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Alice Cooper happy being rock's "oldest vampire"

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Just because he got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March doesn’t mean that Alice Cooper is ready to hang up his gallows and guillotine or put away his make-up.

“I keep telling all these guys, the (Rob) Zombies, the Slipknots and everything, ‘I’m still the oldest vampire here. You still have to deal with me, ’cause I’m not done by any means,” says the Detroit-born shock rocker.

Evidence of that comes on Sept. 13, when Cooper (ne Vincent Furnier) releases “Welcome 2 My Nightmare,” a sequel to his platinum 1975 concept album. The set reunites him with producer Bob Ezrin, as well as the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band, original “Nightmare” cohorts Steve Hunter (who’s playing guitar in Cooper’s current group) and Dick Wagner, and guests such as Vince Gill and Ke$ha.


“I met her at the Grammys,” says Cooper, 63, “and I immediately looked at her and went, ‘This girl is not a pop diva. She’s a rock singer.’ She would much rather be the female of Robert Plant than the next Britney Spears. I got on stage with her (during July) in London and it was a lot of fun.

“There’s a little bit of defiance in me. Even when my fans think they know what I’m gonna do, I’m like, ‘Whaddya mean I can’t put Vince Gill on the album?’ Nobody’s going to expect Ke$ha on my album so, great, let’s do it. I like the idea you still can’t put me in a corner and say, ‘This is what you’re gonna sound like.’”

Cooper is planning a full-scale “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” stage show for 2012. In the meantime he’s playing “a summer show ... the hits and five or six major special effects things.” But he has snuck the Rolling Stones-flavored new single “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” into the set, to good effect.

“I come out with a jacket around and turn around and it says ‘New Songs,’ “ Cooper notes. “Then I take the jacket off and it says ‘I’ll Bite Your Face Off’ on the T-shirt. And the audience is already singing it. They hear the first chorus, and they’re singing along after that, which is pretty great.”

Alice Cooper, Ace Frehley and Artificial Agent perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75. Tickets are $39 and $29 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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