Original shock rocker Alice Cooper played his first show in years in Los Angeles on Thursday night at the Orpheum Theatre downtown and was joined by actor-musician Johnny Depp, who’s been giving his own rock chops a serious workout this year.
Cooper and Depp collaborated on several classic rock hits, including the Beatles’ “Revolution,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady,” the Who’s “My Generation” and the Doors’ “Break on Through (to the Other Side,” before tackling Cooper’s own vintage hits, including “I’m Eighteen,” “Poison,” “Under My Wheels” and, of course, “School’s Out.”
Cooper was outfitted in a long black waistcoat over black shirt, pants and leather gloves with matching ghoulish eye makeup. Depp arrived onstage under the same battered cowboy hat with feather that he wore when he appeared in October with Patti Smith at the Wiltern, as well as in April with Cooper disciple Marilyn Manson at the Nokia Theatre.
Cooper’s appearance was part of activities marking the 40th anniversary of his “School’s Out” album and single from 1972, which also is being saluted with a new box set due Tuesday, Dec. 4, “Old School 1964-1974: Special Edition,” a four-CD and download set tracing the band’s formation and initial rise to fame. It’s a condensed version of the super deluxe “Old School” box set released last year.
The Alice Cooper band was formed by singer Vincent Furnier and several friends in Phoenix with the intent of “driving a stake through the heart of the Love Generation,” as Furnier put it. Initially Alice Cooper was strictly the name of the group, but Furnier eventually adopted it as his own stage persona. The latest edition of the band, which backed him Thursday, consists of guitarists Tommy Henriksen, Orianthi and Ryan Roxie, bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel.
“School’s Out” peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, the group’s biggest hit, and the album made it to No. 2. The group snared a No. 1 album the following year with “Billion Dollar Babies,” one of seven Alice Cooper albums that have been certified platinum for sales of more than 1 million copies.
Reportedly no reptiles or fowl were harmed during the show.
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