardbackPart of Greene's deal was that he could release the book without anyone reading it prior. Supposedly, Alice read parts of the book at the time it came out.
(Renfield, October 1996)

Bob Greene wrote a very slanted book. His entire book is written with the premise that Greene is going to "expose" Alice Cooper to the world, and finally let everyone know that Alice Cooper is really just a put-on. But at one point in the book, he quickly inserts:
"Still, on measure, such flashes of moroseness from Alice as Rebecca had noticed were the exception. They were noticeable mainly because they contrasted so sharply with his standard persona--the joking, jabbering, laughing, wise-cracking kid who doesn't want to think about growing up, who would rather stay a punk for the rest of his life, if he had the choice. That was the Alice that remained visible most of the time--and since he was the star, that was the tone the tour took on most of the time."

So, what Greene is really admitting is that Alice really was the wise-cracking kid most of the time. And, yet he never really provides any such scenarios in his book. Instead, he details in full, every scenario where Alice is "morose". This is incredibly unfair and slanted when Greene, himself, admits that these "flashes of moroseness" were the exception. So with respect to Greene's book, the following questions arise: If Alice's "morose" moments were the exception, why is this the gist of Greene's book? Also, if Alice's wise-cracking persona was "visible most of the time", then why aren't there any such scenarios in Greene's book? So, in essence, with this one paragraph inserted in the book, Greene is admitting that he is overblowing the "exceptional" events and ignoring the majority of the time where Alice really was the "joking, jabbering, laughing, wise-cracking kid who doesn't want to think about growing up, who would rather stay a punk for the rest of his life, if he had the choice". Essentially, Greene is admitting that his own book is very slanted.
(Susie, October 1996)

I think most everyone agrees that it is a really well written book. But I don't think that someone like Greene can be thrust into a situation like the 'Billion Dollar Babies' tour and give much more than just a reporter's point of view. I know that I have seen things happen on tours that if an "outsider" were to witness them, one would think that everyone on the tour hated each other and that everyone was ready to quit. It would be like walking into the middle of a family argument which wouldn't necessarily represent what that family was like all of the time.
(Renfield, November 1997)