SickthingsUK: Hey Stoopid

Following up the worldwide success of 'Trash' was never going to be easy and while 'Hey Stoopid' didn't manage to to hit those heights it's by far the better album. While the Desmond Child influence is still on show songs like 'Dangerous Tonight', 'Little By Little' and 'Die For You' are better then almost anything on 'Trash' and 'Might As Well Be On Mars' or 'Wind Up Toy' are up there as classics in their own right. Sometimes overlooked, maybe because the precceding album was so huge, 'Hey Stoopid' could be said to be the one that SHOULD have been the big hit.


July 2nd 1991

Track listing

  1. Hey Stoopid (Cooper, Ponti, Pepe, Pfeifer)(4:34)
  2. Love's A Loaded Gun (Cooper, Ponti, Pepe)(4:11)
  3. Snakebite (Cooper, Ponto, Pepe, Pfeifer, Bulan, Keeling)(4:33)
  4. Burning Our Bed (Cooper, Pitrelli, Pfeifer, West)(4:34)
  5. Dangerous Tonight (Cooper, Child)(4:41)
  6. Might As Well Be On Mars (Cooper, Wagner, Child)(7:09)
  7. Feed My Frankenstein (Zodiac Mindwarp, Cooper, Coler, Richardson)(4:44)
  8. Hurricane Years (Cooper, Ponti, Pepe, Pfeifer)(3:58)
  9. Little By Little (Cooper, Ponti, Pepe, Pfeifer)(4:35)
  10. Die For You (Cooper, Sixx, Mars, Vallance)(4:16)
  11. Dirty Dreams (Cooper, Vallance, Pfeifer)(3:29)
  12. Wind-Up Toy (Cooper, Ponto, Pepe, Pfeifer)(5:27)
  13. It Rained All Night (Cooper, Child) - Japan Only(3:54)

Musicians

Hey Stoopid
Guitars: Stef Burns, Joe Satriani, Slash
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster
Synclavier: Steve Croes
Backing Vocals: Ozzy Osbourne, Zachery Nevel
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang, West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Love's A Loaded Gun
Guitars: Stef Burns
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster, Robert Bailey
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang, West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Snakebite
Guitars: Stef Burns
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang, West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Burning Our Bed
Guitars: Stef Burns, Joe Satriani
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster
Backing Vocals: West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Dangerous Tonight
Guitars: Stef Burns
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster, Robert Bailey
Backing Vocals: West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Might As Well Be On Mars
Guitars: Stef Burns
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: Robert Bailey, Jai Winding
Strng Arrangements: Chris Boardman Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Feed My Frankenstein
Guitars: Stef Burns, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai
Bass: Nikki Sixx
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster, Robert Bailey
Backing Vocals: West Coast Backing Vocal Gang, British Backing Vocal Gang
Hurricane Years
Guitars: Stef Burns, Vinne Moore
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: Robert Bailey
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Little By Little
Guitars: Stef Burns, Joe Satriani
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang, West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Die For You
Guitars: Stef Burns, Mick Mars
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster, Robert Bailey
Synclavier: Steve Croes
Backing Vocals: West Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Dirty Dreams
Alice Cooper: Harmonica
Guitars: Vinnie Moore
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang
Wind-Up Toy
Guitars: Stef Burns, Joe Satriani
Bass: Hugh McDonald
Drums: Mickey Curry
Keyboards: John Webster, Robert Bailey
Backing Vocals: East Coast Backing Vocal Gang

Sleeve Notes

Produced by Peter Collins
Recorded by Paul Northfield
Recorded at Bearville Studios New York and The Complex Los Angeles
Engineers: George Cowan (Bearsvile), Dave Levy and Scott Jochim (The Complex)
Mixed at A&M Studios, Hollywood
Assistant Engineer: Brian Scheuble
Cover: Lethal Art by Mike McNeilly
Logo Design: David Coleman
Photography by Randee St. Nicholas
Executive Producer: Bob Pfeifer

East Coast Backing Vocal Gang: Jack Ponti, Vic Pepe, Tony Palmucci,
Scott Bender, Corky McClennan, Lance Bullen, Kelly Keeling.
West Coast Backing Vocal Gang: Terry Wood, Shaun Murphy, Sherwood Ball,
Cali (Calico Cooper), Gary Falconi, Mike Finnigan, Stan Bush.
British Backing Vocal Gang: Ian Richardson, Nick Coler, Mick Wilson

Album Notes - (Detailed release information)

With the huge worldwide success of 'Trash' Alice Cooper was back at the top again. He wasted little time returning to the studio for a follow up, but instead of simply trying to repeat the same formula again he enlisted a new producer in Peter Collins, an Englishman best know for working with Rush. Previous producer Desmond Child still had input on the album though, co-writing three songs including Japanese bonus track and b-side 'It Rained All Night'.

Alice on 'Trash' being too soft and commercial:

"Yes I do [think that]. Desmond Child is a very talented guy. I wanted to work with him because all my favourite songs at the time were written by Desmond. But in the studio, Desmond Child is a very overpowering force, and you don't realise that until you sit down and really listen to the record. There was too much Desmond on 'Trash' and not enough Alice. Although I do think that the biggest hit single, 'Poison', was a real Alice song. Whereas 'Bed Of Nails' and 'House Of Fire' were a bit too Desmond. I've worked with Desmond again on the new album but not to such an extent. The new material is a lot heavier without losing that radio appeal".
"Peter [Collins] will never be the same again after working with Alice, He started out as this nice polite little guy and he ended up completely out there! But seriously, I needed a sonic producer. When I worked with Bob Ezrin and all the others I always wanted a songmaster, somebody who could tell me what worked and what didn't. Peter can do all that. He knew just how I wanted the drums and the guitars to sound. I would work with this guy on every album, believe me he's terrific."

At the time of it's release 'Hey Stoopid' was Alice's longest album at over 56 minutes, making use of the extra space now available on CDs.

The original cover of 'Hey Stoopid' was tonned down for the final release. While the original was very similar to the final version it featured far more syringes and pills, illustrating the message of the title track.

'Hey Stoopid' is warning about teen suicide:

"Everybody is anti-suicide, it's more of a suicide warning from Alice. 'Hey Stoopid's chorus was such a big sing-along that I didn't want to waste it on a 'Here she comes walkin' down the street in a tight dress and high heels'-type lyric. I was looking for a big subject, and I realized that a lot of my fan mail has a sort of death fixation. Drugs are deadly now, sex is deadly now, and it occured to me that in the Seventies, nobody heard of teenage suicide, and now it's a real apparent thing. I don't think you would ever find Alice trying to save the rain forests or the whales or whatever. I figure, let's save the rockers. I figure if anyone was going to say something about it, Alice would be a good candidate."

The title track was released as the first single ahead of the album with the non-album 'It Rained All Night' on the 12" release. While it only reached #78 in the US in the UK it reached #21 supported by a video which received a fair amount of airplay.
It was followed by 'Love's A Loaded Gun' (#38 in the UK), which featured another non-album track - a cover of Jimi Hendrix's 'Fire' - and finally 'Feed My Frankenstein' (#27 in the UK) which was released in conjuction with it's appearance in the 'Waynes World' movie.

'Feed My Frankenstein' was written by Zodiac Mindwarp, with Alice only changing a few words here and there. Mindwarp recorded is own version on 'Hoodlum Thunder', also in 1991.
Long time Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric covered the song with his band Beasto Blanco on their second self-titled album. Beasto Blanco feature Alice's daughter Calico Cooper, who takes lead vocal on their version which has a more southern/swamp-rock feel to it.


Alice in 'Waynes World, 1991.

'Feed My Frankenstein' was also include in the 'Waynes World' movie in which Alice also famously appeared. The main characters, Wayne and Garth, go to see an Alice Cooper show and get backstage to find that rather then the party central they expected it's all very quiet and laid back. When confronted by Alice they bow down and cry "we're not worthy, we're not worthly", which has since gone in to urban folklore. Alice proceeds to tell them the history of 'Mill-e-wal-kay'. Also seen are various members of the touring band. Note: The stage set seen in the film is not the one Alice used on tour.

Alice used real rattlesnakes for the rattle sound on "Snakebite". The line "He's such a psycho" during 'Feed My Frankenstein' is said by horror queen Elvira.

'Burning Our Beds' was only ever performed once, on the UK show 'Aspel and Co', which featured Alice singing live to a backing track.

In 2013 Epic released a remastered and expanded edition of 'Hey Stoopid which featured three extra tracks. The two b-sides 'It Rained All Night' and 'Fire' plus a "Beba Edit" of the title track which doesn't differ very much from the original.

In edition to the b-sides various outtakes are known to exist:

  • Chemical Reaction
  • Underground
  • Your Love is My Prison
  • If Fourth Street Could Talk
  • Take It Like a Woman - Not the same as the song released on 'Brutal Planet'

Stoopid News

There was a promo only CD released (Epic ESK 4161) around this time called `Stoopid News` which featured Alice telling news stories.

Track listing:

  1. Rock N Roll Bat Belts Hits
  2. Voodoo Snake Cures Headaches
  3. She-Male Werewolf Captured Alive
  4. Buying Goats To Watch em Faint
  5. Poop Lady Raking It In
  6. Bar Serves Human Blood Cocktails
  7. Russian Men Won't Act In Porn
  8. Wild Man Raised By Cows
  9. Outer Space Blobs Eating Our Planes
  10. Man Paid $3000 For Being Stinky
  11. Father Shoot At Son Over Monopoly
  12. Single Man Collects Dirty Diapers
  13. Woman Beats Self Senseless With Own Hand
  14. Man Tries To Sell Senseless With Own Hand
  15. "Hubbies Ghost Made Me Pregnant"

'Hey Stoopid' Live

The tours supporting 'Hey Stoopid' went under two names. In North America it was the 'Operation Rock'n'Roll' tour and featured Alice co-headlining with Judas Priest, with various combinations of Motorhead, Metal Church, and Dangerous Toys opening. In Europe it was the 'Hey Stoopid' tour with Alice headlining alone with a slightly longer set. While the European tour was very successful the US tour suffered many problems with shows canceled and not all bands appearing as advertised. Priest closed every show but the two acts had more or less equal stage time and contractually they were both headliners. Alice has always been happy going on second to last in these situations, as he figures if anyone thinks they can follow him good luck!

'Dirty Dreams' was played at least once or twice on this tour (including one night at Wembley) but was generally not included. 'He's Back' was played in Sweden only.

The stage set was very elaborate, the main feature being the return of the magic screen and a huge skull at the back of the stage. The drum and keyboard risers were seperated stage left and right with giant skeletal hands holding them, as if they were the hands of the skull at the back.

The show opened with a long, chugging one chord intro to 'Under My Wheels' before Alice breaks out of the skull's mouth in a cloud of smoke for the first line of the song. After that the first part of the set is played with only handheld props. 'Feed My Frankenstein' featured a large "Mad Scientist" like table on which a women was placed. The table was then covered and rose into the lighting rig before returning to earth with the women replaced by the 'Cold Ethyl' plastic doll. Theatrically the centerpiece was 'Go To Hell'. The magic screen effect, last seen on the 1979 'From The Inside' tour, drops down at the back of the stage (hiding the giant skull) and Alice proceeds to jump in and out of the screen while footage of a mad scientist lab shows and he is chased by robe wearing skeletons. Eventually he tries to jump out of the screen one last time and discovers he's trapped. The camera slowly pulls back and the audience discovers first that he`s trapped behind bars, and then that the bars are in fact the teeth on the skull. The skull on screen is the same size and design as the one on stage. Smoke swirls and lightning flashes, disguising the rising screen that reveals the real stage skull, and Alice suddenly bursts through! It was a stunning effect.


Live on the 'Nightmare On Your Street' tour.

In Europe 'Snakebite' and 'Wind Up Toy - Ballad Of Dwight Fry' were added to the show, the latter of which featured Alice in a child's play crib (covered in barbed wire), which was on wheels so he could move it around the stage.

During reheasals for the show commedian Pauly Shore visited the set for his show 'Totally Pauly'. The show featured a running gag of Shore trying to be a roadie and messing up everythng he touched, resulting in several confrontations with Alice.

'Nightmare On Your Street' Tour

This rather unusual tour took place after the 'Operation Rock and Roll' US leg of the tour supporting 'Hey Stoopid'. It was a series of free public mini- shows (sometimes with an autograph session as well) that were performed everywhere from record store roof tops to public parks. The New York show caused a traffic jam in the heart of Times Square in NYC.
The setlist for these shows varied on both the number of songs played (4-6) and order they were played in, but usually included 'I'm Eighteen', 'No More Mr. Nice Guy', 'Hey Stoopid', 'Love's A Loaded Gun', 'Billion Dollar Babies' and 'School's Out'. The shows were added as a promotional device for both the album and the recently released 'Love's A Loaded Gun' single.

The Performers

  • Stef Burns - guitar
  • Vinnie Moore - guitar ('Operation ock And Roll' tour)
  • Pete Friesen - guitar (replaces Moore after 'Operation Rock and Roll' tour)
  • Greg Smith - bass
  • Eric Singer - drums
  • Derek Sherinian - keyboards

Setlist

  1. Under My Wheels
  2. Trash
  3. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  4. Billion Dollar Babies
  5. Love's a Loaded Gun
  6. Bed Of Nails
  7. I'm Eighteen
  8. Medley: I Love the Dead/Devil's Food/Steven/Black Widow (Instrumental)
  9. Sick Things
  10. Feed My Frankenstein
  11. Cold Ethyl
  12. Only Women Bleed
  13. Wind Up Toy - Ballad Of Dwight Fry (Europe Only)
  14. Poison
  15. Snakebite (Europe Only)
  16. Go To Hell
  17. School's Out
  18. Hey Stoopid
  19. Elected