The Friday Morning Listen: Alice Cooper – Love It To Death (1971)

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By Mark Saleski.

It’s funny how ideas can get to bouncin’ around in your head. I mentioned this week’s PGA Championship tournament to a co-worker and after a little discussion about Tiger/Phil/Etc., I turned back to my computers. By then, I was a little distracted. OK, so I’m easily distracted. Still and all, it was the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday and thoughts were already skipping over the head of what was left of the rest of the week. I was thinking about how nice it would be to settle down in front of the tube on Saturday to watch this year’s PGA, to see if Phil is dealing with his arthritis…to see if Tiger’s game can avoid more torture at Whistling Straits.

But then the reality hit me: I don’t have a television.

Yeah, for the most part, the no tee-vee thing has been a blessing. The only things I have missed are the debut of this year’s Mad Men, and a few golf tournaments. Aside from that, I have been given many evenings of reading, writing, and listening to music. It might not be for everyone, but it works for us.

Because this tournament is a major, there will probably be some decent streaming coverage that I’ll check out. It’s not the same as watching the real telecast but I might give it a look for a bit. I might not too.

So I sat around thinking about that for a while, the idea that maybe my interest in sports has completely vanished…and then the brain parts took a slight turn…

…to Alice Cooper.

Everybody’s favorite shock-rocker (Note: your favorite shock-rocker might be GWAR, or Marilyn Manson or something but you should probably keep that absurdity to yourself) went through a bizarre transformation in the public eye. He put on shows of unmatched theatricality. There were monsters and snakes, electrocutions, beheadings, and hangings. Best of all, there was the music. It was a perfect combination of metal and glam. Part sinister, part comic book.

It came to nobody’s surprise that Alice liked his beer. Too much. The idea of a drunk man doing that stage show? Dangerous, oh yeah. I didn’t give the booze thing at second thought at my age, I just liked that sense of abandon.

But then things got really crazy. First we found out that Alice liked to play golf. It was hard to compute, this golfing rock star thing. I think it might have taken the edge off just a little bit….but not as much as when Alice started appearing on Hollywood Squares. What the heck? It might have taken a while, but I came to accept the rocker/golf thing. On the other hand, the game show? Maybe it was just one more bit of Alice Cooper theatre, but it was hard to put together Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome To My Nightmare, and “I’ll take Alice Cooper to block.”

One of my older cousins introduced me to Alice Cooper, right around the time that Muscle of Love came out. Oh, how I wanted that record. Oh, how there was no way in hell my parents would allow me to have it. My cousin must have also played me Love It To Death at that same time because for years I thought that the creepy “Ballad of Dwight Frye” came from Muscle of Love. No matter, as all of these year later, that is still my favorite Alice Cooper song. I know that it’s based on the horror actor Dwight Frye, who specialized in playing the parts of mentally unhinged characters. When Alice screams “I gotta get outa here!!!”….yeah, it’s still creepy.

What does this have to do with the PGA Championship? Pretty much nothing. I just wanted to show you that, funny or not, ideas can get to bouncin’ around in my head.

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to, and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at
Mark Saleski
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