Monday, 25 April 2016

On this day in… 1975 | Vincent Price hosted Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare TV special


The Alice Cooper TV-special The Nightmare, based on his first solo album Welcome To My Nightmare had its US debut on 25 April 1975.

In Emmy-award winning special, Alice Cooper plays his album's narrator, Steven, who is trapped in a nightmare from which he cannot escape. Vincent Price, who originally lent his iconic voice to the introduction to The Black Widow, appears as the Spirit of the Nightmare, who guides Steven through his experience. All 12 tracks from the album were performed, with the addition of Ballad of Dwight Fry from the Love It to Death album.

In 1983, the TV special was released on VHS and Betamax home video in the US, but was later discontinued. Now this is one that so deserves to be given a HD restoration. Don't you think?

• Alice Cooper originally conceived a Welcome to My Nightmare film that was radically different from what the album, concert and this tie-in TV special ultimately became. He met with director  Daniel Mann to discuss the project on the set of Journey Into Fear (1975), where he was introduced to Vincent Price, who ended up not only supplying the narration to The Black Widow, but also a starring role in the concept as a whole.

• Alice Cooper later recalled, Vincent 'was in his element because he had me on a leash... I said, "Don't be afraid to yank the leash. Make this like one of your movies where I'm just like this little pet of yours that you're showing around!”

• When Vincent showed up at the studio to record his vocals for The Black Widow, he shocked onlookers by arriving in a Hawaiian shirt and striped pants. Alice ommented that Price looked like Ronald McDonald, and there was talk of renaming his character, Jolly MacAmbre, Tour Guide at the Pasadena Palace of Insects.

• The special was shot in Toronto, where Cooper's favorite beer was unavailable, so he had 40 cases of Budweiser shipped in to get him through the filming.

• Vincent reprised his role live on stage for a December 1975 concert at Lake Tahoe. 

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