February 10, 2023, a month ago

(Motorbooks / The Quatro Group)

Rich Catino

Rating: 10.0

review classic rock alice cooper


There have been many books written about the legend Alice Cooper. This latest hardcover (with slipcase), by Gary Graff, not only covers every studio album, but includes a gatefold timeline of events, plus two posters and an 8"x10" picture of Alice. What is great about this book is its laid-out for someone who wants to learn about Cooper's (real name Vincet Furnier) career and music without providing too much information, or comments either by Alice himself or others involved. Each chapter is two to four pages providing key events (with a few pictures) and part of the timeline. 

Beginning with his childhood, family, his hometown of Detroit, band names Earwigs, the Spiders, and Nazz before settling on Alice Cooper, original band members, to the latest album Detroit Stories. There are also chapters in between the albums talking about the people who were part of Cooper's life creatively and personally, like Frank Zappa who signed the band in 1969 as Alice recounts Zappa saying, "Okay, okay, I'm going to sign you, but only because I don't get it." Bob Ezrin who produced four Alice albums, which includes the single "I'm Eighteen" in 1970 from the album Love It To Death, and "Schools Out" in 72.

Moving into the ‘80s, the four albums between ‘80-‘83 (Flush The Fashion to DaDa) Cooper calls "the blackout albums" because he was struggling with addiction and each album only gets a paragraph. Clean and sober after a second time in rehab Alice has a comeback with two albums, more metal and energized for Constrictor in 1986 (with a few pictures from The Nightmare Returns tour), and Raise Your Fist And Yell the following year. Did you know Kip Winger was the bassist and Paul Taylor played keyboard during the Constrictor tour? Well, there is a chapter about that too. And there is also his acting career which is covered like appearances in Prince Of Darkness, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, to his famous scene in Wayne's World and the line, "We're not worthy.”

During the ‘90s, Alice releases two more albums, and pursues other projects like Solid Rock Foundation which includes a celebrity golf tournament, to a short-lived restaurant called Alice Cooper'stown. By the 2000's till today, Alice again remains relevant by not only releasing new music, going on tour with the likes of Rob Zombie who brings the influence of Alice Cooper to a new generation, but collaborating with others. 

There is a chapter talking about who he has worked with in music as a guest singer, comics, and later on theater playing King Herod for NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar in 2018. His induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, documentary Super Dupper Alice Cooper, and side band Hollywood Vampires with Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and actor Johnny Depp.

Add this one to the coffee table collection.

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