There appears to be so much Alice Cooper news at the moment, that I've no time for the usual pleasantries, other than a quick 'hello'. So, with that out of the way, it's eyes down.
Alices' first single for nearly three years was released on MCA Records. Entitled "He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)', it came out during the summer in the USA to coincide with the release of the latest 'Friday The 13th' movie 'Jaso Lives'. Despite some screen time for the promotional film on MTV, the single failed to make a major impact on the charts over there. Then, completly out of the blue, Alice appeared as if by magic on BBC TV's 'Rock Around The Clock' special, where, along with Elsie, he chatted with Mark Ellen. Resplendent in the familiar eye make-up, Alice looked and sounded in fine fettle and told Ellen that "the world needs me". The following Monday, Alice appeared on BB?C TV's 'Breakfast Time' for two short interviews, with the promo clip for 'He's Back' getting an airing. The rest of the day was spent doing press for a large variety of UK newspapers and magazines and a short radio spot (anyone have a copy of this?). In the evening he attended Motorheads' appearance at Hammersmith Odeon, where Lemmy gave Alice an onstage name-check. Alice left halfway through the show and went clubbing with the latest HM sensation, Zodiac Mindwarp, who, with the Love Reaction, will bbe supporting on Alices' UK tour, which was the main reason for Alices' all too brief visit to our fair land, (as well as to announce the release of 'Constrictor', the new album, a review of which is enclosed in the free supplement with this issue). At the time of writing, the single has reached the lofty heights of number 61 on the UK singles chart - not surprising since both 'Top Of The Pops' and 'Saturday Superstore' effectively 'banned' the promo clip, which consists of nothing particularly controversial. Along with absolutely minimal daytime radio airplay, it's not surprising the single didn't do to well, but I'm also annoyed with the idiots who, unable to wait for UK releases of the single (and the album), have been paying inflated prices for American imports from specialist stores, which do not have any bearing on the official chart! So if you haven't bought any of Alices' records from a chart return shop, you can only blame yourselves. In so doing you'll have missed out on the picture sleeve and poster bag and serves you right! The 12" of the single features an extra track on the b-side. The signs are that 'Constrictor' should do quite well.
The warm-up dates for the tour started in Santa Barbara on October 24th and the showpiece will be at the 16,000 Joe Louis Arena in, of all places, Detroit, which will be broadcast live across the USA on MTV on October 31st, Halloween night. That show sold out so quickly that another has been added for the previous evening. The UK tour opens at Wembley Arena on November 23rd and, needless to say, the dates (I'm sure you know what they are) have sold out! By the way, I have to say a big 'sorry' to all those without tickets, but I'm not in a position to provide you with any and I've had to return the cheques and postal orders which have flooded my way. I wish I could help!
The horror movie which Alice made in Spain in 1984 has finally been released on video cassette. The film features two new Alice compositions, "Identity Crisis' (which is fab, sounds like The Rolling Stones playing 'Zorro's Ascent'!) and 'See You In The Mirror'. Alice gives a competent performance, but unfortunately, the films' dialogue has been completely dubbed with another, so you can see Alice but not hear him! The film has reverted to it's original title 'Monster Dog'. In a recent interview, Alice said:
"It didn't have much of a plot. It was an excuse to see how many people we could kill. It was a kick."
Alice also had some interesting things to say about his past:
"It got messy towards the end, with the original band, with lawyers getting involved. The ballads were never intended to be singles, I didn't want them to be. They got so much airplay that they became natural hits. I think thats' maybe why the rock'n'roll kids thought I was going for the 'parent' market. When I still owed four albums, I played out the string. But I made sure that those last albums were good Alice Cooper stuff."
The new tour promises a great deal and there's no doubt that Alice will deliver performances which will surpass his past exploits.
I'll be going to all the shows and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!