By CRAIG HAMMONS
Alice Cooper is in the studio putting the finishing touches on his new album, Detroit Stories.
The PT Barnum of Rock N Roll, Alice was born in Detroit 72 years ago and with Detroit Stories he goes back to his early roots by enlisting some of Michigan’s finest to join the circus.
Some surprise guests on the new album are brother Wayne Kramer from the MC5 and Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad. This is Alice’s 28th album of his 50 year career as the madman of Rock N Roll. He again has his lifelong buddy and producer Bob Ezrin running the controls. This time around they even brought in the Detroit Horns and backup singers from the local Detroit area. Alice said “Working with Ezrin is always a pleasure as he makes sure everything fits, there is never any filler when Bob is done.”
Alice and his band were in Germany when they heard they better get home.
Alice said: “We’re in Berlin and they were going to close the borders. So we finished Berlin, got on the bus, drove to Munich, got on a plane and the only thing they asked us when we got back to the States was ‘Have you been to China or Italy?’ We went ‘No’ and they said ‘Welcome home.’”
This is the first time in almost 50 years of touring that Cooper has had to cancel shows for a public health emergency. I remember once when Alice has to stop a show because his snake threw up on stage. Alice said “It was a Rent-a-Snake and he must have got stage fright.” Alice is a stand-up guy and is taking care of his crew during this down time. He also feels bad for the fans who planned on going to the shows.
Cooper is now hanging out with his family at his residence in Paradise Valley, Arizona while Ezrin is in Toronto mixing “Detroit Stories.” This album is a tribute to a city that Copper holds close in his heart. He says “the very weird thing in the world of Rock N Roll is that, if you say you’re from Detroit, there’s a whole different respect because all the hard-rock bands came out of Detroit.” Can you say The Stooges and MC5 — to name a few. Alice decided to call the album Detroit Stories because that is what it really is as each song is a story about Detroit.
Alice recently released a new single “Don’t Give Up”. This song was originally called “Hanging by a Thread” and was going to a bit of an anti-suicide song. But Ezrin called Alice and said “why don’t we turn this song into what’s going on now?” Alice went back and changed the verse and wrote some poetic and encouraging lyrics like “We’re all hanging on by a thread, we’re staring at the razor’s edge, but we’re not going to step off the edge.” Alice’s idea was that we are all tougher than the disease, we are the blood and guts of the human race.
“Ol’ Black Eyes” is at the top of his game. It’s his integrity, strength and character that keep him there. From Pretties for You to Detroit Stories Alice never disappoints. Long live the Coop.