The Black Widow by Alice Cooper
Vincent Price is awesome. I’m not really sure how else to put it. I could use words like “extraordinary,” or “singular,” or even “eminent,” but they all just sound like “awesome” to me.
Another, even more appropriate word, might be “iconic.” Having starred in over 40 genre pictures, Mr. Price, though not exclusive to horror (having appeared in almost 200 film and television productions) has left his indelible mark on the world of the macabre.
Simply anchoring some of my all-time favorite horror films, including The House on Haunted Hill, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Vincent Price already equals horror. And that’s not even mentioning The Tingler, The Raven, A Comedy of Terrors, Last Man on Earth, House of Wax, The Pit and the Pendulum, Witchfinder General or The Fly. You get the idea.
Even outside the sphere of horror, Price still owns my loyalty, adding his distinctive flare to Egghead, one of my favorite villains from one of my favorite shows ever, the old Batman series from 1965.
Again, that’s not even to speak of his radio work, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, his Sears-Roebuck sponsored Fine Art Collection, The Great Mouse Detective, Dead Heat, Edward Scissorhands, and this absolutely insane album of him talking about witchcraft and the demons.
I’ll type that again just in case you breezed passed it: Vincent Price recorded a 90 minute spoken word album all about witchcraft and it’s fucking incredible.
His credits even include a stint on Hollywood Squares. Seriously?
So iconic is Vincent that he appears on the Shindig at least 3 times without any intervention from my sampling hand. Bands who wanted to sound spooky tapped Vincent for that little extra something sinister. Never a bad decision.
The first example of this is from none other than Alice Cooper, no stranger to the sinister himself. Price leads in Track 82, The Black Widow from Cooper’s 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare.
As if that wasn’t enough, Price also starred in the corresponding television special which followed the album entitled Alice Cooper: The Nightmare, where he reprises this monologue, in perfect Price fashion, almost identically.
Vincent Price may have passed, but among horror fans he will live on forever, ritualistically resurrected with each push of the play button. And as for the Shindig, his extraordinarily singular and eminent voice can be heard all over it.