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Alice Cooper at DTE, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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School may be back in session, but Alice Cooper is still out there singing “School’s Out” and all the other favorites, and getting his head chopped off, nearly five decades into his storied Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career.

This summer Cooper released a new album, “Paranormal,” that features three tracks recorded with members of his original band. He’s been rocking around the world, including a current run in North America with Deep Purple and the Edgar Winter Band, and he’s looking ahead to a busy 2018 that includes the reemergence of his all-star group the Hollywood Vampires.

And rest assured the Detroit native (born Vincent Furnier) is well aware of what’s going on with the Tigers and Lions -- often in explicit details...

• Cooper and producer Bob Ezrin entered “Paranormal” without a particular concept -- and ended up finding one along the way. “We went in to just do another Alice Cooper album, and it accidentally became a concept,” Cooper, 69, explains by phone from Sweden. “Lyrically every single character has some sort of abnormal, paranormal problem going on and I didn’t have a name for the album, so ‘Paranormal’ ended up sounding like the thing that cemented this all together. It wasn’t paranormal on a level of ghosts or UFOs or Bigfoot; It was just paranormal on the fact (the characters) were next to normal. It certainly wasn’t normal.”

• “Paranormal” also features a notable selection of guests, including ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr., the latter on a number of the album tracks. “Getting Larry was Bob’s idea,” Cooper recalls. “I thought that would be very different, and Larry said, ‘Man, I’d love to do it.’ It really did totally change the bottom of the whole album, and he’s the only drummer I ever worked with that said, ‘Let me see the lyrics.’ Drummers don’t usually care about the lyrics and that’s what he wanted to see because he said, ‘That’s how I interpret the songs, b listening to the lyrics.’ It was very unique.”

• The reunion with original bandmates Mike Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith actually began on Cooper’s last album, 2011’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare,” but is more fully realized on “Paranormal.” “Using the original band just felt normal to me; It didn’t feel like anything unusual at all,” Cooper says. “The band never broke up with any bad blood. Nobody sued anybody; nobody was after anybody’s blood. We didn’t divorce as much as we separated, and we always stayed in touch with each other. The lineup played a show in Nashville earlier this year and will be part of Cooper’s shows during November in the U.K., playing a five-song mini-set as part of the concerts. No U.S. plans are set yet, but Cooper says he’d consider having the original lineup in specific cities, including Detroit.

• Touring with Deep Purple this summer feels like a good fit to Cooper, who was having rock hits around the same time during the early and mid-70s. “We played with them in Barcelona and they sounded great. They sounded like Deep Purple, classic,” Cooper says. “They’re not a show band, but they sounded great. It’s going to be one of those shows where it doesn’t matter who goes on first. It’s a co-headlining tour. And if we go on first we get out earlier. I don’t mind that.”

• Cooper is eyeballing a 2018 return of the Hollywood Vampires, his ad hoc all-star group with Johnny Depp and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry that toured during 2016. “The Vampires will be going out in 2018, I would say March or something like that,” Cooper says. “We’ve got to do another album, too. We’ve got to write another album, which is not going to be covers this time. It’s all gonna be original stuff.”

If You Go

• Alice Cooper, Deep Purple and the Edgar Winter Band

• 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3.

• DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.

• Tickets are $45-$99.50 pavilion, $30 lawn.

• Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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