London Album Launch

Very Big ChairLast night was the official 'Paranormal' album launch which took place at the 'hidden masonic lodge' in the  Andaz Hotel, London, which was a cool setting for the event, and has an interesting back story. The very plush hotel is built on the site of the old Bedlam hospital for the insane and was only discovered relatively recently during construction work, having been forgotten about for years. You can read a little history and see some pics here to give you an idea. Chairs were arranged in the center of the room with press folders for everyone including a welcome letter, a sheet of European tour dates, and a signed photo of the album cover.
[Warning: Possible spoilers below]

The evening began with a brief intro from our hosts from earMusic before they proceeded to play selected tracks from the forthcoming 'Paranormal' record. The sound system wasn't great to be honest, and while good enough to get a feel for some of the songs it wouldn't really be fair to completely judge things from just this single playback. Also bare in mind these are my personal first impressions and not meant to be a proper review of the record.
They began with the title track, 'Paranormal', which brings to mind early 'The Who'. It sounded a little disjointed on first listen but I'm sure when we get to hear it properly it will all come together better. Next up was 'Dead Flies' which has a Hendrix feel/groove along the lines of maybe 'Fire' or 'Crosstown Traffic'. "It's all Lies, We're Dead Flies". They then skipped ahead to 'Fallen In Love (And I Can't Get Up) which has Billy Gibbons all over it, sounding not unlike Alice singing on a real ZZ Top track, with that familiar blues swagger. I also think I heard a few old song references including 'Billion Dollar Babies' and Desperado' in the lyrics.
By now it was becoming clear what Alice meant when a few months back he referred to the album having a "70s feel". He didn`t really mean an Alice Cooper 70s feel, but more a general 70s rock feel, and I think comparing it to 'Killer' was a bit of a red herring!
'Private Public Breakdown' was next up and has more of an 80s big rock feel to it. Kiss (around the 'Lick It Up' period) was my first thoughts. 'Holy Water' though has another change of pace, with an almost jazzy groove (more 'Blue Turk' then 'Last Man On Earth') including horns, and what felt like a LOT of lyrics which could have had a duel meaning, both telling a story and having some religious undertones as well, but as with all these songs it really would need to be heard properly to fairly judge. This was probably the one that sounded most interesting up to that point, and I wrote "best???" in my hastily scribbled notes. That was until they followed it up with 'The Sound Of A'. This sounds like the real winner on the album. Very Pink Floydian and maybe the longest track on the album, allowing the song to build naturally which is something I think has too often been missing on recent material. This could be a future classic and I can't wait to hear it properly.
Finally, we got to hear one of the two new original Alice Cooper band songs, 'Genuine American Girl', which I think Alice later mentioned was a Neal Smith song. It starts with Neal laying down a drum beat before heading off into a kinda Beach Boys/Surf groove. If you are hoping for something that actually sounds like 70s Alice Cooper this isn't really it, but it's a cool number if not a classic. There's some nice duel guitar playing which I think I heard is Michael Bruce and Nick Didkovsky of the 'Pretties For You NYC band. There's also a nice Mae West quote in there somewhere.
So that was the end of the playback. All in all most of the songs sounded promising with a couple of obvious stand outs, but as I say, I don't really feel I could call it based on just this first hearing. I'm looking forward to hearing everything properly.

Playback over, it was time for Alice to make his appearance at the back of the room, making his way down to the front while marvelling at the decor, and promptly tripping up, landing face first on the stone floor! At first I thought he was joking around but no it was for real. Luckily he seemed okay and made his way to the large 'throne' at the front of the room. Amusingly, if you look at the photos you'll see some latin writing above the chair which we were told actually translates as 'Very Big Chair'! Who said secret societies didn't have a sense of humour!
There followed a brief Q and A with Alice, most of which to be honest readers here will have heard before, but Alice is always a great interview so it's easy to just enjoy it. They covered a little background on the album recording, the guests, and the November UK shows with Dennis, Michael and Neal, confirming the basic setup will be the same as the recent Nashville reunion. Alice also took a few minutes out, unprompted, to mention the sadly missed Glen Buxton, praising him as a truly unique talent and character who he still misses to this day. The affection for his fallen friend was clear even after all these years.
A mention that the interviewer had been with Pink Floyds' David Gilmour earlier in the day (can I have his job!!) who had told him to say "hi" to Alice saying they went "way back" prompted the old Pink Floyd stories about the band with Syd Barrett staying with the original band for a few days back in the late sixties. All very cool.
After a few more questions from the assembled audience of radio and magazine journos everything wrapped up with photos and autographs for those who wanted them before Alice and Sheryl headed off, hand in hand, to the next interview or event he was probably late for!
All in all it was a very enjoyable evening, and I extend my thanks to Toby for the invite, and the lovely people at earMusic for being such friendly hosts and making me feel so welcome at their event. Now I just need the real album even more!

Phew, well with all that written up I should also mention Alice's was up and about again first thing this morning, appearing on 'The Chris Evans Breakfast Show' again on BBC Radio 2, this time in person along with various other guests including Steve Winwood who plays a few songs live in the studio. This interview was much more disjointed then yesterdays ones, being that Alice was just one of four or more guests on air at the same time, but you can listen again now on the Radio 2 site.

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Posted on 30 Jun 2017 by Si
Chris Moyles Show This Morning

Alice appeared on 'The Chris Moyles Show' on London's 'Radio X' early this morning for a long 45 minute interview which, while covering a lot of the normal stories, was a cut above the norm. Moyles had done his research and the result is well worth listening to, which you can do now here. Alice appears around 1.45 into the show. The interview was also broadcast live on facebook.
Alice later appeared on Planet Rock, which I missed as I was listening to the Moyles interview! The replay should appear here shortly or is on facebook.
Alice is due to be on the 'Chris Evans Breakfast Show' on BBC Radio 2 tomorrow morning.

Alice's webchat with The Guardian yesterday is also now available.

Ryan Roxie is featured in the new 'Rock Brigade' podcast which you can listen to here. Amongst other things Ryan chats about playing with the original band.

Nita Strauss talks to 'Tigs Metal Box' about her involvement in Jason Hook's 'Hired Guns' movie which is having special screenings across the US tonight, so check your local listings. The movie features quite a few Alice Cooper related musicians as well as Alice himself.

Steve Hunter is on the move again and is selling off some of his old gear. You can check out what's up for grabs here including amps, pedals, a mixing desk and guitars!

Shep Gordon is to receive the Woodstock Film Festival's 'Trailblazer' award for his work in the film industry at the Woodstock Film Festival takes place in October.

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Posted on 29 Jun 2017 by Si
Small Stuff

A reminder that Alice is set to re-appear on the 'Chris Evans Breakfast Show' on BBC Radio 2 on the 30th June. The last appearance featured the world premiere of 'Paranoiac Personality' so maybe they will play another new track, probably with Evans talking over it again...

The Guardian is taking question to ask Alice in the form of a webchat set to take place tomorrow at 4.15pm. You can leave your questions in the comments section.

The 'Rocker Dad' podcast has a new interview with Dennis Dunaway on his life and book.

Alice's intrerview in 'What's Up' mentioned last week is now available to read online here.

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Posted on 27 Jun 2017 by Si
New Press

The new issue of 'Classic Rock' in Germany has a 10 page feature on 'Paranormal' and Alice Cooper front cover. This isn`t in the UK version of the mag.
'What's Up' magazine also has Alice on the cover and a short interview.

Gruemonkey asks Dennis Dunaway to pick and comment on his favourite songs.

The Sydney Morning Herald has Alice look back at the 1977 Australian Tour.

The Los Angeles Times has an article about the June 11th charity show which saw Alice and Tommy Henriksen backed by local band 'Flashback Heart Attack' for a short set.

The Daily Emerald has some cool photos from the Oregon show. Pacific Northwest Inlander has a review of the Airway Heights show.

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Posted on 23 Jun 2017 by Si
New Show - Belgium

Alice Cooper has added a show in Belgium on December 5th at Brielpoort in Deinze.

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Posted on 16 Jun 2017 by Si
New Video - Alice Talks about 'Paranoiac Personality'

There's a new official video clip out with Alice briefly talking about the ideas behind 'Paranoiac Personality'. It's titled 'Alice Cooper Track By Track Interview' which suggests we'll get other videos featuring clips of other album tracks as we get closer to the release date.

New short interview, photos or reviews have appeared at the Salt Lake Tribune (photos), Westword (review/photos), TripleM 104.9 (audio interview), Lemonwire (single review), and The Register-Guard (interview).

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Posted on 16 Jun 2017 by Si
Original Band To Perform Mini-Set on UK Dates

AC.Com has confirmed that Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce will be joining Alice Cooper for a mini-set during the forthcoming UK shows in November, similar to the recent reunion in Nashville. The official text goes as follows:
"On May 14th, 2017 following Alice Cooper’s customary execution via guillotine on stage at his Nashville concert, fans were treated to something rarely seen since 1973. The stage went dark and original band members, bassist Dennis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith reunited to perform a five song mini-set of their classic hits with Alice.
This followed the recent announcement that his forthcoming album – Paranormal, out July 28th on earMUSIC – will include two new recordings written and recorded by the original line-up (“Genuine American Girl and “You And All Of Your Friends”).
Now, Alice announces that the three members of the original Alice Cooper band will join him on tour in the UK, returning to these shores 46 years after they first shocked and enthralled us on their historic 1971 tour.
In Nashville, they were joined by current band member Ryan Roxie filling in for the late Glen Buxton on guitar. The band ripped through “I’m 18,” “No More Mr Nice Guy,” “Muscle of Love,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and then closed with “School’s Out,” bringing back current band members – drummer Glen Sobel, bassist Chuck Garric, and guitarists Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen for a grand finale."
UPDATE: Alice has posted a short video of the announcement on instagram.

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Posted on 14 Jun 2017 by Si
Australian Shows Upgraded

According to Noise11 there are two changes to the Australian tour dates due to ticket demand. The Melbourne show has been moved from the Evonne Goolagong Arena to the Rod Laver Arena, about twice the size, and the Brisbane Convention Center show will now take place at the Brisbane Entertanment Center. Presumably all original tickets will remain valid.

Some people may have seen a viral video doing the rounds on facebook recently of the young guy, Johnny Crow, who sadly lost his father just before his 16th birthday, only to discover his father had put his birthday present away for him before he died... his dream guitar! Well, to prove there are still good people in this world members of social media site Reddit wanted to do something and together raised over $16,000 for the kid, to go towards guitar lessons, strings an everything else he might need to go with his fathers present and one member also got him another guitar! The reason I report this particular story is that another of Johnny's birthday presents was apparently tickets to go see Alice Cooper. On seeing this Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss contacted the family and arranged for aftershow meet and greet passes for Johnny to meet Alice himself at the show. Way to go Nita.

The Daily Emerald and Westword have new interviews with Alice.

Alice's recent interview with Arthur Brown on 'Nights With Alice Cooper' has been posted to YouTube.

Mankato Free Press has a review of last Friday's show.

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Posted on 13 Jun 2017 by Si
Official 'Paranoiac Personality' Video

'Paranoiac Personality' is now up on Spotify and other platforms, and EarMusic have posted a video of the song in full (see below) which states there will be a limited edition 7" vinyl version released. Ultimate Classic Rock have a new interview with co-writer and co-producer Tommy Denander with some background to the song and forthcoming album.

The Salt Lake Tribune has a new interview with Alice.

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Posted on 09 Jun 2017 by Si
More Paranormal Details

NWAC have announced the track list for 'Paranormal' and it goes as follows:

1. Paranormal
2. Dead Flies 
3. Fireball 
4. Paranoiac Personality
5. Fallen In Love
6. Dynamite Road
7. Private Public Breakdown
8. Holy Water 
9. Rats 
10. The Sound Of A

Studio recordings with the original Alice Cooper band:
11. Genuine American Girl 
12. You And All Of Your Friends

Live in Columbus, Ohio, May 6th, 2016 with the current Alice Cooper band:

13. No More Mr. Nice Guy
14. Under My Wheels
15. Billion Dollar Babies
16. Feed My Frankenstein
17. Only Women Bleed
18. School's Out

'Paranormal' is released on July 28th.

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Posted on 08 Jun 2017 by Si
Paranoiac Personality World Permiere

Alice called into the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 this morning for the world premiere of 'Paranoiac Personality' from the forthcoming 'Paranormal album. Then shortly afterwards he called PlanetRock's breakfast show and did the same again! You should be able to listen to both shows soon at their respective sites, although I recommend just the PlanetRock version so you don`t have the DJ talking over the song! The single is officially released tomorrow.
UPDATE: EarMusic have just uploaded a short teaser video of the song here.

Consequence of Sound have a new interview with Bob Ezrin with lots of Alice Cooper content.

There's a new 'Go Ask Alice' up on YouTube. In this episode Alice and Sheryl talk about how they first met.

August 7th is the release date for 'Connecticut Rock'n'Roll', a new book about the CT rock scene which features Alice Cooper content.

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester has posted some nice photos from the 2016 show at the venue.

OnMilwaukee has photos Of Alice and Ryan out on the Golf Course earlier this week.

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Posted on 08 Jun 2017 by Si
Paranormal Cover Revealed

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Posted on 02 Jun 2017 by Si
New Show - Mexico

Alice Cooper has been announced as playing the 'Mother Of All' Rock Festival at the Forum Arena in Monterrey, Mexico on October 7th. The show will be headlined by Aerosmith and Def Leppard with Vince Neil, Tesla and Buck Cherry also on the bill.

'School's Out' turns 45 years old this year and MLive have an article highlight various appearances of the song over the years.

Live Design have an article about the stage lighting for the recent Nashville reunion show with some cool show photos from Kyler Clark.

Appleton Post-Crescent has a new interview with Alice.

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Posted on 01 Jun 2017 by Si
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