In an interview with Songfacts, drummer Neal Smith had the following to say about I’m Eighteen:
“It was a song about growing up in the ’60s, with lines in it like you could go to war but you couldn’t vote. We had no idea it would become an anthem; we were just thinking it would be a cool song.”
I’m Eighteen was not only Alice Cooper’s first big hit but it also played an important role in music history when, in 1975, a nineteen year-old John Lydon auditioned for the Sex Pistols by miming along to the song. Lydon’s audition took place at a pub and Lydon later explained that the jukebox was filled with “that awful 60s mod music” and I’m Eighteen was the only song in it that he could tolerate.