SickthingsUK: A Fistful Of Alice

Released in 1997, this is a live album, Alice's first since 1977, recorded at Sammy Hagar's club Cabo Wabo in Cabo, San Lucas, Mexico on Sunday June 2, 1996. The first Alice Cooper Cooper recording to feature Ryan Roxie, the album also features guest appearances by Slash, Rob Zombie, and Hagar himself. When released, Alice explained the decision to release a live recording after so many years was an attempt to update the fans on how he now sounded live. The album also featured one new studio recording, 'Is Anyone Home'.


16th June(Europe)/29th July(US) 1997)

Track listing

  1. School's Out (Cooper, Bruce, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith)(4:24)
  2. Under My Wheels (Cooper, Bruce, Dunaway) - Europe and Japan only.(3:2)
  3. I'm Eighteen (Cooper, Bruce, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith) (3:47)
  4. Desperado (Cooper Bruce)(4:10)
  5. Lost In America (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor)(4:15)
  6. Tenage Lament '74 (Cooper, Smith)(3:28)
  7. I Never Cry (Cooper,Wagner, Ezrin)(3:53)
  8. Poison (Cooper, Child, McCurry)(4:50)
  9. Bed Of Nails (Cooper, Warren, Child) - Japan and Australia only.(3:49)
  10. Clones (We're All) (Carron) - Japan only.(3:00)
  11. No More Mr Nice Guy (Cooper, Bruce) - Europe and Japan only.(3:00)
  12. Billion Dollar Babies (Cooper, Bruce, Reggie) - USA Only.(3:21)
  13. Welcome To My Nightmare (Cooper, Wagner)(4:54)
  14. Only Women Bleed (Cooper, Wagner)(6:54)
  15. Feed My Frankenstein (Cooper, Mindwarp, Coler, Richardson) (4:28)
  16. Elected (Cooper, Bruce, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith) (5:13)
  17. Is Anyone Home? (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) (4:12)

Musicians

  • Alice Cooper - Vocals
  • Reb Beach - Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Ryan Roxie - Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Paul Taylor - Keyboards, Guitar
  • Todd Jensen - Bass, Backing Vocals
  • Jimmy DeGrasso - Drums
  • Slash - Guitar on 'Lost In America', 'Only Women Bleed' and 'Elected'
  • Rob Zombie - Vocals on 'Feed My Frankenstein' and 'Elected'
  • Sammy Hagar - Guitar on 'School's Out'
  • Dan Wexler - Guitar on 'Is Anyone Home?'
  • Steve Farris - Guitar on 'Is Anyone Home?'
  • Matt Laug - Drums on 'Is Anyone Home?'
  • Merrit Morrison - Bass on 'Is Anyone Home?'
  • String Section on 'Is Anyone Home?' - Bennett Salvey, Peter Kent,
    Mario DeLeon, Darrin McCann and Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick

Sleeve Notes

Produced and Engineered by Thom Panunzio
Recorded at the Cabo Wabo Cantina, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Sunday June 2, 1996
Location Recording: Effanel Music
Engineers: Mark Hutchins and Brian Kingman
Mixed by Phil Kaffel at Saylor Recording, assisted by Rod Michaels
'Is Anyone Home?' recorded at A&M studios and Phase Four recording in Tempe, AZ.
'Is Anyone Home?' produced by Alice Cooper.
'Is Anyone Home' engineered by Phil Kaffel
Album Cover by Hugh Syme and Dimo Safari
Live shots by Alex Solca and Matt Sherlock

Album Notes - (Detailed release information)

After the short South America trip in 1985 Alice was offered a co-headling tour with German band Scorpions. The deal was that the artists should have equal billing on all paperwork and advertising, but it was in effect a Scorpions tour with Alice along for the ride to sell more tickets. Scorpions closed every show. You can find more about the tour here.

Possibly the most notable thing about the tour was that it was the first to feature ex-Slash's Snakepit guitarist Ryan Roxie, and his very first show was this warm up show at Sammy Hagars bar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Not ony was his frst show released as an album but also partially aired on a VH-1 special shortly afterwards! Ryan of course has played live with Alice almost ever since.


Alice and the band at Cabo Wabo with Slash, Rob Zombie and Sammy Hagar.

'A Fistful Of Alice' was released on Guardian Records on the 16th June 1997 in the UK. However Alice was never actually signed directly to Guardian (a division of EMI), they simply licensed the album from Hollywood Records when Hollywood decided not to release it. There are promo copies of the CD around on the Hollywood label though. In fact Alice would never release anything on Hollywood! Alice came up with the album title, based on the western movie 'A Fistful Of Dollar'. The original working title was announced in some places was 'Viva Alice'.

Upon the albums release Alice made much in interviews of the fact his first live album 'The Alice Cooper Show' wasn't very good. He considered this a replacement for the earlier record. It features several tracks there were rarely if ever played any other time including 'Teenage Lament '74', 'Desperado', 'Clones (We're All)' and 'Bed Of Nails'. 'Welcome To My Nightmare' features an uncredited introduction, the opening of 'Steven'. The songs don't appear on the album in the order they were played on the night. 'School's Out' and 'Under My wheels' were at the end of the show and possibly other songs were switched around as well. The last track 'Is Anyone Home' is a new studio recording.

Three versions of the record were released Depending on region. Europe got 'Under My Wheels' and 'No More Mr Nice Guy' as bonus tracks. North America got 'Billion Dollar Babies' instead. The Japanese version was the best by far, as it featured all three bonus tracks from the other versions plus two more bonus tracks if it's own, 'Clones (We're All)' and 'Bed Of Nails', making a grand total of 17 songs in all.

'How You Gonna See Me Now' was rehearsed for the show but didn't make the final setlist.

In addition to the guests you hear on the album Joey Ramone, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai were also invited and originally agreed to appear at the show but in the end didn't make it.

For those to who don't speak Spanish the 'radio announcer' intro to 'Is Anyone Home' goes like this:

"Buenas noches, amigos! Este es Loco Zorro en Radio Cabo Guabo* y ahora, aqui esta algo de Alice Cooper ~se nuevo cancion: Is Anyone Home?"

Which translates to:

"...Good evening, friends! This is Crazy Fox at Radio Cabo Wabo and now, here's something from Alice Cooper, his new song: "Is Anyone Home?"

Ten years after 'A Fistful Of Alice' art designer Hugh Syme used the same street seen on the cover for an image in Rush's 'Snakes And Ladders' album booklet to illustrate the song 'The Larger Bowl'. The inside cover photo of Alice in front of the yellow arch is in fact a photo of the Arco de Santa Catalina in Antigua, Guatemala, located on 5th Avenue North. The photo is printed reversed and in all likelyhood Alice is superimposed on it. The small barely visible gold sign on the far left of the cover image (on the back of the CD booklet) actually says "The Alice Is Here".

'A Fistful Of Alice' Live


Alice as 'The Showman' in 1997.

In Europe, the tour in support of 'A Fistful Of Alice' was billed as the 'School's Out For Summer '97' tour. The European leg was basically the same as the previous summers US tour with 'Halo Of Flies' added to the set for the first time since 1972.

The order of the songs changed around during the tour. Full setlists can be found here.

In 1998 the tour morphed into the 'Rock'n'Roll Carnival' show which we will cover under the next major release, 'The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper'.

The 'Schools Out '97' tour featured a set made up to look like an allyway, with trash cans and a backdrop painting of a fence with graffitti on it. The show was light on theatrics generally, although there were a couple of set pieces in the second half. 'Cleansed By Fire' and 'Nothings Free' featured Alice as 'The Showman' from 'The Last Tempation', 'Gutter Cats' had the street fight, with the band playing Alice's gang and stage hands playing the bad guys. Alice has a knife fight with one of the bad guys, eventually pulling off a wig to reveal it's a girl, who natually stabs him. He's then strapped into the straight jacket for 'Ballad Of Dwight Fry' and a rough version of the classic makeup is applied by doctors (he hasn`t used the make-up before this point).
Obviously Alice escapes from the jacket and into 'School's Out' in the normal fashion (balloons etc). 'Elected' featured guys in US president masks arriving onstage with lots of fake dollar bills. They start arguing and fighting amongst themselves before letting off confetti bombs at the close of the show.

The Performers

  • Alice Cooper - Vocals
  • Ryan Roxie - Guitars
  • Reb Beach - Guitars
  • Paul Taylor - Guitar, Keyboards
  • Jimmy Degrasso - Drums
  • Todd Jensen - Bass
  • Sheryl Cooper - The Nurse
  • Brian "Renfield" Nelson - The Doctor

Setlist

  1. Under My Wheels
  2. Billion Dollar Babies
  3. I'm Eighteen
  4. Desperado
  5. Be My Lover
  6. Lost In America
  7. No More Mr Nice Guy
  8. Only Women Bleed
  9. Halo Of Flies
  10. Poison
  11. Nothing's Free
  12. Cleansed By Fire
  13. Go To Hell
  14. Feed My Frankenstein
  15. Gutter Cat vs the Jets / Street Fight
  16. Steven instrumental.
  17. Ballad of Dwight Fry
  18. School's Out
  19. Elected