Only Traitors Bleed


Alice Cooper calls rockers turned political activists traitors–not to the U.S., but to something even bigger: the spirit of rock n' roll.

When Alice Cooper said he thought rock stars who throw concerts to influence politics were treasonous in a recent interview, he didn't mean treason against the United States…..
Cooper said he had clearly said in the interview rock stars doing concerts for presidential candidates were guilty of "treason against rock and roll."…..

Cooper added that rock and roll is rebellious and that spirit doesn't mix well with political fund-raisers and electoral campaigning.

[Thanks to Ivan Osorio for the tip]

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  1. Here’s some more that he said (from Volokh):

    “When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I’d run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick.

    “If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we’re morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.”

  2. I second the notion.

    I thought Green Day was lame before. Now, with their “American Idiot” I just plain loathe them.

    Rockers assume too much when they open their mouth and remove all doubt about their intelligence level.

  3. Wouldn’t treason against rock n’ roll really involve playing in numerous celebrity golf tournaments?

    P.S. The Washington Journal?

  4. And yet he’s still a Bush supporter:

    Besides,” he continued, “when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn’t already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that’s a good reason right there to vote for Bush.”

    What a clown. So much for that “rebellious spirit.”

  5. Oops. Here’s the link for the quote I posted above:

  6. P.S. The Washington Journal?

    that kinda says it all right there, huh?

  7. “P.S. The Washington Journal?
    that kinda says it all right there, huh”

    The first time I saw the story, the quote was a bit longer. After “the Washington Journal” there was a line in parenthesis that added “Yes, I know that doesn’t even exist.”

  8. Politics and rock don’t mix? Gee, sure surprised me. I wonder if Alice ever listened to Born in the USA.

    Besides rebellion is usually against government (hence, somewhat political) not just because School’s Out. Though I agree that convention rocking is lame.

  9. “The Spirit of Rock n’ Roll?”

    Give me a break. 🙂

  10. Politics and rock don’t mix? Gee, sure surprised me. I wonder if Alice ever listened to Born in the USA

    That’s not a very good example, since most Springsteen fans consider Born in the USA to be one of his worst albums. A better example might be Springsteen’s involvement with the “No Nukes” concert — great rock music in service of dumb politics.

  11. Does CCR count as rock? Those hillbillies had a political agenda.

    Seems hard to take a contradictory position to Cooper, that rock stars are categorically well-informed, well-intentioned, and should be trusted to define the important issues in your life.

  12. Maybe you can’t posit that they all have well thought out positions, but “against the spirit of rock and roll”?? WTF?? Rock has ALWAYS been about subversion against society ever since Bill Haley got suburban white kids dancing to rhythm and blues. The (sometimes lame) political posturing of rock stars, from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks, is just a growed-up version of that rebellion against the Man.

  13. Alice said that rock and electioneering don’t mix. That’s not the same as rock and politics not mixing well.

    Rock for kids (vintage Cooper) was about defining self separate from parents and society. Rock for adults (vintage Springsteen) was about echoing an identity within society. Now the kids get to channel their rebellion into conveniently-packaged political identities while adults pay big dollars to see that their former heroes can’t really rock anymore.

  14. For political rock, I like Rush. “Trees”, their anti-welfare state song is great:

    …as is their anti-intolerance song, ?Witch Hunt”

    They have others, and Rush’s 1976 album, 2112, was inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel “Anthem,” and in the liner notes Neil Peart declares his admiration for “the genius of Ayn Rand”. Rush’s songs often reflect a strong libertarian and individualist slant. Their best-known song, “Tom Sawyer,” celebrates individual freedom. Among the lyrics: His mind is not for rent/To any god or government.

    I will choose a path that’s clear
    I will choose free will.

    — from the song “Free Will,” on the 1980 album Permanent Waves.

    Also wonderful is Oingo Boingo with a number of libertarian tunes:

    I especially enjoy “Capitalism”:

    There?s nothing wrong with Capitalism
    There?s nothing wrong with free enterprise
    Don?t try to make me feel guilty
    I?m so tired of hearing you cry

    There?s nothing wrong with making some profit
    If you ask me I?ll say it?s just fine
    There?s nothing wrong with wanting to live nice
    I?m so tired of hearing you whine…

  15. Cooper’s major problem is that these guys are supporting a politician he doesn’t like.

  16. agreed…always political…Zappa…Woodstock…hey he needs whatever headline he can get I imagine..

  17. As much as I loathe the self-important politicized rock star a la Michael Stipe and Bono…

    I should hasten to point out that a man who shared the stage with the likes of Iggy Pop and Black Sabbath while continuing to bleed ketchup and bite the heads off plastic chickens shouldn’t talk about the “spirit of rock’n’roll.”

    I agree with Cooper’s opinion in as much as I believe that insincerely theatrical showmen shouldn’t be allowed to have opinions about anything, especially rock’n’roll.

  18. Alice plays golf at the Phoenix Country Club with Glenn Campbell. Regardless of the fact that he bit the heads off of rubber chickens, how can anyone take this guy seriously?

  19. Speaking of Alice Cooper, did anyone else laugh out loud when they saw the recent Staples Ad on TV?

    Tight shot on shopping cart and hands filling it with various school supplies.

    Voice over says something about Back to School shopping.

    Shot of a little girl with arms crossed, obviously bummed.

    Girl: “You said school was out forever!”

    Cut to shot of Alice Cooper behind the shopping cart.

    Alice: “No, I said school was out for Summer”

    Cue music.

  20. I saw O-B many years ago, and it was, by far, one of the best concerts ever.

    By the way, their farewell concert is available on DVD. Great stuff.

  21. Bill G.,

    He said both actually. 🙂

    Ever see Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show? 🙂

  22. Dan: thanks for the heads-up.

    If the farewell DVD is half as good as the show I witnessed, I second the endorsement. A great concert band is one that looks like they’re having fun, even though they obviously performed the same pieces hundreds of times.

    The worst show I ever saw was REM. They mechanically went through their tunes and hardly acknowledged the audience. Stipe talked the lyrics of “End of the World”.. probably because it’s such a fast, wordy song he didn’t want to bother with it. What a flaming asshole.

    Second worst show was David Bowie. He only did ONE classic song in the set, and it totally sucked. He didn’t come out for an encore, which was actually an act of mercy.

    Sorry for the boring discourse, but it is Friday..

  23. GG: Kudos on the Muppet reference. Always a classic. The Coop knows good theatre, give him that . . .

  24. …” can you name ANY group or individual you would trust to vote for you or discern a political opinion for you?”

    Sure, I always trust Jean Bart-Gunnels.

  25. “…how can anyone take this guy seriously?”

    Boy, talk about a bunch of bananas that don’t get it — since when did Alice Cooper expect anyone to take him seriously?

  26. I love it – I`ve got pinky brain friends going to Cooper concerts. They`re indirectly kicking back money to the Republican party.

  27. Remember when we used to assume that everyone was just himself or herself? That was cool.

  28. Douglas Fletcher,

    I am not Jean Bart.

    Alice Cooper is apparently expecting us to take him seriously right now.

  29. “What a clown. So much for that “rebellious spirit.””

    The fact that he’s sympathetic to the Republicans (loathsome as they can be) in itself is “rebellious”. All the other rockers (with a few exceptions) read off of the Democratic Party script.

    It’s very tiresome when everyone is saying the same thing. Yes, we know that Bush is an asshole. Sell a decent album, Don.

    Rick Barton: thanks for the reminder how incredibly awesome-excellent Rush and Oingo-Boingo are. I saw O-B many years ago, and it was, by far, one of the best concerts ever. Too bad Danny is all “artistic” now with the movie soundtracks. Frankly, they all sound the same. Get away from that soundboard and pick up a guitar, dude.

  30. Alice Cooper.

    Neil Young.

    I’m think I’ll just leave it at that.

  31. Alice Cooper is no fool. He’s still got an image to uphold, for at least a year or two more. He is probably really a c-span junkie, and is hopefully appreciating Ron Paul on THE WASHINGTON JOURNAL this morning as much as I am.

  32. joe.

    jean bart.

    I’ll leave it at that.

  33. I anm not Gary Gunnels!

  34. I am Jean Bart.

    And so is my wife.

  35. Douglas Fletcher,

    Well, you arguments always were empty, so I’m glad you’re finally owning up to that.

  36. I listen to Alice Cooper’s radio show sometimes, and he’s a pretty amusing guy. I don’t know how you could disagree that anyone taking political cues from a rock star is a moron. Clearly he has his own political opinions, but he doesn’t advocate that anyone at all pay attention to them.

    “Imagine no possessions…”

  37. “Cooper’s major problem is that these guys are supporting a politician he doesn’t like.”

    Maybe, but what’s you major problem?

  38. Douglas Fletcher,

    I think taking political cues from ANYONE is likely not the the brightest thing in the world – can you name ANY group or individual you would trust to vote for you or discern a political opinion for you?

    Anyway, I don’t buy the whole “spirit of rock n’ roll” crap.

  39. What kind of world is it where Alice Cooper becomes the voice of reason?

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