1980's Reunion

Alice Cooper co-founder and Hall Of Fame inductee Dennis Dunaway answers your questions!

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1980's Reunion

Post by livinluvin72 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:54 am

In his book, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Mike said that Alice contacted all the guys in the band in the 80s about getting back together again and it sounded serious.
All the band members agreed and were ready.
Then Alice contacted Bob Ezrin and Bob declined to do it.
After that, Alice completely dropped the idea.
Is that how you saw it go down?

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Dreary » Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:39 am

livinluvin72 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:54 am
In his book, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Mike said that Alice contacted all the guys in the band in the 80s about getting back together again and it sounded serious.
All the band members agreed and were ready.
Then Alice contacted Bob Ezrin and Bob declined to do it.
After that, Alice completely dropped the idea.
Is that how you saw it go down?
Alice has mentioned it to me numerous times over the years. He always sounds sincere.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:42 pm

Im guessing the obstacles to it happening over the years were more business related then personal...possibly even contractual?

There was a guy on this forum who posted under many names who used to blame Alice and Shep for everything. You'd think this guy was an original member of the band.

We're his comments close to the truth or was he out in left field?

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Dreary » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:34 pm

mr.barlow wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:42 pm
Im guessing the obstacles to it happening over the years were more business related then personal...possibly even contractual?

There was a guy on this forum who posted under many names who used to blame Alice and Shep for everything. You'd think this guy was an original member of the band.

We're his comments close to the truth or was he out in left field?
I covered this in my book. Neal, Michael, Glen, Alice, and I each owned 20% of the name we all worked so hard to build. None of us ever chose to give that up.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:57 pm

I understand. Did that get in the way of attempts at past reunions?
Hopefully there will be one last proper tour of the original band...even if it is limited to big cities or markets.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Dreary » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:05 pm

mr.barlow wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:57 pm
I understand. Did that get in the way of attempts at past reunions?
Hopefully there will be one last proper tour of the original band...even if it is limited to big cities or markets.
If enough fans convince them that more money could be made with the original group, then it would happen.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by livinluvin72 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:32 am

Dreary wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:39 am
livinluvin72 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:54 am
In his book, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Mike said that Alice contacted all the guys in the band in the 80s about getting back together again and it sounded serious.
All the band members agreed and were ready.
Then Alice contacted Bob Ezrin and Bob declined to do it.
After that, Alice completely dropped the idea.
Is that how you saw it go down?
Alice has mentioned it to me numerous times over the years. He always sounds sincere.
Nobody's irreplaceable.
Alice replaced you guys.
But bands have replaced vocalists whom I thought were irreplaceable:
AC DC replaced Bon Scott
Van Halen replaced David Lee Roth
Journey replaced Steve Perry
Black Sabbath replaced Ozzy
Montrose had numerous vocalists
Deep Purple had numerous vocalists
Even though Alice has had a solo career of 48 years, 1/2 of the music Alice plays at his concerts are from the original band from 1971 - 1973.
They are just as much your songs as his; the only thing was Alice didn't initiate the solo idea.
It was primarily Mike.
Alice said later that it was like getting kicked in the stomach when he heard about "solo albums".
Mike had some great ideas, probably everybody in the band did and I think a serious band meeting would have been better than letting Mike walk off which left Alice little choice.
Alice was back in the studio at the end of 1974.
Alice went along with the loss of Bob Ezrin and the MOL album which he wasn't too crazy about even thought it showed he had a great vocal range compared to the usual guttural voice he often used as the Alice character.
Plus Alice had the infrastructure: Bob Ezrin, Shep, Dave Libert and the name, which he was not about to give up and I don't blame him.
It was probably difficult to go out on tour without his band...at first.
Shep and Alice had to pool all their resources to make WTMN a go and he toured it for a year which is a life time in the Rock and Roll world.
As a fan, I had no desire to hear any solo albums even WTMN, which I did buy before realizing that the band was missing; replaced by Lou Reed's Rock and Roll Animal band.
I know you felt the same about solo albums.
WTMN was a damn good show though and it converted a lot of people who came up to me and told me how much they liked it. You can see how it influenced Michael Jackson and Madonna, the dancers, the bed on stage.
It should have been the original band on that tour.
It seemed Michael had taken offense that Alice wanted to leave the band and get into movies.
Given how everything was centering around Alice, if Alice asked Shep to get him into the movies would he have left the band?
If he did get into movies would he try to get out of the original 5 way split of the money?
Seems like Mike was thinking about these things, perhaps too much, as it amounted to all talk. Alice never became a great actor no matter how many celebrities he knew.
It seems nobody tried to talk Mike out of the solo album idea except Shep and Bob Greene that I know of.
David Libert said that the Billion Dollar Baby book was pivotal in the break up of the band. He said after Alice read it he said, "I don't want to work with these guys again."
Alice in his bios also said he sensed jealousy from the band but even Bob Greene mentioned in his book that it wasn't mere jealousy that the band was feeling.
It was fear.
The band didn't hate Alice or Shep but what if Alice decided that his days as a rock and roller were over? Could they survive?
Bob said this created a sympathy in him for the band.
In your book you said that you were upset that the fans didn't make a fuss.
I did feel the loss and gradually stopped listening to Alice Cooper.
WTMN was a good show but he rode the wave of the original band.
After that, his albums gradually dropped out of the Top 40 pretty much forever except for one spike with Poison/Trash in 1989 and interestingly I think some of the recent albums with the original band on them may have spiked.
So I think the fans spoke by letting Alice drop out of the heights. No more would Alice be in the same league as the Rolling Stones like you guys were in 1972 and 1973 and 1974.
These are my opinions as a fan.
I think a fan can have opinions.
I wasn't there and hindsight is 20/20.
But as a fan, the break up of my favorite band, my heroes at age 15, was tough for me.
The horizon for me was only about 2 years but someone once said that time is not as important as depth. I learned a lot from Alice Cooper and you guys accomplished a lot in a short period.
But now I see Alice Cooper, the original group, as a completely different animal from Alice the vocalist. Alice has never ascended the same heights he did with the band and you guys have plenty to be proud of.
I think the break up of my favorite band along with other life events made me turn to religion.
"Lay not up your treasures were moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break in and steal but in heaven where your heart is also." Jesus.
Buddha, "All composite things break apart and fall away. To cling to things that are impermanent is to invite suffering and is folly."
Realizing the truth of these teachings has given me a peace of mind.
Last edited by livinluvin72 on Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Dreary » Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:04 am

Dreary wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:11 am
livinluvin72 wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:32 am
Dreary wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:39 am

Alice has mentioned it to me numerous times over the years. He always sounds sincere.
Nobody's irreplaceable.
Alice replaced you guys.
But bands have replaced vocalists whom I thought were irreplaceable:
AC DC replaced Bon Scott
Van Halen replaced David Lee Roth
Journey replaced Steve Perry
Black Sabbath replaced Ozzy
Montrose had numerous vocalists
Deep Purple had numerous vocalists
Even though Alice has had a solo career of 48 years, 1/2 of the music Alice plays at his concerts are from the original band from 1971 - 1973.
They are just as much your songs as his; the only thing was Alice didn't initiate the solo idea.
It was primarily Mike.
Alice said later that it was like getting kicked in the stomach when he heard about "solo albums".
Mike had some great ideas, probably everybody in the band did and I think a serious band meeting would have been better than letting Mike walk off which left Alice little choice.
Alice was back in the studio at the end of 1974.
Alice went along with the loss of Bob Ezrin and the MOL album which he wasn't too crazy about even thought it showed he had a great vocal range compared to the usual guttural voice he often used as the Alice character.
Plus Alice had the infrastructure: Bob Ezrin, Shep, Dave Libert and the name, which he was not about to give up and I don't blame him.
It was probably difficult to go out on tour without his band...at first.
Shep and Alice had to pool all their resources to make WTMN a go and he toured it for a year which is a life time in the Rock and Roll world.
As a fan, I had no desire to hear any solo albums even WTMN, which I did buy before realizing that the band was missing; replaced by Lou Reed's Rock and Roll Animal band.
I know you felt the same about solo albums.
WTMN was a damn good show though and it converted a lot of people who came up to me and told me how much they liked it. You can see how it influenced Michael Jackson and Madonna, the dancers, the bed on stage.
It should have been the original band on that tour.
It seemed Michael had taken offense that Alice wanted to leave the band and get into movies.
Given how everything was centering around Alice, if Alice asked Shep to get him into the movies would he have left the band?
If he did get into movies would he try to get out of the original 5 way split of the money?
Seems like Mike was thinking about these things, perhaps too much, as it amounted to all talk. Alice never became a great actor no matter how many celebrities he knew.
It seems nobody tried to talk Mike out of the solo album idea except Shep and Bob Greene that I know of.
David Libert said that the Billion Dollar Baby book was pivotal in the break up of the band. He said after Alice read it he said, "I don't want to work with these guys again."
Alice in his bios also said he sensed jealousy from the band but even Bob Greene mentioned in his book that it wasn't mere jealousy that the band was feeling.
It was fear.
The band didn't hate Alice or Shep but but what if Alice decided that his days as a rock and roller were over? Could they survive?
Bob said this created a sympathy in him for the band.
In your book you said that you were upset that the fans didn't make a fuss.
I did feel the loss and gradually stopped listening to Alice Cooper.
WTMN was a good show but he rode the wave of the original band.
After that, his albums gradually dropped out the Top 40 pretty much forever except for one spike with Poison/Trash in 1989 and interestingly I think some of the recent albums with the original band on them may have spiked.
So I think the fans spoke by letting Alice drop out of the heights. No more would Alice be in the same league as the Rolling Stones like you guys were in 1972 and 1973 and 1974.
These are my opinions as a fan.
I think a fan can have opinions.
I wasn't there and hindsight is 20/20.
But as a fan, the break up of my favorite band, my heroes at age 15, was tough for me.
The horizon for me was only about 2 years but someone once said that time is not as important as depth. I learned a lot from Alice Cooper and you guys accomplished a lot in a short period.
But now I see Alice Cooper, the original group, as a completely different animal from Alice the vocalist. Alice has never ascended the same heights he did with the band and you guys have plenty to be proud of.
I think the break up of my favorite band along with other life events made me turn to religion.
"Lay not up your treasures were moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break in and steal but in heaven where your heart is also." Jesus.
Buddha, "All composite things break apart and fall away. To cling to things that are impermanent is to invite suffering and is folly."
Realizing the truth of these teachings has given me a peace of mind.
Of course your opinion is valid. You obviously care a lot. But from what I know, you quoting Bob Greene's assumptions somewhat compromises the validity of your line of thought.
I'm not trying to re-ignite my past glories. I'm here to answer questions, but the many of the questions are focused on the past. Your perspective has some valid points, but it is partially based on assumptions.
Alice and Glen had drinking problems, and I thought a break might give them a chance to deal with that.
But that concern for friends was turned against me.
We were all young, and I'm fine. My high school buddy and I started a band and dreamt of making it to the top, and we did it in a big way.
I have no regrets about not doing that again. My omission happened decades ago, and has long healed way beyond that messy, unfair turn of events, which has, sadly, prevented lots of music and ideas that could have been.
It's beyond debate. It's time to have fun and move forward with a new positive outlook.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by pitkin88 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:06 am

Hi Dennis. I would just like to point out that the press on the band splitting up was literally next to nothing. There was a very tiny piece in either Sounds or the NME. I'm talking just a few lines. I was in total shock. There was no way to find out what happened. Bob Greene's book was very difficult if not impossible to find in the UK either.

Occasionally you would hear something but it was usually a smear. I can even remember Vincent Price saying a negative comment on the band's ability! Obviously he had no idea and it was fed to him by someone in the new camp.

Then out of the blue Billion Dollar Babies appear in Sounds and you guys are back! I remember writing to Polydor with some questions and never got a reply. Again everything goes silent and you hear odd whispers of The Flying Tigers or some incorrect info of Mike Bruce playing with Bob Seeger.

You guys were loved but there was zero way of finding anything out. There might have been some small mentions in Andy Michaels excellent fanzine but that was it.

Anyway I am glad you are here thanks to the internet and at least correcting some wrongs and basking in some limelight. There are many of us who care and know Alice Cooper is a band.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Dreary » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:12 pm

pitkin88 wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:06 am
Hi Dennis. I would just like to point out that the press on the band splitting up was literally next to nothing. There was a very tiny piece in either Sounds or the NME. I'm talking just a few lines. I was in total shock. There was no way to find out what happened. Bob Greene's book was very difficult if not impossible to find in the UK either.

Occasionally you would hear something but it was usually a smear. I can even remember Vincent Price saying a negative comment on the band's ability! Obviously he had no idea and it was fed to him by someone in the new camp.

Then out of the blue Billion Dollar Babies appear in Sounds and you guys are back! I remember writing to Polydor with some questions and never got a reply. Again everything goes silent and you hear odd whispers of The Flying Tigers or some incorrect info of Mike Bruce playing with Bob Seeger.

You guys were loved but there was zero way of finding anything out. There might have been some small mentions in Andy Michaels excellent fanzine but that was it.

Anyway I am glad you are here thanks to the internet and at least correcting some wrongs and basking in some limelight. There are many of us who care and know Alice Cooper is a band.
In the Spring of 1997 during an extended stay in the hospital for surgery, I got lots of snail mail from well wishers from all over the world. That was a very welcome surprise. And later on, through the internet, and meeting people at gigs near and far, I came to realize that Michael, Neal, Glen, and I hadn't been so thoroughly swept under the carpet.
But there were a couple of pretty quiet decades where nobody wanted to interview us. And some club owners treated us like discards. In their minds, we weren't Alice Cooper. It seemed to be a hurdle even to mention it. A couple of club owners even wanted us to learn their list of cover songs and do an audition. Of course we didn't do that. We found clubs that allowed original songs. And once we got our foot in the door, they always wanted us back. And so we built our own faithful following in the New York City tristate area.
The original group still have a small percentage of harsh detractors. But even in our glory days, we dealt with that.
It's far outweighed by the testimonies I hear from so many people that say our music changed their lives.

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Sat May 01, 2021 2:24 am

Dreary wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:12 pm
In the Spring of 1997 during an extended stay in the hospital for surgery, I got lots of snail mail from well wishers from all over the world. That was a very welcome surprise. And later on, through the internet, and meeting people at gigs near and far, I came to realize that Michael, Neal, Glen, and I hadn't been so thoroughly swept under the carpet.
But there were a couple of pretty quiet decades where nobody wanted to interview us. And some club owners treated us like discards. In their minds, we weren't Alice Cooper. It seemed to be a hurdle even to mention it. A couple of club owners even wanted us to learn their list of cover songs and do an audition. Of course we didn't do that. We found clubs that allowed original songs. And once we got our foot in the door, they always wanted us back. And so we built our own faithful following in the New York City tristate area.
The original group still have a small percentage of harsh detractors. But even in our glory days, we dealt with that.
It's far outweighed by the testimonies I hear from so many people that say our music changed their lives.
We're all glad the surgery went well & you're still with us! :8):
Many Club owners are small minded people & don't develop relationships w/Bands much past $$$.
Do they listen to the the Music? A little but, do they understand?
I haven't seen much about clubs helping to give bands a venue for originality since CBGB's & The Rat.
I think the DIY movement was born from this void. Do record companies actually develop artists anymore? Bob Seger was mentioned & he + his bands almost went into double digits of (pretty good) releases before they hit it BIG w/'Night Moves". Any thoughts Dr. D.?
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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Dreary » Sat May 01, 2021 4:07 am

Daggers & Contracts wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 2:24 am
Dreary wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:12 pm
In the Spring of 1997 during an extended stay in the hospital for surgery, I got lots of snail mail from well wishers from all over the world. That was a very welcome surprise. And later on, through the internet, and meeting people at gigs near and far, I came to realize that Michael, Neal, Glen, and I hadn't been so thoroughly swept under the carpet.
But there were a couple of pretty quiet decades where nobody wanted to interview us. And some club owners treated us like discards. In their minds, we weren't Alice Cooper. It seemed to be a hurdle even to mention it. A couple of club owners even wanted us to learn their list of cover songs and do an audition. Of course we didn't do that. We found clubs that allowed original songs. And once we got our foot in the door, they always wanted us back. And so we built our own faithful following in the New York City tristate area.
The original group still have a small percentage of harsh detractors. But even in our glory days, we dealt with that.
It's far outweighed by the testimonies I hear from so many people that say our music changed their lives.
We're all glad the surgery went well & you're still with us! :8):
Many Club owners are small minded people & don't develop relationships w/Bands much past $$$.
Do they listen to the the Music? A little but, do they understand?
I haven't seen much about clubs helping to give bands a venue for originality since CBGB's & The Rat.
I think the DIY movement was born from this void. Do record companies actually develop artists anymore? Bob Seger was mentioned & he + his bands almost went into double digits of (pretty good) releases before they hit it BIG w/'Night Moves". Any thoughts Dr. D.?
What the club scene will be like in the new normal is all up in the air now. It's always been tough out there but there have been some great clubs with fair owners.
I talked to Jack Richardson in his later days. He wasn't too well at that time. We talked for over an hour. Somehow Seeger came up and Jack shared a story. They had had a full day recording at Nimbus 9 Studios in Toronto. They decided it was time to pack it in, even though they needed another song for the album. They turned off the lights and were headed for the door. Seeger was playing a piano they had in the lobby near the exit. Jack said, what is that? Seeger said, it was just a melody he had been tinkering with but it wasn't a song yet. Jack said, turn on the lights boys, we're going to record this. The song was "Night Moves."

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Re: 1980's Reunion

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Sat May 01, 2021 11:53 pm

Dreary wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 4:07 am
Daggers & Contracts wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 2:24 am
What the club scene will be like in the new normal is all up in the air now. It's always been tough out there but there have been some great clubs with fair owners.
I talked to Jack Richardson in his later days. He wasn't too well at that time. We talked for over an hour. Somehow Seeger came up and Jack shared a story. They had had a full day recording at Nimbus 9 Studios in Toronto. They decided it was time to pack it in, even though they needed another song for the album. They turned off the lights and were headed for the door. Seeger was playing a piano they had in the lobby near the exit. Jack said, what is that? Seeger said, it was just a melody he had been tinkering with but it wasn't a song yet. Jack said, turn on the lights boys, we're going to record this. The song was "Night Moves."
Sweet!
Thanks Dennis
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