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Dec 15 2010 9:50 AM EST

This year's list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees offers a musical cornucopia of styles. From the New Orleans boogie-woogie voodoo soul of Dr. John to Tom Waits' boho preacher-poet performance art, Neil Diamond's overwrought pop histrionics, Darlene Love's girl-group R&B and Alice Cooper's goth/glam rock theater of the macabre, the Hall of Fame class of 2011 is set to take the stage for their honors on Monday, March 14 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City.

White Zombie frontman Rob Zombie will induct Alice Cooper into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the 2011 induction ceremonies March 14 in New York City. Neil Young will do the same for 2011 inductee Tom Waits.

The Rock Hall released its official list of 2011 presenters Tuesday morning.

Here’s the complete inductee-presenter list:

Alice Cooper: Rob Zombie (White Zombie)

Neil Diamond: Paul Simon

Dr. John: John Legend

Darlene Love: Bette Midler

Tom Waits: Neil Young

Jac Holzman: John Densmore (The Doors)

Art Rupe: Lloyd Price

Leon Russell: Elton John

The 2011 induction ceremony will be held Monday, March 14 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. An edited version of the ceremony will be broadcast at 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 on cable TV channel Fuse.

With the exception of Waits, all of the inductees are first-time nominees. While all are probably popping corks now, that means, of course, that a number of younger acts didn't make the list. These include multiple nominees the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J, first-time nominee Bon Jovi and veteran acts J. Geils Band, Donna Summer and Chic.

Cooper, 62, whose onstage theatrics include macabre set pieces such as guillotines and gallows, told Billboard that he felt it was about time his band got a nod. "I've always felt the same way about this whole thing," said Cooper, whose classic hits includes "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out," teenage rebellion anthems for the ages recorded by a band he started 45 years ago in high school. "I kind of sat back and said, 'It will happen eventually.' "

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Alice Cooper joins Rock Hall ranks; leaves electric chair at home

Published: Sunday, March 13, 2011

For The Macomb Daily

Alice Cooper is set to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alice Cooper will be leaving the guillotine, gallows, electric chair and snake at home when he attends the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony Monday, March 14, in New York City.

But the Detroit-born shock rocker promises that he and his band will be dressed appropriately for the occasion.

“We’ll do tuxedos,” Cooper says. “We’re actually getting tuxedos made — special Alice Cooper tuxedos. It’ll definitely be our style. It’ll be within our sense of humor.”

And, he promises, there will be much smiling as the quintet takes its place alongside its peers and predecessors in the Rock Hall’s ranks.

“It’s terrific,” says Cooper, 63, who was born Vincent Furnier in Allen Park. “The whole idea of finally being in that club ... once you get voted in, you realize it’s your peers that voted you in, the guys that you actually watched on ‘Shindig’ and ‘Hullabaloo’ and all that, they’re the guys voting on you.

“So it’s a nice feeling, that thing that you’re in the same club as them.”

Cooper and company — guitarists Michael Bruce and the late Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith — certainly waited for this moment. Artists are eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first album which meant the Cooper band — which debuted with the self-produced “Pretties For You” in 1969 — has been on the clock since 1994. Year after year went by without the quintet, which pioneered a school of highly theatrical rock performance, even being on the nominating ballot, however.

And when acknowledged disciple Kiss was nominated for the class of 2010, though it didn’t ultimately make the final cut, it was considered an affront.

Nevertheless, Cooper — who’s “defensive mechanism” was slamming the Rock Hall through the years of being slighted — says he always felt confident his band would have its time.

“It’s almost like Lady Gaga now; you take the theatrics away from Gaga and she’s a really good singer, she writes pretty good, she’s a good piano player, she can hold her own with anybody. But right now not too many people are talking about how good her voice is. They’d rather talk about her coming out of an egg.

“So with us, when you had other musicians going, ‘You know, these guys make great albums,’ that’s when we started getting people’s approval. That made a big difference.”

The Cooper band is the 28th Rock Hall inductee from Detroit or with Detroit or Michigan connections. The group was formed in Phoenix, where Cooper’s family moved when he was an adolescent. A high school letterman in cross country, he had formed a group called the Earwigs that won a talent contest for miming Beatles songs — and then learned to play instruments.

The Beatles and Rolling Stones were certainly influences, but Cooper adds that, “if there was any blueprint for us, it was The Yardbirds,” the British band in which Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page became famous. “We always wanted to be America’s version of The Yardbirds. That’s who we really listened to on every level.”

But there was another aspect to the band, which renamed itself The Spiders and then The Nazz, that would ultimately separate it from the rest of the rock ‘n’ roll pack.

“We were a garage band with a lot of really creepy ideas,” says Cooper, who initially claimed to have received his stage name from a 17th century witch during an Ouija board session. “The theatricality was always there. We didn’t mind throwing a little ‘West Side Story’ in there, a little ‘Diamonds Are Forever,’ TV themes.

“That’s what made us who we were — horror movies and detective shows and all that stuff. We grew up on TV and movies, so you had to expect to see that stuff fall into our music somewhere. We couldn’t deny who we were.”

The music took the Alice Cooper band to Los Angeles, where the quintet met manager Shep Gordon and was signed by Frank Zappa to his Straight Records label for “Pretties For You” and “Easy Action.” Neither sold well; the band’s notoriety at that point came from an incident at the 1969 Toronto Rock and Roll Revival where someone threw a chicken on stage and Cooper threw it into the crowd, where it was reportedly torn apart. But no one sought to correct the resulting story, that he’d actually bitten the chicken’s head off and drank his blood, that surfaced afterward.

“(Zappa) called me and asked me if that was true,” Cooper recalls with a laugh. “I told him no, but he said, ‘Don’t let anybody know that. This is great publicity!’ ”

Looking to refocus its music, however, the band decided to move to Detroit in 1970. “In L.A., we were notorious but we weren’t popular,” Cooper recalls. “So we were fumbling around, and we said that the first place that gives us a standing ovation, we’re moving there. It happened to be Detroit, my hometown.” Continued...The group, which took up residence in a farmhouse on Brown Road in Pontiac, quickly became part of a burgeoning scene that included the Bob Seger System, The Amboy Dukes, The Stooges, The MC5 and others. “We had never heard of any of these guys,” Cooper says, “but when people found out I was from Detroit, I was suddenly taken in as one of these bands. So we felt right at home there.”

Cooper recalls “a very creative period in our lives” while back in the metro area, working with producer Bob Ezrin on the breakthrough “Love It to Death” album during the week, then playing concerts on the weekend “to make money to live on.”

It wasn’t all work, of course. “Every band had their own house,” he notes, “and there was always a party. We’d have 150 or 200 people show up in Pontiac on a Saturday night after everybody played, and during the night we’d be, ‘OK, who’s having the party next week?’ It was the closest thing to a fraternity there was.

“And everybody was pulling for everybody. I was pulling for The Stooges and The 5, Frijid Pink, SRC. Everybody pushed each other, too; in our case it was always, ‘Who’s weirder, Iggy (Pop) or Alice?’ It was the biggest compliment to be mentioned in the same sentence as him.”

Cooper says WABX-FM, the area’s hot rock radio station at the time, was also “sort of a second clubhouse” for the community. “Everybody ended up at ABX 3 or 4 in the morning,” he remembers. “If you ran out of anything, you’d go there and pick it up. It was like an all-purpose shopping place.”

The scene, meanwhile, also stoked everybody’s creativity.

“We were writing every day,” Cooper notes. “There were no limits. Nobody was saying, ‘You can’t write that. You can’t go there. You can’t do this.’ We’d take those raw ideas and feed them to Bob Ezrin, and he’d come back and filter them through his crazy brain and then you’d have ‘Love It to Death’ or ‘Killer.’ ”

Cooper says Ezrin’s ideas mostly were to streamline the band’s ideas. “He kept going, ‘Dumb it down.’ We’d go ‘What does that mean?’ ‘You’re playing too many things.’ But it was hard for us to do that; we wanted to be The Yardbirds.” With the 1970 hit “I’m Eighteen,” however, Ezrin’s admonitions finally took hold.

“We had this song that was powerful because it was dumb and three chords,” Cooper notes. “It ended up being an anthem, ’cause the music was saying what the lyrics were saying. After that, we were like, ‘Oh, now we get it.’ ”

“I’m Eighteen,” in fact, put the Cooper band on the map, hitting No. 21 on the Billboard chart and driving the “Love It to Death” album to platinum status — the first of four consecutive million-sellers. More hits such as “School’s Out” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” kept the group on radio, wThe band broke up somewhat acrimoniously in 1975, but Cooper — who’s recorded under the name ever since and has chronicled his life, including his battles with alcoholism, in the memoirs “Me Alice” (1976) and “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster” (2007) — says there was no question it should be inducted into the Rock Hall as a group rather than him as a solo artist.

“The original band was the one that broke all the ice,” notes Cooper, who resides in Arizona with his wife, Sheryl, with whom he has three children — daughters Calico, 29, and Sonora Rose, 17, and son Dash, 25. “It wasn’t me on my own. It was the original band that had all the iconic records from ‘Love it to Death’ on to ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ and ‘Muscle of Love.’

“What I did after that was an aftermath. The original band were the guys that had to cut through that big, thick ice in order to become an entity out there. I can’t see how I could just go up there as an individual.”

Any remaining rancor from the split has long been smoothed over, and the surviving band members regrouped in December to play at Cooper’s 10th annual Christmas Pudding in Phoenix to benefit his Solid Rock Foundation for children. They’ll also perform at Monday’s induction ceremony, with Steve Hunter and former Frost guitarist Dick Wagner — the guitar tandem who worked with Cooper on his 1975 “solo” debut “Welcome to My Nightmare” — joining in. (Rob Zombie is inducting the group.) Bruce, Dunaway and Smith also appear on “When Hell Comes Home,” a track from Cooper’s forthcoming “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” sequel album which is due out in the fall.

“It fit just like a glove again,” he says. “I was going to go in and say, ‘What I want this thing to have is this live, ’70s sound,’ but I didn’t have to say that. That’s just the way they play. They just had that sound you couldn’t go in and try to direct them to get. That’s the normal way they play.

“So I said to Bob (Ezrin, who’s producing the album), ‘I don’t want it to sound any different than that.”

The group will, however miss having Buxton, who died on Oct. 19, 1997, in Clarion, Iowa, from complications from pneumonia at the age of 49.

“Glen was the heart and soul of the Alice Cooper group,” Cooper says of the guitarist, who was ranked No. 90 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. “He was our Keith Richards, with the cigarette on the end of his guitar. He always had a drink or something on him that was illegal. He was purely Keith Richards without copying Keith Richards.

“He was truly a Bowery Boy. There was always some kind of trouble around him, but he would sit in his room and just noodle with a cigarette and a guitar and play great music. We’ll be thinking about him. He’ll be there in spirit.”

hile concerts that featured mock executions, chopped-up baby dolls, live snakes and other theatrics generated enough controversy to make the Toronto chicken incident seem like the accident it was. From 1971-74 it’s safe to say few touring bands generated more headlines, discussion and debate than Alice Cooper. Continued...

“It’s been that way our whole career, really,” he explains. “It took (Bob) Dylan and (John) Lennon and (Paul) McCartney and people like that talking about Alice Cooper before we got accepted as a band, before people started taking us really seriously. Even when we were No. 1 with ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ (in 1973), we were still striving for acceptance because people were so taken in by the theatrics. It finally got through to some people who thought we were a novelty act that we have 15 platinum records and 14 Top 40 singles and really were a big, commercial success musically.

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If you're on the mailing list for Alice Cooper's website you've probably already seen this. For everyone else, here's the lowdown on a new box set focusing on the early years of the Alice Cooper band. It looks like a very nice package but is quite pricey at $260.





Available June, 2011

The LIMITED EDITION Alice Cooper Group "Old School" box set comes in a commemorative 12 inch square "school desk" box and includes:

4 CDs from the years 1964-1974:

Disc 1: Demos, rarities, live, and advertisements

Disc 2: Demos from "Muscle of Love," a pre-production of songs from "Schools Out,"1973 Madison Square Garden live track, and advertisements.

Disc 3: Spoken word (from 2010/2011)

Disc 4: Live show of the 1971 "Killer" tour in St. Louis

DVD (single disc in Amaray case) over 2 hours that include 3 never before seen features

64 page, full-color yearbook style book with hard front & back cover:

Period pictures of all band members, many never before seen

Book written by well-known music journalist Lonn Friend

Gatefold folder containing:

tour program

ticket stubs

set list

5 prints

Bootleg Vinyl: 1971 "Killer" live show in St. Louis

7in Vinyl: Songs "Wonder Whose Lovin' Her Now" & "Lay Down & Die, Goodbye" from The Nazz

IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD of the "Elected" 1972 Music Video (AliceCooper.com Exclusive)- Available as a M4V or MOV download as soon as you complete the pre-order transaction

Price: $260.00

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"Unpacking" video for the new box set which is due to arrive on June 20th:

Thanks for posting this,it looks a great item but way out of my price range for what they'll charge for it in the U.K.I hope they put out a economy version with just the music.

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From Spinner.com:

Alice Cooper Nearly Shot and Killed Elvis Presley During Crazy Vegas Encounter

by Andrew Kerr


Alexandro Auler, Getty Images/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Alice Cooper has revealed that Elvis Presley's obsession with guns could have come to an abrupt and ironic end by his hands in a Las Vegas hotel room in 1971. According to Cooper, "The King" asked the young star to shoot him in the head during their bizarre meeting.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, the shock-rock veteran recalled the strange gathering in Presley's penthouse suite. Cooper said, "He had the penthouse -- this was when he was at the top of his game. I had always been a fan as a kid, so I jumped at the chance to go upstairs and meet him. When I got to the lift I found it was me, Liza Minnelli and the porn actress Linda Lovelace."

Once inside things got stranger still. The 63-year-old continued, "Elvis took me into the kitchen, opened a drawer and pulled out a loaded pistol, telling me to put it to his head. I recognised it straight away, a snub .32. I didn't know what to do. I had this gun in my hand and was expecting one of his security to come in any second, see me holding a weapon and shoot me dead.

"A little voice in my left ear was telling me, 'Go on, this is history, kill him, you'll always be the guy who killed Elvis.' In my other ear was another voice saying, 'You can't kill him, it's Elvis Presley -- wound him instead, you'll only get a few years!'"

Thankfully for Cooper he didn't have to worry for too long. "A fraction of a second later Elvis did a flying kick on the gun, and sent it flying, before tripping me and pinning me to the ground by my neck, announcing, 'That's how you stop a man with a gun.'"

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Alice Cooper Preps 'Welcome To My Nightmare' Sequel'

I always feel like I've got something to prove,' Cooper says



Alice Cooper joins Dave Grohl on stage in the UK.

Peter Still/Redferns

Thirty-five years ago, Alice Cooper ditched his longtime band, teamed up with producer Bob Ezrin and created his legendary concept album Welcome To My Nightmare. "I don't live in the past at all," Cooper tells Rolling Stone. "But I recently started working on a new project with Ezrin. He reminded me about the anniversary and we started wonder what Alice's nightmare would be 35 years later. The first nightmare was a seven-year old's, with 'what's in my closet' and 'my toys are coming to life.' Now his nightmare would be hip-hop and technology and working 9 to 5 in a cubicle."

Cooper and Ezrin quickly began sketching out songs for the project, which they dubbed Welcome 2 My Nightmare. "Bob's still a tyrant in the studio," says Cooper. "He does it to get the best out of you. He's also the only person on the planet who knows Alice as well as I do. We're very conscious of who Alice is and what his attitudes are. It's fun to write for another character."

They worked to ensure that the album would be rewarding to fans of the original. "We made sure that some of the musical tentacles from the 1975 album got into this album," says Cooper. "If you're a real Alice aficionado it'll send a chill up your spine because it happens at the right spots." The disc hits shelves on September 13th.

Cooper's current live setlist is composed mainly of his hits, but he's thinking of ways to incorporate this new material. "I would love to do both albums back-to-back in a 3,000 seat theater for three weeks at a time," he says. "We could do it in New York, Los Angeles . . . every major city. There's been talk of Broadway. It would be a great Broadway show."

The surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band reunited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. They guest on Welcome 2 My Nightmare and have played occasional live sets over the past few months. "We've always looking for a reason to get back together," he says. "I've been touring for 45 years though. I never stopped. Whereas at 63, 64, 65 – I don't know physically if they could do 100 shows a year. But for specialty shows, I could really see it continuing to happen."

Cooper himself is 63, but he continues to tour at a punishing pace. "I never get tired of it," he says. "I always feel like I've got something to prove. When we get onstage people may be going, 'Well, let's go see Alice. He'll probably be sitting in a chair and he'll do some of his songs acoustically.' And then they come out and it's the highest energy show they've ever seen. We do 28 songs and we don't give the audience a chance to catch their breath. At the end of the show they're going, 'What the hell was that?' I love the fact that we take them totally by surprise."

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Revisiting a nightmare: Alice Cooper ready to launch newest record

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seeing the Beatles first perform in 1964, not to mention being heavily influenced by The Who and The Yardbirds, cemented Alice Cooper’s path on becoming a rock star.

“I was the perfect age to be sitting there, going, ‘I don’t want to work in my dad’s office, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to sell cars, I wanna be The Beatles, I wanna be The Rolling Stones, I wanna do that for a living.’ Then when we got good at that, I said, ‘Now, I wanna be something’s that nobody’s been: the Moriarty of rock,’” said Cooper (born Vincent Furnier), 63, a Detroit native, who lives in Arizona.

Cooper—– who’s best known for his songs “I’m 18,” “Poison,” and “School’s Out” — doesn’t mind being the Darth Vader of the rock and roll set.

“The villain gets all the good lines. Think about it: Does Alice Cooper look like a hero? No. Alice Cooper is definitely the villain type,” he said. “Paul McCartney is the hero, Bono is the hero, Sting is the hero — Alice Cooper is the arch-villain.”

He continued: “Having a name like the ‘Devil’s Blood’ or ‘Satan’s Dog’ or whatever… the idea was everyone’s trying to come up with name that’s a startling name. I said, ‘Let’s go the other way.’ Let’s have a name that sounds like a little old lady who lives down the street and makes cookies for the kids, except maybe there’s like 12 bodies buried in her basement. Let’s make this Alice Cooper character sound really macabre. They’re expecting a blonde folk singer and they get ‘Clockwork Orange.’”

The rock legend has a busy few weeks ahead of him. He will be performing at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston on Saturday. However, he only refers to it by its previous name: Pine Knob.

“I refuse to call it anything else,” he said unapologetically. “Detroit is still the reigning capital for hard rock. When bands go to Detroit, that’s the proof of the pudding right there. You cannot go to Detroit and be wimpy. You’ve got to go to Detroit with your best game because that’s still the best rock and roll audience ever. I don’t say that in Cleveland, I don’t say that in Atlanta. I’m a Detroiter and I’m really proud of that fact. Detroit is the home of real rock.”

On Sept. 13, his 26th album, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” — the sequel to 1975’s multi-platinum “Welcome To My Nightmare” — will be released.

The original album spawned a worldwide tour and a TV special — new ground back then — and established Cooper’s reputation as a godfather of “shock rock” and as a visionary trailblazer whose influence is still felt today.

On his new album, Cooper reunites with longtime producer/collaborator Bob Ezrin, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, and Michael Bruce — all members of the original Alice Cooper band — and guitarist Dick Wagner.

“It was very clever to say ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare.’ I wanted (Ezrin) to listen to some songs I’d written because he’s always been my song guru. We started talking and he told me it was the 35th anniversary of ‘Nightmare.’ We started laughing,” recalled Cooper. “He brings out the worst in me; I bring out the worst in him. When we got together creatively to write something else: What would Alice’s nightmare be 35 years later? The classic ‘Nightmare’ in 1975 was a 7-year-old’s perspective: What is under my bed? What is living in the closet? I’m sure my toys are walking around at night trying to kill me. Those were the classic nightmares.”

He continued: “In this nightmare, Alice would still think disco’s a nightmare, a 9-to-5 job in a cubicle would be a nightmare… We ended up with 17 songs. I was really happy to get back with (Ezrin) again. Once our creative juices started going, we couldn’t stop and there it was: ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’… It does smack of the first album.”

Earlier this year, he and the original Alice Cooper band were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

“When I got in, I wanted to ask, ‘Is there a secret handshake? Do I learn what’s going on in Area 51?’ I figured once I got into the hall of fame, you’d get a book with all that stuff in it,” he said. “You’re in the hall of fame with all your teachers; the guys who vote for you are the guys you learned from. It’s an honor, it really is.”

Asked what gives his music staying power after all these decades, he replied: “I don’t think that music ever goes out of style. Bands from the 1960s are still around: Iggy Pop, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney… Almost every band we started out with in the 1960s is still around. There’s something about that music that will not die, whereas — and I HATE to say this because I’m a fan of young bands — there’s an awful lot of disposable music right now. My pet peeve is that I look at these bands and I keep trying to find exciting, but these bands are going out of their way to be unexciting. I look at a band and ask why are they afraid to be rock stars? They’re missing the boat. The idea of being a rock star is sort of like license to kill. And they’re going, ‘I don’t want to offend anybody.’ There’s a lot of testosterone missing in some of these bands.”

Cooper doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon.

“I’ve never lost the urge, never lost the love of that gigantic that gigantic power chord when you start the show and the audience reacting to every song,” he said. “I can’t even think about Alice Cooper retiring. I’ve got more energy than the audience does. I’m not gonna be the one who gives up — let them give up.”

Visit www.alicecooper.com.

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My mp3 player (sorry I know this is a curse word around here) died recently and I uploaded music to my new one that I had forgotten I had. Listening to "Killer" made me remember how much I like Alice Cooper. I had older siblings while growing up, they introduced me to the likes of Zeppelin, Stones, Dylan, etc. But if memory serves, I introduced Alice Cooper to them.

I did see an Alice concert many years ago, but I think I might try to find one again after reading that he still puts on a good show.

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