Alice Cooper revisits Nightmare, Obama re-elected – coincidence?
He tweeted before the election, “If I’m #elected I promise the formation of a new party A third party, the #WildParty!”
And afterwards, “Did I win?”
Contrast this to what Ted Nugent twitted (presented verbatim for the full effect):
Before: “Dear God in heaven America vote Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Republican and save America.”
And after: “Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav a president to destroy America.”
This attitude may come as a shock to the small number of music fans, if there are any, who still consider rock ‘n’ roll the sole domain of the left-leaning liberal, the voice of the counterculture. It’s not, obviously. Not anymore. The list of prominent conservative musicians who came out in support of Mitt Romney includes Dave Mustaine, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., and Nicki Minaj – and wouldn’t that be one heck of a concert bill.
Celebrities getting politically involved in anything is always a dodgy proposition. Some of them are so obnoxious and ill-informed that they turn off as many people as they turn on. It has been suggested that Meat Loaf’s performance at a Romney rally may have single-handedly been responsible for the candidate’s defeat. When George W. won his second term, a group called Citizens United put up a billboard festooned with the faces of Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand and other celebrity lefties, with the caption “4 more years. Thank you, Hollywood!” It’s hard to say if there’s even enough openly right-wing celebrities to warrant a similar ad today, though the Nuge alone has enough venom to counteract the righteous indignation of 10 Sean Penns.
Alice Cooper, meanwhile, has been outspoken about his Christian conservative golf-loving ways for quite some time now, but he never makes a big deal about it. His possible umbrage, if any, over Obama’s victory should only add some edge to his “Raise the Dead” world tour, which comes to the Jubilee Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 14. He’s touring behind the effective sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare, a new album called “Welcome 2 My Nightmare.” It would be disappointing if he didn’t at least joke about the American election – perhaps as a prelude to his song, Elected, in which he waves, but does not burn, the American flag.
Here’s a question for Men of a Certain Age, and you know who you are: Is Alice Cooper scarier now as a 64-year-old Christian conservative golf nut cursed with one of the worst singing voices on the planet, or almost 40 years ago as drugged-up ghoul rocker whose music, for its time, was actually quite shocking? Welcome To My Nightmare contains a song about necrophilia (Cold Ethyl), a song about cannibalism, or at least a strong metaphor (Devil’s Food) and a really creepy tune about messed up kid that was fun to play for easily-creeped out friends who happened to be named Steven. Steven … Steven … The record was the antitheses of the rock trend of the day. As Alice is quoted (on Wikipedia), “We drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation.”
It was already dead, man. And soon after came the notion that there could exist rock stars who didn’t toe the liberal line. Ted Nugent’s debut also came out in 1975, followed by Bat out of Hell in 1977. Coincidence?
Since then, of course, the craft of shock rock has grown, like a fungus, far beyond the imaginings of its originators. In the land of death metal where even Marilyn Manson seems old hat to an unshockable young audience, Cooper’s newest songs like “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” are more likely to elicit laughter than gasps (from the titles alone) – and since he’s no dummy, he’s pretty clear on that. It’s horror burlesque. It was satire from the start, he’s said before.
As for Alice’s political beliefs? In truth, while he may lean right, he is rarely drawn into choosing sides. He actually defended Obama two years ago while his hard rocking peers were bashing the president. Last summer with the CBC’s George Strombolopolous, Cooper said, “I said something that got me typecast as a right wing Republican – which I’m not. At the time we were at war and I was asked who I wanted for president, and I said I’d rather see a pit bull than a poodle. If you’re going to be in a war, be in it to win.”
Well, whatever. Call him a libertarian. Call him someone who believes that it doesn’t matter who the President of the United States is. It’s General Electric that runs things anyway.
Cooper is far more outspoken when it comes to religion in any case. During an Edmonton Sun interview in 2005, he made it abundantly clear, “I’m a true believer on every level. There are so many people who take the stand that the Bible is a series of stories that try to give us moral points and this and that. I don’t believe that. I believe those stories are absolutely correct. If we’re believing that God created the heaven and the Earth and all the systems, then He can certainly put three guys in an oven and have them come walking out. He can certainly part an ocean, He can certainly come alive again after being crucified. That would be easy for Him.”