Arts and Entertainment

The National are Ellis' favourite band

Obituary: Glen Buxton

Glen Buxton, guitarist: born Akron, Ohio 17 June 1947; died Clarion, Iowa 18 October 1997.

live review: Kiss Finsbury Park, London

A deep voice boomed out: "You wanted the best. Now you got the best." As the black drape fell off the stage, there, in among the dry ice and underneath a bank of multicoloured lights, were three axemen in their late forties, in full super-hero garb, all going for it with "Do You Love Me?".

POP: live review: Alice Cooper Astoria, London

Alice Cooper's songs only appeal to minority groups. For example, "School's Out" will have no meaning for people who've never attended an educational institution. In the same way, "Only Women Bleed" merely addresses the problems of half the earth's population. Despite these limitations, all his early compositions seem to have survived very well since 1972, when Alice Cooper's name first began to appear scrawled on classroom desks. In that historic year the British school-leaving age was raised from 15 to 16. Such are the ramifications of pop music. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, President Richard Nixon was beginning to become seriously unstuck, thus providing Cooper with material for his second hit "Elected". All that may seem a long time ago now, but in the intervening decades Alice Cooper has become a national treasure, even though he's American.

Still alive and licking

After 25 years, hard-rock dinosaurs Kiss continue to behave as if all the world were their stage. Perhaps it is.

Interview: John Walsh meets Alice Cooper - Alice in Nice Guy land

"Take the electric chair," said Alice Cooper's genial, owlish manager Toby, indicating a floral monstrosity in the corner of the sixth- floor suite at the Conrad Hotel. It was not, in fact, wired up, or plugged into the mains, but I could see his point: the armchair was at right angles to, and as close as possible to the sofa where a 49-year-old apparition lay, watching CNN. Alice Cooper at first sight is merely disconcerting. At second and third sights he is downright worrying. His hair is long and black like a bedraggled raven's. His dark skin is full of shadows, as if covered in cobwebs from some particularly neglected dungeon. His nose is hooked, his mouth tight as a fob pocket, his jaw sullenly unshaven. His handshake is like a claw extended by a momentarily sociable turkey. Most alarming, though, are his eyes, which are a weirdly pure Virgin Mary- blue with a phosphorescent tinge. You can see some light switching on and off inside them, like the eyes of Mysterons. You can imagine, with a shudder, sitting in that inoffensive chair and having this corpse-chewing wraith suddenly leap upon you, fangs bared, eyes flashing. Frankly, electrocution might be preferable.

Lee wins fight over film contract

Los Angeles (Reuters) - Pamela Anderson Lee, the former star of the television series Baywatch who had been sued for $5m (pounds 3m) by a movie production company, did not break any contract when she backed out of a film deal, a judge ruled yesterday.

The showmanship must go on

ROCK

Album Reviews: Counting Crows Recovering the Satellites

Even among an unusually self-absorbed generation of American singers, Counting Crows' Adam Duritz operates at a peculiarly strident pitch of self-pity, investing the most innocuous of lyrics with excessive emotional drama. A classic solipsistic soul-barer, he just won't shut up about himself: there are more first-person-singulars in the lyric booklet to this album than even Morrissey would countenance. And when he runs out of words, there's still no respite, Duritz apparently regarding every instrumental coda as an opportunity to wail wordlessly along, in some misguided attempt to persuade us of the depth of his feelings.

Pop Kiss Madison Square Garden, New York

Every country has its cultural signifiers: Japan has kabuki; Italy has opera; France has frogs' legs, and we have fish and chips and the Royal Family. America, on the other hand, has Kiss - the fire-breathing, blood-spitting comic super-heroes of rock. For the first time in 17 years, all four original members - Gene "The Demon, Primordial!" Simmons, Paul "The Starchild, Sensuous!" Stanley, Ace "The Space Ace, Not of this Earth!" Frehley and Peter "The Cat, Predator Unleashed!" Criss - have reunited in their famous cake make-up, skin-tight costumes and platform boots, and gone out on what is the most irresistibly dumb comeback tour of the year.

One time casualty of the famed rock lifestyle, Ozzy Osbourne now messes with little more harmful than his 'natural endorphins'

the interview OZZY OSBOURNE, ROCK LEGEND TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

Just a stage they're going through

Amateur dramatics - a dirty phrase for some reason, even when the bulk of the box office take traditionally goes to charity. It suggests a musical evening of tedious embarrassment which you have to sit through and applaud because you know one of the three little maids. But wait] You could be that little maid] You may have thought that amateur dramatics was strictly out-of-town stuff, but practically every borough and every major institution in the City, from London Transport to the Stock Exchange, has a show in rehearsal. The scene is busting out all over.

Riffs: Fruitbat, of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, on Alice Cooper's 'School's Out'

THE first time I heard this was on the Christmas Top of the Pops in about 1972. This was my greatest period of being a fan. I was only 14 at the time so it felt really rebellious. It has one of the greatest riffs in rock and roll - on a Les Paul, I think - which was the first thing I ever learnt to play. The band had a brilliant bass player too, who has this bass line which is like a little lead line, it doesn't go with the rhythm at all. It sounds like it's overdriven on the amp.

XXXXXXX: Pop kisses

BRIEF, uncomplicated, sometimes casual, the appetiser not the meal: kisses have a few things in common with hit singles. Take a song, switch a couple of letters round, and there you have it: a snog. If you look in the dictionary of recorded pop (The Official Music Master Tracks Catalogue, Waterlow), you find 268 numbers starting with a kiss, from 'A Kiss Made the World Begin' by Jesse Barish to 'Kiss Me for the Last Time' by Elkie Brooks. In between there's 'A Kiss to Build a Dream On' by Louis Armstrong, 'Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major' by Arthur Askey, 'Kiss the Drummer' by Adam and the Ants, 'A Kissed- Out Red Floatboat' by the Cocteau Twins, and 'Kiss that Crazy Corpse' by Loveless. None of these, nor any of the other 261, reached the top of the charts.
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