Browse by Title
V W X Y Z #  

Ballad Of Dwight Fry


Alice Cooper

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song is a salute to the actor Dwight Frye, who played maniacal characters in many Universal horror films, including Renfield from the original Dracula (1931). Cooper dropped the "E" from the name to avoid a lawsuit.
In concert, Cooper would perform this song in a straitjacket from which he would escape and strangle a nurse. Later live performances of this song included a mock beheading of Cooper onstage with a fake guillotine. (thanks, Alan - Zanesville, OH, for above 2)
The shock rock legend wrote this song with guitarist/songwriter Michael Bruce, who was an original member of the Alice Cooper Group. During his tenure with the band, Bruce wrote or co-wrote many of their biggest hits, including "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "I'm Eighteen," and "School's Out." He also played keyboards and contributed vocals on their records.
The child's voice at the song's intro was actually a woman in her early 20s, who was a friend of the band. (thanks, Mark - Windsor, Canada)
This is a track from Love It To Death, the third studio album by Alice Cooper (the band). Co-produced by Bob Ezrin and Jack Richardson, the album climbed to #35 on the US Billboard 200 album chart and #28 on the UK album charts. It also featured the track "I'm Eighteen," which brought the band its first big mainstream hit and became one of Cooper's most recognized songs. The band established their accessible Heavy Metal sound on this collection.

The album also marked the beginning of a productive, long-term working relationship between Cooper and Ezrin. Following Love It To Death, Cooper recruited Ezrin to produce a number of albums for both the Alice Cooper Group and his solo releases. Among the notable albums he produced for Cooper include School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome to My Nightmare and Lace and Whisky. Throughout the '70s, Ezrin was one of the most successful and in-demand music producers on the Rock scene. In addition to Cooper, other notable acts he has worked with include KISS, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Dr. John and Rod Stewart.
In addition to this song, Michael Bruce also contributed to the writing of five other tracks on the album, two of which he penned entirely on his own: "Caught in a Dream" and "Long Way to Go."
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper Artistfacts
More Alice Cooper songs
More songs with boys' names in the title
More songs inspired by actors
More songs about insanity
More songs with names of actors in the title
More songs with a spoken part

Comments (14):

THE MELVINS (famous groundbreaking Seattle band) do an absolutely crushing version of this particular tune.
- tim, okc, OK
jeaus you kids need to grow up,cooper is master
- bec, ft. laud, FL
Read somewhere when Alice was trying to prepare for the "I wanna get out of here" rant he laid down on the floor and had folding chairs piled on him to get into character
- Mike, Eugene, OR
The piano part to this song was written by guitarist Michael Bruce. However, producer Bob Ezrin actually played the part for the recording session. The original Alice Cooper group was much better than anything Alice did solo.
- Mark, Grafton, United States
A great song by one of the best artists out there PERIOD!. Alice Cooper is beyond compare that little wanaby manson is not even fit to kiss his shoes.
- Blaine, Lake Villa, IL
Awesome song for Halloween
- J.R., Columbia, SC
I'm a big fan of 1931's 'Dracula' (Renfield especially), and a big fan of Alice's since 'Love It To Death'. I saw Alice at Gaelic Park in Bronx, NY 1n 1971 with Black Sabbath (obviously, the headliners) and Black Oak Arkansas (unadvertised, as NO ONE knew who or what BOA was). This was just before Alice was big enough to afford all the theatrics. For 'Black Juju', Alice covered the other band members in white sheets.
- Lester, New York City, NY
Have you ever listened to Alice Cooper stoned?
- Joel, Columbia, SC
Dwight Frye would sit in the corner inside a crypt and repeat "I like to eat spiders and flies." No wonder I love classic Alice Cooper.
We are both in the same fan club as well as both
"Caught in a Dream." SO WHAT, WHO CARES!!!
- Michael, Manhattan, NY
Alice Cooper is the greatest! He does the on stage antics better then anyone. This concert and album was the first of many. But this was my favorite one, because no one had done it before!

- P J, OKC, OK
Creepy but still an awesome song.
- Joel, Columbia, SC
Two great lines I'll never forget "Id give her back all of her play things, even,even the ones I stole" and of course "Mommy where's daddy, do you think he'll ever come home?" Got to love early Alice!
- Mike, Ann Arbor, MI
"I wanna get out of here" mirrored the plight of the asylum-committed Renfield (Frye) in Dracula. Frye was also in the original "Frankenstein" as the doctor's demented assistant, and was a gravedigger in "Bride of Frankenstein" and a reporter in "The Invisible Man." The poor guy died of a heart attack while riding a bus with his family. He was only in his 40's.
- vassarette, Los Angeles, CA
This song is amazing. I love early Alice Cooper. Dwight Frye was a great actor.
- alpesinger, Inverness, Scotland
You have to to post comments.
Butch VigButch Vig
The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersScott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders
Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.
Jon Foreman of SwitchfootJon Foreman of Switchfoot
Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.
Gilby ClarkeGilby Clarke
The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.