There’s a National Film Board documentary that, if you’re a music fan at all, you need to see.
It’s called Rock-A-Bye, and it’s up on YouTube. First of all, it seems like it was done 100 years ago, rather than 43, and as a result, it’s a trip to watch…everything from the styles, to the studio technology, to in-office smoking, and more.
Beyond those things, the most startling thing I found was the footage around Alice Cooper’s visit to Montreal. It’s nuts.
First off, there apparently was no such thing as security. When Alice arrives at the airport, there’s a small group of fans at the airport, and almost zero protection for Alice as he tries to make his way from the plane to the limo. It essentially turns into a pretty scary melee..and the first thing I thought of was how terrified The Beatles must have been at times during Beatlemania.
Then, at the venue, fans actually rip the door off its hinges as they pour in to go for those rush seats. Again…nice security.
Finally, there’s the actual concert. Never mind the film and lighting technology, the show itself – in retrospect – seems as low tech as it gets, as Alice, while performing the song Dead Babies (which caused outrage at the time) grabs a hatchet, and with great drama, starts chopping at a VERY plastic doll.
Keep in mind that it was antics like this that were in the process of making Cooper the biggest arena rock act in the world, and the one who inspired KISS to go the make-up and theatrics route.
When you click the link below, the video will start with the airport sequence.