Alice Cooper show will get ‘political’

The candidates for the White House do not want to share the stage with rock star Alice Cooper, but i
Rocker Alice Cooper will perform at Albany's Palace Theatre Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Rocker Alice Cooper will perform at Albany's Palace Theatre Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both visited the Capital Region during their drives for November.

They want to be elected — selected — respected — call-collected.

The candidates for the White House do not want to share the stage with rock star Alice Cooper, but it’s going to happen anyway Wednesday, at the Palace Theatre.

Alice Cooper

WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany

HOW MUCH: $94.75-$39.75

MORE INFO: 465-3334,

“I don’t really think you could do ‘Elected’ without having Hillary and Trump on stage,” Cooper said of one of his most famous songs. “So we do. They’re both on stage in this show. I don’t want to spoil the fun of it, I can just tell you it’s a Hillary and Trump you haven’t seen.”

Here’s one spoiler: Bet on people in giant head masks for the bit. Alice provides another spoiler.

“It ends the show, after ‘School’s Out,’ ” he said in a telephone interview from Akron, Ohio, just before an afternoon sound check. “Then, of course, we do ‘Elected.’ People think the show is pretty much over after ‘School’s Out,’ it’s pretty much an extravaganza. Then, all of a sudden, ‘Elected’ starts and that’s even more of an extravaganza. Every four years, ‘Elected’ is back in the show.”

Big hits

Cooper has been in the public eye and ear since 1969, when Lyndon B. Johnson was still in office. In 1971, the band — then named “Alice Cooper” — scored a monster hit with “I’m Eighteen.” Rockers like “School’s Out” — which Cooper claims is now an anthem for both teens and teachers — “Elected” “Billion Dollar Babies” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” were other big shots from the early ’70s.

Cooper went solo in 1975, adopting the band’s name as his own and releasing the concept album “Welcome to My Nightmare.” In 2011, he released “Welcome 2 My Nightmare,” his 19th solo album.

Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier, is having as much fun as he can with the presidential election.

He’s released a new “Elected” single for the campaign, available at iTunes, Spotify and other online sites. Cooper also has come up with a 10-point campaign platform (see below) designed to appeal to voters in both America and Great Britain.

An election “campaign” adds to an already busy schedule. Cooper still plays a daily round of golf, and his near pro-level game is well respected. He’s still doing his “Nights With Alice Cooper” syndicated radio show, and finds time to hang out with the Hollywood Vampires, a side project that includes actor Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

Alice doesn’t change much on stage. The Gothic eye makeup, the top hat and tails, the guillotines, the snakes and the straitjackets are still part of the act. So is the nutty attitude.

“I’ve always played Alice as a villain,” Cooper said. “You want Alice to be a villain. I don’t think you’d want Alice to get up there and go, ‘Gosh, I hope you liked us tonight.’ That just wouldn’t be Alice Cooper. Alice is more apt to take the audience by the throat and shake them. It’s the nature of rock ’n’ roll — it’s powerful, it’s sexual, it’s kind of tribal.”

Cooper says there’s a lot going on during the show. It can be a physical challenge for the musicians, with all those moving parts and moving bodies on stage.

“I always tell people in my show, when they join the show, three things,” Cooper said. “You’re going to see the world, you’re going to get paid, you’re going to get stitches. Because if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time . . .”

Rocker’s ‘platform’

Elect Alice Cooper president — or prime minister — and expect 10 new presidential decrees. Cooper will probably secure the votes of fans who appreciated late British bassist and Motörhead founder Lemmy Kilmister.

1. Getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC.

2. A snake in every pot.

3. No more pencils, no more books.

4. Adding Lemmy to Mt. Rushmore.

5. Rename Big Ben “Big Lemmy.”

6. Groucho Marx on the $50 bill.

7. Peter Sellers on the 20 pound note.

8. Cupholders required for every airplane seat.

9. Ban on talking during movies in movie theaters.

10. Ban on taking selfies, except on a designated National Selfie Day.

Cooper still loves the gig.

“I always tell young bands to be careful when they actually make it,” he said. “That’s when the work starts. When you’re trying to build an audience, that’s a full-time job. If you’re not doing interviews, you’re doing this or you’re doing that. I’ve never worked so hard in my life as when we were trying to make it. Now, I’m at that point when I tour when I want to tour, not that I have to tour.”

The Mick Jagger rule remains in place. Cooper has said as long as the frontman for The Rolling Stones is still on stage, Alice Cooper will stay on the job.

“I’m 68, and Mick is five years older,” he said. “He does three hours on stage and 30 minutes on the treadmill before the show. When people say, ‘It’s unbelievable how much energy you have,’ I go, ‘Well, yeah, I’m in second place.”

Horror and humor

As one of the first musicians to embrace shock-rock style, Cooper said horror elements in his shows have to play off at least a little humor.

“I think every good horror movie has got a lot of humor in it,” Cooper said. “I think the only one that probably didn’t was ‘The Exorcist,’ that wasn’t a laugh riot. But most of your horror has to have something to play off, it has to have either romance or it has to have comedy. And there’s a lot of subtle comedy going on in our show.”

Cooper the movie fan has a favorite horror flick.

“It’s going to surprise you,” he said. “‘Salem’s Lot,’ from the late ’70s, with David Soul. That was the best vampire I ever saw, Barlow. You can’t believe how scary that movie was. There were scenes in the movie like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ”

Cooper the golf maniac also has favorites. He’s enough of a good sport to name his dream music foursome and his dream all-time golf foursome.

For the musicians: Alice, guitarist Dweezil Zappa, drummer Adrian Young of No Doubt and sax man Kenny G.

For the all-time lineup, Alice cheats. He’s making it a quintet.

“I’ve played with Groucho, I’ve played with a lot of good people, Mike Douglas was fun to play with. Cheech [Marin] and I play a lot, Cheech and Chong both play golf now. I’d make it a fivesome, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, they were both single digit (handicap). Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were both single digit. With those four guys, it would probably be a pretty funny golf game.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124, [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts

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