Come see my longtime friend (and business manager of 46 years) Shep Gordon and I on October 31st in LA!
An eye-popping peek into entertainment industry from the magnetic force who has worked with an impeccable roster of stars throughout his storied career.
In the course of his legendary career as a manager, agent, and producer, Shep Gordon has worked with, and befriended, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, from Alice Cooper to Bette Davis, Raquel Welch to Groucho Marx, Blondie to Jimi Hendrix, Sylvester Stallone to Salvador Dali, Luther Vandross to Teddy Pendergrass. He is also credited with inventing the “celebrity chef,” and has worked with Nobu Matsuhisa, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Roger Vergé, and many others, including his holiness the Dalai Lama.
In this wonderfully engaging memoir, the charismatic entertainment legend recalls his life, from his humble beginnings as a “shy, no self-esteem, Jewish nebbisher kid with no ambition” in Oceanside, Long Island, to his unexpected rise as one of the most influential and respected personalities in show business, revered for his kindness, charisma—and fondness for a good time.
Gordon shares riotous anecdotes and outrageous accounts of his free-wheeling, globe-trotting experiences with some of the biggest celebrities of the past five decades, including his first meeting with Janice Joplin in 1968, when the raspy singer punched him in the face. Told with incomparable humor and heart, They Call Me Supermensch is a sincere, hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the worlds of music and entertainment from the consummate Hollywood insider.
Using every shock rock stage prompt and cavorting around the Verizon stage like a man half his age, legendary rocker Alice Cooper put on a vulgar display of power Wednesday night that spoke to the cathartic nature of heavy metal.
At 68, Cooper is in better health than a vast majority of his audience. Looking fit and vigorous, Cooper led his youthful backing band through his nightmarish lengthy back catalog. Beginning with “The Black Widow” (from 1975′s Welcome to My Nightmare), Cooper quickly transitioned into the well-worn riffing of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels.”
Cooper’s three guitarists embraced songs from four decades as if they had just learned them. Songs such as “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Long Way to Go,” and “Is It My Body” demonstrated just how much Cooper had influenced the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Marilyn Manson. Cooper’s brand of rock may have been shocking, but it was never unintelligent. Throughout the 70′s and into the early 80′s, Cooper deftly struck a vibe with adolescent males. Judging by the fist-pumping 40-, 50- and 60-year-old fans in attendance Wednesday evening, Cooper still maintains such a connection.
Always a snappy dresser, Cooper roamed the stage like a carnival barker in front of a high end tailor shop. He tossed out canes and brought out his signature anaconda and the crowd ate up every well-rehearsed move. He has always been an entertainer, even though his songs can stand on their own.
Midway through the show, Cooper and crew played deep cuts such as “Halo of Flies” and “Ballad of Dwight Fry,” songs that are as complex as they are powerful. With his cane in hand and his back to the audience, Cooper was the conductor of some bizarre, heavy metal symphony. By the time he got around to the expected finale of “I’m 18″ and “School’s Out,” Cooper had the audience in the palm of his leather-clad hands.
This was much more than a man simply coasting on his legacy. Sure, there were silly, remotely sexist ditties like “Woman of Mass Distraction,” but for the most part, Cooper and his band keep things tight and tantalizing. The tributes to David Bowie (“Suffragette City”) and Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister (“Ace of Spades”) were thoughtful and intense.
Encoring with “Elected” while poking fun at both major candidates, Cooper showed that his brand of rock could still be shocking, funny and immensely entertaining. Wednesday night’s performance was everything a great rock and roll concert should be.
By Darryl Smyers, Special Contributor
READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE – GUIDELIVE.COM
by: CLARE WELSH
An icon of Goth opulence, Alice Cooper looked right at home in the Saenger, a theater whose chandeliers, filigree and lush curtains evoke the vampiric New Orleans of Anne Rice novels. That said, even the historic venue couldn’t quite contain Cooper’s shock rock. Half way through the show, his pyrotechnics set off the silent fire alarms, strobe lights that blended seamlessly into his abrasive live act.
Glam rock without theatrics is just rock. When I hear power chords shredded by a band with three guitars—and a double-guitar, and a bass, all keeping time to an eight-cymbal drum set–I want the show to match the music. I want ageless, fluffy hair. I want bedazzled vests. I want fog and fire. Though not strictly necessary, bubbles are appreciated, as are samurai swords, back-up dancers, puppets and props that look peeled from a sheet of flash tattoos: A silver dagger, a snake, a gas mask, a guillotine, a hundred-dollar bill. Pulling from a pink toy box painted with harlequins, Alice Cooper delivered all of these, and more.
Wearing his signature half-clown-half-corpse make-up, the front man acted as ringmaster to a cabinet of curiosities. Drama and satire were performed with sweeping, Shakespearean gestures. In Krewe du Vieux fashion, he offered a vaudeville parody of the 2016 election. Actors in Trump and Hillary masks wrestled for attention. Their antics were scored by Cooper’s encore of “Elected”, a song in which he pitches his own candidacy to the audience.
“Why Not Me?” he asked, pausing operatically.
It’s possible that Cooper was made for these mad times. For an artist whose career spans five decades, he’s maintained a well-oiled tour schedule. On average, he performs five days a week (for comparison, his contemporaries Guns N’ Roses perform three days a week; Aerosmith perform two). At first listen, his sound is squarely in the vein of biker rock, archetypal anthems for the 18 and angry—or the middle-age in crisis. It’s his live efforts that differentiate his influences. During the show, he presented tombstones emblazoned with the names of three musicians: Keith Moon of The Who, Lemmy Kilmister of Möterhead and David Bowie. Cooper’s respective covers of “Pinball Wizard”, “Ace of Spades” and “Suffragette City” revealed the English rock, metal, and glam spell that poofed the voodoo vocalist into being—in a rain of sparks and guitar picks, of course.
In an age when getting recorded music is a faster, easier process than getting McDonalds, Alice Cooper makes a good case for the live experience. If you’d like to support his campaign, tour shirts printed with the phrase “Make America Sick Again” can be purchased for $45. It’s a steep price, but at least you know where your money’s going. Given his expertise behind a microphone—as well as his knowledge of American history, presented eloquently during his 1992 cameo in Wayne’s World–I’d say he has a chance.
Don’t forget to vote.
All photos by Jeffrey Dupuis.