Wall of Sound

Originally Published: September 1998

Alice Cooper Works All the Angles

Author: Gary Graff

It's been four years since Alice Cooper's last studio album, The Last Temptation, but the original shock-rocker is planning for a busy 1999. First off, there will be an album of new material, written by Cooper and his band, with, he says, no outside contributions. "We've got tons of stuff written; I told the band to go out and bring me tapes, and I heard about 12 or 13 different songs that were really good," he says, adding that the album likely won't be the next installment of the planned Last Temptation trilogy. "I've got at least three concepts that are basically written right now, but the next album won't be one of them. It will be a straight-ahead rock and roll album."

Also planned for '99 is the long-awaited Cooper box set. Now in the hands of Rhino Records in collaboration with Warner Bros., where Cooper spent his glory years during the '70s it's been expanded from three to four discs, with a larger booklet and more room for rarities, live tracks, and other collectable material. Cooper has also written a couple of scripts, one of them a science fiction story called Spirits Rebellious, and he's collaborated with Walt Disney composer Alan Menken on a project tentatively called The Seven Deadly, based on the seven deadly sins.

"It'll be a rock 'n' roll album, all sort of entwined with this guy telling the story," Cooper tells Wall of Sound. "We still don't know if it's going to be a Broadway play, a cartoon, an Alice stage show or what. All we know is it's very visual, and it's full of hits. When you have that, you can go in any direction with it."

Cooper's other major project is Cooper's Town, a sports and music-themed restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz., that features memorabilia including a tennis racket signed by Elton John, a soccer ball from Rod Stewart, and a boar's head and arrow from Ted Nugent. The Arizona Diamondbacks' Devon White plans on displaying his eight Golden Glove trophies in the restaurant lobby.

"It's gonna be half sports and half rock 'n' roll," explains Cooper, who also hopes to open a restaurant near the new Tiger Stadium in his hometown of Detroit. "I'm taking the rock and roll guys and getting pictures and memorabilia from them, but dealing with the sports they play." Just call it the Hard Jock cafe.