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(January 03, 1972)
Originally Published: January 03, 1972
Author: Bill Provick
He said his name was Alice.
He appeared out of darkness as black and sinister as the leather he wore.
Amidst an electric din, flashing coloured lights and a carnival-like wave of snap bubbles, more than 10,000 voices welcomed back this scraggy satan who immediately began to twitch and jitter across the platform above them.
In a raspy, neutered voice he screamed, "I'm a boy and I'm a man."
"I'm 18 and I like it." he shouted as he entwined himself in bathroom tissue, tossing bit and pieces of it out over the sea of clutching hands that bolted at his feet.
For a while he taunted the greedy hands with the quick flash of his rapier and later, singing yet another of his laments, he danced with a snake held lovingly just out of reach of the hands. At one point he even dangled it from between his legs.
The mob responds with thousands of tiny fires, exploding firecrackers showering sparks from high in the heavy clouds of acrid-sweet marijuana smoke and sparklers that streaked through the dark like arrant meteors.
As the shriek, throb and steady pounding of the music first hushed and then built in a captivating crescendo, Alice strutted before his wild followers with a soft rubber baby clutched in his hands.
Screaming "Goodbye dead baby, take good care of yourself," he ripped clothes and legs fro the doll, hurling them to the aroused mob.
Briefly he cradled the doll to his chest, then placed it on the cold floor.
With an icy-black hatchet he chopped and hacked at the small body until, clenching the head in a raised hand, he returned to kneel in front of the crowd. Suddenly from the platform came a babble of outraged voices as a deep grey mist shrouded the platform, blanketing everything except the glow of torches that darted and scurried through the fog.
Above the mist towered a dark, foreboding scaffold.
Snarling defiantly while bound in chains and menaced by flaming torch, Alice the surreal child killer was dragged up the sombre stairs.
A noose was placed around his neck.
The music stopped.
He screamed one long falling cry.
The trapdoor fell.
In a sudden explosion of lightning-white flashes and skull rattling thunder, he dangled above the mist, his body stiff and his face choked into a white mask of death.
Gradually the storm subsided and the music returned amid creeping darkness and departing fog.
Later, showered in blazing color and driving music, Alice Cooper - now dressed in pink tuxedo and sparkling top hat - pranced back out onstage, singing. "We've still got a long way to go."
He went on to sing other songs while tossing posters, five foot balloons and the usual money to the grasping, swaying crowd.
By the climax had been reached and even a spirited performance of his latest hit, I've Got You Under My Wheels, , could not match the macabre death trip.
The music, the lighting, stage production and impact were much better this time around improving as Alice gains in popularity.
The audience loved it and with the power of 20,000 stomping feet demanded and received an encore.
Why did more than 10,000 young people pay $4 or $5 to attend such a gruesome performance at the Civic Centre Saturday night?
Well some people like to freak and Alice Cooper can be freaky.
Dixie Rump Roast from Toronto again provided an enjoyable opening set.
They had appeared here Thursday night when Alice Cooper was stranded in Toronto, and returned by popular demand.