Last week I was going to try to get to the Alice Cooper concert in Bloomington, but since I was still recuperating from surgery, I didn’t make it. I was going to use the occasion to tell one of my favorite rock star stories for my friend, Marty. By the way, in case you haven’t checked it out, you’ve gotta follow Marty’s blog, www.aguywalksinto365bars.com. He lives in New York, and is visiting one bar per day for a year and reviewing each one. It’s the one website that I visit daily because I love it!
So without further ado, here is the infamous Alice Cooper/Brian Wilson story.
I’ve seen Alice in concert a couple of times, and met him twice. The first time I met him, someone told him that I was a major Brian Wilson fan. Alice immediately smiled and stated that he was also a major fan, and a good friend of Brian’s. He also said that he had a GREAT Brian Wilson story to tell me.
From this point, I will let Alice tell the story:
“I was sitting backstage after the 1974 Grammys with Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s lyricist) and John Lennon. This was when Brian was really having some mental issues. During the course of the conversation, I kept seeing Brian out of the corner of my eye, just kind of staring at us from different angles. Finally, he came up to the table, bent down and whispered in my ear ‘Hey Alice, introduce me to John Lennon.’ I couldn’t BELIEVE that these two men had never met! They were virtually neck and neck in the 60’s as the greatest bands on the planet, and I’m SURE they must have crossed paths at some point. But then I thought to myself, ‘Wow, if they REALLY have never met, I’m going to be the one to introduce them and become a part of rock history!’ So I merely said, ‘Brian Wilson, this is John Lennon. John Lennon, this is Brian Wilson.’ Lennon was very cordial and polite, saying things like ‘Hello Brian, I’ve always wanted to meet you. I’ve always admired your work, and Paul and I considered Pet Sounds one of the best albums ever made.’ Brian thanked him and walked away, at which point Lennon went right back to his conversation like nothing had happened. About ten minutes later, Brian came by our table again, leaned down and whispered something to Bernie, and all of a sudden, Bernie was saying ‘Brian Wilson, this is John Lennon. John Lennon, Brian Wilson.’ Lennon was just as cordial and polite as the first time, saying essentially the same thing about always wanting to meet him. As soon as Brian walked away, John looked at both of us and casually said in his typical Liverpudlian accent, ‘I’ve met him hundreds of times. He’s not well, you know.’”
Alice went on to say that he loves Brian, and later that night went with a group of people to Brian’s house and went into his studio to add and subtract instruments and passages from Beach Boys songs. I don’t know what was funnier to me…the punchline of the story, or listening to Alice Cooper try to talk like John Lennon.
Again, this is one of the stories that will be in the book I’m currently working on, so let this serve as a free sample. More on that later. Cheers, Marty!