During Alice Cooper‘s appearance on the February 9 edition of Eddie Trunk‘s SiriusXM satellite radio show, “Eddie Trunk Live”, the legendary rocker spoke about his upcoming covers album featuring songs that were originally written and recorded by THE DOORS, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and THE WHO, members of the so-called “Hollywood vampires” of the early and mid-’70s. He said: “I figured I’m gonna do a covers album. I’ve never done a covers album before. And I was talking to [producer] Bob Ezrin, and I said, ‘Let’s be specific then. Let’s honor our dead drunk friends.’ And we started going through the songs of who and what songs it would be, and it was really… You know, I mean, we said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve gotta do that.’ And then the [guest musicians] started showing up and saying, ‘Hey, I wanna play on that,’ and, ‘I wanna play on that.’ I can’t tell you who’s on what right now, ’cause it’s not gonna be released yet, but it’s the ‘who’s who’ of everything. [Laughs] It was one of those things where, at one point, I’m looking around in the studio and I’m going, ‘Holy crap! Look who’s in the studio.'”
Asked about a possible release date for the covers album, Cooper said: “At this point, I know Shep‘s [Gordon, Alice‘s longtime manager] doing a bunch of different things [to prepare for the album’s release]. And it’s all done. The record’s in the can, ready to. Ezrin did the whole thing. And we’re even now starting to write for the next album, after that. So we’re way ahead of the game right now. I would say it’s probably gonna be out in September — something like that.”
Cooper also talked about his relationship with Ezrin, who produced Alice‘s original multi-platinum “Welcome To My Nightmare” album in 1975, as well as Cooper‘s most recent effort, 2011’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare”.
“The only other person that actually knows who Alice Cooper is is Bob Ezrin,” he said. “I can be doing a song, and Bob can look at me and go, ‘Nah. Let’s use a different voice on that. Alice wouldn’t sing that.’ And I went, ‘Yeah, you’re right. It feels uncomfortable.’ When we’re writing the songs, he knows exactly [when to say], ‘We’re out of our depths here. We’re not doing it. This isn’t Alice.’ And I would take a great song and say, ‘You’re right. This song we should give to somebody else, ’cause it’s just not Alice.’ And the two of us are probably the only two that know what that invisible element is that makes it an Alice song and not an Alice song.”
Cooper‘s covers album will include “four or five new songs,” which the legendary rocker wrote specifically for the new CD. He told VH1 Radio Network‘s Dave Basner: “We decided that in order to set up the ‘Hollywood Vampires’ thing, you had to kind of tell the story, and you had to write songs that were going to set up the story, and then get into the covers. So we had fun sitting there writing these new songs around it. So it’s going to be quite a package, this thing is.”
Regarding how the idea for the covers album came about, Cooper told Yahoo! Music: “Producer Bob Ezrin said to me, ‘You know, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll singer. It would be great to hear you doing someone else’s material once in a while. And then we thought, ‘Well, we can’t just do a covers album where we bounce around from song to song.’ So Bob came up with the idea, ‘Let’s concentrate it on all the guys that you drank with in L.A., the Hollywood Vampires, the ones that are all dead.’ It’s really an ode to all my dead, drunk friends: Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, some of the SMALL FACES, Harry Nilsson, T. REX. These were all of my drinking buddies. I like the title ‘All My Dead Drunk Friends’. It’s just offensive enough to work, but all those guys would have totally got it. They had the same sense of humor. If you told them you were going to do an album after they were gone called ‘All My Dead Drunk Friends’, they would have died laughing.”
Back in 2013, Cooper said about the upcoming CD: “We do a thing in our show, which is a tribute to Hollywood Vampires, my drinking club. And it was Keith Moon, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Micky Dolenz — a very eclectic bunch of drunks. Half of them are dead, so we do four songs in the show in tribute to them. We do ‘Break On Through’, ‘Revolution’, ‘My Generation’ and Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Foxey Lady’. I just kind of said, ‘We’ve never done a covers album, let’s think about that.'”
Asked what some of the wish-list songs were, Cooper said: “I would keep it right to about ’73, ’74. I don’t want to just go anywhere. I want to keep it right in that sort of drunk era, so it’s specific. I would say ‘Break On Through’, that’s a really good rock track there. The other ones, think of it — Harry Nilsson, there’s a lot of good stuff there that could be rocked out. I think of songs as being clay. Take a song like ‘Jump Into the Fire’ and take that to a harder level, and that’ll work.”