Alice Cooper is still a billion dollar baby. Super Duper Alice Cooper comes to Central Florida
By Peter Covino
Way before Kiss and Twisted Sister and dozens of other “shock rock” bands featuring guys with long hair and makeup, there was
Alice Cooper, the man, aka, Vincent Furnier, as well as Alice Cooper, the band, is back in the new documentary Super Duper Alice Cooper.
This is much more about Furnier than the band, but the two entities, are pretty much inseparable, even though Furnier was the face and soul of the band. And it almost killed him.
Super Duper Alice Cooper, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival Thursday and opens in select theaters nationwide April 30, including Central Florida.
It has been deemed the first ever “doc opera,” a catchy name, for a documentary featuring songs, and while an interesting film, it isn’t exactly ground-breaking.
Alice Cooper fans will find it all interesting, but if they have been there pretty much from the beginning (way back in the early 1970s), I doubt if there is really anything new here. But for the casual fan, or if you were just too young to remember, the film is a great place to catch up on all you missed.
With lots of photos and some film as well, Super Duper Alice Cooper takes you back to the place of his and the band’s birth, Detroit. Furnier, the son of a preacher, and sort of pale and sickly, could hardly have been envisioned to be a shock rock pioneer, the kind of guy your mother warned you about, back in the day.
Furnier and some friends decided to spoof the new No. 1 band at a high school talent show, as Beatlemania took hold, and like many other kids, they were Beatles fans. The high school loved it, and the earliest roots of Alice Cooper, minus the makeup and snakes, was born.
They were not an overnight success. The band went through several name changes, before settling on Alice Cooper, a name settled upon after a Ouija board session revealed Furnier had once been an English witch named Alice Cooper. Yes, there probably are some things even Alice Cooper fans did not know about the band contained in the film.
When it came, success did happen rather quickly, and soon they became one of the hottest acts in America.
And with it, the shy kid from Detroit, discovered alcohol. And after licking that, there was cocaine.
In between, Alice Cooper, the man, became too big for Alice Cooper the band, and Furnier became a solo act, and even become respectable for mom and dad, appearing with Jack Benny, and on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
While Super Duper Alice Cooper does feature concert versions of the band’s biggest hits, as well as Cooper during his Welcome to My Nightmare solo days, it is not a concert film.
Along with film clips and photos, there are interviews with some of the most important people in his life, including bandmates, and other musicians of the era such as Iggy Pop, Bernie Taupin and Johnny Lydon of Sex Pistols fame.
Central Florida theaters showing Super Duper Alice Cooper include the Epic Theatres of Clermont (2405 U.S. 27) and Epic Theatres in Deltona (939 Hollywood Blvd.)
You can check out the trailer for the film at http://youtu.be/65LiL6R9L3I.
A special pre-recorded “Keep Calm & Just Ask Alice” question and answer session and welcome with Furnier will be included with each screening.
You won’t find Don’t Ask Me Questions: The Unsung Life of Graham Parker and the Rumour in theaters, but you will find this contemporary of Alice Cooper’s (well maybe Alice is a bit earlier) on DVD.
Parker and his band just might be the best band from the era that you never heard of, unless you were a fan, as I was. The British rockers never hit it big, but were a critical favorite.
Available from Virgil Films (and iTunes) the DVD features one of those hardest working men in show business you sometimes hear about. Inspiring everyone from Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, as well as Bruce Springsteen, Parker has never gone away.
He and the band are featured in interviews and playing (and they still sound quite good) as they are today, as well as performing some 30 years ago. Parker, now 59, continues to rock on, remaining true to the spirit of New Wave, that he helped get started.
Also featured in the music documentary are interviews with Springsteen, musician and record producer Nick Lowe and filmmaker Judd Apatow, who cast Parker as himself in the hit comedy This Is 40.