In September of 1970 the band called Alice Cooper had been living out of their suitcases for a year; playing gigs across the country nonstop since leaving California in 1969. Choosing to put down roots in just outside of Detroit, in the center of the Midwest rust belt, proved to be one of the best decisions the band ever made, both creatively and financially. With two commercially unsuccessful albums behind them, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Vince Furnier (aka Alice Cooper), Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith were at the threshold of turning their music into Gold and Platinum for the first time. In the dawn of a decade bookended by The Beatles and Punk Rock, Alice Cooper exploded as a revolutionary force in theatrical American Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Alice Cooper in the 1970s: Decades, a new book by UK-based author Chris Sutton explores the story of Alice Cooper from their early years as band of five guys through to the end of the decade, when Alice launched a solo career after the band dissolved.
This week, we bring you more awesome chick rock with the Video Clip for a song called “Captain’s Dead,” from Atlanta’s The Coathangers. The Coathangers first stormed on the scene over a decade ago, with their power firmly rooted in their ability to craft a crooked hook out of a grimy guitar line, a delightfully crass chorus, or an enticingly ham-fisted drum-and-bass groove. And it seems that they are still doing that!
The Coathangers’ mastery of pop cannot be contained, as is evidenced by “Captain’s Dead,” with its sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. Visually, the video is all kinds of crazy fun, and what stands out most for me is the ladies’ great skill in applying eye make up like 1970’s-era Alice Cooper! Check it out and tell me you don’t agree.
“Captain’s Dead” is the first single from the band’s upcoming EP, Parasite (on Suicide Squeeze Records), whose cover art depicts the group as sirens of the sea, an image that aptly captures the EP’s nautical themes! On Parasite, The Coathangers explore the space between their initial unbridled expressionism and their recent nuanced song craft. Says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel of the sequencing of the EP’s five songs, “I’d like to think we take you on a journey through the band’s existence.” Awesome. For vinyl fetishists, Suicide Squeeze is proud to offer Parasite as a one-sided 12” on Sea Green Vinyl, with a b-side etching, in an initial limited pressing of 2000 copies! The EP will also be available digitally worldwide on June 30th, 2017. Enjoy!
Neil and Liane as Alice and Alice (Photo Courtesy of Liane Butler)
When my friend Liane and her husband Neil were invited to a Wacky Alice in Wonderland-Themed 40th Birthday Party, they took the term Wacky as seriously as possible. Not only did Neil go full drag as an extremely authentic blonde-haired Alice, but Liane took her look even further, recreating the classic Shock Rocker eye makeup of Alice Cooper. Seriously, that is just genius. Genius!
Although they are obviously having a great time at the party, notice how Liane stays in character. What dedication!
Liane is also the mother of adorable, two year-old identical twin boys! Welcome to her nightmare!
Here they are again at the party! It looks like fun! Alcohol!
Today Liane also posted a photo of the cake on FaceBook! Amazing!
In a backyard garden in Austin, Texas, lush with native succulents and clusters of Baby Doll Heads on Sticks, artist Scott Stevens has built a unique totem to his favorite musical performer, Alice Cooper. Scott has given Worleygig.com an exclusive on this larger than life representation of Cooper’s iconic eye makeup and how the sculpture came to be.
“I started with a discarded metal fence pole set in a concrete plug,” Scott explains. “Once that was in the ground, I cast a concrete footer around the plug for stability. I used found metal pieces, lathing, tar paper, and lots of bell wire to tie it all together. To create the form I used Portland cement mixed with sand on top of the armature (metal framework). I learned a lot about methods and materials while putting the sculpture together.”
“The totem changes color — ranging from blue green to blackish, depending on the time of day and on the position of the sun. Although Alice’s makeup is black, I didn’t want a big black piece in the middle of all the green cacti. Home Depot pulled through for me again with an exterior satin latex that was mixed to match Liquitex Green Permanent Deep. I dug the hole on Feb 1st and finished painting on July 5th, 2014.
Scott continues that, “It was truly a labor of love – during which I battled loads of mosquitoes! I had been working on drawings of the idea for years and I was motivated to build it this year because Alice was playing a show here in Austin on July 15th (on his tour with Motley Crüe) and I was hoping he would come to visit my yard! I saw him also in Dallas on the 16th – he blew the Crüe off the stage at both stows – and I’ll see him again in Houston on October 11th.”
Roxy Paine, Incident/Resurrection, 2013 (This Image Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery. All Other Photos By Gail)
Paul Kasmin Gallery, in collaboration with Rail Curatorial Projects, is currently hosting the exhibit Bloodflames Revisited, curated by Phong Bui. For this exhibit, in which bright red is a predominant thematic color, a red wooden catwalk has been constructed inside the gallery for visitors to walk on, and the floor has been covered with straw. Very interesting!
Bloodflames Revisited includes works by Worley Gig favorites like Lynda Benglis, Will Ryman, Roxy Paine and Cindy Sherman plus John Bock, Lee Bul, Cameron Gainer, Candida Höfer, Bill Jensen, Michael Joo, Deborah Kass, Alex Katz, Benjamin Keating, Glenn Ligon, Chris Martin, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Donald Moffett, G.T. Pellizzi, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Dorothea Rockburne, Do Ho Suh, Superflex, Tunga, Not Vital and Joe Zucker.
“We were all interested in building a field of vision in which the relationship between the works of art and the spectators is intergrated with greater amplification,” explains Bui.
Rose I By Will Ryman
In this exhibit, Bui and the participant artists pay homage to the seminal March 1947 Bloodflames exhibition at Hugo Gallery, which Alexander Iolas directed before opening his eponymous gallery. Organized by Nicolas Calas and designed by Frederick Kiesler, Bloodflames presented works by Arshile Gorky, Matta, Isamu Noguchi and Jean-Claude Reynal among others.
Kiesler’s design called for an unconventional exhibition construction, wherein artworks were projected and tilted at various angles from the gallery walls, to allow uncommon perspectives of view. His bold architectural interventions dissolved the barrier between viewer and artwork. By recontextualizing this groundbreaking exhibition, Bloodflames Revisited evokes the inventive spirit and unified spatial experience of the original exhibition.
Daniel Joseph Martinez, Redemption of the Flesh: It’s just a little headache, it’s just a little bruise; The politics of the future as urgent as the blue sky, 2008 (Computer-controlled animatronic cloned sculptural installation, fiber-glass and animal hair over aluminum, and synthetic “blood”).
The imposing Daniel Joseph Martinez piece above takes over the entire rear wall of the front gallery. I am sure it looks quite different at this juncture than it does in this pic from the opening reception.
Here are few of our favorite pieces from the show.
Michael Joo, Intuited Composition
Do-Ho Suh, Specimen Series: Stove
Look, it’s Alice Cooper!
Bloodflames Revisted will be on Exhibit Through August 15th, 2014 at at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 Tenth Avenue at 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
I’m going to assume that everyone reading this not only knows who Alice Cooper is, but is also aware that “Alice Cooper” was originally the name of a band with five guys in it. If you don’t know that much, you need to do your homework. Aside from getting your hands on Bob Greene’s long out of print book, Billion Dollar Baby, this film is as good a place as any to get schooled.
Although many only know Alice Cooper as an individual solo artist and Pop Culture icon, there are legions of devoted fans who are deeply dedicated to the music, history and memory of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted original band called Alice Cooper – a group that recorded seven groundbreaking gold and platinum-selling albums of original material and set single concert attendance World Records before disbanding in late 1974. For that latter group, let me speculate now that there will never be a better-made, more authentic public vehicle for telling the story of that original band, in as close to the ‘true story’ as possible, than this film. If the statement “Alice Cooper was a Band” resonates with you, then there is no way you will want to miss seeing this film.
Super Duper Alice Cooper is a highly entertaining documentary that aims to tell the life story of Vincent Furnier, the lead singer of the band Alice Cooper, who took the name as his own when the group disbanded. Vince/Alice’s story is told via first person voice over and vintage interview clips with Alice, but Alice Cooper band bassist Dennis Dunaway (whom Furnier met in high school) and drummer Neal Smith, who joined the band when they were still called The Nazz, also contribute to its engaging narrative. Furnier’s early days playing in local Phoenix bands with Dunaway and AC co-founder and lead guitarist, the late Glen Buxton are discussed in fairly minute detail, so you get a really good idea of the struggle that these guys went through on their way to becoming the biggest band in the world. Oddly, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter, Michael Bruce is never mentioned by name even once in the film.
The most enjoyable parts of the film, for me, were the up-and-coming story of the band, its transition into becoming Alice Cooper, and the insane live performance footage, 90 percent which I would guess has never been shown in public before. It is one thing to read about how the band Alice Cooper invented Shock Rock, but it is an entirely different animal to see it play out before your eyes. No wonder that fans who were lucky enough to see the band live 40 years ago still talk about those shows to this day.
I’d say that a good 80 percent of Super Duper Alice Cooper is dedicated the formation and disintegration of the band (and holy shit, what a great fucking band they were), with the other 20 percent covering Alice’s budding solo career, alcoholism, cocaine addiction and recovery. So, there’s something for everyone. Consult Google to find a showing in your area, or wait for the DVD release. Either way, you gotta see this film.
The Worley Gig Gives Super Duper Alice Cooper 5 out of 5 Stars!
Super Duper Alice Cooper is a new documentary film due for release in the Spring of 2014 that will be previewed at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC in April. While the film’s storyline seems to be based on Alice’s time fronting the band from whom he would eventually take his name as a solo artist, it appears, sadly, that it also focuses fairly tightly on the myth and legend of Alice (AKA Vince Furnier) as an individual, rather than on the story of the band which was made up of five individuals. Not that the filmmaker isn’t allowed to make the film he wants, if he wants to just focus on Alice. But it’s like every time somebody refers to the band called Alice Cooper as a “He” it just makes me want to scream. And this is kind of more of the same. Alice Cooper was a band.
I have heard that Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith, as well as producer, Bob Ezrin were interviewed for the film although there are no on camera appearances. But at least fans will get to see classic performance footage of the original band including Dennis, Neal, Michael Bruce and the late Glen Buxton. This would be my main motivation for seeing the film.