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Alice Cooper "honored" by Rock Hall nomination

of the Oakland Press

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Detroit-born shock rocker Alice Cooper and his original bandmates are "honored" to be nominated for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2011.

"Anytime you are nominated in your chosen profession," Cooper said in a statement Tuesday (Sept. 28), "it's definitely a compliment to be recognized."

Cooper, who was born Vincent Furnier, was one of 15 acts named as finalists for the Hall honor, five of which will be selected for induction by a voting body of more than 500 music industry professionals. Others on the list include perennial Detroit favorite the J. Geils Band, Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool Jay, Donna Summer, Donovan, Dr. John, Chic, Joe Tex, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro and Chuck Willis.

The induction ceremony will be held March 14 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City and broadcast live on Fuse TV.

Cooper, who grew up in Allen Park and moved to Phoenix, Ariz., as a teenager, said in his statement that, "It's hard to fathom possibly being in the same club as artists who inspired us originally, like the Beatles, the (Rolling) Stones, the Beach Boys, the Who, the Yardbirds and Chuck Berry." He was also pleased to be nominated alongside Nyro, who he called "my personal favorite songwriter of all time," Donovan, who sang on the ?? "Billion Dollar Babies" record and "our good friends in Bon Jovi."

"Five guys starting a band," Cooper continued, "just hoping to meet girls and drink free beer, rehearsing and playing local bars five hours a night for the first few years -- that was us. We came up with the theatrics and made every effort not to sacrifice the music one bit; we thought it was like our job to bring theatrics to rock 'n' roll.

"And then, amazingly enough, we were having a bunch of massive hit records which was proof that theatricality and rock 'n' roll could, in fact, be joined successfully. We've been told that we revolutionized the live concert experience and if that's truly the case and it's led to this nomination for induction into the Hall of Fame, the only thing to say is, of course, 'There's no business like show business!' "

Cooper and his band -- guitarists Michael Bruce and the late Glen Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith -- pioneered the use of makeup and theatrical stage shows, including controversial mock executions onstage. The group returned to Detroit during the early '70s to help launch its career, then went on to record seven albums, four of which were certified platinum, and launched anthemic rock hits such as "School's Out," "I'm Eighteen" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy."

The group broke up in 1974, with Cooper going solo. He most recently released the "Along Came a Spider" album in 2008 and on Tuesday (Sept. 28) put out a DVD/CD package "Alice Cooper's Theatre of Death," filmed at London's Hammersmith Apollo during his most recent tour. He kicks off a Halloween Hootenanny tour with Rob Zombie on Thursday (Sept. 30) in Los Angeles.

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