BIG Music News: Alice Cooper, Don McLean

ALICE COOPER:  Cut the politics out

Alice Cooper doesn't believe politics and rock and roll should mix.

Claiming he "hates politics with a passion," the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer takes a sharply different position from many of his musical peers and rivals. He tells Britain's NME that rock music was his escape whenever his parents began talking politics.

 "I know that people incoporate politics into rock and roll. And I think the anti-thesis of rock and roll is politics. That would be like me singing the Dow Jones Report. I mean, when my parents would talk about politics, I would go into my room and put The Yardbirds on as loud as I could -- because I could care less about it."

These days, many recording stars feel its important to take a stand on hot topics. Alice Cooper isn't one of them. He hints that those who do have contempt for their fans.

 "And now politics and rock and roll are in bed together. I don't know if it's fair for a rock star to tell his fans to vote for who he's voting for. Because all he's doing is using his popularity. What it's saying is that the audiences are sheep and they don't have a brain of their own. So I refuse to do that."

Alice Cooper jokes that he couldn't afford to get involved in politics. His only interaction was a song that spoofs presidential politics.

 "And I don't want to take the pay cut. I could never stand that world. Who wants to run the world? I don't want to. I just want to sort of entertain the world. The only thing I ever got political in was doing 'Elected,' and that was a total satire. Alice Cooper running against Richard Nixon."

DON McLEAN:  Avoids jail time 

Don McLean won't be going to jail on the domestic violence charges filed by his now ex-wife.

The "American Pie" icon pleaded guilty last July to six changes, including domestic violence assault -- but was told he would avoid prison if he maintained a clean record for the next 12 months. He did, and after paying $3600 in fines and court costs, his case was closed.

The singer's attorney tells Bangor, Maine's Daily News, "Contrary to media reports, [McLean] did not assault -- and all that implies -- anyone at any time... Mister McLean is an international music legend and has represented America around the world for almost 50 years. Although great damage was done to his career and reputation, he has prevailed on this charge, which was the most serious and damaging of all the charges."

THE DOORS:  Hit #1 50 years ago this week

50 years ago this Saturday, July 29th, The Doors achieved their first-number hit as "Light My Fire" cracked the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, this Friday, Rhino will release a limited-edition reproduction of the original seven-inch single that was released in Japan in 1967. It will also put out a new digital and streaming maxi-single with three different versions of the iconic song -- the mono single version, the stereo album version, and a live version from the Felt Forum in New York City from January 17th, 1970.

Robby Krieger talked about writing The Doors' "Light My Fire"...

 "Jim [Morrison] was writing all the songs at that point. We realized we didn't have enough originals and so Jim says, 'Why don't you guys go try to write a song, you know? Why do I have to do all the work?' So I said, 'Okay, well what should I write about?' And he says, 'Write about something universal. Something that won't be out of style in the next year or two.' And so I thought, 'Okay, I'll write about the four elements - earth, air, fire or water.' And I picked fire because I always liked the songs by the [Rolling] Stones, 'Play With Fire.'"

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