Well, we’ve finished our New Zealand / Australian tour. We have had such strong crowds here, and fan reaction to the new album has been great! Sony Music Australiainformed us last week that the album debuted at #16 here, which is just shy of Germany where the album debuted at #15. We’re off to Singapore this morning, but before we go here’s a quick recap!
First - if you HAVEN’T seen them yet, you’ve been living under a rock and you should check out the youtube site for the Australian and New Zealand legs of the tour. See it here - http://www.youtube.com/aliceoztour. There are tons of great live videos, fan clips, and behind the scenes footage! Definitely worth a look!
At the beginning of this leg we had an amazing album release party at the Hard Rock Sydney, where Alice rubbed elbows with fans, answered questions and signed seemingly every Alice Cooper album in Australia. Sony Music Australia has really kicked ass here and worked tirelessly to help us promote the new album. Great job guys!
Orianthi - She had her first set of shows with Alice in Australia. Let’s get right down to it, she had less than a week to learn 28 Alice Cooper songs and figure out our stage show. There’s a lot going on up there, and that’s a challenge for any musician. She stepped in for Damon Johnson seamlessly and the shows have been amazing. She definitely adds some spice to the stage, and her style of playing is really a departure from Damon’s and it’s always good to keep things fresh. Fan’s have loved her, and we have enjoyed welcoming her into our extended family.
Funny story about Ori... Yesterday in Perth Alice and I were coming into the hotel from the airport and were on our way to start some interviews (more on this later), and we see the hotel staff rushing around... Apparently, Ori was trapped in an elevator between the 2nd and 3rd floor, and it had DROPPED 4 floors before stopping there. Our thoughtful crew guys and Karen Hunter patiently hung out at the elevator doors for an hour and a half while the engineers tried to open the doors, chatting with her and trying to keep her mind on other things... Elevator music can be lethal in large doses you know... She was in there so long that eventually they decided to pump some oxygen into the elevator, just in case, but there was little danger of her running out of air, or of the pure oxygen reacting with Ori’s astonishingly blonde hair. She finally made it out in good spirits, and the hotel comped her stay, upgraded her and comped all of her food and drinks... Pretty good idea Ori, I’m going to remember that. I’m on to your tricks...
Auckland - Ori’s first full production show ever, and the first show of a new tour. Always hectic, but it went off without a hitch. Sold out, great crowd as always. Alice wore an All Blacks jersey for Elected, much to the delight of the crowd. It’s funny, you never think of Alice fans being sports fans but the jerseys always get a huge reaction. It’s funny seeing the entire crowd, in Alice makeup, screaming and going nuts at the sight of the local sports team’s jersey. It’s one of my favorite parts of the show. The rest of the tour Alice wore a yellow Wallabies Jersey during Elected. That way he didn’t have to choose an AFL team and cause a riot.
Brisbane - My first thought about Brisbane is the Story Bridge. It’s very beautiful. Hey, what do you want from me, I don’t get out of my hotel much and that’s all I could see! No seriously though, Brisbane was great. I had my first experience with a black headed python, which is a local breed that sort of harkens back to ancient snakes. It has no external hearing or heat sensors, and it’s head, which is jet black, is much smaller than most Pythons. The rest of it’s body is a cool black and tan look, like a tiger. It’s a very cool snake that looks dangerous. We tried to use these on the whole Australian run where we could.
Sydney - Obviously a favorite stop in Australia. There’s great shopping, photos, food. Alice had lunch with Meatloaf, and they spoke of Meat opening a chicken restaurant. Really Meat? Chicken? Your name is Meatloaf! Open a Meatloaf joint! The venue was the Enmore Theatre, where some insane fan stole one of the billboards advertising the show a few months back. It’s a 10FT by 8FT hard backed billboard. They stole it in the rain. Who has a wall big enough for this!? The Enmore is an interesting place. It’s a beautiful theatre, but it has a very spooky vibe backstage. There’s a rumor that an employee hung himself in an upstairs space above the stage. Ironically, the first time I came here with Alice we played the Enmore, and we hung Alice on stage directly below where this poor chap supposedly did. Creepy? Yes. But it’s a good story and you like it.
Melbourne - We had two shows in Melbourne, which is a good thing because both nights sold out. While we were there, Alice visited the Triple M Breakfast Radio show, where he spoke of Keith Moon in a French Maid’s outfit... Yes, there are stories like this every day... Check it out here: We also had torrential rains for the first show in Melbourne, with crazy wind blowing so hard we thought the windows we’re going to shatter. There was an intense lightning storm during Alice’s interviews in the afternoon, which provided an amazing backdrop from the 473rd floor... Or was it the 47th? Either way it was too close for comfort. Afterwards, Chuck and I went for dinner and witnessed a lightning strike hit a building, travel thru the building and destroy a tram car. The entire top of the tram exploded into a blue and green shower of sparks and fire. Oddly, the doors opened and people just strolled off like it was no big deal. Seriously people, you’re on fire. I know it’s raining and all but have a sense of urgency. Speaking of fire, the last time I was personally here with Alice, the Palais Theatre building caught fire shortly after Alice finished his performance. Sounds fishy to me...
Perth - We ruined 4 weddings. Seriously. We did an interview with the Sunday Times on Saturday, and believe it or not we did that on purpose... See, you do an interview on Saturday to help promote and peak interest in the show you’re performing on SUNDAY. At least that’s what is SUPPOSED to happen. So we did our interview, and we gave them something really special... We brought in Frankenalice, the lovable monster. He’s not an easy thing to carry around, I mean it’s a 14 foot Frankenstein monster. It’s not like it’s carry on luggage. But we decided to have him delivered to the hotel specifically for this interview to surprise The Times and promote the show on Sunday. Alice and Frank did some photos in the loading dock, and then I had an idea... There was a grand piano in the lobby of the hotel, and a bunch of stuffy suits and well dressed ladies to annoy too. So Frank lumbered around the building nearly causing several accidents as drivers stared at HIM instead of the road... We ducked into the lobby and what do you know, it’s a wedding. One of 4 weddings at the hotel. We were there already, so much to the dismay of the hotel staff, Frank sat down at the piano and sang a few tunes. The Times photographer took some great shots with Alice and Frank. It was all in good fun, and the ladies took a real liking to Frank which is a good thing... He doesn’t get out much. The hotel staff wasn’t pleased, but we weren’t pleased with Orianthi being stuck in the elevator for an hour and a half... I mean she ALMOST missed Frank and Alice’s duet in the lobby! But it was all for not... We read the Sunday Times the following morning, the day of the show mind you, and found that the interviewer had actually reviewed the show. The show he claimed we played on Saturday night. When we were in fact snuggled into our beds watching ghost hunters. How or why a journalist can get the facts this wrong is beyond me, but what was even more amazing is that he mentions songs we haven’t played all year as being part of the set, and went on to say we played a bunch of songs from the new album. During the interview, the guy literally asked Alice if he had made any other albums. Astonishing. I’ve faked my way thru many an essay or test... The internet is a big place, a little research goes a long way when you’re phoning it in. But at least we got a good review, he could have hated the imaginary show... That’s what happens when you try to do something nice for people.
Anyway, we’re off to Singapore today which is very exciting. We have never played Singapore or Jakarta, which is rare these days. Alice has been around long enough to have played everywhere, so it’s very cool to visit a new place. Singapore, here we come! Hope you’re ready...