Guilty (Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, 1976)
Just tried to have fun
Raise hell and then some
I’m a dirt talkin, beer drinkin’ woman chasing minister’s son
Slap on the makeup
Blast out the music
Wake up the neighbors with a roar
like a teenage heavy metal elephant gun.
If you call that Guilty,..
Then that’s what I am
I’m Guilty,..I’m Guilty!
Like driving too fast
Love going too far
It seems the law’s on my ass every time
I stick it out of the door
If you call that guilty,
Then that’s what I am!
I’m guilty,..I’m guilty
Bad boy on a summer night
When the heat makes me mean and I wanna fight
Put my pedal on the metal and I do what I wanna do
Bad girls make me feel all right
When it’s hot and they start screamin’ in the night
Golly Gee, it’s wrong to be,..
so guilty! (I’m guilty)
My conscience is on vacation
In acute degeneration
Willpower has sunk to an all time low
If you call that guilty.,.
Well then I guess I am..
I’m guilty,..I’m guilty!
I’m guilty,..and I don’t care,..
I’m guilty, and I think I’ve been framed anyway,…
Alice’s 2nd solo album, ‘Alice Cooper Goes To Hell‘, was released in 1976. A concept album much like ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’, this record is a continuation of Steven’s story. ‘Alice Cooper Goes To Hell’ is considered ‘A Bedtime Story’. A realistic story of all the things we don’t want to know, believe, or think about – but we have to. The album, while told from Alice’s perspective, forces the listener to think about all the ‘criminal acts, violence, brat-like moments, etc.’ they have committed, and it makes that person ponder about the consequences of such deeds. Songs like “Go To Hell”, “I Never Cry”, “Give The Kid A Break”, “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”, and “Going Home” will no doubt be revisited by this blog at some point. Overall, the album is a unique, engaging follow-up to Alice’s first solo album.
This week we focus on “Guilty“. A song which might be the most notorious track off the album (next to or on par with the title track), it stands out for multiple reasons. It’s definitely the heaviest tune on the album. At that point in his solo career, the song felt the most like an original Alice Cooper track. Raw, harsh, nasty, gruff. All the qualities we’d expect from Alice the singer and Alice the band. But what makes it even more terrific is the cognitive element. Intended or not, the song is personal. It may feel as if it’s only linked to Alice, but it’s a song about humanity.
SIDE NOTE: After travelling almost 2000 miles round trip in the last couple weeks, I was able to take some time to hang out with my Dad and William, my oldest son, in Louisville, KY (my hometown). On Father’s day, the three of us enjoyed time together driving around the city and visiting a few shops on Bardstown Road. After perusing a couple record shops, I found two used records, “Love It To Death” and “Alice Cooper Goes To Hell” (pictured below), at “The Great Escape”. Enjoyed spending time with William and Dad while managing to find my first two vinyl Alice LPs as well. Not a bad way to end a very memorable trip.
“Guilty” strikes a nerve. It cuts you to the bone. Some may listen and say ,”that’s horrible, at least I’m not that bad.” Others may listen and think, “That’s nothing compared to my life and crimes.” Truth is, it doesn’t matter what you think, feel, or how offended you are – we’re all guilty (James 2:10). Guilty of defying His two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). There’s no one alive on this earth that hasn’t at some point replaced Him with ‘something’ nor has any one person ‘unconditionally’ loved each and every one of their neighbors as they do themselves. It’s impossible. Therefore, as Alice sings his confessional tune, it’s the song of every man, woman, and child as well. The admission and/or concession of humanity – we’re all guilty, but it’s more than that. It’s an epiphany.
Whether we’ve dealt with it, suppressed it, or denied it, we know that we are guilty. Guilty of NOT living according to His standards. His methods. His will. His Commandments. But there’s very Good News. Declaring our guilt requires us to deal with it (Psalms 119:25-29). It requires us to search for the solution. It entails that we place ourselves on trial. It mandates that we wrestle with our conscience – the internal struggle between right and wrong. It requires us to search for an intercessor. Someone to defend us. Someone to save us (from our sins and transgressions). Someone for us to model our lives after. Someone to show us a better way than our own.
Reading these things, ask yourself some questions – Are you guilty? Do you hold on to that guilt? Is it weighing on you? Have you dealt with it? These are some of the toughest questions any person must ask and answer for themselves. It requires the brutal truth and one of those mirrors that magnifies all your blemishes. It’s NOT an easy or fun process. In fact, it’s probably one of the greatest deviations from a person finding Christ and His Love. An unwillingness to examine your heart. An unwilling heart is one that remains lost. Unwilling to see its fault. Unwilling to see the need. Unwilling to embrace a better path – a loving and genuine course (Proverbs 3:5-6). A course navigated with His will. His ways. His Love.
The conception of Christianity and the notion of God is often riddled with judgment, hypocrisy, and falsities. Somehow, the world has led many to believe that God is filled with rage, vengeance, and hatred. Hatred for and towards humanity. That He somehow isn’t filled with Love and Redemption. However, scripture paints a very different narrative (Romans 8:1). Within it, we find a God willing to embrace His creation by becoming man. Willing to show us a better way through His teachings. Willing to stand in our place for our sins. Willing to defeat our eternal demise, and the enemy, through His own death. In turn, willing to love us even though we are ‘guilty’. He simply asks that we declare Him, Jesus Christ, as Lord and believe in our hearts that He is the risen Lord (Romans 8:10, 10:9-10). That decision and choice is held above all others and cannot be separated by any other power (Romans 8:38-39).
Wrapping this up, pay close and careful attention to those verses. Romans 8:38-39 reads, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” A good portion of Alice’s tongue and cheek approach to good, evil, Heaven, and Hell is most likely based on the interactions he had with other people – churchgoers, preachers, the press, other bands, fans, etc. However, the only relationship, opinion, interaction, etc. that truly matters is between him and his Lord, Jesus Christ. With that relationship, his guilt is washed away and his conscience cleansed (Hebrews 9:14). Only he can truly know whether or not that relationship is genuine and true – just like each of us and our relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. For it’s not the Law nor our deeds that save us but He that lives within us (Romans 8:3, Galatians 2:16).
In conclusion, we are all “guilty” (Romans 3:23). Accepting that guilt doesn’t require you to live in misery and despair. However, what it does require is that you examine your heart. Is there a better way? Are you living the best life you can live? Is there something better? Can I be forgiven? Maybe this still doesn’t add up. Maybe you refuse to believe you’ve done anything wrong. If that’s true, please consider asking yourself what’s in your conscience. Do you honestly believe that there’s nothing worth changing? Do you have some sort of moral compass? It would seem that, by design, all humanity knows some form of right from wrong. If we didn’t, there would be no laws. The saying, “laws were made to be broken”, is often humanity’s motto, yet who will stand in our defense as we face atonement for those rights and wrongs? Have you fully sought out retribution for the things that haunt and torment your past and present? Don’t carry those any further. Now is the time to shed the guilt and shame you currently walk in. Replace that with His Love, His Grace, and His Righteousness. Make the choice to compare yourself to His image instead of comparing your sin to the sin of others. Declare Him as Lord with your lips and worship Him as Lord with your Heart. Doing so, you will forever walk with Him (John 10:27). Forever in peace (Romans 5:1). Forever innocent through Him and His blood (Romans 8:1).
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
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