The Lowertown Line


Minnesota Music History

The Lowertown Line looks back at music in Minnesota

AIRED: May 25, 2018 | 0:02:15

- [Voiceover] Today, we're going to explore Minnesota

music history, and the rock star, Alice Cooper.

- What does Alice Cooper have to do

with Minnesota music history?

- [Voiceover] Let's find out.

When Alice Cooper played the St. Paul Civic Center

in April of 1978, he was notorious for

the shocking theatrics of his stage show.

- It was like a whole little vignette movie

at the beginning of the concert.

He's running, he's running, he's running, he runs

right out of the screen on the stage and goes "ooowwww".

I was 12, you know, this is the coolest thing ever.

There was a big guillotine on stage, Alice is grr, grr, grr.

He's got his head stuck in the guillotine.

Then somebody comes out and picks up his head.

- [Voiceover] But, the most shocking part of the concert

was still to come.

- [Voiceover] He started playing "School's Out" and I think

it was the encore.

Crowd goes crazy.

- [Voiceover] It was at this moment that some

malicious Cooper fan triggered a canister of tear gas

in the packed auditorium.

- All of this smoke starts pouring out

on the right side of the stage.

All of a sudden I noticed ten thousand people

running at me, it was terrifying.

- [Voiceover] Security rushed the stage

to escort the singer off and the civic center was evacuated.

- I thought that that's the way concerts went,

crazy things happen, and everybody got tear gassed.

- [Voiceover] The culprit was never found,

but there's been so much speculation

and varying memories of the incident,

that a Facebook group was started around it.

- I met Alice Cooper at an airport in Spain,

and I said "Do you remember that show

at the St. Paul Civic Center?" and he immediately went,

"Oh, of course".

He's probably done a zillion shows,

but he immediately went, "Oh, you were at that"?

- [Voiceover] After the incident, Alice had t-shirts

printed up for the band and the road crew, bragging about

the 1978 St. Paul Tear Gas Massacre.

- I should have one of those shirts.

I'm living to tell.

- [Voiceover] The Lowertown Line,

making Minnesota music history.