The new Alice Cooper documentary Super Duper Alice Cooper will premiere today at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival at the Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 7 in New York City. The film, which is being billed as the first-ever "doc opera," tells the dramatic true story of how Vincent Furnier, a preacher's son who was born in Detroit and raised in Phoenix, grew up to be one of rock music's most outlandish entertainers.
The movie also examines Cooper's struggles with alcohol and drug abuse during the 1970s and early '80s, and his reemergence as a clean-and-sober elder rock statesman. Super Duper Alice Cooper combines archival footage and photos, animated segments and theatrical scenes with new audio interviews with Alice, members of his original band, longtime manager Shep Gordon, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Iggy Pop, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider, Sex Pistols singer John Lydon and others.
One of the interesting devices directors Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen and Reginald Harkema used in the film was the integration of clips from the 1920 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to reflect Cooper's struggle for identity with the character he portrayed on stage.
Cooper tells ABC News Radio that he loved the use of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the documentary, and recalls that "the guys came to me and they said, 'We just can't do a normal autobiography because it's Alice Cooper and that's a character that's always theatrical. We have to do something different…We were thinking about Jekyll and Hyde." Alice added that he thought the character was perfect as an analogy for his struggle.
As the film reveals, as Cooper's popularity and fame skyrocketed, he began drinking to excess while acting as if his crazy concert persona was who he was in real life.
"I think that when I was drinking there was a big, gray area of where Alice began and where I stopped," he says. "And, when I got sober I finally realized the fact that, yeah, I don't have to be this character all the time."
Although Alice went through extensive treatment for his alcoholism in the late 1970s, he relapsed in the early '80s, adding a serious cocaine problem on top of his drinking issues. The period is captured in the film in an interview clip taped during his 1981-1982 tour in support of his Special Forces album in which he appears frighteningly gaunt.
Cooper says of the segment, "I look at that and I go, 'That was another life.' I mean, that was 32 years ago, and, to me, it doesn't even seem like that was me…I mean, I know it was me but you don't really realize how deep you get into things until you [see a video like that]."
Cooper got sober for good shortly after that, and now he says he has no trouble separating his real life from that of the onstage Alice.
"I can live my life every day with my wife and my kids and go play golf and go to the mall and go to church on Sunday and do everything that a dad does, and then when it's time to play Alice, well, I look forward to that now," he tells ABC News Radio. "It's sort of like Anthony Hopkins looking forward to playing Hannibal Lecter. I mean, how much fun is that?"
Cooper will attend tonight's premiere and will take part during a Q&A session during the event.
"You can ask me anything," he says of the planned interview segment. "I have got no skeletons in the closet here, so it doesn't matter to me what you want to talk about. We'll talk about it."
After wrapping up a second series of performances of his RockTellz & CockTails show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Meat Loaf has now lined up a third residency. The veteran singer's new engagement will include 21 dates, beginning May 6 and running through June 21. During the stint, which again will be held at the PH Showroom at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, performances will take place each week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.
RockTellz & CockTails Presents Meat Loaf combines a rock concert with a multimedia display featuring archival film and photos, as well as a Q&A session. During each show, Meat Loaf sings many of his classic hits from his Bat out of Hell trilogy, including "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," as well as other memorable songs from throughout his career. He also shares a variety of exciting stories about his many years in show business.
"I'm having so much fun with this show and am thrilled to be coming back again," says Meat Loaf in a statement. "It's exciting every night for me to step on that stage with a show that draws together all aspects of my career. It really is the show I was born to do."
Tickets for the show cost from $69 to $149, not including taxes and fees. VIP packages -- including a meet-and-greet with Meat Loaf, premium seats, an autographed scarf and a souvenir photo -- can be purchased for $750. Tickets are available now at the Planet Hollywood Box Office, at Ticketmaster outlets, and at Ticketmaster.com. Visit RockTellz.com to check out a complete list of performances and more details about the show.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Bob Dylan is off the hook after charges of hate speech, brought against him in France last year, have been dismissed. At issue was an alleged racist remark he made about Croatians in a 2012 Rolling Stone interview.
On Tuesday a court in Paris dismissed a case brought against Dylan last November by the Council of Croats in France, according to Agence France-Presse.
Dylan was sued over an answer he gave Rolling Stone to a question about parallels between the U.S. of the 1860s and present-day America. "If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood," the magazine quoted Dylan as saying, leading the Croatian group to sue under French hate-speech laws.
However, a judge ruled that Dylan was not culpable because he hadn't given consent for his comments to be published in the French-language edition of the magazine. The judge did order the magazine's French editor to stand trial, though, the AFP reports.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Paul McCartney has added six more dates to the U.S. leg of his ongoing Out There Tour on top of the four he revealed last week. Among the newly announced shows will be his first-ever full headlining concerts in Lubbock, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, as well as stops in Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville and Salt Lake City.
Sir Paul will kick off the stateside leg on June 14 in Lubbock, which was the hometown of one of his musical idols, the late Buddy Holly. The ex-Beatles star will rock Jacksonville on June 22, having only previously performed a four-song set in the city in 2005 during the Super Bowl XXXIX halftime show.
McCartney will play Dallas on June 16 and Atlanta on June 21. He last performed in the Texas metropolis back in 2005, although he did visit nearby Arlington, Texas, during his 2009 summer tour. His last trip to Atlanta also took place in '09.
Rounding out the new shows, McCartney will perform in Nashville on June 25 and in Salt Lake City on August 7. Paul only played in those cities once before, during his 2010 Up and Coming Tour.
Tickets for the new U.S. dates will go on sale to the general public on April 25 at 10 a.m. local time. PaulMcCartney.com members and American Express Card members will get the chance to purchase pre-sale tickets starting, respectively, this Thursday and this Monday at 10 a.m. local time.
By the way, McCartney's previously announced U.S. concerts -- June 19 in New Orleans; June 26 in Louisville, Kentucky; July 5 in Albany, New York; and July 7 in Pittsburgh -- all have sold out.
First up for the rock legend will be a Latin American leg that gets under way this Saturday in Montevideo, Uruguay. He also has shows lined up in Japan and South Korea in late May.
Here are all of McCartney's confirmed U.S. tour dates:
6/14 -- Lubbock, TX, United Spirit Arena
6/16 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
6/19 -- New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center
6/21 -- Atlanta, GA, Philips Arena
6/22 -- Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
6/25 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
6/26 -- Louisville, KY, Yum! Center
7/5 -- Albany, NY, Times Union Center
7/7 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Consol Energy Center
8/7 -- Salt Lake City, UT, EnergySolutions Arena
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
This past October, Who singer Roger Daltey revealed to Rolling Stone that his band was planning to launch a 50th anniversary tour sometime in 2015, but now guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend is reporting that the trek will get under way a bit earlier. Townshend tells Billboard that the outing will start around Christmastime in the United Kingdom and then will make its way to North America next year.
"It will be a world tour," explains the 68-year-old rocker. "I'm not crazy about going on the road, but I'm in good shape and once I start doing it -- and I'm still very good at it -- I'll take some pleasure from it." The trek is expected to be the band's last major tour.
Meanwhile, Pete reports that he's finally hoping to put together a new Who studio album, which would be a follow-up to 2006's Endless Wire.
"I'm trying to [look] through my 20,000 hours of complete and utter disorganized music [to find possible songs]," he says. "I'll be pulling some songs out of [his long-in-the-works project] 'Floss' to give to Roger to see if we've got enough to make an album." He adds, "It might be a big waste of time, but I'm hoping there will be an album."
Reflecting on the tour that will mark his band's half-century-long career, Townshend tells Billboard that although he's prepared for it, the trek comes at a transitional period in his life.
"I'll be 69 in May and all my friends are getting ill or dying," he points out. "I knew it would happen. I will be happy if I give people something that makes fans happy. It takes some great planning and I hope it opens up other things that we can avail ourselves of."
As previously reported, outside of his work with The Who, Townshend has co-written and recorded a new song titled "It Must Be Done" that will get its premiere on the April 30 episode of the FX espionage-drama series The Americans, which airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio