Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Mythology of Steven Part Two

Today I'm going to talk some more about Alice Cooper's fictional homicidal maniac character known as Steven. Steven made his official first appearance on the Welcome to My nightmare album but his roots can be traced back to the Love it to Death album on the song "Ballad of Dwight Fry" which is a predecessor to the character. In fact Alice has said that this song was the one that gave him the idea to invent the character of Steven. On the follow up to the Nightmare album, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, the album has a text on the original LP inner sleeve that says:

“Lay still, Steven, and I'll tell you a bedtime story. I'll tell you a bedtime story that's not for all children. It's a very special story, that only special children will understand. It's a half-awake story, and it will be better if you close your eyes. It's a story that takes place in a dream, like other nightmares you have known. It's a dream that Alice has dreamed. You can dream along with him. You can follow Alice down the staircase, deep, down the stairs to the pit where he doesn't want to go, but he has to. If you go to sleep now, Steven, you can go down the long and endless stairway and sing sweet songs to Alice and free him. And if you can't get to sleep, Steven, and in the middle of the night you get out of bed, when everything is quiet and the trees are still and the birds are hiding from the dark, you can lie down on your bedroom floor and press your ear tightly to the boards. If you listen very carefully you can hear Alice searching for a way out, forever chasing rainbows. Sleep tight, Steven. And have a good night.”

The music itself seems to be more about Alice himself rather than Steven. In 1983 Cooper released the ultra creepy Da Da which is an album that revolves around an insane, unnamed character. The character is a cannibal, as revealed in the song, "Fresh Blood." The themes present on the album, and especially in three of the songs resemble those on the “Steven albums”. There is a Steven=Alice theory that supports the hypothesis that Steven is the main character on Dada, but I will deal with that in another post.

The next "official" appearance on an album came in 1991 with the Album Hey Stoopid. Steven makes his appearance on the last track on the album called Wind up Toy. Though the song was never released as a single, the song is very popular among Cooper's fans, often favourite above all others by some. In the song we learn that he is imprisoned in a lunatic hospital and that he makes only friends are the insects, rats and his toys on the floor. This tells us that he still has the mind of a small child. Obviously it upset Steven to become an adult. The song possibly suggests something happened that forced him to be like an adult, before he was ready for it. In the closing moments of the song we hear in a creepy schizophrenic voice,
You have to go now it's bedtime
Then a short pause and in an almost quiet like, child's frightened cry we hear a drawn out Steeeeven that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Stay tuned, more Steven to come.

Wind Up Toy
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Funny Toon


Melisa Marzett said...

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