You may know him from Wayne’s World, from your last day of school, or you may even know him from your 18th birthday, but you should know him best as the Architect of Shock Rock! Alice Cooper is coming back to Louisville this summer and it’s going to be one to remember!
Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood and boa constrictors. He continues to tour regularly, performing shows worldwide with the dark and horror-themed theatrics that he’s best known for.
With a schedule that includes six months each year on the road, Alice Cooper brings his own brand of rock psycho-drama to fans both old and new, enjoying it as much as the audience does. Known as the architect of shock-rock, Cooper (in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist) 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 CNN can present real life shocking images.
Cooper was born in Detroit, Michigan, and moved to Phoenix with his family. The Alice Cooper band formed while they were all in high school in Phoenix, and was discovered in 1969 by Frank Zappa in Los Angeles, where he signed them to his record label. Their collaboration with young record producer, Bob Ezrin, led to the break-through third album, “Love It to Death” which hit the charts in 1971, followed by “Killer,” “School’s Out,” ”BillionDollar Babies,” and, “Muscle of Love.” Each new album release was accompanied by a bigger and more elaborate touring stage show. 1974 saw the release of a, “Greatest Hits,” album, and then Cooper, in 1975, released his first solo album, “Welcome to My Nightmare,” in 1975, accompanied by the legendary ground-breaking theatrical, Welcome to My Nightmare concert tour.
Associated with that album and tour was the ground-breaking network TV special, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare. Other film and television appearances include, The Muppet Show, Mae West’s last film, Sextette, Roadie, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, and Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow Show. The original band also made an appearance in the movie, Diary of a Mad Housewife in 1979, filmed the full-length feature film, Good To See You Again Alice Cooper, and Alice appeared in a 1972 episode of The Snoop Sisters.
Alice’s solo career skyrocketed in the late 1970’s, with a succession of hit singles, including, “You & Me,” and classic albums, including, “Lace And Whiskey” and, “From The Inside,” and bigger and even more elaborate concert tours.
In the ‘80’s Cooper explored different sounds, highlighted by the new wavish album, “Flush The Fashion,” the heavy metal, “Constrictor,” and, “Raise Your Fist And Yell,” and then 1989’s melodic hard rock album, “Trash,” which featured the massive hit single “Poison,” and became his biggest selling album and single worldwide. During this period, Alice also appeared in the horror films, Monster Dog and John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, and recorded songs for the soundtracks to Roadie, Class of 1984, Friday the 13 Part VI: Jason Lives and Wes Craven’s Shocker.
Cooper’s most memorable movie appearance was as himself in, Wayne’s World in 1991. He also played (fittingly) Freddy Krueger’s wicked step-father in,Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, and appeared on Gene Wilder’s TV series, Something Wilder as well as on That ‘70’s Show. The 90’s also saw the release of the albums, “Hey Stoopid,” “The Last Temptation,” and “Fistful of Alice,” a live album.
1999 saw the release of the definitive historical 4 CD box set, “The Life & Crimes of Alice Cooper,” from Rhino/Warners.
In the new millennium, Cooper has been very productive and busy, writing, recording and releasing the albums, “Brutal Planet,” “Dragon Town,” “The Eyes of Alice Cooper,” “Dirty Diamonds,” “Along Came a Spider,” and 2011’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare,” plus “Old School 1964-1974,” a box set celebrating the original band.
Alice has been touring consistently, year in and year out, averaging over 80 concerts annually, both within the USA and internationally, with his band which features the three guitar attack of guitarists, Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss, and Tommy Henriksen, plus the rhythm section of drummer, Glen Sobel, and longtime bassist, Chuck Garric.
He also wrote and published a memoir, “Golf Monster,” in 2007, which tracked his life from childhood to rock stardom, and his journey from alcoholic to golf addict, and was featured in the Tim Burton film, “Dark Shadows” in 2012.
Alice’s 2011 album, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare,” featured a return to his partnership with longtime collaborator, producer Bob Ezrin, as well as contributions from former original Alice Cooper bandmates, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Brucem and a return to the themes of the iconic 1975, “Welcome To My Nightmare” album.
Alice, Dennis, Neal, Michael, and the late Glen Buxton (posthumously) were inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in March, 2011.
2014 saw the release of “Super Duper Alice Cooper,” a documentary detailing the arc of Alice’s rollercoaster ride in the world of rock superstardom. Directed and produced by the same team from Banger Films that delivered the award-winning, Iron Maiden and Rush documentaries, it premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, and has since been released on Blu-Ray and DVD by Eagle Rock Entertainment.
With his influence on rock & roll long since acknowledged, there is little that Alice Cooper hasn’t achieved in his remarkable career, including platinum albums, sold-out tours and any number of honors and career achievement awards.
As he heads back out on the concert trail each year, Cooper insists he’s still motivated tocontinue touring and recording albums, as well as making time for such side projects as, Cooper’stown (his Phoenix-based restaurant/sports bar) and his “Nights With Alice Cooper” nightly radio show, syndicated domestically and worldwide on over 100 stations.
Tickets start at $59.50 in advance. Showtime is 8 p.m. – Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. Service charges not included on ticket prices. Tickets subject to price increases day of show. Tickets may be purchased at www.mercuryballroom.com or at The Louisville Palace Box Office, 625 South Fourth Street. For VIP packages, please contact Mindy Goff at [email protected] or 502-883-5804.