RIP Dick Wagner, long time Alice Cooper friend, guitarist and collaborator

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Alice and Dick Wagner backstage, Detroit 7/18/2012
Photo by Kyler Clark

Today the world of Rock N Roll lost one of it’s greatest heros. Guitarist Dick Wagner, Alice’s collaborator and friend left this world this morning.

Alice still speaks fondly about writing with Dick, not just the hits but also “Might As Well Be On Mars” which Alice considers to be one of his favorite songs.  Together with guitarist Steve Hunter, Dick had a very strong influence on the sound of Alice’s early solo career. The pair also played in Lou Reed’s legendary “Rock N Roll Animal” band.

Dick had a hand in writing some memorable and important pieces in Alice’s career including “Welcome To My Nightmare”, “Only Women Bleed”, “Department of Youth”, “I Never Cry”, “Go To Hell”, “You And Me”, “It’s Hot Tonight”, “How You Gonna See Me Now” and “From The Inside”.

Prior to recording, writing, and touring with Alice, Dick had a successful Michigan-based rock band called The Frost. He did his first solo album, “Richard Wagner,” with Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin.

Dick had been keeping busy recording, producing and writing.  He also wrote an autobiography titled “Not Only Women Bleed”, to which Alice Cooper wrote a foreward for.  The book is  available at notonlywomenbleed.com.

Below is a statement from Alice on the passing of his friend Dick Wagner:

“Even though we know it’s inevitable, we never expect to suddenly lose close friends and collaborators. Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable. His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner. A lot of my radio success in my solo career had to do with my relationship with Dick Wagner. Not just on stage, but in the studio and writing. Some of my biggest singles were ballads what I wrote with Dick Wagner. Most of “Welcome To My Nightmare” was written with Dick. There was just a magic in the way we wrote together. He was always able to find exactly the right chord to match perfectly with what I was doing. I think that we always think our friends will be around as long as we are, so to hear of Dick’s passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, Rock N Roll and to his family.”

Alice Cooper Releases More Dynamite Comic #1 Details Via Twitter

This morning Alice tweeted a link to more details on the upcoming Dynamite Comic Alice Cooper #1!  Check out the tweet from @realalicecooper below:

Alice Cooper Brings Nightmare Home to Phoenix, Party to Cooperstown

Alice Cooper played to a sold out crowd at Ak-Chin Pavilion in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ Saturday night.  The rare Phoenix performance marked the first time that Alice has actually performed a full show in the city in a number of years.  Alice brought the house down with an abbreviated 55 Minute set as special guest on Motley Crue’s final tour.  The show was packed with the theatrical showmanship that Alice Cooper is world famous for including goons, killing machines, monsters and of course the slithering snake.

But that wasn’t all Alice had up his sleeve on Saturday night.  Alice took his band and crew down to Alice Cooperstown in downtown Phoenix for an official after-party presented by his host station in Phoenix 100.7 KSLX.  The party was in full swing by 10:30 with about 300 people out on the patio listening to KSLX’s own Pete Cummings Band perform rock n roll classics while Alice and his band mingled and ate.  Then around 11:30 Alice’s band suddenly took over the stage and on stepped Alice Cooper himself for a surprise performance.

Alice and the band played some of his own classics as well as some covers from the “Raise The Dead” portion of the Alice’s show of the same name, where Alice pays tribute to his fallen friends Jimmy Hendrix, John Lennon, Keith Moon and Jim Morrison.  Included in this set were Break On Through, My Revolution, Foxy Lady, Under My Wheels, Eighteen and My Generation and School’s Out.  Alice was joined by his son Dash on the songs Under My Wheels and Eighteen.

It was a great night for Alice fans and a great night to be at Alice Cooperstown!

Alice Cooper Concert Review | Dallas, TX

Alice Cooper performs at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas July 16, 2014. (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News)

Photo By Nathan Hunsinger

Excerpt from dallasnews.com
By  THOR CHRISTENSEN
Read Full Review Here

Alice Cooper… never posed as a sex symbol or took himself as seriously as the Crue. He’s always been a horror film actor posing as a rock star, wrapped in a magnificent shroud of hooks and power chords.

Still in fine voice at age 66, Cooper commanded the stage with ghoulish glee Wednesday, wielding his bloody crutch like a bayonet and stroking a live boa constrictor wrapped around his neck in “Welcome to My Nightmare.” All the other trademark props were there, too – the straitjacket, the gurney, the guillotine that chopped off his head and the henchman that threw Cooper’s decapitated gourd to the ground.

But Cooper also had timeless music to back up his theatrics, from the propulsive boogie of “Under My Wheels” to the fist-pumping adolescent blues of “I’m Eighteen.” Years from now, when nobody can remember if the Crue sang “Shout at the Devil” or “Runnin’ with The Devil,” a whole new generation of kids will be singing along to Cooper’s triumphant show-closer, “School’s Out.”

REVIEW – Wichita, KS

EXCERPT SOURCE:
Kansas.com – Wichita Eagle
By Denise Neil

1970s rock icon Alice Cooper opens the show for Motley Crue at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday night.

Just as entertaining as Motley Crue, though, was opening act Alice Cooper.

The 66-year-old singer put on an hourlong set of rock-theater that included multiple costume changes, a giant dancing Frankenstein and a guillotine used to “behead” the singer onstage. (He returned, head attached, for the next song.)

He took the stage in a black-and-red-striped tuxedo with tails, black makeup circling his eyes, and delivered “I’m Eighteen,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Welcome to My Nightmare” and “Feed My Frankenstein.”

He wore a boa constrictor, a straitjacket and a bloody medical coat. The stage was decorated with scary clown faces and a stroller full of baby dolls without their bodies. The set was frightening, fascinating and funny all at once.

Cooper, who finished his set by filling the stage with bubbles and performing “School’s Out,” had an impressive band with three guitarists, including female guitarist Nita Strauss, who just joined Cooper’s band and is hard not to watch.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/07/12/3551082/motley-crue-it-was-loud-there.html#storylink=cpy

 

REVIEW – Columbus, OH

The following is an review excerpt from the Columbus, OH show with Motley Crue and Alice Cooper!

Source:
ultimateclassicrock.com

As for Alice Cooper?  Well, what’s to say? The main is a genius, a legend and a hero who could easily coast on his laurels — but through charisma and hard work instead remains one of the most vital and exciting stage performers around. His opening set was absolutely incredible. The band was awesome, his voice was marvelous and his stage presence simply perfect. For each song he’d choose one simple prop — a cane, a sword filled with dollar bills, a straightjacket — and use it to further flesh out what’s already one of the most impressive and underrated collection of anthems in rock history.

Every wag of his finger, every step, every vocal inflection had a purpose and accomplished that purpose exactly as designed — showcasing his three guitar players, pointing out the serious social commentary underneath the ghoulish humor of his lyrics, or accentuating a drum fill. I know this sounds like a fanboy writing his first concert review (or like Alice kidnapped my child), but anybody who was there can tell you that’s exactly how well this all went down. You’d be a fool to miss out on any chance you get to see Alice Cooper live — who knows, one of these days even he may say goodbye!

Read More:
Explosions, Snakes, Rollercoasters, Beheadings: Yup, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper Came to Town | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/motley-crue-alice-cooper-2014-concert-review/?trackback=tsmclip