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Alice Cooper on Bonnaroo: 'I can't wait to kill this audience'

Billboard -- For 20 years, Alice Cooper fans have aped the "We are not worthy!" salutation from "Wayne's World." But the shock rocker is anticipating a new catchphrase taking root soon thanks to his cameo in the new film adaptation of "Dark Shadows."

"We're going to get T-shirts made that say 'Alice Cooper is the ugliest woman in the world ... Barnabas Collins,'" Cooper told during a conference call with reporters promoting his appearance at this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. "As soon as (Johnny Depp) said that, 'cause it got a big laugh in the movie theater, I went, 'Boy, I just got stuck with a new one. That's gonna be the new catch line.'"

Bing music: Alice Cooper

The "Dark Shadows" bump comes in front of a busy rest of the year for Cooper, including a tour itinerary with a run of shows as special guest for Iron Maiden and, besides Bonnaroo, appearances at Milwaukee's Summerfest, the RBC Bluesfest and Sarnia Bayfest in Canada, Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisc., and a late July and August sing through Europe. At the same time he'll be preparing for the fall launch of a fresh production built around last year's "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" album, the sequel to 1975's platinum "Welcome to My Nightmare."

"In October, we go out with an entirely new show," Cooper reported. "Things are being built right now. The stuff for that show is in construction as we speak. I had a big meeting with Shep (Gordon, his manager) and a couple of the directors and, yeah, it's going to be fun." Cooper played just one song from the album, "Bite Your Face Off," during his 2011 shows, but this year he's planning to add additional "Nightmare 2" material, including "Caffeine" and "Runaway Train."

Also: 2012 Major Music Festivals

"With Iron Maiden, we're like the guest star, so we're only doing an hour," Cooper says. "We'll just be doing all the hits during that, plus the theatrics and stuff, but you're really kind of limited to doing all your big stuff. When we do our normal hour and 45 minutes, it'll be the full-out Alice explosion."

Cooper said he's especially looking forward to doing that on June 9 at Bonnaroo as a late-night Saturday change-of-pace. It's not the kind of show the Bonnaroo crowd is used to seeing, and Cooper is relishing the prospect of winning over the masses in Tennessee.

"I always like to put Alice where he doesn't belong," Cooper explained. "I think there's going to be 80 percent of that audience that has never seen Alice. They've only heard of Alice via Slipknot or Marilyn Manson or whatever. They'll see the real thing this time. If you're in the first 20 rows, you'll probably get some blood on you."

It was a conversation while flying to Nashville to work on "Nightmare 2" that stoked Cooper's interest in bringing his ghouls and guillotines to Bonnaroo. "There were two guys on the plane with me talking about all the Bonnaroo bands," Cooper recalled, "and then one of them says, 'I like the old, blind black guy.' I said, 'Who? Stevie Wonder?' 'Yeah.' The old, blind black guy? I went, 'I can't wait to kill this audience.' They're not expecting me at all. I think they might be expecting the old scary skinny guy. We're gonna go up there to basically do a real Alice Cooper show. I don't think they've seen a classic Alice Cooper show."

May 26, 2012 6:14PM
Love him and it's soo awesome seeing him still perform.  I saw him back in 1972 - was my first concert and what a show he put on.  Years later who would know I would be meeting him, getting his autograph and pictures taken with him.  Love Alice....lets hope he continues to tour and for those of you that have never been to an Alice Cooper show, you're in for a real treat.  I've seen him at least 8x....never get tired of his acts!!!
May 26, 2012 10:35AM
Mercforhire? More like Jerkforhire.
May 26, 2012 10:30AM
I  was in the third row for a Cooper show in 1980. I was 12. I thought he was gonna kill me.
May 26, 2012 9:22AM
Like whom?  Jagger or Springsteen, perhaps?  Time to go back to yer Celine Dion now, bubba.  (btw, it's "seventies"...)
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