Alice Cooper may be 71 now, but he’s showing no signs of slowing down. The man who many credit with setting the tone for the modern era of rock and metal has just announced that he’s extending his latest tour through the end of November 2019 – and that’s not all he’s got up his sleeve.
The tour will go by the name of ‘Ol Black Eyes Is Back’ – a reference to both Frank Sinatra and Cooper’s unique style of makeup. Whether we’ll get to see that usual look in the forthcoming tour is another matter – in speaking to journalists and the press about what to expect on the tour, Cooper will only confirm that it will feature a ‘very different look.’ For a man as eccentric as the ‘Poison’ singer, that could mean anything. Could it be even more over the top than we’re used to? Could it be a stripped-back, intimate theatre setting? Knowing Cooper’s usual style that seems unlikely, but the suggestion of something new is sure to have his loyal fans on the edge of their seats.
Cooper was already on tour for the tail end of the summer, co-headlining with Halestorm throughout June and July across the USA, including an eye-brow raising date at the Opry House, where he’s sure to stand out like a sore thumb against their usual array of touring country music singers.
With his textbook vagueness, Cooper also suggested that there might be a reason for the solo tour. Rolling Stone got the scoop from the man himself, and it seems that new music might be on the way from Cooper. We were beginning to fear that we might go a whole twelve months without hearing anything new from him. His last ‘full’ album was released in 2017 under the title Paranormal, which was well-reviewed, and contained tracks such as “Paranoiac Personality” and “Fallen In Love” in which Cooper seemed to turn back the hands of time, giving his performance the energy of a man half his age. That album was a collaborative project, featuring star names from across the world of rock including Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and Deep Purple’s Roger Glover, as well as three members of the original Alice Cooper band.
We didn’t get a new album from Cooper in 2018, but he did issue a live version of the album recorded in Paris, along with live renditions of a few tracks that didn’t make the cut of the album.
While we don’t have a steer yet on what the new album might sound like, it’s understood to be a ‘solo’ Alice Cooper record, and is intended to be a return to his hard rock roots. Obviously, that interests us! Cooper told Rolling Stone that four of the tracks had already been recorded, and he’d made a conscious decision to work with artists from Detroit on all four of them. It’s Cooper’s opinion that hard rock came from Detroit, and that the Detroit sound and the Alice Cooper sound are one and the same thing.
By the time the tour is over, it will have been an exceptionally busy year for Cooper, and he’ll have played more dates than most performers in their 20’s. As if a six-month tour weren’t enough, he’s also been out on the road throughout spring with his ‘part-time’ project Hollywood Vampires, an ‘all-star’ band that also features Joe Perry and Johnny Depp. The band was set up to ‘honour the legends who died of excess during the 1970’s, many of whom were known to Cooper personally. The band will shortly be releasing their second album’ Rise,’ which could even conceivably require further performances by Cooper in support of the recording.
While forming what is effectively a tribute band to dead musicians with a Hollywood star would be a strange thing to do by most people’s standards, Alice Cooper isn’t most people. This is the same man who once decapitated baby dolls as part of his stage show, and once wouldn’t play at all if he couldn’t go on stage with a live snake around his neck. Cooper will do anything to promote his music. He’s even got a presence in the world of gambling, with an official online casino game that features both his likeness and his music. In establishing a casino presence, he joins Guns n Roses, Megadeth, and Jimi Hendrix on Lion Wins, all of whom have UK slots casino games which work with a similar premise. There are certainly worse ways of passing the time than spinning the reels with an Alice Cooper soundtrack to keep you focused.
Full details of Cooper’s tour are currently listed on his website, but it starts at the Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, Florida on 11/03, and finishes at the Mystic Lake Casino Showroom in Prior Lake, Minnesota on 11/20. There are currently three months between the end of his run of dates with Halestorm and the commencement of his own tour, but given the impending release of the Hollywood Vampires album, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him fill that time going back on the road with Depp and his friends.
If Cooper continues at his current rate of energy and enthusiasm, then we have no doubt that he’ll still be on stage at the age of 74 in 2022 to celebrate an incredible six years in the rock and roll industry – the kind of longevity that the majority of rock stars either burn out or fade away long before. He credits his longevity and enduring popularity with the fact that he long ago gave up drugs and alcohol, and also staying clear of politics in both interviews and in his music. He vividly remembers being sat in the middle of a political argument between John Lennon and Harry Nilsson, and telling both of them to shut up because he didn’t care.
They broke the mold when they made Alice Cooper – which is probably just as well, because the world couldn’t cope with two of them – and we hope he goes on forever. Don’t miss the chance to go and check out the living legend if he’s playing near you!
Header image by Katie Frost Photography