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Susan Foreman 11th March 2019 03:33 PM

Some new US dates have been announced, and once again they are stating that the 'Ol' Black Eyes Is Back' show "will have a very different look than recent tours"

These shows are part of the 'proper' tour, and different to the co-headline dates with Halestorm

It still looks like the 'Paranormal' album is being promoted tho

July 4th - Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT
July 6th - Express Live!, Columbus, OH
July 7th - Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL
July 9th - Five Flags Center, Dubuque, IA
July 10th - The Sylvee, Madison, WI
July 11th - Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN

Susan Foreman 12th March 2019 11:47 AM

March 12th, 1975 - the album 'Welcome To My Nightmare' was released 45 years and one day ago. [I was tardy, and missed it yeaterday!] This was Alice's first solo album, and has become the most-represented album in his live sets. It was the first 'proper' concept album he released, although many others were to follow. It's in my top 5 Alice albums, and (in my opinion) certainly one of the ten greatest albums ever released

The live tour was ground breaking in its scope. It was the first time that a rock concert had mixed music, dance, mime and theatrics to any extent. The set included towers, spider webs, a toy box and an oversized bed which slid out onto the stage. There was a revolutionary projection screen which had slits cut in it, allowing Alice and the dancers to jump in and out of pre-recorded film footage projected behind the band. No one had seen anything like it before, certainly at a rock concert.

During these shows, the album was performed in full, interspersed with a few band classics which were cleverly bookended by versions of 'Years Ago'. 'Some Folks' featured Alice and the dancers performing in skeleton costumes illuminated on the dark stage by fluorescent lights. 'Black Widow' had two spider's hanging from a rope web and attacking Alice. He serenaded Sheryl on the bed before she danced across the stage where he caught her and killed her, only for her to magically transform into a full size dummy he could throw around for 'Cold Ethyl

Possibly the most memorable effect was the giant cyclops costume used although it's severly limited range of movements could be comical, especially when seen on film later

Susan Foreman 14th March 2019 06:19 AM

Former Alice guitarist Keri Kelli's band, A New Revenge, have their debut album entitled 'Enemies & Lovers' released on March 29th on Golden Robot Records.

The band also features Tim 'Ripper' Owens (Judas Priest) on vocals, James Kottak (Scorpions, Kingdom Come) on drums and Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy, Whitesnake etc) on bass

The Distance Between
The Way
Never Let You Go
The Eyes
Fallen Only
The Pretty Ones
Enemies & Lovers
Here’s To Us

The first single from the album, 'The Way'

Another song, 'Never Let You Go'

Susan Foreman 14th March 2019 06:30 AM

New interview from Billboard Magazine

"Alice Cooper Shares 2019 Plans, Defends Hollywood Vampires Bandmate Johnny Depp

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the very first Alice Cooper album, Pretties For You. But don't plan a party or send presents -- the shock rock veteran certainly isn't.

"I am not nostalgic at all. I never look back," Cooper tells Billboard. "I will sit there and go, 'Yeah, that happened, and that happened and that was really good and that was really great and that was really fun,' and then I go, 'But wait 'til you see the next one.' I think that any artist should always think that their next album and their next song and their next show is gonna be the best one they ever did.

"If that's not your attitude, I don't know why you're out there."

Rest assured that Cooper has plenty of "next ones" on his plate this year: a summer tour with a new stage show, three albums -- two with the all-star Hollywood Vampires, one on his own -- and other projects in the work. "I'm a healthy young man at 71," notes the guy who gets executed, at least once, on stage during his concerts. "I just leave myself open and people say, 'Do you want to do this and this and this?' Sure, as long as it doesn't get in the way of what we've already got planned.'"

With that in mind, here's a quick rundown of what Cooper's 2019 is looking like.

A Summer in Makeup

Earlier this week Cooper announced his Ol' Black Eyes Is Back tour, a 19-date jaunt with Halestorm and Motionless In White that kicks off July 17 in Allentown, Pa.

"It's going to be a brand-new show, an entirely new production -- all new staging, all new props and everything," says Cooper, refusing to divulge any spoilers. "It's taking a lot of the stuff we know we have to do and a lot of the stuff people are not going to be expecting. So people who saw the last show and might go, 'Oh, this can't be as good as the last show' -- we'll give them a better show." Of course, one of the things everybody expects is for Cooper to meet his mortal end -- by guillotine, electric chair, gallows or some other grisly device. That will "absolutely" happen this summer as well, but he teases that, "it's gonna be kind of interesting this time...

"I really want to shock people on a different level, that Alice is still doing the best show out there, the highest energy, best show out there. To me, that's important."

Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, meanwhile, is "an old buddy" who sang with the Hollywood Vampires at Rock in Rio. "Her band, they go out with energy. That's one of the reasons we picked them," Cooper says. "And she's a good guitar player, so you put her and Nita (Strauss, from Cooper's band) on the same tour, and they're buddies, so there might be a couple nights when you see those two on stage together."

Vampires Bite Back

The Hollywood Vampires -- Cooper, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Johnny Depp and mainstay guitarist Tommy Henriksen -- has announced a seven-date U.S. West Coast tour starting May 10 in Las Vegas. The group also has a pair of albums in the pipeline (titles and release dates TBA), a live set recorded last year in Europe and its second studio album, comprised of mostly originals sung by Cooper along with three covers handled by Perry and Depp.

"It's really interesting because it's not your normal hard rock," Cooper says of the latter, which Henriksen produced. "It goes places I wouldn't normally go, and that's kind of what I like about it." He adds that Depp's songs in particular vent frustrations over recent abuse charges by ex-wife Amber Heard, as well as rumors about health and addiction issues.

"I'm spewing his venom on this album, which is kind of good," says Cooper, who assures that "all the stuff you heard last year about Johnny, 99 percent was just bull. I've never seen him look better in my life. I've never seen him happier. I've never heard him play better, and the way the press would have it is he's a total destruction and ready to die. Totally not true."

Home Sweet Home

Cooper is heading to his native Detroit soon, where he'll be recording new material with producer Bob Ezrin and a selection of Motor City musicians from the area, including Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, the drummer for the Detroit Wheels, Rockets, Edgar Winter, Nils Lofgren and many others. Cooper expects to record four tracks during the first session, possibly for an EP to coincide with his summer tour -- "A taster, sort of breadcrumbs," he says -- and also for a full album he hopes to release during 2020.

"There's a certain Detroit sound we're looking for," explains Cooper, who created his breakthrough album, 1971's Love It To Death, in Detroit. "It's indefinable. There's a certain amount of R&B in it. There's a certain amount of Motown in it. But then you add the guitars and you add the attitude and it turns into Detroit rock. I feel like if we mine around with all Detroit players, we're gonna find that sound."

Cooper has reached out some of his homies, including Suzi Quatro and Bob Seger, about participating as well. He even extracted a promise of sorts from the latter when he caught Seger's farewell tour recently in Phoenix. "I can tell you Seger and I will be working on something on this new album. I talked to him and he said, 'Oh, yeah, that's be fun,' and I said, 'OK, let's do it.' So that's going to happen in the future."

Cooper has also contacted his remaining original band members -- Mike Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith -- about contributing material to the set. "I said, 'Guys, here's the idea...Send me stuff.' I know Dennis is working on something, and so is Neal. Hopefully they're writing, and they will certainly get the same listen that anybody does that comes in with songs for us."

Nightmare Scenario

A stage adaptation of Cooper's music is still in play, too -- most recently a Welcome to My Nightmare production that will dramatize the dichotomy and past struggles between the demonic Alice stage character and the real-life Cooper. Producers of Foreigner's Jukebox Hero: The Musical have expressed interest, as have some principals working with Sting's The Last Ship.

The last person to ask about it, however, is Cooper.

"I'm really not involved," he says. "I don't have anything to do with it. Somebody wrote a stage play about the Alice Cooper thing and somebody's gonna play me and somebody's gonna play (the band members) and Sheryl (his wife) -- and I kind go, 'I hope it's good.' We don't really have much to say about it; I didn't do any rewrites or anything like that. I think we gave them our blessings, and we'll see what happens."

Cooper does, however, hope that the story honors his 43-year marriage, which he notes is "something you never hear about in rock n' roll. All you ever hear about is, 'He's on his ninth wife' and blah, blah, blah. You never hear things like, 'They're gonna be married for 45 years.' I guess that's not exciting to people -- but it should be the norm, you know?""

Susan Foreman 20th March 2019 06:41 AM

New article from The Independent

"Alice Cooper: 10 best songs from the shock-rock king

The godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper (nee Vincent Furnier) has been making music and outraging sensitive souls for almost 50 years now – and shows no signs of mothballing his notorious alter-ego any time soon.

In 2017, Alice released his 27th studio album and he seems to be perpetually on the road. As both the frontman of the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist, Cooper has recorded some of the great anthemic singles of our time, anticipated and popularised glam rock, influenced punk and is now regarded as a heavy rock and metal icon. And then of course there is the grand guignol stage shows, which in a world now full of horrors may have lost their shock value, but represented something innovative and dangerous in the faraway 1970s.

Cooper first made waves in his homeland at the dawn of the 1970s with the original Alice Cooper band which, apart from preacher's son Furnier, consisted of guitarists Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce, drummer Neal Smith and Dennis Dunaway on bass, all of whom contributed greatly as musicians and songwriters to the group's worldwide success in the first half of the Seventies.

The story that they took the name Alice Cooper from a 17th-century witch after a ouija board session is an urban myth. They chose Alice Cooper at random as it was so innocuous and reassuring in stark contrast to their music and live performances.

Taking inspiration from seminal Detroit rockers the Stooges and the MC5 and totally at odds with the whole hippy generation ethos, the group pioneered a brand of theatrical rock which found its apogee with an outrageous smoke and mirrors stage act. It was designed to shock and awe and featured mock executions, snakes, dismembered dolls and fake blood by the bucket load, all co-ordinated by Furnier (the son of a preacher, ironically), who eventually evolved into his androgynous alter ego, Alice. All of which was guaranteed to make the band every parent’s nightmare, and influenced a range of like-minded artists from David Bowie to Marilyn Manson to John Lydon.

And beneath the schlock, there was some terrific music going on, thanks in a large part to classically trained whizz-kid producer Bob Ezrin, who Cooper often refers to as the George Martin of the band. However, it wasn’t until the summer of 1972 at the height of glam rock that the persona of Alice Cooper really entered the UK’s public consciousness (and how) when the anthemic “School’s Out” single spent three week at the top of the UK charts. At this stage, of course, Alice Cooper was the name of the five piece band but to the casual viewer and listener, front man Furnier was the titular Alice and they paid little attention to the rest of the group.

For a brief spell following “School’s Out” the Alice Cooper band were the biggest group in the world, but it couldn’t last. The band splintered in 1974 and Alice went solo, officially adopting the Alice Cooper moniker. Initial success was followed by a fallow period as Cooper increasingly became part of the mainstream, taking up golf and appearing on The Muppet Show and Celebrity Squares. He also fought his own demons, becoming addicted to alcohol and cocaine before his re-emergence in the late 1980s and 1990s. And so, Alice Cooper carries on, still churning out the albums and peddling a persona and an act now more camp classic than house of horrors. Alice is almost a beloved family entertainer now, about as threatening as Tom Hanks, but there was a time when things were very different.

So let’s celebrate with this playlist of Alice Cooper’s top 10 songs:

10. Dead Babies from Killer (1971) Just one of several classic tracks from the Killer album, the original Alice Cooper band’s and indeed Cooper’s own finest work. “Dead Babies” is the perfect example of how misinterpreted many of the group’s songs were. It didn’t help that when they performed the song live, Alice was busy decapitating baby dolls, but behind the shock tactics lies a timely and prescient dose of social commentary warning of the dangers and repercussions of child neglect. To hear lines like “Little Betty ate a pound of aspirin / She got them from the shelf up on the wall/ Betty’s Mommy wasn’t there to save her / She didn’t even hear her baby call” to a background of Beatlesque psychedelia is a surreal experience indeed, and one not easily forgotten.

9. Poison from Trash (1989) After a lean decade when he lurched into showbizzy self-parody, Alice hitched a ride on the power ballad bandwagon. “Poison” that made it all the way to number two in the UK singles charts, his biggest hit since his early Seventies heyday. The song paved the way for his 1990s comeback when he was embraced by a new generation of listeners who considered him a heavy metal icon thanks to albums such as Trash and Hey Stoopid.

8. Under My Wheels from Killer (1971) Drawing on the murky, proto-punk Detroit sound of the Stooges and the MC5, this powerhouse track from Killer has one of Cooper’s toughest vocals and a twisted sense of humour, (a bloke runs over his girlfriend while showing off his new car). It bursts with Motor City grit and mayhem, and sparkling Stax-like horns round the whole thing off too.

7. Desperado from Killer (1971) Cooper has variously claimed that this is about the Doors’ Jim Morrison or Robert Vaughan’s character from The Magnificent Seven, and the western metaphor and the black leather imagery work well in this track from Killer. However, with lines like I’m a killer... and I’m a clown,” Cooper tapped just as much into his own persona for this moody, atmospheric and brilliantly orchestrated grower.

6. Only Women Bleed from Welcome to My Nightmare​ (1975) Even when he wasn’t trying to shock, Cooper still provoked controversy with this affecting ballad, a sympathetic view of domestic abuse which was widely misinterpreted as a song about menstruation. A track from his first solo album Welcome to My Nightmare, “Only Women Bleed” was a big hit in the USA. It’s now viewed as a feminist anthem and remains one of Cooper’s most enduring and frequently covered songs.

5. No More Mr Nice Guy from Billion Dollar Babies (1973) A brilliant hit single, boasting a terrific opening riff and catchy, singalong lyrics, on the face of it, “No More Mr Nice Guy” was a playful, tongue-in-cheek riposte to Cooper’s critics including family and friends who baulked at his music and outlandish stage theatrics. But behind the feel-good chorus was the message, This is what I do and I ain’t apologising.

4. Elected from Billion Dollar Babies (1972) The follow up to “School’s Out” was another anthemic piledriver that tapped into the election fever generated by Richard Nixon’s quest for a second term as US president in 1972. Elected hit number 4 in the UK charts in the autumn of 1972 but surprisingly barely breached the top 30 in the US giving some indication into how big Alice Cooper were in the UK at that time. Big, loud, and dripping with satire, (”I’m your Yankee Doodle Dandy in a gold Rolls-Royce”), “Elected” was backed with a pioneering video that featured Alice as a monstrous presidential hopeful. Watching it now, it’s impossible not to view it as an eerie premonition of what was to come in US politics.

3. Halo of Flies from Killer (1971) Killer‘s epic centrepiece is undoubtedly prog rock but prog rock with tantalising hints of the original five piece’s garage band origins and with just enough Kinks and The Who flourishes to illustrate the band’s influences. “Halo of Flies” fuses together a clutch of mini-suites in a bold cinematic sweep while somehow finding room for the melody of “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music.The result is a quantum leap in style, conception and performance from a band at the peak of their considerable powers.

2. I’m Eighteen from Love it to Death (1970) “I’m Eighteen” was the band’s breakthrough single in the USA and remains one of the all-time classic anthems of teenage angst. “I’m Eighteen” and its parent album Love it to Death was Bob Ezrin’s first involvement as producer and it put Alice Cooper on the map. Cooper’s trademark rasp barks out his frustrations as he lists a litany of reasons why being eighteen is such a bummer (”I got a baby’s brain and an old man’s heart.”) before concluding that actually, it’s not too bad, this whole being on the cusp of adulthood thing, as he triumphantly roars at the song’s conclusion, “I’m Eighteen and I like it!”

1. School’s Out from School’s Out (1972) No apologies for picking this timeless classic as Alice Cooper’s greatest song. Full of punky attitude and tailor made for radio and school holidays, “School’s Out” is the ultimate parent-baiting anthem, a conscious effort by the Alice Cooper band to write a classic hit single. It replaced Donny Osmond’s “Puppy Love” at the top of the UK charts and for three weeks in August 1972 it felt like something was in the air.

A sabre-wielding appearance on Top of the Pops upset moral guardian Mary Whitehouse and she called for the group to be banned. Depending on your age and viewpoint, Cooper’s performance was either the most disturbing and scandalous exhibition of degenerate behaviour ever seen on British TV or the most exhilarating and liberating thing seen on the box since... well, the week before, actually, when David Bowie had cavorted with Mick Ronson on the self-same programme. For the nation’s moral guardians, songs like “School’s Out” and a bloke calling himself Alice was incontrovertible proof that we were all going to hell in a handcart. They needn’t have worried. By the end of the year Little Jimmy Osmond’s Long Haired Lover from Liverpool reached number one. The natural order had resumed."

Susan Foreman 7th April 2019 06:39 AM

Rat Pak Records have released full details of the new Beasto Blanco album "We Are" which will be released on May 24th. The full press release is as follows:
"Beasto Blanco; the band comprised of Chuck Garric (long time Alice Cooper bassist) on guitars and vocals, Calico Cooper on vocals, Brother Latham on guitars, Jan LeGrow on bass and Sean Sellers on drums, will release their 3rd studio album We Are via Rat Pak Records on May 24, 2019. We Are is the follow up album to their highly successful 2016 self-titled sophomore release Beasto Blanco.

Influenced by bands such as White Zombie and Motorhead, Beasto Blanco’s music is a potent mix of heavy riffs, driving bass and melodic choruses. From the album opener “The Seeker” to the closer “I See You In It,” it is clear that Beasto Blanco wear their influences on their sleeve. Tracks like “Solitary Rave,” “Perception of Me” and “We Got This” showcase that vocal interplay between Garric and Cooper, something that separates Beasto Blanco from these influences."
Regarding the new album Chuck Garric comments, "We spent a lot of time channeling, dissecting and arranging the songs from our new album. The idea was, "Let’s make 'our' record - not necessarily what’s popular now or what we think other people will like. We said, let’s make a record for us and our fans. Our fans are loyal and our sound is our sound.""

Guitarist Brother Latham said: "“We Are” is a novel record for us. It shows maturity in the band, without surrendering our reckless abandon and love of rock n’ roll!"

Calico added: "This record has teeth. It’s got a bite to it that I love. It’s message is from the people we see around us every day, it’s heartbeat is so loud. It says We are strong. We are indestructible. We are here. We Are!"

The album, which can be ordered here has the following track listing

01 The Seeker
02 Solitary Rave
03 Ready To Go
04 Down
05 Perception Of Me
06 Let's Rip
07 Half Life
08 We Got This
09 Follow The Bleed
10 I See You In It
11 Halcyon (Bonus-track CD & Download versions)

Susan Foreman 7th April 2019 06:50 AM

AZ Central has a feature about the premiere screening of the 'Live From The Astroturf' film at the Phoenix Film Festival:

"How an Alice Cooper band reunion turned into a documentary premiering at Phoenix Film Festival

It was supposed to be a book signing for Alice Cooper bassist Dennis Dunaway's autobiography, "Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group."

Which would've been a cool enough event for any fan of Cooper's early work with the bandmates who entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 on the strength of such classics as "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out."

But the owner of the Dallas record store where Dunaway's signing was scheduled to happen – Chris Penn of Good Records – had chosen that date in October 2015 for a reason.

He knew Cooper had a day off from touring in Texas.

And as Penn explains in the documentary/concert film that makes its world premiere at the Phoenix Film Festival on Friday, April 5, "Alice knows where the good golf courses are in Dallas."

That's how Penn managed to pull together a headline-grabbing reunion of the four surviving members of the legendary group whose 1973 U.S. tour in support of the chart-topping "Billion Dollar Babies" album broke box-office records held by the Rolling Stones – Cooper, Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith.

"I was gonna go sign books and do a Q&A on my own," Dunaway says. "And then we found out that Alice was going to be in town and have a day off, so Chris asked if Michael and Neal would be interested in playing and we ended up turning it into this massive event around the book signing. Now here we are in 2019, releasing the film of it."

'Alice Cooper: Live From the Astroturf'

The concert, as captured in “Alice Cooper: Live From the Astroturf," starts with Bruce on lead vocals for "Caught in a Dream." Then, Cooper makes his entrance with guitarist Ryan Roxie of his touring band and joins his former bandmates in a raucous trip down memory lane, from "Be My Lover" to "I'm Eighteen," "Is It My Body?," "Under My Wheels," "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "School's Out" and "Elected."

“It was very spontaneous, I thought," Bruce says. "In a record store packed with people who didn’t really know what was happening. They showed up and we played. And they were blown away. Neal and Dennis and I were scheduled to be there for the signing and then after, we got up on stage. That's when it started getting crazy and magic.”

Even though they hadn't played together for a while, Bruce says, "It's always fun. It's like putting on an old comfortable pair of shoes or getting on a bicycle. You don't think about it. You just go with it."

It's a stellar performance and the sound is great. Or as Dunaway says, "Not bad for no rehearsal and having not played those songs in quite a few years. The night before, Neal, Michael and I got together and made sure the amps were working and stuff. We ran over some stuff, but we were trying to focus on the technical things, making sure all the microphones were the volumes we wanted and all that. It was more like a soundcheck than a rehearsal, but you know, it’s not like we haven’t played those songs before."

They hadn't done "Elected" in awhile, though. Roxie, who was filling in on guitar for the great Glen Buxton, who died in 1997, talked them into doing that one.

"We hadn’t played that in a million years," Dunaway says. "Neal said he hit the first crash on the opening chord of the song. Then he said to himself 'What happens next?'”

Dunaway laughs, then adds, "But it came out great. For one thing, we were all just having such a blast and things fell into place. As soon as you hear Neal start playing and Michael and Alice and everybody. Ryan Roxie was great, too. He sat in for Glen. But as soon as you hear the original sound and all of the parts being played the way they were written, it makes things kind of fall into place naturally."

Other Alice Cooper reunions

That show led to other opportunities for Cooper's former bandmates, including two reunion tracks on Cooper's latest album, "Paranormal," a U.K. tour and an industry event in Nashville in 2017 (which led to Cooper also having them onstage to take part in the encore at his Nashville concert).

"We did five cities in England, including 14,000 people at Wembley," Dunaway says. "That’s the first time we played Wembley since 1972, when we stalled the flat-bed truck with the picture of Alice with only a snake keeping his humility in order, the photograph that Richard Avedon did. We had this giant photograph. And then the truck accidentally broke down right in the intersection in one of the busiest intersections in London and we sold out Wembley in one night."

The original members went their separate ways after "Muscle of Love" in 1974. Cooper launched his solo career a year later with "Welcome 2 My Nightmare."

The four surviving members reunited in 1999 at the second Glen Buxton Memorial Weekend at CoopersTown in Phoenix and played Cooper's Christmas Pudding with Steve Hunter on guitar in December 2010 at the Dodge Theatre.

"When we were rehearsing for that in Phoenix, they came in and stopped us from rehearsing," Dunaway recalls, "to announce that we had been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And the next night, when we played the Pudding show, Bob Ezrin came out and announced it to the crowd."

They reunited again at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony the following March and again a month later to play the Revolver Golden Gods Awards and record a live set for a Jägermeister Ice Cold 4D webcast.

As Dunaway explains that last event, "We holographically did this show at the Battersea Power Station in England. You know the factory-looking place that’s on the cover of the Pink Floyd ‘Animals’ album with a pig hanging down? We recorded the show in LA and then they had a holographic projection of us onstage at this big event for Ice Cold Jagermeister. They did all these special effects where we were inside these blocks of ice."

They also appeared on three tracks on the "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" album in 2011.

The Dallas record store concert was the first they'd played together since those events in 2011.

"It always was a blast and it continues to be," Dunaway says. "You know, as soon as we’re together, we’re all in high school again."

A legend born at a Phoenix high school

Cooper, Dunaway and Buxton made their first onstage appearance in the Cortez High School "cafetorium," shaking the wigs they'd bought at Woolworth's while spoofing the Beatles as part of a talent show.

By the time they hit the Phoenix club scene as the Spiders, they'd recruited Bruce, a North High football player, scoring a regional hit with a single called "Don't Blow Your Mind."

After changing their name to the Nazz, they moved to Los Angeles in 1967, where Smith, a Camelback High grad who'd been in art classes with Dunaway, Cooper and Buxton at Glendale Community College, joined on drums.

They have a lot of history. And they've shared a lot of laughs.

"Humor has always been the glue that’s kept everything together through thick and thin," Dunaway says. "We miss Glen’s humor, though. He was sharp-witted. The guy that you knew if you left the room, when you came back, that he had whittled you apart while you were gone."

He laughs, then says, "But it was like a Don Rickles kind of thing where everybody was a target. So you couldn’t take it personally. Michael has this great offbeat humor. I have this very abstract humor and Michael does, too. For instance, somebody took a photograph of the band once and they took a long time to get the focus and everything and I said, 'I could’ve done an ice sculpture by now' and Michael said, 'Are you a cubist?' And then, Neal’s just got this great, goofy sense of humor where he turns into goofy characters from time to time. It’s very Ohio. I’m married to Neal’s sister and she’s got that same type of humor."

There's a bittersweet side to reuniting with your high school friends.

As Bruce says, "Sometimes it’s hard for me to strike up a conversation with Alice. He’s so busy and what am I gonna talk about? 'Oh hey, guess what? I mowed my lawn last week.' He’s out on the road constantly, doing a lot of things. But he’s a great guy. I just wish we could do these kind of things more often."

It's clear from watching Cooper rock the record store with his old friends that he's enjoying the experience as much as they are.

As to what the future hold in terms of further dates with Cooper, only time will tell.

As Dunaway says, when he and Cooper get together usually "we’re just so happy to be together that we don’t turn it into a business thing."

He'd love to do more playing with his former bandmates, though.

"We’ll see," he says. "I mean, we’re all friends. We always have been. And if the opportunities arise, Michael and Neal and I (and Glen when he was alive) were always ready and willing to work together. All it takes is a phone call and we’re ready."

Susan Foreman 7th April 2019 07:24 PM

April 7th, 1988 - the night we almost lost Alice!

It was during the ''Raise Your Fist And Yell' tour when tragedy nearly happened, and Alice hung himself for real while rehearsing the execution on stage at Wembley Stadium

With guidance from stage magician James Randi, he wore a harness connected to thick piano wire hanging from the rafters to hoist himself up. This wire was supposed to keep the actual noose...

Alice said: "When I go to the circus and there’s a guy in a cage with 12 tigers, there’s always a chance that one of the tigers didn’t get the message. When you see a guy on a tight wire, you know that there may be a second you witness a tragedy. I always wanted that in our show: What they’re seeing could be the last night of Alice Cooper."

Regular readers of this thread will know that this particular stunt had been pulled off hundreds of times before without a hitch. However, Alice 'never even thought about changing the wire...' "You know, I figured it’ll last forever," he said

Then suddenly, while he was practicing the stunt, he heard a snap. The wire broke and the rope hit his chin.

"In an instant I flipped my head back. That must’ve been a fraction of a second because if it caught my chin it would have been a different result. It went over my neck and gave me a pretty good burn. I went down to the floor and pretty much blacked out."

Fortunately, Cooper’s quick-thinking saved his life. He was able to slip his neck out of the rope and tumble onto the stage. He was unconscious, but still breathing at the time, Ultimate Classic Rock reported

Susan Foreman 10th April 2019 06:07 AM

The 'Live From The Astroturf' film won the award for the 'Best Documentary Short' at the Phoenix Film Festival

Susan Foreman 13th April 2019 05:52 PM

Alice related news:

Ryan Roxie has just released a new single from the 'Imagine Your Reality' album. The song is called 'Look Me In The Eye'

Beasto Blanco are to release their new single on Monday. It's 'The Seeker', which is the opening track of their album 'We Are'. The video was directed by Calico

Music Radar magazine has an interview with Dennis Dunaway

"Alice Cooper bassist Dennis Dunaway: “The competition was The Beatles, The Stones, Hendrix; everybody was trying to do something different”

The shock-rocker's bass player recalls the band’s early successes

Think of Alice Cooper and what comes to mind is theatre, heavy make-up, crazy stage shows and hard-hitting, sometimes daft, sometimes singalong heavy rock. Alice himself - Vincent Furnier - is often noted as the single driving force behind matters. That’s wrong; the Alice Cooper Band was begun thanks to bass player Dennis Dunaway.

“I started the band in 1963 because I’d seen Duane Eddy & The Rebels play during a feature film,” recalls Dunaway.

“I went back to my 16-year old buddy, Vince Furnier, and then the Beatles hit and we had to start a band. We decided in art class that we were going to incorporate theatrical ideas. Everybody else chose their instrument - and bass was what was left."

Finances and access to equipment are always central to a nascent career, and in Dunaway’s case the restricted options cut a bit deeper.

“At the time I had a crappy record player, so when I played a song I couldn’t hear the bass,” he remembers. “Glen Buxton [original Alice Cooper guitarist] sat down with me and started teaching me the names of the notes and where they fell on the neck. I fell in love with it, playing along with Rolling Stones records.”

The original idea was to write for various characters that Furnier would play; alter egos that would enable a chameleon presence onstage and open up countless possibilities. Originally, Alice Cooper was only one of those characters, but it quickly became clear that Alice was the best of them - and a perfect vehicle for the band’s larger-than- life performances.

Artistry was present from the very start, as you can hear in the basslines Dunaway provided for the six albums recorded with the original band between 1969 and 1975.

“I always wanted to have my own style when I’d paint pictures,” Dunaway continues. “At the time, everyone called me The Artist. I basically didn’t want to be like anyone else. I wanted it to be interesting.”

An early inspiration was Paul Samwell-Smith of The Yardbirds, whose way of taking blues-based patterns and making them more progressive taught Dunaway “that bass didn’t have to stay in the groove”.

“You could take it anywhere that you wanted,” he says. “Back then, the competition was The Beatles, The Stones, Hendrix: everybody was trying to do something different from the rest. So the bar was set very high. Everything we did from the very beginning was as a collective, all in the same room. We’d start from ground zero. There was a lot of finagling and exploration.

“Glen was very willing to experiment and we would exchange ideas, pushing each other to try things in a different way. It was infectious. I was always the crusader for doing something different and would blurt out all these crazy ideas, not all of them good. But it kept the creative atmosphere swirling.”

Outsiders viewing the Alice Cooper band’s writing process would sometimes get the wrong end of the stick, given the harsh-sounding put-downs and sarcasm flying about. However, the creative tension and openness to all ideas was central to the process.

“It was all to make it better,” Dunaway says. “We had a rule that if anybody had an idea, you couldn’t vote it down until you gave it a good try. There were five of us, so we had a vote and would move forward with no grudges. We would try every idea under the sun for every part of every song, and then decide what we thought was the best part.”

Tone and technique
So which were Dunaway’s favourite basslines?

“Early on we had a song, Return Of The Spiders. When we got drummer Neal Smith in the band, he’d been in a surf group in Phoenix, Arizona. He played Wipeout and we did it at rehearsal. Then we took the drum idea and made a song out of it, with a rolling bassline. It was quite a physical workout to keep the bass part going at that tempo.”

Equipment limitations made an impact on what was possible. Dunaway’s first bass was an Airline, which had a short-scale neck; he found it difficult to play due to the closeness of the frets. That didn’t stop him using the plank on the band’s 1969 debut, Pretties For You, released by Frank Zappa’s label, Straight Records. The bassist then went through a period of losing instruments in cheap motels.

“Every time something would get stolen; I had off-brands I didn’t even know. Later, I got a Gibson EB-0 with one pickup, so I added another one in the neck position. With each instrument change, your style changes.”

A turned-over truck on the LA freeway also impacted on the band’s second album, Easy Action.

“All our equipment was destroyed. We weren’t ready to record, and I didn’t even have a bass. David Briggs, the producer, directed me to a cupboard and in there was a short-scale Hofner. The bass is bubbly, with that kind of Paul McCartney feel,” Dunaway says, revealing that he still has a Hofner and pulls it out on occasion when working on a song.

Dunaway’s career with Alice Cooper - plus the rest of the band - came to an end when Furnier went solo with a new band in 1975. Dunaway talks about it at length in his recent book, Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! Tales of boiling strings and on-the-road shenanigans with crazed biker gangs are numerous. There’s plenty of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll too, all the way up to the original band’s triumphant reunion and induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

Still, Dunaway is refreshingly ungeeky about aspects of his craft.

“People ask, ‘What’s the setting on your amp?’, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I’m just trying to get a good sound that lets people hear all the notes.’ Most of the time I don’t change a dial to get a different tone, I just pick closer to the neck or mute with my hand. The variation in tones is due to how the strings are played.”

“There are so many bass players out there and they all have their own technique,” he adds. “Which is fine. Do what works for you. Every time I plug into an amp I tweak it differently to take into account the acoustics of the room or whatever. Maybe I’d be a better bassist if I did focus more on technique - but I’m more concerned about the notes I’m going to play.”"

Finally, Talkhouse has a long interview with Defenestration and Chainsaw Kittens frontman Tyson Meade where he talks about Alice, rock & roll gender-bending, and 45 years of Billion Dollar Babies!

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