Words by Robert Cavuoto
St Mark Place in the East Village, New York came to a grinding halt as throngs of fans and onlookers packed the sidewalk and street in front of legendary Theater 80 St Marks on August 14th. They were all there to get a glimpse of the stars walking the pink carpet for the New York theatrical premiere of Live from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper and rock cinema Cold Cold Coffin both created by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and former bassist for the Alice Cooper Group Dennis Dunaway.
The five-time award-winning film directed by Steven Gaddis, Live from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper features the original Alice Cooper band reunited and performing live on pink astroturf inside an independent record store in Dallas, Texas in 2015. What started as book signing to promote Dennis Dunaway’s memoirs, Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group, blossomed into a historical event. The owner of Good Records, Chris Penn, accomplished one of the greatest feats in Rock & Roll history by reuniting the original 1970s Alice Cooper group 40 years after they broke up. Under the strictest of confidence by all parties, Chris had arranged for Alice Cooper to secretly perform live with Michael Bruce [guitar], Dennis Dunaway [bass] and Neal Smith [drums]. With the added help of current Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie and bassist Chuck Garric on harmonica, the band performed a blistering six-song set to the surprise and shock of the fans in attendance. The 70-minute film not only features the live performance but interviews with many of the band members as well as the store owner explaining how he pulled off this accomplishment. If that wasn’t enough, the audio from the show was mixed by longtime Alice Cooper producer Bob Erzin!
Cold Cold Coffin which was directed by Brian Cichocki also premiered tonight; a short rock cinema, featuring Dennis Dunaway’s brand new song and featuring Calico Cooper [Alice Cooper’s daughter/singer for Beasto Blanco] as the female lead role. A haunting song about love, deception, and revenge!
The sold-out theater consisted of Dennis Dunaway’s friends, family, musicians, press, photographers, and rabid Alice Cooper fan dying to see and experience this new film. As each powerful song blared through the theater’s speakers, it was met with a thunderous round of applause.
After both film’s premiere, there was a short Q&A featuring all the people that had a role in its creation; including producers, directors, photographers, musicians, and performers.
To continue with the heightened level of excitement, Dennis and his musician friends all jumped on stage to perform a round of songs. First up was a live version of the “Cold Cold Coffin” with Dennis on lead vocals, Chuck Garric of Alice Cooper/Beasto Blanco fame on bass, Nick Didkovsky on guitar, Russ Wilson on drums, and Calico doing an interpretive dance. It was then followed up by fan favorite and Dennis’s signature Alice Cooper song; Black Juju with Ryan Roxie of Alice Cooper joining in on guitar.
Dennis then stepped away from the stage as Calico, Chuck, Ryan, took center stage to perform Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein.”
SiriusXM DJ, Keith Roth who MC of the night then joined in on the action performing Alice Cooper’s classics “Schools Out” and “I’m Eighteen.”
It was an awesomely fun night of film and music as well as hearing about the hard work and passion that went into the movies. Chris Penn in conjunction the Alice Cooper group has released a limited edition deluxe vinyl of the reunion show and alluded to a possible DVD release in the near future. This will be a must-see and hear show for fans of the Alice Cooper group.