(2b) Alice Cooper joins Dave Cobb on Southern Accents Radio on Apple Music Country for an incredible journey through the life and tunes of the legendary shock rocker.
From the dirty blues of Chuck Berry to the psychedelic nihilism of the Doors, Alice Cooper shares his most personal influences as well as some explosive (literally) stories from his nearly 60 years of performing. Listen to the full episode from Southern Accents Radio with Dave Cobb on Apple Music Country anytime on-demand here.
Key quotes from the interview are below. Alice Cooper Talks To Apple Music About The Influence of Chuck Berry... AC: I had an uncle and I was about seven or eight years old, and I, I saw Elvis for the first time and he said, if you like Elvis, you're gonna love this. And he played me Chuck Berry. But it was the first time I ever heard a rock and roll record that was driven by guitar.
And so I went, whoa, I really like that. And I always considered Chuck Berry to be the best lyricist ever in rock and roll. He could tell you a story in three minutes with a punchline and you could visualize the whole thing. There's not a word called "Botheration," but there is with Chuck Berry. And "the Coolerator" was full. You know, I said I understood totally what he was talking about, chasing "Nadine" down the street in a coffee colored Cadillac. I learned how to write lyrics by just listening to Chuck Berry. But I mean, when you listen to "Memphis, Tennessee," and "Johnny B. Goode," they all tell a story. And they all have an ending or a punchline, you know? Um, uh, "No Particular Place to Go" gets the girl out in the boondocks and can't get her seatbelt off. That's hysterically funny.
Alice Cooper Talks To Apple Music Aobut Hearing The Beatles For The First Time...
AC: (It was) the very first Beatles song I heard. I was painting my house, it was 1963 or 64, and I'm painting my house summertime listening to the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys, you know? And all of a sudden I heard "She Loves You. Yeah, yeah, yeah..." I stopped and I went, what was that? It was totally different from anything I'd ever heard. I hadn't heard any hype about The Beatles. I didn't know that they had long hair. I didn't know that they wore Beatle boots and wore suits and were from England. I had no idea. I just heard the song and then an hour later I heard, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." And I went, what is going on? Who are these guys? And the next thing I know, I mean, my friends and I just sat back and said, we gotta be in a band. I don't care what band you're in, I don't care if you're in Cradle of Filth, you learn from The Beatles.
Alice Cooper Talks To Apple Music About The Impact of Producer Bob Ezrin...
Dave Cobb: Bob Ezrin is one of my heroes, top five favorite all-time producer heroes. Talk about working with him. I was a big fan of him because his music was orchestral. The records he made were orchestral.
AC: He brought the classic thing to us. We were a Detroit, you know, Yardbirds band. And he came in and when he listened to "Eighteen" and those songs, he just said, what if this had an oboe underneath it? Or, what if this had a cello under the bass? We all looked at it and said, what are you insane? You know? And then we listened to it and went, oh, okay. We got it. So he brought, you know that to the table. If you listen to Dead Babies or if you listen to any of those, Stephen, uh, "Dwight Fry," any of those songs, I mean all that classical stuff in the background is what he brought to the table. And, and we loved it.
Dave Cobb: I mean, that's pretty revolutionary. Even at that time. I know The Beatles had orchestra stuff on records but rock and roll. It, it wasn't that what you were doing was so different than any of those records. It just must have been insane to kinda walk in and hear.
AC: Yeah, it was, and that's why Ezrin was the, you know, he was sort of the other guy in the band.
Alice Cooper Talks To Apple Music About Explosive Stage Antics...
Dave Cobb: Fred Mendel. He played with you for a long time,
AC: Fred. Yeah. Freddy played keyboards for us and some guitar.
Dave Cobb: Fred is one of my favorite people in the world. And he's been retired for a second. But I call him out every time I can and get him to come to the studio. But I know he has a lot of fun times with you. He told me about somebody throwing...was it a grenade on stage or something that happened one time?
AC: It was, it was an M-80.
Dave Cobb: M 80. What happened?
AC: Yeah. It almost blew the guitar player's hand off. And so I, that was the only time I ever walked off stage. It was in Toledo, Ohio.
Dave Cobb: Didn't the crowd tear up the stage or something too after that?
AC: No, that, that, you know, that was, well, there were a couple things like that.
Dave Cobb: I don't know how you're still here, man. I I know you had a lot of run-ins with crazy crowds through the years.
AC: Well, the last band that you wanna attack is Alice Cooper. Everything on that stage is a weapon.
Listen to the full episode from Southern Accents Radio with Dave Cobb on Apple Music Country anytime on-demand here.