4

Alice Cooper Played a Surprise Reunion With His Original Band at Good Records

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Good Records has hosted many great in-store signings and shows, but Tuesday night, they made rock 'n' roll history when all of the surviving members of the Alice Cooper Group played an 8-song set.

On Monday, rumors floated around that the former Vince Furnier would join guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith for the first time since Alice Cooper’s induction into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. But nothing was set in stone. It just so happened Alice Cooper the solo artist would be in town a day early during a tour with Mötley Crüe while Dunaway, Smith and Bruce were in town to do a Q&A for Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!, Dunaway’s memoir of the days when Alice Cooper was a band and not just the name of its frontman.

By Tuesday evening, more rumors were abound in the parking lot of the Lower Greenville mainstay. Owner/manager Chris Penn would not explicitly say Cooper would show up and play, but he didn’t deny it. A couple hundred people gained access to the store after purchasing a copy of Dunaway’s book and no one was turned away.

After Robert Wilonsky moderated the Q&A with Smith, Dunaway and Bruce, where stories of the band’s early days were discussed, the signing slowly began. The three sat in fake electric chairs on pink Astroturf, under balloons that spelled out Alice Cooper. Everyone got a green ticket with a number and the numbers were called by groups. While many people got books, records, posters and other memorabilia signed, a visibly stressed Penn told the remaining people in line that the cut-off for signing would be 9:45. Simply, the signing line went too slow, but Penn offered people a chance to leave merch to be signed at the store or at the after-party at Midnight Rambler.

The people that did get signed merch were asked to wait in the parking lot and come back in when the band was ready to play. Joined by guitarist Ryan Roxie taking the parts left by the deceased Glen Buxton, Bruce took lead on the first song, “Caught in a Dream." When the second tune started, Cooper took the stage to rapturous applause. Going into “I’m Eighteen” for the third song, it was apparent this version of the Alice Cooper Group is the kind that is never seen in public. There were no snakes, chickens, pillow feathers, confetti, or guillotines; it was simply Detroit-styled R&B, garage rock and blues filtered through the Beatles, the Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones and Frank Zappa. In other words, it was a way to enjoy the tunes as great tunes, not mediocre tunes masked by costumes and theatrics.
Cooper had a lot of great quips between songs, like mentioning it had been 40 years since they played “Is It My Body” and how Paul McCartney was afraid of “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Rounding out with the great sing-along to “School’s Out,” the five left the stage and the crowd wanted an encore. After a handful of minutes of “Will they or won’t they?” they came back onto the stage and did “Elected.”

By 11:00, the reunion was all over, but people came away happy. The majority of the crowd was an over-45 crowd, but they clearly loved Cooper as a lifelong artist, not just something they listened to during teenage growing pains. A number of people flew from California to see this potential reunion while many others were from around the DFW area. They certainly got to see something that was super-rare and extremely memorable. 

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.