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Susan Foreman 1st February 2018 05:09 AM


Alice with a guitar that was given to Johnny Depp by Tom Petty

Susan Foreman 2nd February 2018 05:02 AM

"Had a car accident this afternoon in Phoenix, but luckily everyone walked away UNHURT. Very thankful for that and also to Dodge for building such a sturdy Challenger!!‬"

Very nearly 'Under My Wheels'!

Susan Foreman 2nd February 2018 03:46 PM

Alice Cooper news roundup:

Alice was at the annual 'Imperial Ball' at NAMM on January 27th along with Johnny Depp, Tommy Henriksen, Matt Sorum and Bruce Witkins from 'Hollywood Vampires' with guests including Wayne Kramer of MC5. Songs played were 'Johnny B. Goode', 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' and 'School's Out'

Performing Songwriter has an interview with Bob Ezrin, during which he talks about recording with Lou Reed, Pink Floyd and (of course) Alice Cooper:

"You first saw the Alice Cooper Group at a very early stage in their career. What was it about the band that convinced you they had potential?

Well, first of all, you have to understand that I was 19 years old when I saw them. At that time I was a folk musician, and a classically trained pianist, so I was heavily into music of all kinds. And like most kids of the ’60s, I was used to rock music being played by angry young men with beards and T-shirts and jeans, talking about social issues and/or their own securities.

When I went to New York City to see Alice Cooper play … first of all, I found myself in a room filled with people in black spandex and face makeup, with black fingernails and spider eyes and black lipstick. And then when the band hit the stage, they came on like a group of theatrical ghouls, who sort of walked out with their instruments and props and amazing lights and proceeded to do a show that was as much theater as it was rock music. The show took us through all kinds of strange little twilight zone-like short stories involving a variety of twisted characters and weird tales. By the end of it, they had given us basically an hour and a half of theatrical and musical experience. And I thought, this is the future of rock music. We’re going to graduate from T-shirts and jeans, and graduate to big productions and songs about large ideas.

Alice has said that you were really their George Martin, and that you tightened up the band. He said that what you did was expand upon the good things about their songs and strip away anything that seemed extraneous.

Oh, yes, that was done, at least. We sometimes did complete reconstructive surgery. We would come up with ideas and then take those ideas right down to the bare chassis—the first chord progression and three lines of melody—and rebuild an entire song around that. Or we might do that with one great riff, as with “School’s Out,” for example. Out of that one guitar riff we crafted an entire song in the rehearsal studio.

There’s a song called “Reflected,” on the band’s first album, that has a catchy melody but sounds tentative. A few years after the song was initially recorded, you and the band transformed it into “Elected,” which is a powerful anthem. Can you talk a bit about how that was done?

Well, we were nothing if not brave and sort of macho about our approach to music. And very melodramatic. The idea for “Elected” really sprang out of a casual conversation where we jokingly said, “Why don’t we run Alice for president?” It was such a horrible field of candidates, and we were so disappointed with what was going on in America at the time, that we thought that would be a great irony. And of course we all looked at each other and thought, “Why not?” (Laughs) We started thinking about what to do with the idea, and someone suggested we could make “Reflected” into “Elected.” We looked at the song, and thought, “Hell, yes, we can do that.” So we took the song and made it brasher or “brassier.” We added brass to it and made it speak like a hunting call.

Quite a few of Alice Cooper’s songs start off with bass lines being played solo. What was the idea behind that?

That’s an interesting thing. That was a device we used, and in fact we may have used it too much. It was a way of building energy and allowing the song to get larger and larger in a sort of natural way, using the five members of the band."

Lastly, The Independent has an article on Alice to mark his upcoming 70th birthday, with their choice of top ten tracks:

"The godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper (nee Vincent Furnier), who celebrates his 70th birthday on 4 February, 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.

Only last year, Alice released his 27th studio album and he seems to be perpetually on the road, having just completed a 100-date world tour, with 20 more gigs to come Stateside in the next month. 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 his 70th with this playlist of Alice Cooper’s top ten 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 4th February 2018 11:42 AM

February 4th - Alice celebrates his 70th birthday today, and has an overview of his life

"Alice Cooper at 70: Shock rocker lives on

While many of his contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, the once hard-living pioneer of gory rock theatrics and catchy heavy metal anthems is one of music's great survivors.

Cooper's musical adventure began in the 1960s. He played in various cover bands before forming the Alice Cooper Band. Their mission: to "drive a stake into the heart of the Love Generation." Musician Frank Zappa was impressed by Alice Cooper's talent to empty out a club just minutes after taking the stage. Zappa signed on "the worst band in L.A." and produced two albums with them.

When Marilyn Manson started strutting the stage with his grotesque gothic visage, or the singer of the Death Metal band "Bloodbath" screamed into the microphone while covered with blood, it was nothing that new. Alice Cooper pioneered those kind of gruesome heavy rock theatrical over half a century ago. Interestingly, the devil on stage doing his voodoo was not only a shock rock pioneer, but the son of a pastor.

Vincent Damien Furnier was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 4, 1948. While not much is known about his childhood, but he was a regular church-goer and at age 13 was proud to watch his father — who also loved rock'n'roll music — become ordained as a bishop. Indeed, few know that Alice Cooper remains a committed Christian to this day — despite his irreverent stage persona and long struggles with alcohol and drugs.

Having started a band in high school, Furnier pursued his musical ambition in the midst of the 60s flower power movement. But he soon wanted to show just how much the Love Generation got on his nerves. While Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin became hippie icons, Vincent scratched around for gigs with his band The Spiders, who would regularly empty out clubs with their quirky garage rock.

Furnier and the band ultimately ended up in Los Angeles, where they met musician Frank Zappa. The leader of the experimental rock band, The Mothers of Invention, liked this group that didn't care less what the mainstream was doing. So Zappa signed them to his new label, Straight Records.

The band called itself Alice Cooper from then on because they allegedly thought it was funny to have a name that sounded like the nice grandma from across the street. A different version of the story says that Alice Cooper was the name of a witch who was burned at the stake in 17th-century England.

The band Alice Cooper would soon find success on the back of an inimitable stage show. It was during a concert in Toronto in 1969 that the idea for a stage routine that Alice Cooper continues to perform to this day was conceived. A live chicken came flying out of the audience and onto the stage. Singer Furnier threw it back, saying "It's a chicken, it can fly on its own."

Unexpectedly, the audience tore the bird to pieces. Some in the media wrongly reported that Furnier himself had torn the head off and drank the chicken's blood. The incident strangely inspired the band to shock audiences with bizarre theatrics, including cavorting on stage with an 11-foot boa constrictor snake.

But with the new shock rock schtick also came musical success. The 1972 single "School's Out" went to number one in the UK charts; while the next year, the album "Billion Dollar Babies" also reached number one in the US.

When the band broke up after its initial success, Vincent claimed the name Alice Cooper for himself as a solo artist — and even managed to have it written into his passport. And the hits kept coming with the release of the 1975 solo concept album, "Welcome to my Nightmare," which also went top ten in the US.

Cooper was an acute alcoholic until 1983 but has been sober ever since and never fully succumbed to the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle. These days, he's a loyal husband and loving father; and contrary to the shock rocker cliché, Cooper's hobby is golfing and he goes to church every Sunday.

He even (jokingly) contemplated running for US President in 2016 — part of his platform was "Adding Lemmy (from band Motorhead) to Mt. Rushmore."

In an interview with a Christian online magazine, Cooper explained why he stringently separates these two sides of his life.

"Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain died because they wanted to embody their stage presence at all times. They drank and took drugs to do so," he said. "When I stopped drinking, I made a decision. I wanted to co-exist as a person alongside the stage figure Alice Cooper. But I didn't want to be that figure all the time."

"Leave Alice on stage just as he is: the arrogant, evil guy," he reflected.

"When the curtain goes down, I am a completely different person than I am on stage.""

Susan Foreman 5th February 2018 07:18 AM

Desert Financial advert that aired during Super Bowl 2018

Susan Foreman 7th February 2018 09:59 AM

The news a lot of people have been waiting for

Hollywood Vampires announce their first ever UK shows | Planet Rock

JUNE 2018
Birmingham Genting Arena – Sat 16th
Manchester Arena – Sun 17th
Glasgow The SSE Hydro – Tue 19th
London The SSE Arena Wembley – Wed 20th

As much as it hurts me to say it, I don't want to see Alice fronting a covers band!

Susan Foreman 16th February 2018 07:54 AM

A new interview in Billboard magazine

Alice Cooper Talks Scares With Recent Car Accident & Hawaii False Alarm: 'Somebody Was Trying to Keep Me From Getting to 70' | Billboard

"Alice Cooper is as busy as ever after making it to 70 earlier this month -- despite events, including a false nuclear attack and a car crash, that seemed to be conspiring against him.

Cooper was in Hawaii, where his longtime manager Shep Gordon resides, on Jan. 13 during the nuclear attack alert that proved to be false. "You never want to see the words 'imminent,' 'nuclear' and 'not a drill' ever in one sentence," Cooper, who turned 70 on Feb. 4, tells Billboard. "I'm looking at it going, 'Are you kidding me?' My theology told me I'm gonna go from one paradise to another one, but it's still a bit of a shock to think, 'In about 18 minutes, I'm gonna be fried.' When it blew over everybody was laughing about it, but believe me, it was scary."

Then, two weeks later, Cooper was involved in a head-on car collision back home in Phoenix that totaled both vehicles. "Both of us walked out of it without a scratch," Cooper reports. "My car looked like a piece of art, but I did come out of it with a 1965 350 Shelby Mustang -- a real Detroit car. That's where the insurance money's going."

He ultimately concludes: "Somebody was trying to keep me from getting to 70, but I'm still here."

And Cooper has plenty going on as he enters his eight decade. On March 1 he kicks off a new tour to support his 2017 album Paranormal, promising three or four songs from the new album. But he and Gordon are also planning a major new show that will probably hit the road during 2019. "There's a million ideas out there," Cooper notes. "It won't look like this (upcoming) tour and it'll be a bigger show. There's no way from getting away from the 15 songs for so you haveto do, so it's, 'How do you approach them? What's the look of Alice? What's the look of the band?' That's what we're working on how. The creativity has not gone."

Meanwhile, Cooper will also be active this year with the Hollywood Vampires, his ad hock all-star group with Johnny Depp and Aerosmith's Joe Perry. The group, with some new adjunct members who will be announced soon, is playing dates in Europe during the spring and early summer, but it's particularly anxious to hit the studio to make its second album -- and first of all original material.

"Everybody is writing right now," Cooper reports. "We probably won't get into the album until the summer, and then it'll go quickly because we've all got a lot of songs. Johnny did five movies last year so he could free himself up for this, and the band's really anxious to get together." Cooper is also interested to see who else becomes a Vampire during the coming months.

"I still like the idea that the Vampires is the world's most expensive bar band," he says. "If somebody wants to jump on stage and play with us, if they know the songs and they fit, then come on up. If a Jimmy Page could come up and play with us, or a Jeff Beck or any of those guys and do a couple songs with us, they would fit right into Vampire world, 'cause they lived through that era."

Cooper's other major project this year is playing King Herod for Jesus Christ Superstar Live on Easter Sunday, April 1 on NBC. Cooper has been rehearsing "King Herod's Song" every day, although he's waiting for some direction about how the show's producer want it to be delivered.

"I think I should play it like Alan Rickman, a very condescending kind of arrogance," says Cooper, who recorded a version of the track for a 1996 Superstar album in the U.K. "It's the only song in the whole show that's funny, and Herod is being so abusive, verbally, to Christ, even though he's treating him as a guest. There's a lot of ways to take that song."

Cooper is particularly stoked that the production is being broadcast live. "One of the guys said, 'Will that throw you off, having a live audience?'" Cooper says. "I'm like, 'What do you think I do every night?' I do rock theatrics in front of an audience, y'know? I'll probably the only one comfortable there. Musical theater is pretty much what I've done for 50 years. I think it'll feel pretty natural.""

Susan Foreman 17th February 2018 04:58 PM

There is a short feature on The Vampires in Forbes Magazine. No new pictures or information tho (other than the fact the Johnny Depps net worth is $200 million!)

Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry Gear Up For Hollywood Vampires Tour | Forbes

"Want a break from the day job as an A-list movie star? Worried that your reported net worth of $200 million has dwindled to a fraction of what it was? Do you love rock and roll and play in a mean band? Then go on an international tour, give the fans what they want and have a lot of fun. Johnny Depp is just about to do just that in a supergroup with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. The Hollywood Vampires confirms its first tour since 2016, with its first –ever U.K. dates announced today to slot into an already-revealed European schedule.

The group has decades of rock experience in total – Perry has sold 150 million records with Aerosmith and Cooper has sold 50 million himself. (In 1973, aged 23, Cooper was a FORBES cover star, with the headline “A New Breed of Tycoon.”)

The original Hollywood Vampires gathered in the 1970s on the Sunset Strip at the Rainbow Bar & Grill’s upstairs bar. “To join the club, one simply had to out-drink all of the members,” Cooper, a founding member of the original Vampires, commented in a statement. “I would walk in on a typical night and John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon—who would usually be in a costume like a maid or a chauffeur—Bernie Taupin, and Mickey Dolenz would be there.”

The 2018 live shows are set to include originals such as “As Bad As I Am” and rock covers – tributes to previous vampires and honorary members (Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham; Jimi Hendrix; Lennon; Nilsson; Marc Bolan; Jim Morrison of The Doors; The Who’s Moon and more.) The 2015 eponymous debut album had Cooper’s trademark “School’s Out” sequencing into the medley he now does in concerts with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2).”

The Hollywood Vampires tour starts in May in Moscow and includes Germany, Poland, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The newly confirmed dates are in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and London with to-be-announced guests and support acts The Darkness and The Damned.

The Hollywood Vampires’ album gained a “generally favorable” score of 69 on Metacritic, with some praise for its MusiCares backing, Cooper’s vocals and Bob Ezrin’s production. The guests on that record were stellar: Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Slash, Dave Grohl, Perry Farrell, Zak Starkey, Robby Krieger and more. It peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard chart. Still, the AllMusic review said: “Hollywood Vampires is just a lark but it’s a fun lark, and having fun is what matters in a party.” The shows may prove to be just that."

Susan Foreman 20th February 2018 04:44 AM

To be released in May (#68). Pre-order here

There is also one of the straight jacket 'Ballad Of Dwight Frye' character

Susan Foreman 21st February 2018 08:02 PM

Alice and Machete

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