Old Memories

This track kicks off Alice Cooper’s Muscle Of Love, a CD I just received the other day and haven’t heard for easily 30, maybe 35 years. It brought a big smile to my face, taking me back all those years.


1) This was essentially my second rock ‘n’roll album. A friend of mine had introduced me to non-radio rock ‘n’ roll via Billion Dollar Babies prior to us starting catechism class together after not seeing each other for a couple years. I believe I was 12. After listening to Babies for months, I remember shoveling snow in order to buy Alice’s newest, Muscle Of Love. With no internet or older sibling guidance, my best guess was to buy the newest one (I often did this), figuring the newest was the best. It took me years to discover that isn’t true and it took me until years later to discover the best Alice Coopers – Love It To Death, Killer and School’s Out.

2) I had bought the Guess Who’s Share The Land and American Woman albums a couple years before, but then lost interest in music for a while (?!). Such is the life of a little kid.

3) Muscle is the last for the Alice Cooper band. Listening to the entire album one can hear the transition to the soon-to-come solo Alice Cooper. The crappy song ratio increases and the guitar sound is radically different as Glen Buxton was too drunk/drugged to play at this point. The Mick Mashbir/Dick Wagner duo is in full swing here. I imagine they let Michael Bruce still play a little rhythm guitar.

4) It’s also a pretty forgotten/ignored Alice Cooper album and that’s legit. Funny, the first two Alice albums are kind of ignored too, the weirdo Zappa-like Pretties For You and Easy Action. I’ve always counted Love It To Death as their debut.

5) No idea what (Hippo) is supposed to mean. Still don’t.

6) The “big” hit off this album was Teenage Lament ’74. If you remember anything from this album, it’s probably that one. Just found Big Country covering it for another hearty (?!).

4 thoughts on “Old Memories

  1. This is a really great, Steve. Such a sweet remembrance of some killer stuff. I saw Alice on a golf commercial the other day, and since I play, all I could do was crack up. I met him 20 years ago at his restaurant. We are same height, build, hair (different colors).

    Anyway, this is great. As are the tunes…

  2. Yeah, I get sentimental about discovering rock music.

    I’d love to write a book one day about how each generation (60s, 70s, 80s, etc.) discovered rock very differently.

    I spoke to a musician friend of mine who grew up in the 60s and he said back then, the radio was still a legit source for good music.

    I, personally, in the 70s, was stuck between that legit radio period (radio was pretty much on suck by my teenage years) and tons of outside guidance, which books like the Rolling Stone Record Guides began and the internet overwhelms today.

    If a kid discovers “Billion Dollar Babies” today, with a few clicks of the keyboard he or she can find unlimited strong opinions of where to go next. Lots of word of mouth from my little circle of friends who were determined to find un-sucky music. As well, I took lots of shots in the dark – sometimes just buying an album because the cover looked cool. It didn’t work sometimes, but, when it did, it was like finding a four leaf clover.

    I’ll have to spend the rest of the day weeping and lamenting my youth.

  3. I straddled the line. Early on it was the radio almost exclusively for discovering new music. In the late 60s, as albums began taking over from singles, word of mouth started coming into play. But at that time so did FM radio. A big source for us starting then was older siblings, the hipsters of their day. For a while that was enough, but I remember hearing the original “Heroin” in the summer of 1969 and thinking that there was more to this than met the eye. I first saw The Stooges and Alice Cooper on TV of all things, as the opening acts for then-superstars Mountain, Traffic and Grand Funk Railroad. That was an eye-opener and for me the beginning of the split from the mainstream. Yeah, I remember when Alice Cooper was controversial and underground.

  4. As documented, Peggy Sue, which was kind of edgy for its time, nailed me in 1958, and all there was was radio. i listened to Top 40–KROY in Sacramento, KEWB and KYI and KFRC (which is now the Giants flagship station)–were the victims.

    KYA was the coolest, as Tony Bigg (who became Tony Pigg), Jim Washburn, Tom and Rachel Donahue, all defected in 1966 in SF and formed KMPX, the first alternative FM station in the country I believe. But, that contract died and they formed KSAN, which lasted till 1980, went country, and then migrated back to middle of the road adult rock which it is now. and, i rarely listen, going for the alternative, metal, or truckee stations i like rather than that boring stuff. or spotify.

    it is why i still love the radio, even though i am loving spotify, as well. more to come on all someday.

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