Today in 1972, Alice Cooper was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘School’s Out’. Here he reflects on what this song meant to him as we go ‘Behind the Song’ with Alice Cooper.
What inspired you to write this song?
What’s the greatest three minutes of your life? There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, the next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school.
How did you feel about it when it was ready to be released?
Out of the 14 Top 40 songs we’ve had, ‘School’s Out’ was the only song I was ever sure of. I said ‘If this isn’t a hit, I don’t belong in this business.’ It had every element — it was released right when school was letting out, it was a summer song, it had that hook, it had the lyric and I would have been shocked if that wasn’t a hit.
What was your experience with school?
Essentially I was Ferris Bueller, and I basically ran the school. We had girlfriends doing our homework, and the teachers loved us because we made them laugh. So school was like a piece of cake for me. Not that I ever did anything, I was just the class clown. When I wrote the song, I was like, ‘Jeez, this doesn’t apply to me at all! I love high school, I’d spend the rest of my life here!
Words of wisdom for those still in school…
I think many students graduating today wish they could stay in school, too – but for different reasons. It is a hard job market and I have watched my own son struggle within it – after graduating college with honours.
So I say start wherever you can and be the best you can be. Specialized skills are more valuable than general knowledge. Make yourself indispensable… If you’re in the general work pool, you’re gonna get lost – even if you’ve got a degree. You have got to be the guy or the gal.
And I say make some noise, will ya? Someone I once knew used to say ‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil.’
Nobody knows that better than you Alice and your noise and colour is playing on today. Catch him on the road in a city near you with Motley Crue / All Bad Things Tour throughout 2015.