than they’re expecting.‘
‘We do a lot of the older stuffonly we do it 1986 style. My band isn’t as studio orientated as the band I used to have . . . these are real street guys. It’s real heavy.’ Judging by his good humour and frequent laughter and even allowing for the fact that he has been on the road only three weeks it is clear that Alice is enjoying himself. indeed, he later tells me that he has never had such a good time on tour.
That is saying something when you realise that this 38 year old son of a
‘most successful schizo’
preacher. real name. Vincent Furnier. has, offand on, been Alice since 1970. He has sold over 60 million records with hits such as Schools Out. Elected and Only Women Bleed. From the word go his stage act. demeanour and adoption ofa feminine name set him up for a fair amount ofodium about which he is philosophical. ‘When you’re in the public eye you can‘t take anything personally.‘ The late seventies and early eighties also saw him unsure of himself. drinking too much and apparently set to become just another showbiz celebrity casualty. Now, having stopped drinking he claims to be fitter than ever. ‘I‘m physically in much better shape than lwas 10 years ago. Iquit drinking
four years ago so I’m totally clean on that and anything else.’ You may be interested to know that Alice, several years ago, took part in an anti-drugs campaign when he threatened radio listeners that ifthey messed with them he would come round and ‘kill their puppy‘. ‘a great line‘. Now he says the show keeps him in shape. ‘When you see me you‘ll see I look much younger than I did 10 years ago.’
He is also much more sure of his act and his character. ‘This‘ll be the classic Alice,’ he told me. Ofthe past he says. ‘There was a time around 1980 or earlier when l was trying to find a new image for Alice. .. experimenting with the character and then I realised that what I wanted and what the audience
wanted was the classic Alice of Welcome to My Nightmare.‘ He constantly refers to ‘Alice‘ in the third person and when challenged gleefully admits: ‘I’m a total schizo. but I don’t mind admittingthat . . . I‘m probably the most successful schizo around.‘ He went on to explain: ‘I like the character ofAlice and when I play Alice for one and a halfhours I have agood time. . . but at the same time I‘m in control of Alice.‘
With the theatre surrounding his act. the effects and his avowal that he has always thought of himselfas part ofthe horror movement, together with the modern passion for gore and ritual violence it may seem that Alice was made for 1986. He agrees.
‘an extra Hallowe’en’
‘There’s many things we did in 1970 that bands are just starting to do now. For example ifyou look at what we looked like in 1971. 72, 73... every band in the United States is trying to look like that now. Everybody‘s kind ofcatching up with us. As far as I’m concerned we‘ve always been the future.’
For someone who watches ‘two splatter movies a day’ it was fitting that Alice should be the one to record the soundtrack for the latest Friday film. ‘They called up MCA looking for someone to do the music and I was sittingthere. . . Iwasthe perfect candidate anyway.‘ Unlike many other musicians, however, Alice is in no hurry to become a star of the screen. ‘That’s something I want to do in 10 years. I’m still rocking and rolling.’
In the past Alice has shown himself fond of Scotland, his first appearance here was his only British date and last time around he recorded a live record at the Apollo. ‘I was terrified I was going to fall off that 20ft stage.‘ He likens Scotland to Detroit, which. considering it is his hometown can be regarded as a compliment. Fortunately he will be bringing Mistress. his 11ft Boa with him, ‘they needed the snake’s social security number’ and says they are all ‘really excited’ about coming here. He’s determined we should enjoy it too; ‘when we come to town
it’s like having an extra Halloween.‘ Alice Cooper will be appearing at Edinburgh Playhouse on 25 and 26 ovember. -
Anthony Perkins, director and star of Psycho III tells Allan Hunter the Bates boy isn’t all bad.
Anthony Perkins is the custodian of a small fragment ofcinema history in the celluloid legend that is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. He has protected and treasured this legacy over the past quarter ofa century. only returning to the character of Norman Bates (‘the Hamlet of horror roles‘) when the circumstances seemed favourable in 1983. Three years later he has checked back into the Bates motel and assumed the dual functions of star and director on Psycho .
Well aware ofthe need to anticipate journalistic cynicism and the law ofdiminishing audience returns. Perkins takes his responsibilites very seriously. ‘This is a real soapbox with me and it’s terribly important to me,’ he is quick to point out. ‘Nothing would be further from my intention than to be part of, or direct, or in any way be associated with a send-up Psycho movie. That was one of the reasons why I agreed to direct Psycho [I]. You never can tell what you’re going to get into with sequel-to-sequel directors. By the time there’s two sequels you may be dealing with someone who is just taking it on as a day’s work for a day‘s pay. And he may not have the affection for the characters and he may not have the afﬁnity with the original that someone else may have. That’s what
gave me the encouragement to take on this somewhat daunting assignment.’
Psycho III was originally offered to Perkins purely as an acting job. Devotees will no doubt recall that in Psycho 11 Norman was declared legally restored to sanity and set free among the wary wider world. His efforts to re-adjust to the outside community were cruelly interrupted by the sadistic relatives of the Janet Leigh character who forcibly resented his liberation. In Psycho [II he falls in love with a novice nun undergoing a crisis of faith and mother definitely doesn‘t approve of their relationship.
The problem with any series of films is the potential for apathy that familiarity inevitably breeds; an audience is unlikely to be as surprised or jolted by Psycho III as they were by Hitchcock’s original excusion into grand guignol.
Pei kins, who describes himself as ‘a positive person’, feels that therein lies the creative challenge. ‘Nothing is harder to make than a sequel,’ he insists, ‘because the entire audience shows up with a judgement already formed. Ifyou open a paper and you see an ad for Murphy ’3 Romance you don’t even know which of the two stars is Murphy, which one has the romance and what it‘s going to be all about. When you go to Psycho Ill }
The List 14 — 27 November 5