Alice Cooper and Steve Hunter Remember Dick Wagner
The following is from Alice Cooper on the passing of Dick Wagner earlier today:
"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 that 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."
Steve Hunter also posted the following earlier today:
"Sad news today...my old compadre Dick Wagner passed away this morning after a hard fought battle with a very bad lung infection. I know there are lots of you out there who know about the two of us and our history together. From 1973 until about 1978 Dick and I were lucky enough to play on some pretty cool records and some amazing stages all over the world with some incredible artists. We had a thing when we played together like none other I’ve experienced. It might be because, for the most part, I think we were opposites. But I think that’s what helped us play so well together. We hardly ever had to work anything out...we just did it and it was always right. It was truly a phenomenon. There was always mutual respect. After 1978 we went our separate ways but always stayed in loose touch. And we tried many times through the years to put something together as the Hunter/Wagner team again, but it just never seemed to work. We were at our best as a team I think, when we were focusing on the material of artists like Lou Reed and Alice Cooper. That always seemed to be when the magic happened. Dick has written and co written some real Rock N Roll classics that will live on, as well as his playing. The stuff we did together back in the 70s was really and truly magical. With much love and respect, Rest In Peace my dear old Compadre"
"It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow I have to let you know that Dick Wagner has left this world. Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life. His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate. Dick was prolific not only in the tangible realm of what we can see and hear but in the boundless energy of his spirit, which will never die. He was a fighter, but in the end his body couldn’t keep up with his spirit, and so he lays to rest. Dick said in 2013, “Love is in the air. Breathe deep.” Take Dick’s advice into your own hearts, and notice all of the beauty in the world, even when it seems cruel and unfair."
I'm sure I speak for everyone here in sending Dick's family and friends our deepest condolences. I will post more details when they are made public. The world has lost a legend today but his music will live on forever.
Good Morning Arizona has a short video about the opening of the Alice Cooper's Attic and Thrift Store, a charity shop in aid of 'The Rock' and which features some of Alice's personal and tour items which opens tomorrow at 13627 N. 32nd Street on the southeast corner of 32nd Street and Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.
I've not been posting every review that has shown up from the current Motley Crue/Alice Cooper tour, I think most people are probbaly aware that they are nearly all reporting the same thing, but here are a couple of recent ones that go into a little more detail. Check out Phoenix New Times, Metal Assault, Oregon Live,
In a recent Chicago New-Times interview Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry mentions that he was recently in the studio with Alice, Johnny Depp and ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney for an undesclosed project. It's easy to jump to the conculsion that this is for the forthcoming Alice Cooper 'Hollywood Vampires' cover project (We already know Depp is on it, and Perry wouldn`t be a great surprise) there is no actual suggestion that is what the recording is for. It's refered as a "top secret project" and the forthcoming covers album is hardly a secret. We'll just have to wait and see.
Lastly a quick reminder that the awesome Black Star Riders (previosuly Thin Lizzy), featuring Damon Johnson and Jimmy Degrasso from previous Alice Cooper bands along with Lizzy legend Scott Gorham, Ricky Warwick and Robbie Crane are currently out on the road in Europe. I was lucky enough to see them last night and they are tearing it up with a combination of excellent new original material and Lizzy classics. Don't miss the chance to catch them if you can as they finish up their trip through Europe including a few more UK dates and the Wacken festival in Germany next month.
Alice Cooper 'surprised' a packed house at Alice Cooperstown after the Phoenix show wth Motley Crue this weekend by taking to the small stage with the entire band during the official after-party presented by radio station 100.7 KSLX. AC.com have some photos to check out. Pete Cummings Band performed rock 'n' roll classics while Alice and his band mingled and ate at the resturant. Then around 11:30 Alice’s band took over the stage and on stepped Alice himself for the surprise performance which included hits and covers from the current live show and a guest appearance by Dash Cooper for 'Under My Wheels' and 'Eighteen'.
The Telegraph has an interview with Shep Gordon about 'Supermensch' and you can also hear Shep on BBC London (about 70 mins into the show).
Dick Wagner was hospitalized on July 8th after he complained of breathing problems. He has since undergone surgery to have artery cleaned up and has gained 30 percent better blood flow, but was still suffering from a severe lung infection after the operation. He remains under observation.
There's a short interview with Chuck Garric about the new J Backlund 'School's Out' Bass guitar which Chuck is using on tour this year.
Shep Gordon has been talking to the BBC about 'Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon', He was on BBC Wales (starts about 90 minutes in) and the BBC World Service (starts about 35 minutes in).
Alice is featured on a new 'In The Studio' radio show which you can hear online here.
Blue Coupe have three shows coming up. They are:
July 30th - Frankies Ineer-City, Toledo, OH
July 31st - Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
August 2nd - Reggies Music Joint, Chicago, IL
Bleeding Cool have images from issue 2 of the new Dynamite Comics 'Alice Cooper' comic as well as an interview with the writer while Westfield Comics has interior art images and more words from Joe Harris.
Steve Hunter is excited to launch this interactive service that enables people to benefit from his 45 years experience as a Session Musician, Touring Musician, Player, Composer and Producer.
For anyone familiar with classics such as Solsbury Hill (Gabriel), Train Kept A Rolling (Aerosmith), Intro To Sweet Jane (Reed) or his Alice Cooper work this is a chance to get answers from the man himself.
If you are a guitar player or a music fan, a teacher or someone looking for a unique gift to give a loved one. Now comes the opportunity to spend half an hour talking music, guitars, gear or life on the road with a musician who has been there and done it at the highest level.
Steve will talk to you on Skype or by telephone. Give you tips on tunings, guitars, amps or pedals. He will share his thoughts on phrasing, soloing and tone or recording and production. If you are writing a book about any of the iconic artists that Steve has worked with and would like his unique perspective, now is your chance.
More information can be found on the ‘One On One’ tab on Steve’s website www.stevehunter.com
Tommy Henriksen will be out and about during the current US tour with Motley Crue to meet fans at Ryan Roxie's pre-show 'Rock n Roll Parking Lot' events, and he'll have advance copies of his new solo album, "TOMMY TOMMY TOMMY" with him. The album is due to be released on the K-tel Switzerland label in August, and features a guest appearance by Steve Hunter. It includes the following tracks: We Let It Rock, Teenage Kicks Part 2, Give 'Em Hell, Big Guns Big Fun, Ima Alien, You're Cannonball, Boys Just Wanna Have Sex, 21st Century Dopes, All My Heroes and Mr Finn.
Blue Coupe release a new single from their excellent 'Million Miles More' album. It's 'Hallow's Grave' which features someone called Alice Cooper on guest vocals,.and you can get it now at iTunes.
There have been a few press reports of Alice's induction into the White Castle 'Cravers Hall Of Fame yesterday. Apparently Alice performed 'No More Mr Nice Guy' with local band 'Misfit Toys' and told stories.
Alice will be at White Castle headquarters in Columbus on Monday at 4.30pm to be inducted into the 'Cravers Hall of Fame' which honors the US fast food franchise's most loyal customers.
The Alice Cooper/Motley Crue tour is now underway with the first show causing some talk after Crue had several problems during their set including Tommy Lee breaking his bass drum, causing a 10 minute delay to their set, and suggestions they seem under rehearsed! Alice Cooper had no such problems during a 50 minute greatest hits minute set which went down well.
Fox17 have a new interview with Nita Strauss talking about the new tour and playing with Alice Cooper.
Comic Shop News, a free leaflet given out at some comic specialty stores, have a feature on the forthcoming Alice Cooper comic book including words from Alice and the creators.