#MusicMonday – October 12, 2020

…I think you’re gonna like it!

Halloween Music Month continues on, with another Halloween-esque song that gets an A for effort in the “spooky” department. Today’s entry comes from 1975, and by a singer who, under strange eye makeup and long, black hair, is actually a really nice, golf-loving guy. Who happens to wear strange eye makeup and have long, black hair.

Did I mention he has a girl’s name?

There was a really funny story at my last job about this. Stick with me, you’re gonna like it.

I guess.

“Welcome to My Nightmare” is a 1975 single by Alice Cooper, from his eighth studio album, this one of the same name. Previous efforts by Cooper were credited as band efforts, but Welcome to My Nightmare is a solo effort for the singer (real name Vincent Damon Furnier). More on that later!

But first…

“Welcome to My Nightmare” was the third single released from the album, done so in October 1975, and with a music video (in the pre-music video days) that certainly reflects a nightmare, complete with dancers interpreting such, and Cooper in full makeup slinking around the bed that a non-makeup wearing Cooper is having his nightmare in.

It’s weird and creepy, but nothing short of what you’d expect from Cooper.

“Welcome to My Nightmare” reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100, with the album reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 200. The album on the whole received generally mixed reviews upon its release, but time has been kind to it, with respective reviews really taking a liking to the album, and its songs. As for the single, it was performed on The Muppet Show, and placed 10th in AOL Radio’s “10 Best Halloween Songs.”

So, what’s in a name?

“Alice Cooper” was actually the name of the band, but Furnier adopted the name legally in 1975. As for his look, that was partly inspired by Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Great Tyrant in Barbarella, with a little Emma Peel from The Avengers thrown in (the black gloves). The band originally took on the name in 1968, because it sounded “innocuous and wholesome.”

As for that story I alluded to…

I worked at a semi-private country club from 2006 until 2009, something I’ve more than likely mentioned at least once in my writing. Alice Cooper and his band (as of that time), played at the course, as it was owned by a casino operating company and they came as guests of VIP Marketing Department. Cooper and his band took four foursomes out on the course, and Mr. Cooper would play with each group as their fifth. I got to work on that Friday afternoon to work my afternoon and early evening shift, and my co-worker could not wait to tell me. And I believed her, because of something that happened prior to the time I started (as told to me by another co-worker).

Some years earlier, Alice Cooper was set to play at the course, and our locker room attendant, an older gentleman with total Southern Hospitality (he was the nicest guy; he died suddenly in December 2006 and it shocked all of us) had gone up to the ladies’ locker room (an upstairs room), to place names on the locker. The co-worker who was at the desk that day saw this and asked him why he was going up to the ladies’ locker room to prepare it for the next day, as there were no women playing the next day. He explained that “an Alice Cooper” was playing. She had to explain to him that “Alice Cooper was really a man,” to which our flustered attendant said “what kind of a name is Alice for a man?”

I’m pretty sure she tried to explain it to him, but he was so flustered.

I heard the story years later, and our other locker room attendant, who did not work there at the time, loved that story so much, that he would jokingly say “what kind of a name is Alice for a man?” anytime we talked about the Alice Cooper story.

It supposedly rained the next day, and Alice Cooper did not come to the course, but he did in October 2009. I was lucky enough to actually see him in person – I was behind the desk, and he was about 3 feet away from me. I did talk to one of the guys in his band, and I will tell you this, they were a really nice group. Weird looking, but nice.

That interaction reminds me of the Marriott commercial he did years earlier…

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I’ve worked celebrity tournaments and have run into football players, broadcasters, and even Vic Damone (look him up), and since those years at the golf course, have gone to conventions and met actors. So Alice Cooper and his group were part of that interaction. And it really is true, under all that makeup, he actually is (seemingly) a very normal guy.

Who really likes golf.

I have other stories from my days at the country club, but seeing Alice Cooper and standing three feet from him, definitely ranks up there as one of the more interesting ones.

It wasn’t much of a nightmare.

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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