Minnesota Music History
The Lowertown Line looks back at music in Minnesota
- [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.