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BUY CD!
Tracking Down The Wolf
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BUY CD!

Welcome to My Alice Cooper Nightmare!

Way back in the nineties I was playing a very tight show band called Johnny Baron and the Bel Aires. We covered all kinds of music from fifties rock and roll, rock a billy, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran, the Everly brothers, and lots of sixties r&b , Motown dance stuff. We performed at state fairs, car shows, night clubs, and lots of private corporate functions all over the western states. We were also regulars on the Reno Nevada casino lounge circuit. One show I’ll never forget was a celebrity charity fund raiser event in downtown Reno. All the sports celebrities had played a charity golf event up at Lake Tahoe earlier that day. The evening party was at the Eldorado casino. We started playing and all was going well. After our first break, someone approached the band and requested our set list, which at that time had over 200 songs. They brought the list back after a few minutes and said 'Alice wants to sit in with you guys'. Ok. Except we know any Alice cooper band songs. No problem, they said, he loves your list and is a huge sixties garage rock fan. So Alice (Vincent Damon Furnier) comes over and introduces himself. What a sweet, polite , sober and intelligent guy - the complete opposite of his on stage persona! We chat about possible songs. He mentioned a few of the early Rolling Stones songs on our list. Fine with us! So we get up on stage and start with the first track of the Rolling Stones’ first Lp 'England's greatest hit makers’. The song is Buddy Holly's immortal 'Not Fade Away'. Then on to Bobby Troops’ classic 'Route 66'. We played on through both sides of the disc until we get to Rufus Thomas’ ’Walking the Dog'. Alice knew all the lyrics, all the Mick Jagger vocal inflections, and had clearly grown up listening to this music. Us too! He nailed every song and all his celebrity friends at the party were very impressed by the depth of his musical knowledge. And such a gentle man on stage. Very aware and open to the bands moods and musical changes. I guess 'easy' describes it best. Wow, what a thrill! The interesting thing was that I had shared a stage with hm and his original band many years earlier. I didn't have a moment to mention it to him that night, but in 1969, after I graduated high school, my high school band and I moved up to Cambridge Massachusetts in the fall of 1969. We played the Cambridge common free shows on Sunday's. One Sunday, we were second to the last band on the bill. And last was this band of long hairs from Arizona called Alice copper. I remember that they played all their own songs and had a door mounted in a door frame in front of the stage. Alice would open and close it, walk through it and take a broom and sweep the stage around it while he sang. Very strange! He was very much into theatrics and production even then , though on a much smaller scale. They were certainly different. After their set, the commons was practically empty. I remember reading later that this 'ability' to clear out venues is what caused their future manager to sign the band and they became very popular and the rest is rock and roll history! And Alice thought us all an important lesson on how to succeed in show biz. Thank you Vince. What an honor and a privilege to meet and play with you - again!

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