“My wife, Sheryl, and I were very good friends with Peter Sellers. He used to call me Inspector Maurice Escargot, and he called Sheryl Nicole Escargot. We stayed friends until the time he died. When he was in the hospital, I would send him telegrams: ‘Don’t worry, I’m on the case – Escargot.’
“Since he gave me that name, I thought about doing a film noir kind of thing, Lace And Whiskey, and I would make Escargot a ‘40s detective character. Even though none of the songs pertained to that, we still gave it that flavor.
“At this time, we were starting to see the problems with alcohol. We had just seen a bunch of successes in a row without stopping, and once we got going it just didn’t stop. That was my fault and Shep’s fault for not saying, ‘We need to take a year off.’ We were afraid to take a year off, because here comes Kiss, here comes Aerosmith. All of these really good bands were coming up, and I didn’t want to give up that throne. So we just kept going till we ran out of gas.
“There were good songs on the album, but it wasn’t always a coherent record. I think, at this point, people were looking to Alice to be the Stephen King of music, where every song was connected to a story. The record had a great look to it, but we didn’t put it together into a lyrical whole.
“You And Me was a big hit. It’s funny, because the easiest thing for Dick Wagner and I to write were ballads. We wrote four in a row that were Top 40 hits: You And Me, Only Women Bleed, I Never Cry and How You Gonna See Me Now. If we wanted to write something that we really knew how to do, it was those heartbreaking ballads. Hard rock was harder to write, because there was so much of it around. You really had to work at being original.
“There was no shame in having ballads. Back then, the power ballad was your golden ticket. Kiss had it with Beth, we had ours – every hard rock band had that one song the girls cried over.”