As Seen On Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Uncle G’s FUN Book Reviews
Spotlight: Michael Bruce (2018 re-issued auto-bio_updated)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
What makes for a good book? Everyone’s answer would be different. We, all seven billion of us humans on this planet, unique. Likes, and dislikes. Not all people on Earth can read, which is sad. Regarding adults, for some, it’s used primarily for learning purposes. Others for leisure. Both are nice. Electronic books being all the rage nowadays. Helps expand our knowledge on all things that interest us. Actually reading is one of the most important tools we have, in regards to acquiring information, all through our lives. Maybe not the part when we’re very old, near death, in diapers, and can’t remember our name. As a writer, I tend to snag those who read for sheer entertainment. Nothing too-too heavy from me. The topics I usually cover, found under the pop culture umbrella.
At the top of my list of books that appeal to me, would be bios. About those people who caught my attention that still live, or others who have passed on and are now decaying corpses, skeletons, or bone ash.
True stories would be next. Murder would be top on my list. Why? I read by the time one is 37 years old, that it would be very possible to have had close contact with a killer, and not know it. A family member, casual encounter, or a tight friend. How weird is that? And it’s always the ones you least suspect.
Over the decades, I’ve read a lot of musicians’ stories. Composers of great creative work, past or present. How can a founding member of the hard rock band, Alice Cooper, not fit in here?
I love stories, as most of us do. Not all creative folks who made a living as a musician, are also natural authors of books. Helping Michael, with THIS book; William James. Nowadays, a BIG name music promoter; Glass Onyon PR. Twenty years ago; Billy James. Back then, doing well with the music (Ant-Bee), and as an author of rock and rollers bios. Together, Michael Bruce with Billy James, back in October of 1996 gave us MB’s autobiography:
No More Mr Nice Guy
The inside story of the Alice Cooper group
By their original guitarist
I was on the Internet back then. We all called it the; world wide web. Many people from the Alice Cooper online community (yes there was such a thing) bitched about the rather long title of the book. Especially critical was Glen Buxton’s sister, Janice. The gripe, was a good one. Her brother was the lead guitarist. Michael, it was pointed out was the rhythm guitarist, and keyboardist. Period! No mention of his singing abilities. And Michael was a major songwriter of the band, you say? So life went on. Meanwhile, this literary masterpiece, which is now in its third printing, in over two decades of being out there in the general public, never changed its name. Que Sera Sera.
Back in 1997, I was in California, when I first saw Michael’s book (now going to be simply referred to as; NMMNG_TisofACgBtog). My now ex-wife #02 pointed it out to me while we were shopping at Virgin Megastore (Hollywood area). Being careful with our expenses, I declined to get it at the moment but commented how really interested I was in checking it out. Less than a half a year later it was mine. Purchased at a Border’s Book Store in Stafford or Sugar Land, Texas. Was able to talk to Michael about it in person, shortly after finishing it. Yes, you read that correctly. By the time I got around to buying/reading Michael’s book, we already knew each other. He lived/gigged in Houston. Played a now closed down club near my townhouse, every once in a while. My then wife Alexandra and I went. We all got to know each other, and over time became good-good friends. Told Michael I enjoyed the read. MB and his then manager, Jeff Jatras (RIP) asked if he was too hard on Alice. Think I replied he probably could have been worse. If that was how he felt, fine. The days, months, and years ahead, I would learn more. Stories that didn’t fit. Like Alice heavily into cocaine at one time. How Michael’s royalties tanked after Alice included a dancing chicken into the act. Meanwhile, a guy nicknamed Renfield was making people’s lives miserable making sure Alice’s internet reputation was just right. Certain stories not allowed, even if true. Would call my house complaining about Michael, time and time again. Ren’s dead now. Can’t say I miss our interactions much.
Okay, so this all makes sense, people knew I was friends with Michael, largely because I assisted him with what we call now; social media. After the book came out. Late 1990’s – the first part of the 2000’s. I also became friends with Billy (co-author). Helped him with various things. My name can be found in the 2nd edition, as well as this new edition. Not in the actual book part; acknowledgments. Which is pretty cool. Michael to this day I’m sure is capable of telling a few stories about me. Example, I was hated and loved back when I was doing his website/newsletter. In my mind, all in all, we did well. Faced evil, for sure. Good things out of that time span. We’re still going strong! Our lives are so different now (2018).
The majority of this book is spoken thru Billy like it was two decades ago. Understand that when reading. Some new material was added when they did a second printing. Still, we’re going back to the turn of the century.
In 2018, there are NEW add-ons which address being inducted into the RnRHoF (Cleveland, OH) and is included along with Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith on Alice’s – Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011). A very cool read! I jumped onto the original Alice Cooper bandwagon, back when Billion Dollar Babies came out. But who didn’t know; School’s Out. All the positive things I found about NMMNG_TisofACgBtog, when I first opened the pages of the first edition, 21 years ago (give or take a few months) are there again, for my enjoyment. The music of Alice Cooper and Michael Bruce, a piece of my childhood soundtrack, and it never stopped. Just a few days ago in preparation for writing this article, I played, Alice Cooper – School’s Out. The 1972 album! I believe as musicians that the five individuals as a group peaked (along with Bob Ezrin) here. No throw-away music/filler. Side A of the album had the song, School’s Out. But the B Side included: My Stars. I would have loved to see the original Cooper band do that, in concert. Was lucky to actually have seen Michael perform it various times (solo shows; late 1990’s/early 2000’s).
Gary “Uncle G” Brown Recommendation
No More Mr Nice Guy
The inside story of the Alice Cooper group
By their original guitarist
A must have! It’s one person’s perspective. A founding member of, Alice Cooper. Dictated at a time when things were not so happy in Cooperville. Included are lots of wonderful pictures including one that I originally gave my friend, Kevin Landreneau, photo credit for. It was me! Ann Rice and Michael. We were in New Orleans. I did get my friend’s (brother from another mother) name in a real book. Mission accomplished. My kryptonite … can’t tell a lie. Michael and Kevin should be still cool with each other. No harm was done. Ann Rice unfriended me on Facebook. Not because of that photograph. Anne called me something equivalent to a ‘troll’ on the way out. I questioned her loyalty to a certain political candidate. Back in the year 2016. Oh, Ann … She LOSS (told u that would happen).
OH … readers will find typos, and not perfect English at times, or throughout. It’s an auto-bio on a rock n’ roller, not fucking Albert Einstein. Mistakes happen. Admittedly, one of the biggest laughs in the book for myself when fingering through the pages recently was finding out it had a proof-reader. Hard for me to judge. My editing skills suck through a now forbidden plastic straw. I speed read on top of it. Here is a disaster waiting to happen. My last wife made me pay her, to fix whatever she would find. That was then. So today reading my literary works, one might find a mistake/typo or two. The odds of being perfect, slim to none. On the bright side, think of all the money it’s saving me.
Back when I personally hung out with Michael Bruce, I never treated him any differently than I would have anyone else. Unlike others, I never expected him to have saint-like qualities, because or due to his celebrity. Lots of colorful tales go untold. After all, Michael is a founding member of, the hard rock group: Alice Cooper. Sordid tales are kind of expected, right?
Bonus Picture: Gary “Uncle G” Brown and Michael Bruce. The date was April 15, 2006. Location was my townhouse, which was in Houston, Texas (USA). A guy by the name of, Trader Wil, snapped the picture. Given me, the classic ‘Lost In Space ‘ tee I have on, as well. I wonder nowadays (hardly ever) as to what happened with that friendship. Back to the program, I had commented earlier in the day that I hated every photo I had ever taken with Michael. The biggest reason was that I always felt looking at them that I looked like a greasy white boy. Before the picture was taken, tells a story. Usually, one where I was active. Michael always looked good; photogenic. Like us all, he’s had health issues over the years. Glad he’s overcome. Is reported to be happily married nowadays. Owns a mansion and a yacht (un-named sources).
Publisher: Gonzo Multimedia – www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk
Promotion: Glass Onyon PR – www.glassonyonpr.com