Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy Birthday to George Romero and Alice Cooper

Today was George Romero's birthday. It was also Alice Cooper's birthday. The fact that both of these influential gentlemen of horror were squeezed from the womb on the same day several years apart is cause for celebration. The fact that I am only truly aware of it this year and made to write about it makes me feel more than slightly out of touch. I should really be marking these things on a calender shouldn't I?

Let's say a little about each one of these fine fellows and then cheer them to another great year.


I found George first on VHS. Well, my dad found Creepshow at a video store and rented it showing it to all the the neighborhood kids before previewing it to make sure it was sanitary. It wasn't. The kids were scared and I was in love. I love Romero in phases going through Night of the Living Dead marathons and Dawn of the Dead version collection phases. Sometimes I try to enjoy his more obscure work. Sometimes I realize that I don't love it all. This past year I had the opportunity to review the Fangoria special featuring a retrospective on the career of Romero and also a review Synapse's release of Document of the Dead. I watched Knightriders for the very first time. I also watched Bruiser and Season of the Witch. It was a good year for us (Romero and me). I would say that Romero was my gateway to Stephen King through Creepshow and the comic book adaptation there of. I think Romero made me fall in love with zombies. 

While reading through Fangoria I was made aware that Romero often took music from libraries of scores rather than having new scores made as a cost cutting technique or if not that then to simply give great atmosphere to his films. Dawn of the Dead's score, in part, was pulled from the famous De Wolf Music Library. I had never heard this before. You know that Dawn of the Dead has the infamous "Gonk" and Goblin score, but then there's more traditional, creepy music. My tribute to Romero is to have you, dear readers, go take a look at the De Wolf Library online. Check it out HERE. If preselected horror under the search options, but peruse the whole damn thing. Maybe you'll find Romero's muse.


I think I first figured out that I wanted to listen to Alice Cooper when MTV had a giant, raging hard-on for "Poison". It's a great power ballad. It's filthy. It's sexy. It's pure tortured Alice. Some time passed and I saw Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives and enjoyed "The Man Behind Mask". Another superior cut and the pulsing synth was eerie and dance-able (as if I an really dance anyway). Years later I would pick up the Trash album alongside Angel Witch's live album at a record store (back when record store's existed). If you could over play a CD and burn a hole straight through it I would have. I picked up Prince of Darkness some time later. It featured a live cut of "Billion Dollar Babies" which has become one of my all time favorite jams. The whole thing is a collection of awesome. As you grow up you become familiar with all of an artist's work if you truly enjoy it. Everything from No More Mr. Nice Guy to Hey Stupid to Lost in America and Only Women Bleed... Welcome to My Nightmare. I love it all and I love each song in a unique way, but mostly those first two albums. 

Cooper is a horror guy. He's played Freddy Kruger's daddy and contributed to some great soundtracks over the years (did I forget to mention Feed My Frankenstein from Wayne's World?). Take a listen to two of my favorite tracks below and then go purchase them.




No comments:

Post a Comment