Crazy Little Child (Muscle of Love, 1973)

Crazy Little Child (Muscle of Love, 1973)

“Crazy Little Child” Lyrics:

Crazy little child
Never got to see
All the pretty things in life
Had him put away
Nothing they could say
Could ever make the pieces fit

Aw well, Daddy-o was rich
Mama was a bitch
Living wasn’t easy in between
Behind his silent scream
Jackson in his teens
Was planning his escape

He was a crazy little child
New Orleans Alley playground
Grimy faced he watched the hookers cry
Winos were his friends
And when he talked to them
They said, “Jackson, boy, they’ll get you by and by”

Depression settin’ in
Desperate, cool, and quick
Jackson learned the ropes out on the street
Little candy stores
Just pickin’ locks and doors
Was practice for a two-bit killer little thief

So Jackson went to Ritz
And everyone was hip
Ritz ran all the rackets there in town
If you need another boy
A trigger or a blade
Well, I’m the slickest cat around

Yeah, Ritz gave him the eye
Once over, then he smiled
“Yeah, I’ve got something here in mind
If you meet me here at two

I think you’ll like the view
Of that long green when you crack that safe tonight.”

He was a crazy little child
New Orleans Alley playground
And grimy faced
He watched the hookers cry, whoo
Winos were his friends
And when he talked to them
They said, “Jackson, boy, they’ll get you by and by,”
That’s right

Well, I’ll wait for you outside
And I’ll be your ears and your eyes
And boy, you just slip in there and bring out all that loot
But Ritz was taken by surprise
Couple of unsuspecting guys
And they left poor Jackson inside

Questions there were few
In fact, there were none
When those Sheriff’s bullets start to fly
Lay dying on the floor
With a smokin’ forty-four
He said, “I must admit the winos were right.”

Crazy little child
Never got to see
All the pretty things in life
We buried him today
Nothing we could say
Could ever make the pieces fit

Yeah, I must admit the winos were right
Oh, I must admit the winos were right
His last words were…
I must admit the winos were right

 

Muscle of Love, released on November 20, 1973, was the last album recorded by the Alice Cooper Group (ACG). An album stripped of theatrical flair – it returned to the basics of Rock & Roll. Receiving mixed reviews, it managed to hit #10 on the U.S. charts.

With Bob Ezrin out, the production duties were split between Jack Richardson and Jack Douglas. Jack Richardson would also co-produce Aerosmith’s second LP, Get Your Wings, released on March 1, 1974.

It’s funny, if there’s one band, musically, that’s the closest band to Alice Cooper, it would be Aerosmith. When I talk to Joe (Perry) and Steven Tyler and all these guys, and we talk about our high school days and our 20s, what our roots were, it’s exactly the same. We learned every Yardbirds song there was, and so did they…So, I could tell by Aerosmith, how their records were, their influence. – Alice Cooper

Muscle of Love was an oddity for many reasons. One of those being a less theatrical approach to things. It was becoming evident that the band members were not all on the same page regarding future plans. Muscle of Love was a solid Rock album, yet it was a huge step away from ACG’s previous work.

This week’s post focuses on “Crazy Little Child,” a narrative about a young man named Jackson. Jackson chooses life on the streets instead of enduring the dysfunction of his family and home. Complete with a banjo and horn/woodwind section, the tune is traditional jazz – pure New Orleans.

He was a crazy little child
New Orleans Alley playground
Grimy faced he watched the hookers cry
Winos were his friends
And when he talked to them
They said, “Jackson, boy, they’ll get you by and by”

Depression settin’ in
Desperate, cool, and quick
Jackson learned the ropes out on the street
Little candy stores
Just pickin’ locks and doors
Was practice for a two-bit killer little thief

So Jackson went to Ritz
And everyone was hip
Ritz ran all the rackets there in town
If you need another boy
A trigger or a blade
Well, I’m the slickest cat around

Yeah, Ritz gave him the eye
Once over, then he smiled
“Yeah, I’ve got something here in mind
If you meet me here at two
I think you’ll like the view
Of that long green when you crack that safe tonight.”

As the song plays, Jackson’s tale unfolds into more and more misfortune. Life on the street proves to be more than he had bargained. From a life lived in the alleys with hookers and winos, he’s led into a more sinister plot. One thing leads to another, and he winds up left for dead in a robbery gone wrong.

A tragic story, Jackson’s life resembles many teens and those lost in isolation – a soul that chooses to escape from their surroundings by looking for excitement and “get rich quick” schemes.

While it’s true many live in dire situations and want something “better,” others just want to avoid the “bore of (their parent/family’s) authority.” But is that really their primary focus? Isn’t there something more inherent that drives them and their decisions? Don’t they, like the rest of us, just want to be loved?

However, on that quest for love, many of us find ourselves misled by others’ actions and promises. The world, and those trapped by it, offer guarantees that are lies – stories told to keep us enticed and thinking there is hope. Many of us remain in that storyline, caught in a web – one filled with deception, misfortune, and regret.

Jackson’s story is only one in a million, but the premise is universal. The enemy of all creation wants us trapped – desperate, deceived, and filled with false hope. He preys on the loss of life. He rejoices in our misery and misfortune. He seeks to destroy all things linked to God.

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:22-26

God’s Word is truth and should not be read as some sort of authoritarian document. Instead, it’s a roadmap to prosperity and letters, stories, and messages of love. Verse after verse, we find the blueprints our Creator used to design us and how life is meant to be lived – where we should place our faith and how to live amongst each other.

Our roads are not identical, and it is obvious some face darker, more strenuous trials than others (some by choice, some not). However, we were created equally and offered the chance to live freely. Not by the authority and will of man but instead by the gifts of our Heavenly Father. We must learn to separate the relationships we have with humanity from the relationship we have with our Creator.

For instance, a person held in captivity may live more freely than one with no chains. Remember Paul’s prison epistles and his focus on Joy through a life lived walking with the Spirit (especially in Philippians). He literally spoke of the joy he found in the Lord while in PRISON!

Also, notice closely in those above-listed verses from 2 Timothy 2. Through gentle instruction and the knowledge of the truth, we begin to see the trap that’s been laid. Some of us may even find that we are caught in that web. However, the secret to freedom lies within the Holy Spirit. For as we accept Christ and allow the Spirit to intercede for us, we know that He will work for good.

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28

So, once again, we find choice at the heart of Jackson’s story. As Alice has often claimed, it IS about Good and Evil – DON’T CHOOSE EVIL! Unfortunately, Jackson allowed others, many of who were also trapped by the enemy, to ensnare him as well. Poor choices and the absence of truth led to Jackson’s demise.

Wrapping this up, we’ve all been there. Life is full of choices. We must learn to discern the truth from the lies. As discussed in previous posts, we’ve all been created with the same intuition. That gut check instinct that tells us right from wrong. We learn to either listen to it or ignore it.

There are two forces at work in this world. One offers fulfillment where there is only despair, and the other humbly asks that you simply love others as you do yourself – to take the road less traveled. Which path have you chosen?

If you feel as if Jackson’s story parallels your own, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the path you’re on. Perhaps, it’s time to search for another direction. It might be time to redirect your focus and drive. Instead of blindly following the crowd, start searching for the truth.

If you’ve come to grips with the truth, allow that wisdom to guide others to Him and His Love. But do so gently. Compassion and love are the leading attributes we use to live by His example. Had Jackson been shown those instead, would he have made the same choices?  

In conclusion, “Crazy Little Child” reminds me of Alice’s character, Steven. Especially some of the trials he faced on The Last Temptation LP. The story reminds me of songs like “Lost In America,” “Bad Place Alone,” and “Stolen Prayer.”

However, unlike Jackson, Steven made it out alive. He faced reality and truth by overcoming the lies and temptations placed before him. The stories of Jackson and Steven (The Last Temptation) parallel each other yet end differently.

Alice, Sheryl, and many others have created Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock, an organization meant to help teens in the Phoenix, AZ area. They have dedicated their lives and time to the Jacksons and Stevens in this world.

At The Rock Teen Center, the hope is that through compassion, love, and guidance, the decision-making process becomes a little easier and leads to an “everlasting difference” in teens’ lives.

For more information about Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock, be sure to check out https://www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.

Be well and catch you next Friday.

Keep walkin’ in Faith and rockin’ with Alice!

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