Went to work hungover. Got Alice Cooper posters for Niles. In the evening “wrapped” Nobby’s ‘present’
There was DRINKING at the school party?
Where all the students would have been under the age of 18?
How could this happen? I blame the teachers! I blame the Coffee Club committee!
I blame the pub round the corner from the college and its lackadaisical attitude to underage drinking.
No wonder I ‘got off with Holly C’ yesterday?!! I was full of dutch courage!
In other news it looks like I was able to snaffle some promo Alice Cooper posters for my friend Niles. If I was a betting man I’d say they were promos for Alice’s then-just-released “Welcome to my Nightmare” LP, his contribution to the whole “concept album” genre that was rife at the time. It dealt with the nightmares of a child named Steven (no relation), a grim tale which later turned into a stage show that was ahead of its time in terms of theatrics, lighting and special effects.
I never really cared that much for the album. It didn’t seem to have the same catchy punches that Alice’s previous albums had and felt a little too ‘macabre’ for my personal tastes. Yes, I felt there were levels of ‘macabre’ in Alice Cooper’s music. I was evidently a deeply troubled child.
Only two tracks really stood out to me and they were the very two that stood the test of time.
The title track “Welcome to my Nightmare” is a brooding masterpiece, the slow start leading to a funky rhythm even Steely Dan would be proud of. In one of TV’s weirdest moments Alice would later perform the track with The Muppets.
The other ‘killer cut’ is “Only Women Bleed” a song which really only came into its own a few years later. Whilst Alice’s own version of this ballad (about a woman in an abusive relationship) was indeed admirable, it took actress Julie Covington to really set the song alight in 1978.
Julie Covington was a minor National Theatre and Opera performer before she got her big break as one of “The Little Ladies” in TV’s 1976 bizarre musical drama “Rock Follies“… about which I know I will write much more later.
That led to her being invited to sing the lead role in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber‘s extravagant musical “Evita“. She contributed to the soundtrack but refused to perform the role of Eva Perón on stage, leaving assured stardom to beckon for her replacement Elaine Page.
Her performance on “Evita” led to a proper recording contract with Virgin Records and her titular debut album came out in 1978, preceded by her stellar version of Alice’s “Only Women Bleed”. I don’t think she ever had a finer recorded moment?!
I have no memory of what the present was I seem to be preparing for Nobby’s imminent 18th birthday. As I know he is a regular reader of, and comment contributor to, EFA70sTRO I will leave him to reveal the secret… as I am sure his brain cells are somewhat less addled than mine?!