Mick Wall: Long Live Shock And Roll
I don’t mean to, like, creep you out, kid, but can you hear it? That weird buzzing sound that’s been hovering in the air these past few weeks like some nut-job chain-sawing someone’s leg off in them there woods. And then there’s that smell? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Like some bastard left their guts behind in the smallest room in the house and didn’t bother to flush afterwards.
I ain’t just talking about Halloween either. I’m talking about what happens when two of the world’s most horrific, bloodthirsty, amped-up, just plain nasty dudes decide to take to the stage together and set fire to the gaff. Yeah, I’m talking about the Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie tour, coming to a graveyard near you all too soon.
Or at least, that’s what the PR machine would like me to say – sort of. For those of us whose memories are now longer than our hair though, the question can’t help but be asked: are we still, really, deep down inside where it really hurts, actually, you know, shocked by these self-styled Shock Rockers? Or has the sick joke worn just a little too thin to really get your rocks off to the likes of 62-year-old Vincent Damon Furnier (aka Alice) and 45-year-old Robert Bartleh Cummings (nee Zombie)?
I mean, COME ON. When he isn’t busy brandishing snakes or being guillotined onstage, Alice / Vince is actually a golf-playing, teetotal, church-going family man who runs his own family restaurant. Similarly, he may still look and sound like the undead as he parades around onstage but you don’t get to be a successful film director and Hollywood producer by staying up wandering graveyards all night and not eating your greens. No, sir. The only thing mentally deranged or physically repulsive about either of these two gentleman are the people that come to their respective shows thinking they really are in the presence of the antichrist.
But here’s the really weird thing. All that may be true, but for those of us who wouldn’t think of missing a chance to Alice smear himself in fake blood or Rob spit pseudo-Satanic gibberish at us, it’s all about the sheer bloody-minded fun of experiencing rock at its most un-PC and visceral.
So, no, the garb, the shtick, the whole head-spinning, upside-down cross carnival may not be real, but those driving guitar riffs, thunder-drums and babes dressed as the illegitimate daughters of Elvira that also tend to populate these shows sure as shit are. And for those reasons alone, we should all chant the Lord’s Prayer backwards and give whichever almighty you’re currently willing to throw yourself prostrate in front of huge thanks.
Alice and Rob are Old Devils. Long may they reign in hell…