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Social Debris (Detroit Stories, 2021)

“Social Debris” Lyrics:

I don’t commit; I just collide
I won’t submit; I’ll just decide
On where to run or where to hide

Their eyes are everywhere
I see them spying there
At my face, at my hair

I won’t plug in to their machine
I hate the sound; I hate that scene
I sure ain’t hip; I sure can’t hop
I lost the script; I lost the plot

Their spies are everywhere
I feel them hiding there
On my face, in my hair

I just can’t cope with all this disease
It’s pushing down, down, down
Down on me
Look at me, what you see
Is social debris

You said you’d treat me but tried to delete me
You think I’m tragic, but I know I’m magic
Your eyes are everywhere
I see you spying there
At my face, at my hair

I just can’t cope with all this disease
Pushing down, down, down
Down on me
Look at me, look at me
I’m social debris

I just can’t cope with all this disease
Look at me, look at me
Social debris
Look at me, look at me
Social debris
Look at me, look at me
I’m social debris

Detroit Stories is Alice Cooper’s 21st solo album. It was released on February 26th, 2021, and it quickly reached the #1 slot on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart. Inspired by Alice’s hometown, Detroit, MI, he states the record pays homage to “the birthplace of angry Hard Rock,” and it seems many critics agree.

“Stylistically, the album is very gritty and follows the same punk, metal and shock-rock inspired sound of the earlier days of the Alice Cooper Group and the Detroit music scene.” – (Kory Grow, Rolling Stone Magazine, Feb. 2021)

Contributing to the album’s flashback appeal, “I Hate You” and “Social Debris,” two tracks on the album that feature the original lineup, could have easily been included on any of the classic Alice Cooper (Group) records.

 The original band is still loved by many, and Alice has found a way to include Dennis Dunaway (bass), Neal Smith (drums), and Michael Bruce (guitar) in the creative process when possible. It’s incredible to witness circles of fans that still follow and love this phenomenon even after 50+ years.

One of those fans, Steven Crayn, was afforded the opportunity of a lifetime during the recording of Detroit Stories.

Steven, a lifelong fan and historian of Alice Cooper, was asked to lend his lead guitar skills to “Social Debris.” Steven masterfully accomplished the task recalling the style and attitude of the much-lamented Glen Buxton, just as Bob Ezrin, the album’s producer, had envisioned.

“In many ways, my guitar solo on Social Debris is a personal testimonial of my relationship with God and Jesus Christ. I recorded the guitar solo over two days in May 2020 at a recording studio at a hospital radio station in England, the same hospital I checked myself out of 2 months earlier, just before the Covid lockdown.

Against Doctor’s advice, I decided to put my faith in God after spending five days in a place I didn’t want to be. On Saturday, May 16th, 2020, I got an email from Bob Ezrin asking if I could play a Glen Buxton type guitar solo on an Alice Cooper track for his next album. I couldn’t believe it, and of course, I said yes…

I had a couple of days to prepare, and when Bob Ezrin heard the solo, he said we need a better ending which, even though it was only the last bar of the 16 bar guitar solo, was critical in making it work. He gave me great guidance on how he wanted the solo to end, accentuating on a high A note…

Working with Bob Ezrin and the inspiration I got from hearing (the band) – Alice’s vocals, Neal Smith’s drums, Dennis Dunaway’s bass, and Michael Bruce’s rhythm guitar (and with the spirit of Glen Buxton in mind), I managed to come up with something that was a sort of tribute to Glen (and old school Alice Cooper with musical references to that era)…

I tried also to put my own stamp on it, so it was more than just a musical tribute…I really believe God must have been looking down on me for this to happen.” – Steven Crayn (lead guitarist, “Social Debris”)

Steven’s solo is an excellent work of art and definitely helps give the song that extra classic Alice vibe. Check out the concept and process behind his work on “Social Debris” in the video below:

Steven has also become an ardent supporter of “Fridays With Alice (FWA)” and, more importantly, a good friend. From the beginning of this blog’s introduction, he was able to decipher the difference between religion and faith – that “Fridays With Alice” was an endeavor to share God’s Love.

Social Debris” is a fantastic tune. As mentioned in many interviews, it, like most of the tracks on Detroit Stories, fits perfectly within the 1971-72 era of Alice Cooper. A new throwback to the past, it will no doubt become a Classick.

While the music is pure Rock, the lyrics are just as poignant.

I don’t commit; I just collide
I won’t submit; I’ll just decide

On where to run or where to hide

I won’t plug in to their machine
I hate the sound; I hate that scene
I sure ain’t hip; I sure can’t hop
I lost the script; I lost the plot

You said you’d treat me but tried to delete me
You think I’m tragic, but I know I’m magic
Your eyes are everywhere
I see you spying there
At my face, at my hair

I just can’t cope with all this disease
Pushing down, down, down
Down on me
Look at me, look at me
I’m social debris

Alice states the song is about the original band and how they were initially perceived as the outcasts of society or “Social Debris,” however, another narrative also comes to mind.

It seems like the narcissistic nightmare of social media could apply to the lyrics and the way comments, hashtags, etc., might make others feel as well. When we don’t agree with the latest narrative or have mixed feelings about hot-topic issues, it’s as if we could be labeled “social debris” and “deleted” from society.

In so many ways, we’ve become enslaved by our own storylines – fishing for likes and comments, or the opposite, trying to keep up with everyone else’s feeds and photos. The “Look at me, look at me” narrative not only pushes others down but does us as well.

Don’t take this wrong; this isn’t some judgmental rant about social media and posting things online. Everything has a purpose, and there is value in sharing information and experience. However, like all things in life, we must question our hearts and motives when doing so.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

As His children, we aspire to capture and live by His Design and His Image. We work towards replacing our thoughts with His thoughts and with His Love. As we travel through life, we hopefully begin to see His Light shining in and through us as well.

Our presence on social media (and in society) is no different. A few things we should consider are the following:

  • Are we gracious to others?
    Proverbs 16:24
  • Are we cautious about whether we should comment or respond?
    Proverbs 13:3
  • Are we careful and thoughtful about the words we use?
    Proverbs 15:4
  • Are we being respectful to others, not belittling them but instead lifting them up (even if that means remaining silent)?
    Proverbs 11:12
  • Are we hesitant and using restraint instead of quarreling with others?
    Proverbs 26:4

How much wisdom and knowledge does the book of Proverbs provide for us? So much of who and what we should be is found within the verses of that book.

The bottom line is, it’s easy to forget who we’ve been called to be. It’s easy to become part of the problem – “pushed down” into “social debris,” especially when only using text and conversing with a profile avatar.

When face-to-face interaction is removed, we often lose our humanity – spouting anything that comes to mind – harmful, helpful, or otherwise.

Whether in person or through technology, we are responsible for our hearts, mindset, and actions; we are sovereign beings. Ultimately, we are only accountable to God (and ourselves). However, with that, the way we treat others is greatly influenced by our faith and transformation.

Looking at our interactions with others from another angle, Fred Rogers, Television’s Mr. Rogers from “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” referred to the space between the viewer and the television as “Holy Ground.” What an intriguing concept.

It may be odd to bring up Mr. Rogers in an Alice Cooper-based post. However, one might suspect he and Alice could carry the same mindset about their character roles, performance, and in general, their interactions with humanity. They may seem different, but in many ways, they are the same.

Rogers taught children what it means to create, discover, explore, learn, love, etc., while Alice focuses more on being cautious and avoiding the temptations of this world. Both are agents of Christ’s Light and found ways to advance His Kingdom, yet they are seen from very diverse perspectives.

With that same mindset, how do we see our interactions with others? Do we consider the space between ourselves and them as “Holy Ground?” As we learn to walk with our Savior, shouldn’t we treat every fleeting moment as He would? It’s an arduous task but one worth the focus and effort.

Wrapping up this week’s post, are we “pushing” others “down, down, down,” or are we lifting them up? No matter how hard we try, there’s always a little more “debris” we can toss out of our lives.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8

Maybe we find ourselves threatened by the “Social Debris” in this world, or perhaps we quite often are the “disease” contributing to the problem, either way, there is HOPE. As we face the trials of this life and seek to interact with others, let us rely on God for wisdom.

Allowing our Creator the opportunity to renew our hearts, minds, and souls through His Spirit cleanses us (1 John 1:7-9). Washed by His Love and Mercy, we have been given the prospect of helping to create a better world – one where He is our authority and strength – one where the “debris” is white-washed by His Light.

As we strive to walk with Him, may His Kingdom Come and reign over anything that “pushes (us) down.” May we come to know that walking with Him means we walk on “Holy Ground” and that every interaction is a divine appointment – one where we are offered the chance to share His Love. For they will know we are His children because of our Love (John 13:35).

In conclusion, Detroit Stories is an incredible LP. While many may clamor the old days are genuinely Alice’s best work, we tend to disagree. The last 35+ years of Alice’s work have produced multiple songs and LPs that have become classicks.

While so many acts tend to diminish, we believe Alice is just getting started. It seems he gets better and better as time carries on. Here’s to many more years and albums to come.

That’s it for this week. Catch you next Friday.

Until then, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

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"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

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