(December 13, 2001)
Originally Published: December 13, 2001
Author: Thomas Bond
Alice Cooper, Paradise Valley's own rock'n'roll legend, has long been involved in charitable efforts through his Solid Rock Foundation and its annual celegrity golf tournament. Now he's added a Christmas show to raise funds for the organization.
"All the money goes to teenagers as part of our bylaw," Cooper said of his foundation, which was created in 1995 to financially aid Christian organizations and ministries that work with youths. "This came along, and we thought it would be great to have two money markets."
It all started when Cooper was approached by the folks at Celebrity Theatre.
"(General manager) Reed Glick, who's always supported the Solid Rock Foundation, came to us and said, 'Hey, we've got nothing going on the 13th, why don't I give you the Celebrity Theatre?' (Concert promoter) Danny Zelisko said (his company) Evening Star would help put it together. And my wife, who's been in show business as long as I have, is going to direct it."
Cooper then enlisted the help of some of his many contacts in the music world, as well as comedians and local artists, to perform along with him and his band.
"I called Peter Frampton and he said he'd do it, and John O'Hurley (J. Peterman of "Seinfield" fame) is a buddy of mine, and he said he'd come in and host. All the comedians jumped on board, and the Peacemakers were willing as well," Cooper says.
The show also will feature Sam Moore, Nils Lofgren, Mark Cordes, Michael Finney, Terey Summers and Tim & Mark from KDKB (93.3 FM).
The variety of entertainment at the show - including bell choir Desert Bell International and Dickensian Christmas carolers - led to the show's name.
"It's a mix of stuff, like a Christmas pudding, so that's why we're calling it Pudding," Cooper says. "And we're actually going to have pudding! (Restaurateur) Mark Tarbell is going to make pudding for 2,500 people."
Cooper is planning to stage the event annually.
"This is out first one," he says. "But I think this is the kind of thing that's going to grow every year and get bigger and bigger and better and better."