Alice Cooper revealed a gross Johnny Rotten secret in a new 95.5 KLOS interview. Jimi Hendrix Gave Alice Cooper His ‘First’ Drug.
The interviewer said, “The whole connection of the song ‘I’m Eighteen’ to punk-rock and Johnny Rotten’s love of you, and in fact, when he auditioned for the Sex Pistols, the song that he sang was ‘Eighteen.’ Talk to me about that.”
Cooper responded, “You know, he [Johnny] told me that before the Sex Pistols, he used to be busking down at the subway down there with [bassist] Sid Vicious and a couple of guys, but they weren’t doing the Irish pub songs or English pub songs, they were doing ‘I Love the Dead’ and things like that.
So you can imagine how disturbing that might have been. But that was, you know, that song, ‘I’m Eighteen,’ was just one of those songs that we wanted to be America’s Yardbirds – that’s what we wanted to be.
[Producer] Bob Ezrin says, ‘What you’re missing is the fact that the simplicity of a song is what makes it powerful.’ He kept saying, ‘Dumb it down, dumb it down, get it dumber,’ to the point where it was just finally *hums melody*
“And then when you heard it on the radio, it sounded powerful, and it said ‘I’m 18, I’m chaotic, I can’t do this, I can’t do that,’ and then the hook on it was, ‘I’m 18 and I like it, I love it.’ So the guy’s going, ‘I love the chaos in my life, I love being 18, I love being irresponsible,’ and that was the hook.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.