Monday, July 22, 2024

Alice Cooper Relaunches Satirical U.S. Presidential Campaign

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Alice Cooper‘s next presidential campaign has begun, and this time he’s… well, not entirely serious, but a bit more on point than he’s been previously.

Since releasing “Elected” on 1972’s Billion Dollar Babies album (a revision of the track “Reflected,” the first single from the band’s 1969 debut, Pretties For You), the largely apolitical Cooper has used the song as fodder for his act, staging mock rallies at the end of his shows, stumping for his Wild Party and branding himself “a troubled man for troubled times.”

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It’s been part of the climax of his latest show, which debuted during April 2023, but now he’s adding verbiage that “I have absolutely no idea what to do — so I should fit right in.” He’s also launched the website aliceforpresident.com, which promises “ongoing virtual rallies and Q&A sessions,” and urges fans to “Stay informed. Join the Conversation. Be Part of the Movement.

If elected he will not serve, of course, but Cooper seems more vested in being part of the discussion as the election season intensifies.

“It’s the same joke over and over. It was funny when I started doing it, now I’m really tired of it,” the Arizona resident tells Billboard from his current tour in Europe. “I just can’t’ believe these two (candidates) are the best we can do. Y’know what they really are? These two are the best that money can buy. What they should do is just pick up a phone book and put a finger on somebody; whoever it is, if it’s a guy who owns a gas station in Iowa, he should be president… It seems like anybody out there can be better than these two guys.”

Cooper adds that touring overseas has also given him additional perspective about the situation. “Everyone here’s terrified with what’s happening with our presidential race,” the artist says. “Everybody that I talk to in Europe goes, ‘Really? Is that the best you can do is these two guys?’ and I go, ‘I have no idea.’”

He’s been adding to the political commentary, too, by keeping the straitjacket that he wears during “Ballad of Dwight Fry” on when he mounts the tall, bunting-adorned podium to deliver “Elected.”

“That’s the funniest bit of it. Here’s this maniac in a straitjacket going, ‘You could do better! I’m your man!’ Alice in the straitjacket makes the point, y’know? ‘Let insanity reign!’”

Electoral satire aside, Cooper’s own campaign trail will be a busy one for the rest of the year. He and his band are in Europe through mid-July, returning to North America starting July 30 in Niagara Falls, Canada, and including another run of the Freaks On Parade Tour with Rob Zombie, Ministry and Filter during the late summer. Another European run, meanwhile, takes place in October.

Cooper has also finished work on “a surprise album” to follow last year’s Road. He isn’t offering any details, including a title or release date, other than “it turned out to be very unique.” He’s also enjoying new life on syndicated radio with Alice’s Attic, the successor to Nights With Alice Cooper. He’s expanded his presentation with the five-hour program, introducing a variety of characters and more aural theatricality.

“I actually am having more fun with it now, because I can go to different places with it,” Cooper says. “It’s basically the same kind of show except now I put it into a form where I can have characters, ’cause once you’re in Alice’s Attic there’s broken dolls, a butler, Madeline the Mannequin — things you would normally find in an attic are now characters in the show. I’ve gotten to make it a little creepier, a little funnier.”



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