I wish at the appropriate time (too late now) Miley Cyrus had covered this Alice Cooper song. It would have been more rebellious than hiring writers and producers to guide her into the music of the street. (I like a bunch of the songs on her new album, but they are in no way adventurous or limit pushing. This is middle of the road rebellion, at its best.)
Today, in the giant park that is a block away from my house, the Secret Service shut everything down so that a helicopter and supporting choppers could drop off the President, who had some fundraising events and plans to visit a school in the area. I happened to be out on the street when the swarm of helicopters took off for points no doubt secure, the president left behind and ensconced in a pod in the back of an Escalade running at high speed into the heart of Crown Heights, where both the Jamaicans and the Orthodox Jews practice jaywalking promiscuously, if not always quickly. Lots of room for catastrophe there. No doubt John Carpenter is writing the screenplay now.
Which put me in mind of the Swedish hard rock band the Hellacopters, who my friend Steve introduced me to many years ago, sparing no laudatory adjectives. And they are a really good band, one I would gladly stand in front of and drink a beer or three while their sound blew my hair straight out behind me, like I was moving fast or in an ad for Marshall stacks. But when I put the records on get a little lost. The sound is energetic and rockish, but their original songs don’t always cohere. They sound great in spurts, but the overall effect is disorganized, and after a few songs I tend to switch away.
But their covers are different. They are pretty faithful and the playing suddenly becomes effectively disciplined, and they rock. I’m not sure this version of I’m Eighteen is better than Alice Cooper’s version, but this version is damned fine, and it was recorded in 2005, when the accolades that accrued to Alice were wispy ghosts. This is rock played in order to rock, and it sounds like it.