Friday, August 21, 2009

To the moon, Alice!

On Facebook, a friend tagged me with his list of 50 bands he had seen live. I finally got around to posting my list, and then I realized a gigantic omission.

First, my list:

1. Beatles
2. Rolling Stones
3. Bob Dylan
4. Paul Revere and the Raiders
5. The Turtles
6. The Four Tops
7. The Byrds
8. The Temptations
9. Jackie DeShannon
10. Clarence "Frogman" Henry
11. Every Mother's Son
12. Ten Years After
13. J.Geils Band
14. The British Walkers
15. Grin
16. Roy Head
17. Herman's Hermits
18. Three Dog Night
19. Allman Brothers
20. B.B. King
21. Beach Boys
22. Bread
23. Nantucket
24. Crack The Sky
25. Peter, Paul and Mary
26. Hank Snow and the Rainbow Ranch Boys
27. Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys
28. Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadors
29. Porter Wagoner and the Wagonmasters
30. Stonewall Jackson and the Minutemen
31. Roy Clark
32. Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
33. Loretta Lynn
34. Jan and Dean
35. Jerry Lee Lewis
36. Freddy Fender
37. Mel Tillis
38. Statler Brothers
39. Joan Jett
40. Dottie West
41. Hugh Masekela
42. Lighthouse
43. Jefferson Airplane
44. Biff Rose
45. Joni Mitchell
46. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
47. Willie Nelson
48. Wynn Stewart and the Tourists
49. Creedence Clearwater Revival
50. Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob

And it wasn't until I got a comment from another friend that I realized whom I forgot!

In the fall of '91, a local radio station somehow finagled with the county fathers to put on a concert at lunchtime one workday. The entertainment was to be Alice
Cooper. I always had the impression that the people from the radio station told the people who made the decision to turn the Courthouse Plaza into a lunchtime Woodstock that the concert would feature "Alice Cooper," and the powers-that-be said, oh, she sounds lovely, probably a folk singer in a gingham dress with an acoustic guitar, and a collie sitting by her side while she plays the mountain ballads and the folk songs of our land (line courtesy of Johnny Cash.) Alice Cooper is a name that does make you think of granola and hand-woven blankets and spinning wheels. It sounds like Sarah McLachlan, only, you know, not quite as zesty.

So my buddy Sue from Head Start was there and we enjoyed the heck out of the show; Alice did all his big ones, such as "Under My Wheels," "Be My Lover," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" - which was later used for a telebiopic about Dick Cheney. On the same steps upon which daily prance countless attorneys, defendants, witnesses, plaintiffs, cops and courthouse employees, Alice (ne Vincent Furnier) put on a bravado show. His loudspeakers, each easily the size of a large SUV, rocked the buildings to the point at which they seemed to be physically shaking.

I wish I had remembered it when I was making up the list, but it was fun, and Sue, you were good company! And they never had another lunchtime concert at the courthouse. Imagine that!

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