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By Walter Price
My fascination with the theatrical side of music started as a wee child when my folks gave me KISS’s Rock and Roll Over (’76) album for my 5th birthday and I quickly discovered that acts like David Bowie, Wizzard, Ray Stevens, Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper made things interesting by not just standing on stage belting out song after song.
They wanted you to be involved.
Going to see these acts and later acts like Iggy Pop, White Zombie, Iron Maiden, GWAR, Judas Priest and Love & Rockets drove the point home that music could be a visual extravaganza as well as a sonic experience. Listen, not all acts should or need to attempt theatrics while on stage but the ones who do it well make it worth the price of admission.
Anyway, what caused me to think of all that was this cool interview Alice Cooper recently gave Rolling Stone and he has tons of things going on and one of them is a possible album of covers.
Sure, if you’ve been to an Alice show you already know that he incorporates tributes into his sets. Always from people he has known or admired and not to just to fill gaps in his show. In the RS Q&A he makes mention of the infamous ‘drinking club’, Hollywood Vampires, he once belonged that counted Bernie Taupin, Mickey Dolenz, John Lennon, Keith Moon and more among its debauchery inclined members.
“We do a thing in our show, which is a tribute to Hollywood Vampires, my drinking club. And it was Keith Moon, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Micky Dolenz – a very eclectic bunch of drunks. Half of them are dead, so we do four songs in the show in tribute to them. We do “Break On Through,” “Revolution,” “My Generation” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady.” -Alice Cooper (RollingStone.com)
So he has clearly been laying down the framework for such an album for decades and as artists of a certain age and points in lagging careers seem to put our duets and covers albums for whatever, sometimes outwardly viewed, ‘shallow’ reasons, I think Alice would only do it out of respect for the music and his loyalty to his impressive cavalcade of friends. So lets all hope this project comes to rock n’ roll fruition.
You should check out the full Steve Baltin interview with Alice. They discuss Bieber, Winehouse, Jim Morrison and more.You can find it here.
“Justin, just as a note of professional rock & roll, never turn your back when you throw up. Let the audience see you throw up . . . Because that’s a moment they’re gonna remember.” Make sure the lights are on you when you throw up. If he rides this thing out and still makes records, he’s gonna be a seasoned artist in about 10 years, ’cause he makes good records now, but he’s got to survive the next 10 years. The excess is gonna come at him so quick.” – Alice Cooper (RS.com)
You can also catch Cooper out on Mötley Crüe’s Final Tour.