REVIEW – Alice Cooper thrills with ageless theatricality at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

SOURCE – Soundcheck @ Tampa Bay Times

AUTHOR – Jay Cradling

Alice Cooper performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Aug. 13, 2016.

Jay CridlinAlice Cooper performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Aug. 13, 2016. Photo by Jay Cridlin

The fine art of subtlety has never really suited Alice Cooper.

So if you were expecting him to close his sold-out concert Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall with anything other than an undead Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump making out at center stage, his band shredding away on his 1972 hit Elected, well, you just don’t know Alice.

“No real candidates were hurt during this production,” Cooper assured the screaming masses. “Don’t forget to vote.”

It was a gleeful, guileless display of rock theatricality, and may the devil love Cooper more for it. At 68 – the same age as Clinton – the original shock rocker remains a living, screaming doodle in a shop-class textbook, his voice and face frozen in the sneer your mama warned you not to make.

Holding court on a stage packed with haunted-house bric-a-brac and props from a monster-movie yard sale, Cooper commanded the house with his unshakable commitment to character. And nearly 50 years after “Alice Cooper” was born, what a character he remains.

Cooper is less likely these days to shock his fans than he is to leave ‘em laughing – his stage show has a lot in common with “Weird Al” Yankovic’s, and that’s by no means an insult – and it seems he’ll forever have an audience willing to it lap it off his leathers.

Like a pop star a third his age, Cooper whirled through costumes and set pieces all night, starting in a debonair cape and Beetlejuice suit for opener The Black Widow and shifting to a bloody surgeon’s coat for Feed My Frankenstein (which ended with a 12-foot monster storming the stage). He sang wrapped in a boa constrictor on Is It My Body and a straitjacket on Ballad of Dwight Fry, shook a saber lined with cash on Billion Dollar Babiesand danced with a floppy female corpse doll on Cold Ethyl. He was teased by a Harley Quinnefied ballerina on Only Women Bleed and beheaded with a guillotine on I Love the Dead.

These may be old tricks, relics from his ‘70s-lunchbox heyday, but he couldn’t pull them off if he wasn’t still so engaged in every moment, refusing to break character or even eye contact with fans. The costumes, the puppetry, the balloons and confetti and monster masks – it all may be a distraction, but there’s still no denying the dirty snake-rock thrills of Public Animal #9Is It My Body or Poison. Cooper still sounded like the embodiment of adolescent angst when he bellowed I’m Eighteen, of anarchic rebellion when he roared School’s Out.

What really sells the show is the total commitment of his band. Rock-star styled within an inch of their lives, guitarists Nita StraussRyan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen; bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glenn Sobel were as animated and dedicated as Mr. Cooper himself, delivering a nonstop series of tsunami-force riffs and unheavenly backing vocals. Halo of Flies gave the night its moment of Trans-Siberian Orchestral grandiosity, with a conductor-like Cooper twirling a baton to twirl out squealing prog-rock solos from his string section. Strauss got a few shining moments in the spotlight, particularly on Woman of Mass Distraction, as she slithered around Cooper like a snake while shredding out solos in a pummeling finale.

While there was no sign of Johnny Depp or Joe Perry, the audience did get a taste of Cooper’s Hollywood Vampires side project later on, with a mini-set of covers honoring his late friends and peers – Keith Moon (the Who’s Pinball Wizard), Jimi Hendrix (Fire), David Bowie (Sufragette City) and, in a most rip-roaring fashion, Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister (Ace of Spades).

There was even a bit of theatricality to this Vampires mini-set, which featured cartoonish tombstone props and narration (“You’re living on borrowed time, Alice. So what are you going to do, raise the dead?”).

But the crowd wouldn’t have it any other way. Give Cooper credit for leaning into the laughs instead of trying to shock us all again. If he actually went out there with anything other than Halloween hokey-pokey, it would reek of desperation and a total lack of self-awareness. It would kill the illusion of Alice Cooper, and nobody wants that.

So it’s no surprise that Cooper never endorsed Zombie Trump or Zombie Clinton when he ended the night with Elected. He instead wore a shirt promoting himself for president in 2016, running on the slogan, “Make America Sick Again.”

“Why not me?” he roared to the confetti-covered masses.

Yeah, why not Alice Cooper, the clown prince of darkness? As a nation in need of some lightness, we really could do a lot worse.

– Jay Cridlin








July 25, 2016 – Los Angeles, CAAlice Cooper is tired of the rhetoric – the mudslinging – the media frenzy.  Keeping his snake in his cage and the guillotine in storage, he is putting people before career.  Alice Cooper wants to be “Elected.

His classic 1972 hit is once again an anthem for modern times and when it all boils down to it – a long flowing mane of (real) hair beats Bernie/The Donald/Hillary styles hands down.   And he’s released a new single of “Elected” for this campaign, available here at iTunes, Spotify and other online sites

But it’s not all about debonair good looks and long flowing locks — Alice Cooper has a platform that every voter can get behind. He is asking his fellow Americans, and all those around the world who are disillusioned with their leaders, to join “The Wild Party.”

Alice Cooper has spent countless nights on the road; many troubled hours worrying about the course of our great nations. Not afraid of controversy or springing into action, Alice Cooper plans to channel every ounce of energy (including his Alice Cooper and Hollywood Vampire campaign appearances/concerts (click on the links for his schedule), his syndicated radio show “Nights With Alice Cooper,” and his daily round of golf, of course) towards solving the world’s problems. He is tackling the everyday concerns discussed among his fellow woman and man – the ordinary, decent hard working (and rocking) people he meets and entertains every day while performing nearly 100 concerts a year around the world.

So, if you’re looking for a candidate with a platform that matters, vote Alice Cooper, the man with the plan to tackle the hot button, contentious and provocative issues on the minds of the real America and Britain:

  • Getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC
  • A snake in every pot
  • No more pencils, no more books
  • Adding Lemmy to Mt Rushmore
  • Rename Big Ben “Big Lemmy”
  • Groucho Marx on the $50 bill
  • Peter Sellers on the £20 note
  • Cupholders required for every airplane seat
  • Ban on talking during movies in movie theatres
  • Ban on taking selfies, except on a designated National Selfie Day

These “troubled times” call for a “troubled mind” indeed.  These “troubled times” call for Alice Cooper.

Said Alice, “Why NOT me? I have t shirts to sell.” Yes, there’s campaign merchandise available here!

More about Alice Cooper, the man, the myth, the legend:

Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical brand of hard rock drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock. With his influence on rock & roll long since acknowledged, his place in rock history and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame secure, and his multiple gold & platinum albums, sold-out tours plus countless honors and career achievement awards, there is little that Alice Cooper hasn’t achieved in his remarkable career.

Cooper has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo, continuing to surprise fans and exude danger at every turn, like a great horror movie, even in an era where 24 hour cable news can present real life shocking images.   


NEW SHOW ANNOUNCEMENTS! Alice will be playing the following dates as part of his Spend The Night With Alice Cooper Tour!

spend copy

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Waukegan, IL
Venue: Genesee Theatre
Onsale info: Friday at 10 am CST
Ticket Link:
VIP Packages available

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Akron, OH
Venue: Akron Civic Theatre
Onsale info: Friday at 10 am EST
Ticket Link:
VIP Packages available

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
Albany, NY
Venue: Palace Theatre
Onsale info: Friday at 10 am EST
Ticket Link:
VIP Packages available

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
Reading, PA
Venue: Reading Eagle Theatre
Onsale info: Friday at 10 am EST
Ticket Link:
VIP Packages available


Joe Perry is in stable condition after having to leave the stage last night during the Hollywood Vampire’s Coney Island performance. Alice Cooper tweeted the following messages on Twitter and Instagram in the hours after the performance indicating that his fellow Vampire was recovering in stable condition with family, and that the Vampires would continue their tour of the US:

@JoePerryOfficial is stable and resting. His brother Vampires and fans wish him a speedy recovery. #joeperry

A photo posted by Alice Cooper (@realalicecooper) on



Alice Cooper fan and accomplished business man Anthony Iannarino shares his experience with the Alice Cooper VIP Experience below.  Read his original post here –

How to Treat Other People So They Know They Matter

“A few months ago, I took my son to see Alice Cooper. While I was buying those tickets, I noticed an option for a VIP experience, including a meet and greet with Alice himself. Being a fan of his music since I was 13 years old, I splurged and bought the tickets.

Normally, a meet and greet means you get your picture taken, an autograph, and then you’re quickly rushed out of the room so the “star” can get on with their life. This wasn’t the case with Alice.

When we showed up, we were ushered to the front of the stage to watch the band do their sound check. Then we toured the stage and got pictures with some of The Coop’s props. We were told to be at the backstage door as soon as the concert ended, and we were.

Twelve of us were ushered into a room with chairs lining three of the walls, and on the fourth wall was a table and two chairs for Alice. It took a while for him to show up, because he had to take a shower and, oddly enough, eat White Castle. When he entered the room he bragged about being in the White Castle Hall of Fame; they sent him 200 hamburgers and milkshakes for his crew.

And here is where the story gets interesting. The agreement says you get your picture taken with Alice and up to three items autographed. But he provided so much more than that, including a lesson in leadership and gratitude.

One young woman sat next to Alice and opened a bag. In this bag she had three small ceramic dolls. They probably didn’t cost more than $10 each. The ceramic dolls were designed so that the person buying them could paint them however they wanted. She painted them to look like Alice Cooper, his wife, and his personal assistant.

Alice was thrilled. He acknowledged her gift, and asked his assistants to come over and look at the wonderful artwork this young lady did. Then he made the photographer take pictures with him, her, and the small dolls. The young woman who painted the ceramic statues was beaming with joy. Clearly, it was the greatest experience of her life.

Another woman asked Alice to draw a small devil on a piece of paper. He told her that he didn’t know how to draw a devil but he knew how to draw his profile. She said that would be wonderful, and he sketched out his profile with a sharpie. She then told him that she was going to have the profile and his signature tattooed on her leg. Alice, having no tattoos, asked to see all of her artwork. He took a sincere interest in each of her tattoos and asked her questions about each piece. There was no doubt in her mind that she was the most important person in the room at that moment.

One man happened to catch a cane that Cooper threw into the audience at a concert many, many years ago. He brought the prop with him to ask Alice to sign it. Alice said, “I have a special gray marker just so I can sign something like this.” As he was signing the cane, the man asked him why there was black electrical tape all over the cane, suggesting it must be for the grip. Alice told him that it wasn’t for the grip, but for the balance. Then he made the gentleman stand up and he taught him to spin the cane just like he does on stage during his show. It’s impossible to describe the joy this man felt and being coached by Alice Cooper, one of his heroes.

We were backstage with Mr. Cooper for 35 minutes. He was in no hurry to leave. He gave each person’s his undivided attention and focus, making them feel as if they were the most important person on earth. He was clearly grateful for their devotion, and as gracious as I’ve ever seen from any human being.

It was a lesson in leadership. It was a lesson in how you treat other people, regardless of their station in life. It was a lesson in how important it is to give another human being your full attention and focus. I was impressed, and I was schooled by a master.

  • When you are in a room with another person who needs your attention, do you give them your full focus? Or, does the small screen of infinite distractions make the experience less than it should be.
  • Are you grateful for the relationships that you have and are you as gracious as you should be?”

REVIEW: Hollywood Vampires Raise the Dead in Atlantic City


Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry of the Hollywood Vampires (Maria Ives/

Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry of the Hollywood Vampires (Maria Ives/

By Brian Ives

Twenty five years ago this week, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their album, Into the Great Wide Open. The video for the album’s title track starred Johnny Depp as “Eddie,” a hopeful musician who moved to L.A. to become a rock star.

The story bears just a few similarities to Depp’s: he, too, moved to L.A. to pursue his musical dreams. A role in a little show called 21 Jump Street and then in the first Nightmare on Elm Street film took him on a somewhat different career path than “Eddie’s.”

It’s a quarter of a century later, and he’s just kicked off a tour as a member of the Hollywood Vampires, alongside Alice Cooper and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, two guys he most likely grew up worshiping; last night (July 3), their tour came to Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Borgata.

Ya done good kid!

So, there’s a lot of star power in the Vampires – the touring band also includes drummer Matt Sorum (formerly of Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver and the Cult), and Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo (replacing Duff McKagan, now out on tour with GNR). The group is rounded out by guitarist Tommy Henriksen (from Alice Cooper’s band) and keyboardist/guitarist Bruce Witkin, who was Depp’s bandmate, pre-movie stardom, in a band called the Kids. On paper, it sounds amazing. But how good are they as a live band? And is Depp really a necessary addition to a band that’s already packed with stars (and guitar players)?

Well, first off, Depp’s guitar playing isn’t just a movie star hobby. Joe Perry has told me in interviews how great Depp is, and Perry isn’t really prone to hyperbole. But it’s one thing to hear about it, it’s another to actually see the guy play, and he is a great player, deserving of his spot in the band. Had he never gone to that Jump Street audition, he surely would have been able to be a musician for life (although he may not have been able to buy an island with his earnings). Also – to his credit – he never calls attention to himself, he lets his playing melt faces. To put it another way, he’s the Brad Whitford of this guitar team.