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  #1231  
Old 28th November 2019, 04:30 AM
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Welcome To My Thanksgiving!

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  #1232  
Old 11th December 2019, 06:54 PM
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New interview in Kerrang

"Alice Cooper: “If Lemmy Were Alive, He’d Certainly Be A Vampire”


They walk among us, and they’re very, very real.

Alice Cooper is as surprised as anyone else that the Hollywood Vampires – the group he put together with Johnny Depp and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry to play fun covers in small bars – has become a fully-fledged band.

Originally planned as a way to pay tribute to their “dead, drunk friends”, the trio’s second album, Rise, has 13 original songs alongside only three covers, and follows a triumphant show at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley in 2018. Now, they’ve announced four massive UK dates in 2020.

Alice likes to joke that the Vampires are the “world’s most expensive bar band”, but he wouldn’t be doing it if it were a novelty. And, as he explains their accidental origins and his surprise at Johnny Depp’s guitar skills, he also reveals why, after more than 50 years in the game, he’s more in love with performing than ever before…

You’ve just announced 2020 UK dates with Hollywood Vampires – how excited are you to be returning to the UK, Alice?
“We’re thrilled. The thing that’s great about the Vampires is that it started out being a bar band. All we were going to do was go to bars and play songs in tribute to all the guys we used to drink with who’ve died. The very first night we played, it was at The Roxy for about 100 people. Geezer Butler sat in with us, and all the classic guys. But then a week later we’re at Rock In Rio with 200,000 people. All of a sudden the Hollywood Vampires became an arena band. That happened pretty quick! The cool thing is that everybody in the band are best friends, and the best players around. When you get a band like that together, you usually have this gigantic tidal wave of ego, as you’ve got all these alpha males. But we’ve never had an argument, or had anybody stomp offstage in anger. It’s pretty amazing to find people who cooperate.”

How do you explain the musical chemistry you’ve discovered as a band?
“We’re all hard rockers. We all come from the same school; the Yardbirds and The Who and The Kinks, and everyone is blues rock. We all come from The Rolling Stones. When we do our kind of music, it centres on the guitars, bass and drums. There’s not a lot of ‘pretty’ within our music at all. Everything about it is in-your-face rock’n’roll.”


What has changed since you first started playing together?
“Well, when we started playing, the first album was mostly covers – there were, like, three original songs on there. And that was what it was supposed to be. Everybody was invited to play – Paul McCartney came in to play, Dave Grohl plays – and they came in and did a little something in honour of the fallen brethren. And then the second album, Rise, was originals with only three covers. So, we turned into a real band, I think, on the second album. I would imagine [on this upcoming tour] we’ll be playing a lot more of the original material from Rise. But, you know, I love doing the covers. I love doing things like I Got A Line On You [by Spirit] and The Doors stuff. That’s always fun to do.”

How did you, Johnny and Joe first get together?
“In the very beginning, I was doing [the Tim Burton film] Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp in London. We started talking about the good ol’ days, about the original Hollywood Vampires: Harry Nilsson and Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon when he was in town. All those guys, we would sit and drink every night, at the Rainbow, and they started calling us the Hollywood Vampires. The thought came up, ‘Why don’t we put a band together and pay tribute to those guys?’ Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and all the guys we’d drink with who aren’t here anymore. We just happened to go play the 100 Club on Oxford Street that night. I invited Johnny to come in and play, as I knew he was a guitar player. But I didn’t know how good he was. He came in and nailed it. Johnny and I said that it’d be fun to put a little bar band together. Joe Perry said, ‘I’m in.’ Duff McKagan said, ‘I’m in.’ All of a sudden we had this all-star band. Bob Ezrin said, ‘I’ll produce it.’ And it was all up and running, without a rehearsal!”

Johnny is, of course, better known as an actor. What do you think makes him unique as a guitarist?
“Johnny started out as a guitarist. He was in a band in Kentucky that he’d started with his friends. He ended up in Florida, then came to LA and accidentally became an actor. He wasn’t really looking to be an actor. And so what surprised us was how good a guitarist he was. He got up there and he could play on anything. He just did some shows with Jeff Beck. If you’re a guitar player and you’re playing with Jeff Beck, there must be something good going on there. Johnny gets up and does solos with Joe Perry – who is considered one of the great guitar players in rock – and just kills it.”

On Rise, you cover Heroes by David Bowie. It’s not necessarily a hard rock song, but what makes it special for you?
“Johnny brought it in. He said, ‘I’d really like to do this song, Heroes.’ He was playing along, and I said, ‘Why don’t you sing this one?’ He said, ‘I don’t sing.’ And I said, ‘Johnny – you did Sweeney Todd.’ ‘Oh yeah,’ he said, ‘I did, didn’t I?’ I told him, ‘This is the kind of song your voice is really good at.’ We actually recorded it in the studio that Bowie did, in Berlin. We happened to be doing a show in Berlin, and took a day off and went into that studio and did the whole thing right there. It gives it a little more authenticity.”


Did you record anything else while you were in Berlin?
“We recorded I Want My Now, which is one of our original songs. But they have a thing there that’s really unique – they have a thing where you to go directly to wax. It’s one of these older studios, so you can actually do a song, live, and it goes right on to vinyl. As you’re doing it, it’s cutting it. So there’s one version of Heroes that’s on vinyl. We flipped a coin for it, and Johnny won the vinyl.”

You recently completed a seven-date North American tour. What’s the best reaction that the Hollywood Vampires have received so far?
“When did Wembley it got voted ‘best show of the year’ there. We were surprised at that – that’s quite an honour. Wembley gets a lot of shows, and for fans to vote us as the best show of the year… I look at that little piece of plastic they give you and think, ‘That’s pretty cool.’ It’s not something that we brag about, but we certainly look at it and go, ‘Wow!’”

At that very show, Hollywood Vampires played Ace Of Spades as a tribute to Lemmy and Motörhead. What would your own personal tribute to Lemmy be?
“If he were alive, Lemmy would certainly be a Vampire. He’d probably be our bass player! All of us knew Lemmy, on different levels, because he played with us so many times – everyone in the band had done tours with Lemmy. He was sort of a journeyman. I quit drinking 37 years ago, but he came to me once and said, ‘Alice. I quit drinking.’ And he had a drink in his hand! I was sitting there going, ‘That’s great – and that must be Coca-Cola?’ He said, ‘No, there’s a little whiskey in there.’ His idea of not drinking was not drinking a bottle of whiskey each night. Maybe just five or six drinks.”

Hollywood Vampires pay tribute to a lot of people who died from excess – what’s your advice for young musicians today?
“I mean, I stopped drinking 37 years ago, because I got up one morning and threw up blood. I knew that it’s not smart to join the 27 Club, but my doctor said, ‘If you really want to join them, just keep doing what you’re doing.’ I got the point. If you look at guys like Steven Tyler and Iggy and myself – all the guys that are still here touring – it’s all because we got a hold of our addictions and decided we’d rather make 20 more albums than be in a cold grave somewhere.”

You’ve been performing live for such a long time. What’s the most satisfying part about still being onstage today?
“I still look forward, every night, to going up on that stage. I think I was born to do this. And creating a character like Alice Cooper, which isn’t like you at all – he’s like an arrogant villain. He’s sort of like Alan Rickman. A kind of condescending villain, and that’s really fun to play, every single night. I’ve got a band that’s probably the best touring band out there, and it’s impossible to get bored with our show.”
"
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  #1233  
Old 14th December 2019, 04:32 PM
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Alice sings Floyd

'Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2' from the British Rock Symphony in 1999

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  #1234  
Old 15th December 2019, 01:39 PM
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Setlists from the 2019 annual fundraising Christmas Pudding show, held at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona on December 14th:

Alice Cooper
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • Be My Lover
  • Under My Wheels
  • I'm Eighteen
  • School's Out
  • Heroes (with Johnny Depp)

Rob Halford
  • Heading Out to the Highway
  • Diamonds & Rust
  • Breaking the Law
  • Living After Midnight
  • You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Debbie Sledge
  • We Are Family
  • Silent Night/Emmanuel/Jesus Is Peace

Gary Cherone & Nuno Bettencourt
  • Get the Funk Out
  • Hole Hearted
  • More Than Words

Mark Slaughter
  • Devoted
  • Fly to the Angels (Slaughter song)
  • Up All Night (Slaughter song)

Joe Bonamassa
  • Don't You Lie to Me (I Get Evil) (Tampa Red cover)
  • Sloe Gin (Tim Curry cover)
  • The Ballad of John Henry

Nita Strauss
  • The Show Must Go On (Queen cover)

Sixwire with Gary Mule Deer
  • Ring of Fire parody (Johnny Cash cover)
  • Big River (Johnny Cash cover)
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious parody(Julie Andrews cover)
  • Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash cover)
  • I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash cover)
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  #1235  
Old 16th December 2019, 04:48 AM
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There's a review of the pudding show at the AZCentral

"Alice Cooper group reunion a raucous highlight of star-filled Christmas Pudding concert


It's always a festive occasion when the four surviving members of the Alice Cooper group get together to kick out the jams. And Saturday was no exception.

Cooper reunited with his former bandmates – Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce – to headline this year's Christmas Pudding, an annual benefit for Alice Cooper's Rock Teen Center, on the rotating stage of the historic Celebrity Theatre.

Fleshing out their ranks with two additional guitarists – Johnny Depp and Joe Bonamassa – they dusted off a handful of the hits that made them famous while paving the way for their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Bruce set the tone with the iconic opening riff of "No More Mr. Nice Guy," and they followed through with "Be My Lover," "Under My Wheels" and "I'm Eighteen" before bringing their part of the show to a crowd-pleasing climax with "School's Out."

Their performance was as polished as it should've been – a raw reminder of the chemistry that made their music stand out on the radio, where people couldn't see the guillotine or gallows.

Bonamassa did much of the soloing, his bluesy phrasing sounding right at home when he dug into "Under My Wheels." And Depp worked the room with the rock and roll swagger of a method actor so in character he doesn't even know he wasn't also headlining arenas in the early '70s (and yes, I mean that as a compliment).

Alice Cooper group's natural charisma

But the magic of the moment ultimately rested on the founding four, who rose to the occasion with a natural charisma as they reconnected with their legacy in front of an adoring crowd.

Cooper, of course, was in total command of the stage. He's performed these songs thousands of times since recording them back in the '70s and he remains one of the greatest entertainers of his generation, even on a night like this where he eschews the props that scandalized the nation in his headline-grabbing youth.

And yet, they shared the spotlight and the stage like proper bandmates.

Smith remains a force of nature, rising from behind his drums to punctuate the chaos at the end of "Be My Lover" before bashing out the tumbling rolls that power the intro of "Under My Wheels."

Bruce was all smiles, from the opening riff of the opening song to the moment in "Under My Wheels" where he offset Cooper's vocal with "Got you, baby, under my wheels."

And Dunaway could teach a master class in rock-and-roll charisma, prowling the stage in his shades with real presence while making a fairly airtight case for himself as one rock's most underrated bassists.

Alice Cooper on the chicken incident

After "Under My Wheels," Cooper mentioned that the group was living in Detroit when that was written, prompting Bruce to ask him, "Alice, is it true that you lived on a farm? I just can't picture that."

Cooper responded, "Yeah, we lived on a farm, but it wasn't really a farm. You know, a lot of people ask me about the chicken story."

And with that, he launched into an explanation of the legendary chicken incident, when Cooper threw a chicken out into the audience at the Toronto Rock and Roll Festival.

"The fact that we lived on a farm," he recalled, with a laugh, "didn't mean that we had chickens, all right? So when a chicken showed up on stage in Toronto, it had feathers, it had wings, it should fly. Chickens don't fly as much as they plummet."

The audience famously tore the bird to shreds, cementing Cooper's reputation as a shock-rock pioneer without him really meaning for that incident to happen.

Before returning to the music with the breakthrough single, "I'm Eighteen," he added one last note in his defense: "Colonel Sanders has killed billions of chickens and he never gets any problem at all."

After bringing their set to a raucous conclusion with "School's Out," Depp and Cooper stayed behind for Depp to take the spotlight on a moody cover of the David Bowie classic, "Heroes," by Sixwire, who served as something of a house band for the acts that weren't self-contained units.

'We are Family' emerges as a theme song

Then, for the finale, Debbie Sledge and her family (daughter Camille Sledge of Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and niece Tanya Tiet) led an all-star jam in Sister Sledge's disco classic, "We Are Family," a joyous conclusion to a holiday event that started hours earlier with that same song.

It was something of a running theme.

In thanking the crowd for supporting the cause, Jeff Moore, the director of Cooper's Solid Rock Foundation, said, "We consider you all family, a big family."

In his opening remarks, Cooper noted that this year was the fastest Christmas Pudding has ever sold out, promising the show would be "a little bit of everything and a lot of rock and roll."

Sheryl Cooper introduced her father, Dr. William H. Goddard, to lead the audience in prayer before Sister Sledge returned to a sing a gorgeous, gospel-flavored a cappella "Silent Night."

The Proof was definitely in the Pudding

These events are all about raising funds for the free music, dance, arts and vocational programs for teens 12-20 at Alice Cooper's Rock Teen Center. And as such, many of the evening's earliest performances were devoted to shining a spotlight on performers in that age range.

That included what certainly felt like a contender for the most elaborate production in Pudding history, directed by Hodgie Jo. The Solid Rock Dancers were joined by the Teen Center's Bucket Bridge and last year's solo Proof is in the Pudding winner Conrad in a performance that also included the Cesar Chavez High School drumline, the Horizon High School Choir and the Rocky Mountain Ball Theatre.

This year's Proof is in the Pudding solo winner, Japhar Pullen, followed with a set that made it obvious why he deserved to win. The kid is an amazing talent with a clear sense of identity and showmanship to spare. He opened, seated at his keyboard, with a medley of Stevie Wonder's "Faith" and a deeply soulful take on Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight." Then, he stood up and danced his way through Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now." The kid is a natural who could be headlining venues this size in two year's time with proper management.

After a break for a live auction, the second serving got off to a raucous start with this year's winning band from Proof is in the Pudding – the Joeys, led by Dean Cheney, who's managed to master the art of rockabilly guitar in 2019. He worked his hollow-bodied Gretsch like a young Brian Setzer in a set that started off strong with a wistful "Please Come Home for Christmas" before giving into the reckless abandon of one of their originals. If someone doesn't put them on the next Chris Isaak show, there is no justice in this world.

A guitar player's dream lineup

Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss was up next, showing off the chops that landed the star on the cover of Guitar World's Guitarists of the Decade issue. Strauss can shred with the best of them, and yet it's more about melodic sensibilities than flash with her (although the flash is clearly fairly awe-inspiring).

Pudding perennial Gary Mule Deer treated the crowd to his always-entertaining blend of goofy jokes and Johnny Cash songs, followed by Mark Slaughter, who played the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" and two songs from Slaughter's first album, "Fly to the Angels" and "Up All Night."

Gary Cherone and Nunu Bettencourt of Extreme set the tone for their set with a suitably funky "Get the Funk Out" and "Hole in My Heart" before taking a seat for the unplugged charms of "More Than Words," the song that set the funky metal to the side and took them to the top of Billboard's Hot 100 in the bargain.

Judas Priest's Rob Halford commanded the stage with the conviction of a guy who's perfectly comfortable being thought of as the Metal God, rocking a long sequined jacket as he led Livewire in a five-song sampler of his greatest hits – "Heading Out to the Highway," "Diamonds & Rust," "Breaking the Law," "Living After Midnight" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'."

The final act before the Cooper group was Bonamassa, who opened his set with the blues-rocking swagger of "Don't You Lie To Me (I Get Evil)," following through with the more dramatic "Sloe Gin," a song he noted had been written by Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, and bringing his set to a close with "The Ballad of John Henry."

The man is an amazing lead guitarist and managed to stand out as such in a show that someone noted early on was a guitar player's dream lineup."
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  #1236  
Old 23rd December 2019, 05:32 AM
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A scary and intense looking Alice at the premier of the film 'Peewee's Big Adventure' in 1985

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  #1237  
Old 23rd December 2019, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan Foreman View Post
A scary and intense looking Alice at the premier of the film 'Peewee's Big Adventure' in 1985

No wonder. Someone's given him the wrong mask to get behind.

That's Michael Myers not Jason Vorhees.
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  #1238  
Old 23rd December 2019, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
No wonder. Someone's given him the wrong mask to get behind.

That's Michael Myers not Jason Vorhees.
Spooky foreshadowing of his friendship with Rob Zombie perhaps!
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  #1239  
Old 24th December 2019, 05:58 PM
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  #1240  
Old 25th December 2019, 12:39 PM
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Alice and Wolfman Jack in 1973

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