Tag Archive | Alcoholism

Recommended Viewing: Super Duper Alice Cooper

Super Duper Alice Cooper Poster

I’m going to assume that everyone reading this not only knows who Alice Cooper is, but is also aware that “Alice Cooper” was originally the name of a band with five guys in it. If you don’t know that much, you need to do your homework. Aside from getting your hands on Bob Greene’s long out of print book, Billion Dollar Baby, this film is as good a place as any to get schooled.

Although many only know Alice Cooper as an individual solo artist and Pop Culture icon, there are legions of devoted fans who are deeply dedicated to the music, history and memory of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted original band called Alice Cooper – a group that recorded seven groundbreaking gold and platinum-selling albums of original material and set single concert attendance World Records before disbanding in late 1974. For that latter group, let me speculate now that there will never be a better-made, more authentic public vehicle for telling the story of that original band, in as close to the ‘true story’ as possible, than this film. If the statement “Alice Cooper was a Band” resonates with you, then there is no way you will want to miss seeing this film.

Super Duper Alice Cooper is a highly entertaining documentary that aims to tell the life story of Vincent Furnier, the lead singer of the band Alice Cooper, who took the name as his own when the group disbanded. Vince/Alice’s story is told via first person voice over and vintage interview clips with Alice, but Alice Cooper band bassist Dennis Dunaway (whom Furnier met in high school) and drummer Neal Smith, who joined the band when they were still called The Nazz, also contribute to its engaging narrative. Furnier’s early days playing in local Phoenix bands with Dunaway and AC co-founder and lead guitarist, the late Glen Buxton are discussed in fairly minute detail, so you get a really good idea of the struggle that these guys went through on their way to becoming the biggest band in the world. Oddly, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter, Michael Bruce is never mentioned by name even once in the film.

The most enjoyable parts of the film, for me, were the up-and-coming story of the band, its transition into becoming Alice Cooper, and the insane live performance footage, 90 percent which I would guess has never been shown in public before. It is one thing to read about how the band Alice Cooper invented Shock Rock, but it is an entirely different animal to see it play out before your eyes. No wonder that fans who were lucky enough to see the band live 40 years ago still talk about those shows to this day.

I’d say that a good 80 percent of Super Duper Alice Cooper is dedicated the formation and disintegration of the band (and holy shit, what a great fucking band they were), with the other 20 percent covering Alice’s budding solo career, alcoholism, cocaine addiction and recovery. So, there’s something for everyone. Consult Google to find a showing in your area, or wait for the DVD release. Either way, you gotta see this film.

The Worley Gig Gives Super Duper Alice Cooper 5 out of 5 Stars!

Remembering Steve Clark

Portrait of Steve Clark Guitarist for Def Leppard
Image Source

On This Date, January 8th, in 1991: Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark was found dead at his Chelsea flat by his girlfriend, after a night of heavy drinking and prescription drug consumption. He was 30 years old. An autopsy revealed the cause of death as an overdose of codeine combined with Valium, morphine and alcohol. In 2007, Clark was ranked No.11 on Classic Rock Magazine’s 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes. What a waste. RIP, Steve.

Must See Broadway Show: Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking!

Wishful Drinking Playbill Cover

Even though I live right in the heart of hustling, bustling Manhattan, I do not tend to see a lot of Broadway shows, particularly since being made to suffer the tortures of the damned that is Spring Awakening. But when Geoffrey came back from having seen Carrie Fisher’s one woman show, Wishful Drinking, with non-stop rave reviews, I knew I had to check it out. Because Geoffrey knows his funny. Knowing that my BFF Sue would be in town visiting me from LA this past weekend, I purchased a couple of tickets for us to see Wishful Drinking on Saturday evening. (BTW Goldstar Events has tickets for selected show dates on sale for half price, so I recommend checking that site first before going to the box office/Ticketmaster). Needless to say, we were not disappointed.

Wishful Drinking Geneology

In Wishful Drinking, Ms. Fisher, the actress best known to everyone as the iconic Princess Leia from Star Wars, candidly enthralls the audience with various excerpts from her recent autobiography of the same title. From the flow-chart-style examination of her convoluted “celebrity” family tree (her parents are actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher) to her “behind the scenes” tidbits about working with director George Lucas on Star Wars, to her marriages, bouts with drug rehab and ongoing treatment for Bipolar Disorder, Carrie takes a brutally frank approach to peeling back the layers of her darkly comic and extremely fascinating life. Mental illness was never so hilarious! Sue and I completely fell in love with Carrie while laughing our asses off. Immediately after the show ended, we ran around to the back of the theater and hovered briefly by the stage door, from which Carrie soon exited and cheerfully signed our Playbills! Yay for souvenirs! Trust me, even if you think Star Wars blows, this is one Broadway show you will not want to miss if at all humanly possible, because Carrie Fisher is awesome.

Wishful Drinking runs through January 3, 2010 at the Roundabout Theater (formerly Studio 54), 254 West 54th Street; (212) 719-1300. Running time: 2 hours & 20 minutes (including a 15 minute intermission).
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