SickthingsUK: Welcome To My Nightmare by Dave Thompson

Released June 13th in the UK and September 1st 2012 in the US this is an unauthorised Alice Cooper biography by journalist Dave Thompson.

The Publishers description reads as follows:

"Drawing from exclusive and unpublished interviews with a variety of names and faces from throughout Alice's career, the book follows Cooper's tale from his life growing up as a preacher's son in Arizona, through the early years of struggle in Phoenix and then Los Angeles, and then onto the rollercoaster ride that has been the years since then.Includes interviews with original bandmates Michael Bruce and the late Glenn Buxton, drummer Neal Smith, the late Frank Zappa, manager Shep Gordon and producer Bob Ezrin. Includes tributes and recollections from many of the artists who call Alice an influence - from the Damned and the Cramps, to White Zombie and Gwar. Session players and songwriters who have made their own contributions to the Alice story recall their days spent with this Prince of Hell-raisers. The result is a story that alternately thrills, shocks, surprises and delights. Includes full discography and bibliography."

Unfortunatly the book is littered with many extremely obvious errors and mistakes, so many in fact that it's impossible to take any "new" information from it as being correct. For example:

"'....Very early on, little Vince realised that the survival of the Furnier family name had been nailed to his shoulders....yada yada yada.......He would fulfill his familial duty too. Although he would ultimately change his name by deed poll to Alice Cooper, he waited until after the birth of his son, Damien Furnier."

This is of course complete rubbish as Alice's son is Dashiel Cooper, and Alice changed his name years before he was born (and not by Deed Poll as that is a UK thing, not USA). It goes on:

"....Calico would have a brother, named Damien from his fathers middle name - and also because that particular name had only one connotation in the mid eighties, the demonic hero of the ongoing movie series 'The Omen'. What better name could there be for the son of Alice Cooper?'"

Where to start... 'Damien' is NOT Alice's middle name, it's 'Damon', nor is it his son's name, so the rest of the rest of the sentence is just twaddle, complete fiction made up by the author.

This is just one obvious example of the endless factual errors, ommisions, and poor speculation in the book. On te plus side it IS well written and an enjoyable read, but with such obvious errors you can't rely on anything else to be correct. As such the book is hard to recommended on any level and author Thompson should be ashamed to have his name on such a poorly researched and fact checked book.


Here's a few more clangers from the book, picked up by various sickthings when the book was released. Neither Thompson or publishers Omnibus Press responded to emails.

There's a photo of Alice in a straight jacket with a caption underneath which says "Alice in concert not long after he gave up alcohol, December 2001" [He quit alcohol around 1983/4 at the lastest]

Another photo of Davey Johnstone is captioned 'Steve Hunter'

He says that 'Runaway Train' is a Michael Bruce song while 'When Hell Comes Home' is a Dennis Dunaway song. [It's the other way around]

A one point Thompson tells a story of a live rabbit being killed on stage which isn't true. It was just something Alice made up (of the interviewer made up) in a single 1969 interview.

"The all-electric 'The Slider' album was imminent but, until it was delivered T Rex was still a rootsy folkadelic band with an eye for jamming Eddie Cochran riffs." This is simply not true and disregards 'Electric Warrior' which had produced 'Jeepster' and 'Get it On' a year before, and also 'Telegram Sam' and 'Metal Guru' had been released well in advance of 'The Slider' album.

'The mysteriously titled Formerly Lee Warmer....' ['Former Lee Warmer']

'The first review I read of Brutal Planet called it "a tragic waste of plastic". [That review was supposedly for 'Pretties For You' thirty years earlier.]

John Lydon auditioned singing 'Schools Out' to get Pistols job [It was 'I'm Eighteen'. He gets it right later in the book.]

Alice sings 'I'm Flash' and 'Trapped' on Zorg women album [It was 'I'm Flash' and 'Space Pirates']

Two shows at The Rainbow in 1971, the first OPENING for The Who the day before the band headline the same venue [Just not true. It was one show. They didn't open for The Who. This mistake was actually used as the basis of a question on UK serious quiz show 'Mastermind', effectively leaving the contestant, who's specialist subject was 'Alice Cooper', with no correct answer to give. An example of why it's important to correct erros like this. ]

Mentions how 'Public Enemy #9' shows how the Spiders were progessing, even though the early recording that circulates under that title isn't actually The Spiders at all, but some completely unrelated band.

Refers to the 'Billion Dollar Babies' demos, correctly mentioning that they aren't actually demos at all but just the dubs from the Quadrophonic mix of the album, but then goes on to talk about how they show the genesis of the songs?!?

Claims the Zappa audition was at 7PM in the evening [Really a type].

Tells Chicken story without mentioning it was set up and done at other shows.

Describes the American Music awards show but neglects to mention it was Sheryl he pulls from the audience.[Not really a mistake, but would have made the story more interesting.]

Quotes Alice talking about '(No More) Love At Your Convienience', but the quote is actually talking about 'Disco Boodbath Boogie Fever' and so makes no real sense.

'Muscle Of Love' was an abject failure in pretty much every way, but 'Battle Axe' is a rock masterpiece...

'From The Inside' is a poor album with little going for it [It's one of Alice's highest rated solo albums]

Continues to mention son 'Damien', but doesn't mention Sonora by name at all.

"The Nightmare" was a "video Concert release" released in 1984. [It was filmed in 1986...]

Joe Perry and Alice wrote 6 songs, two of which are in 'Monster Dog' [Not true. Perry has nothing to do with eth 'Monster Dog' songs.]

1985 Joe Perry and Dick Wagner "back on board" for Constrictor [it's not made clear in what capacity they are "back", nor that they had nothing to do with the album at all, which was released in 1985.]

Side two of 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' is "kind of autobiographical" [So Alice really is a serial killer???]

Dick Wagner and Bob Ezrin worked on a new single 'I've Got A Line On You' [Rubbish]

Misquotes lyrics to 'Lost In America'

The Cooper'stown reunion in December 1998 was only 10 minutes and featured just three songs. [Actually Michael and Alice played 'Be My Lover', 'I'm Eighteen', and 'School's Out', before Neal arrived and they all played 'No More Mr Nice Guy', 'Muscle Of Love', 'Is It My Body', 'Desperado', and 'Billion Dollar Babies'.)

Bob Ezrin produced 'Dragontown' [he was credited as "executive producer" for his advice during recording, but Bob Marlette was the actual producer.]

Misnames "It's Much Too Late" as "It's Too Late"

Misnames "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" several times as "Disco Bloodbath Boogie"

Misnames "The Last Man On Earth" as "The Last Man"

the Amazing Randi stared in 'A Clockwork Orange' [He isn't in the movie]


You can use the links below to order a copy.