Yahoo Groups: Official Michael Bruce Mailing List (#05)

As found on Yahoo Groups; ACG – The Original Alice Cooper Group. Moderated by longtime friend, Bryan Erickson.

Note: Background information is I accidentally happened to stumble on to this while researching something else (Billion Dollar Babies) on the old, Yahoo Groups. I had lost all records; TOMBML. The newsletter centered around ‘now’ Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee (Alice Cooper); Michael Bruce. I met him back in ’97 at a bar (Cardi’s) he was doing live rehearsals at in Houston Texas. The both of us became close friends … brother from another mother … yadda yadda yadda. For three and a half years I helped Michael with his AOL website and this mailing list. My involvement was a true pleasure! And here … in my archives like it should be … at least one issue of; The Official Michael Bruce Mailing List.

Dedicated to the memory of Dennis Horn (February 17, 1953 – January 18, 2008)

Official Michael Bruce Mailing List (#05)

July 15, 2001

Hi Gang, I bet you were thinking we forgot all about doing the next newsletter. Believe it or not, it’s finally time for another one. As is the usual practice, Michael will lead us off:

Hi all, sorry for the delay. Well, I guess I should tell you I had a great time in the UK playing and singing my little heart out. Alice’s daughter and band came to my show after they played in Scotland, and we all jammed and had a great time. The guys in Fistfull of Alice were great and I have heard they are coming to the GBMW.

I will be releasing a CD after the first of the year of original music on my new label Millennium Records in the UK. We will reissue many of my past releases and rare cuts as well. Hope to see many of you in LA for the GBMW and my best to all.

Your super bud,

Michael Bruce 07/12/01

Questions for Michael

Subj: Re: Questions

Date: 2/12/01 4:54:51 PM Central Standard Time

From: slade25@…


Hi Michael, A few questions:

  1. Michael, On your 1975 solo release, you covered Slade’s “So Far So Good” and did a fine job of it. My question is Michael, what made you select this particular track and are/was you a fan of Slade? (Noddy Holder & Jim Lea)?

If you have any memories about Slade or a quote, I’d love to hear about it, be it good or bad.

MB: Hi Steve. I really liked the cut, and yes. I met Slade when we performed on Top of the POP in 1971 in England. And all I have are good memories.

  1. Did the Billion Dollar Babies ever tour?

MB: We did four shows and then retired.

  1. I’ve been reading a lot on several of the Alice Cooper mailing lists, that some guy name Tom Kelly was really the ACG’s first manager. I think that is what the guy is saying. The whole topic is very confusing. I’m guessing this was in the days when you guys were recording under Zappa’s label, or maybe even before that. It all sounds pretty bizarre to me. Was he involved, or wasn’t he?

Keep rockin’ Michael !



MB: I don’t have any memory of Tom Kelly managing the band.


Subj: Re: Michael Bruce in the UK

Date: 6/4/01 3:15:41 AM Central Daylight Time

From: r.hutchinson@… (Richard Hutchinson)

To: GBrown8287@…

I’m not sure if it’s here where I’m supposed to e-mail but I’m sure it’ll get where it’s supposed to be going!


Well, I got to Trillians around 6.00pm as I knew it was going to be busy.Trillians being the only rock bar left in Newcastle (The Mayfair,responsible for the Black Sabbath song Fairies Wear Boots, was knocked down last year) is usually full every night so I knew I had to get there early.There were only about 20 – 30 people there at that time.

I went straight to the bar, ordered a drink a turned round. There was Michael Bruce sitting in the corner and I had to admit I was star struck and too shy. I wanted to go straight over, but a part of me thought hey ‘ he’s doing a gig. Needs to relax, maybe he’s sick of guys coming to him all the time ….. Anyway I pretended to be watching the TV screen behind and was waiting for someone else to make the first move.

It was starting to get pretty busy and by the time the guys were tuning upthere were approx. 150-200 people there. As soon as Mike came off stage afan rushed to meet him, with 1st Ed. NMMNG Book and Battle Axe vinyl. He asked me to take a photo of him and Mike. So I overcame my initial fear and had a chat with Mike. He was very approachable, seemed so relaxed and was raring to go. He left almost immediately unfortunately to freshen up back at his hotel and the support band came on. They were called the Billion $Brats. This is their review which I posted to another list.

The Billion Dollar Brats were great. The singer did mention that he had been let down by two guys and had a makeshift group. A pity that they could only do a few songs. One’s that I can remember are:

Long Way To Go – Yeah Yeah Yeah – Escape – Sick Things – Public Animal # 9 (this one came off really well).

I even got a mention off the singer as he said he had to look at me for help with some of the words! A few of the guys in the audience knew some of the singer’s previous groups so he was pleased with

that. I think the Brats also did Mike well, by rocking away at the front of the stage too when it was Mike’s turn on stage. A pity thatthey couldn’t rehearse properly it would have been great too see them play a full list.

We didn’t have to wait too long before Mike came off and I shouted encouragement as he walked onto the stage. He seemed really chuffed and raring to go. By this time the audience increased to about 300-350. We were treated to the following songs:

Instrumental Intro/Hello Hooray – Under My Wheels – Is It My Body – Second Coming – Ballad of Dwight Fry – Desperado – Hard Hearted Alice – Billion Dollar Babies – Be My Lover – As Rock Rolls On – My Stars – Left For Dead Meat- No More Mr Nice Guy – Muscle Of Love – I`m Eighteen – School`s Out – Halo of Flies – Caught in a Dream

People my age (24) may never get to hear some of these songs played live, and the band was great through out. There was a slight technical problem at one point and the audience was very patient through this I must add. At only one point did I think of what it would be like to see Alice, Neal, Glen, Dennis and Mike rocking together. Mike was a strong enough character to be the focal point for the band, and I must say that ‘a fistful of alice’ were in fine form and really played their parts well. Mike said that there will be another UK tour, which I’m keeping my fingers crossed for, and from his reaction to the crowd here I think there will be larger tours next time.

Thanks Michael for a great night, I was the one at the front on the stage and to your right with the light beige shirt on, and I will definitely see you on your next tour. You rocked Newcastle.


Official Plugs

  1. The GBMW:

From: “Paul Brenton” <rtcoop@…>

Date: Sat Jul 14, 2001 10:42 am

Subject: Glen Buxton Memorial Weekend – Update

Three weeks from now we will be together in Hollywood to honor Glen Buxton and enjoy the early sites and sounds of the legendary Alice Cooper group for the Glen Buxton Memorial weekend (August 3 – 5).

I am very happy to announce that, in addition to the debut of Bouchard, Dunaway& Smith, the Whisky stage will welcome “Last Romance” from Italy; from Phoenix,”Grandma’s New Wig” (featuring ex-Laser Beat/20th Century Zoo and dear friend of Glen’s and the Coopers’, Skip Ladd); and also from

Phoenix, “Sustain”(featuring Mike Postel, ex-bandmate in Glen’s “Virgin”).

Stay tuned for other music announcements…

If you are planning to attend, please send me a private email to rtcoop@… with your full name and that of those attending with you. The response has been tremendous and where our space limits the number of attendees, we will give preference to those who have pre-registered. There is no cost to register, but there will be a charge for admission to the exclusive/private event at the Whisky.

The event hotel is the Hyatt West Hollywood. If you intend on staying at the hotel, please contact the hotel directly at 800-233-1234 and be sure to ask for the preferred “GBMW” rate.

It is really shaping up to be a special weekend for the family, friends and fans to salute G.B.

I look forward to seeing you there.



  1. I have two items here that both have to do with our friend Billy James:
  1. Last I talked to Billy about the Bruce Cameron CD Midnight Daydream, he informed me that he had very few CD’s left for sale, and that their were no plans on producing anymore at this time. Can you say “out of print”? This was an excellent release that came out just two years ago. Michael is on two songs. Neal Smith plays drums on almost half the CD. It’s a must have item. If interested, you can send a E-mail to Billy through his Ant-Bee website to inquire if he has any left. If you don’t already have it bookmarked, that web address is:

  1. I just got done reading Billy’s latest book; Necessity is….The Early Years of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention. Hard to write about this subject and not include at least a mention of the Alice Cooper Group.

Of course, their is. Besides that, if you ever had an interest in Zappa along with The Mothers, you’ll find this book a real pleasure to read. Again, this could be found on the Ant-Bee site. Just hit the words; “Mailorder Muck” for information about how to obtain it.

  1. Michael’s old buddies Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith, along with Joe Bouchard has a newly recorded song called “Fallen Angel” on the just out CD; Brain Surgeons And Friends – To Helen With Love – A Tribute To The Life And Music Of Helen Wheels. This song should instantly become a favorite among the Cooper crowd. The intro alone is well worth the price of the CD. It kicks major ass. Hopefully, they will perform this at the up and coming GBMW. It’s a good, solid track that gives everyone a good clue as to what the band will sound like on their soon to be released CD. The label it’s on, Cellsum Records has a website:

T.O.M.B.M.L. Website

A few new things appear on here. One is a recent picture of Alice and Michael taken in the UK. The site does get updated from time to time. We’re up to four pages now. If it’s been a while since you looked, go ahead and check it out.

Next Contest

I’m sure we could find something to give as a prize. Problem is, we’re hard pressed at the present time to come up with what the next contest should be. Any idea’s? If so, please send them our way. We’ll take a look and try to pick out something interesting.

Closing Comments

Thanks to all for being so patient waiting for this issue to come out. Hard to believe a half a year has gone by since we did Newsletter # 4. Unfortunately, a few things sent between then and now were either printed out and again eaten by one of my dogs, or just became kind of outdated. We’re doing our best here. Keep those E-mails and posts coming, and we’ll try to get the next newsletter out in a little less time.

Gary Brown

Coordinator / Webkeeper of The Official Michael Bruce Mailing List / Website.

Updated 2018 – Cool MB Items (Space City Memories)

Michael Bruce - I'll Never Forget Old What His Name - actual cd

MB Collector’s Item. Actual ‘Test Pressing’ of Michael Bruce – I’ll Never Forget Old What’s His Name. 

TOMBML - Contest Winner Richard Blatt_with Michael Bruce

One time TOMBML contest winner; Richard Blatt with Michael. Photo snapped by Gary Brown.

GB_Michael Bruce - 02 (April 15_2006)

Gary Brown_Michael Bruce (Houston TX April 15, 2006)


The Official Michael Bruce Mailing List:

Michael’s endorsed “official” website:

Michael’s MP3 site:

Favorite Fangsite Links

Wonders In Aliceland:

Dwight Fry’s Locked Room:

Glen Buxton’s Cold Room – A daily discussion list moderated by Glen’s sister Janice:

Address to send messages / posts / questions to T.O.M.B.M.L.:

if all else fails: GBrown8287@…

For day to day discussion on Michael and the other members of the Alice Cooper Group, we highly endorse the ACG Mailing List found here on Yahoo Groups.

Music Review: Audio Fidelity: Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies (1973_2014)

As Seen On: The Audio Fidelity Website

Spotlight: Re-Issue/Re-Master
Artist: Alice Cooper (original band)
Album: Billion Dollar Babies
Producer: Bob Ezrin
Year First Released: 1973
Audio Fidelity Re-Issue/Re-Mastered Release:  2014

As Seen on the main Classic Rock Radio UK website

Review authored by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816
First Published: (main website)
Date: 16 March 2014

Alice Cooper - BDB - Audio Fidelity - front with cover

If I had a list of Uncle G’s Top Twenty-Five All-Time Favorite Rock Albums, then Alice Cooper’s 1973 hit album Billion Dollar Babies would certainly be towards the top of it. Here’s an album that as a teen gave me my own identity. Out of everyone in my inner circle of friends back then, it was I that was into Alice Cooper. Instead of getting turned on, I turned on others. My introduction to Alice Cooper was their 1972 hit song ‘School’s Out’. What’s not to love about getting rid of teachers and textbooks? Check it out, age-wise I was barely out of my single digits. Due to lyrics I identified with and a steady rock beat, I’m like a pat of butter on freshly baked bread. My mind is open and I’m absorbing all I can.

By the Winter of ’73, the album Billion Dollar Babies by the group Alice Cooper is in my record collection. It was purchased for me by adults who later on pretended to be repulsed because I was a fan of Alice Cooper’s music. I’ve remained a listener, pressing on after the band’s demise and until after Alice’s third solo effort Lace & Whiskey came out. If I played Alice Cooper after that, it was original band material only. Alice’s solo records, I really didn’t begin to appreciate except Welcome To My Nightmare in which I consider to this day, one of his best efforts, until he released Trash (1989). After that, I re-evaluated my opinion of what Alice has done since splitting with the original group.

From his debut solo record Welcome To My Nightmare (1975), to the year 2014, there are more pluses than minuses. The man known as Alice Cooper is considered an elder statesman in heavy metal nowadays. Age wise, is well into his sixties and to this day is still more than capable of teaching the younger bands how to rock out as well as putting on one of the highest energy metal shows being offered. There is an occasional ballad thrown in the set list, which is more than welcome seeing how some of his best known songs are just that, ballads. Classics like Only Women Bleed, or I Never Cry. Alice Cooper is currently in the process of releasing a cover/tribute album, and performing shows with Aerosmith and Motley Crew. Not to mention this is right on the heels of charting an original band reunion of sorts with a studio album again produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin called Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011).

Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies (1974) album, and the original band’s last album together Muscle Of Love (1974), is what seriously caught my attention. These records got the repeat plays at social functions. At least the ones I attended. For the record, Uncle G thinks anything in the original band’s catalog is worth having, especially the stuff they did for Warner Brothers. I fell into the albums Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle Of Love likely because they were new at the time when I was seriously focused. I can still remember Alice making the promotional rounds for Billion Dollar Babies on TV. One such time had Alice performing ‘Sick Things’ on a drama/mystery program called The Snoop Sisters. A show about two old tough broads solving crime, Alice was perfectly cast as the leader of a cult. It definitely motivated me to play the album more.

And yes, first it was wax in which I played on an early 1970’s record box. This was modified with the original speakers being disconnected, and then the player being hooked up with better speakers and separated on each side of a bedroom I shared with two older cousins (one in which was a pothead). Why this even matters is that this ended up being one of my first lessons in what stereo really was, and how different sounds were heard from each speaker. Remember, I first grew up with mono.

In the song ‘Elected’, Alice’s vocals mainly come out of one side (left), while the band’s actual music, comes out the other (right). The music could sometimes overpower the vocals. So another lesson learned early on; it was important where and how the speakers were located, as well as how the balance button on the stereo receiver was set.

Next, comes the wonderful world of headphones and a company whose headphones I absolutely fell in love called Sennheiser. Now I could hear every detail. Over the decades, the record player was replaced by better and better stereos. Sound was important to me. I grew up when transistor radios were all the rage. A rock song filled with different sounds, all coming out of this shitty little speaker. Two words, fuck that.

I purchased Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies after first having it on wax, cassette, 8-track, and now I have three different versions on CD, with one being the new SACD mastered by a man with a reputation for being the best at what he does in today’s music world, Mr. Steve Hoffman.

Self confession, I’m NOT a committed one-hundred percent audiophiliac. Due to having too much on my plate as a rule, when I have the free time, I come close. I don’t like to be anal…not as a rule. Sometimes I think they go hand in hand. I’m glad the purists are out there. Needed for archival reasons the most, so many good recordings that now sounded dated, only because they were mastered at a time when technology was at it’s best for being in the twentieth century. My review here might sound slanted a bit. I admit to being an old time Alice Cooper listener, and also to digging better sounding stereo equipment. I’m still dragging my feet in MP3 Land. The only thing I feel should be compressed is waste products, not music. MP3 music brings back the memories of transistor radios with a crappy speaker (broadcast in wonderful mono).

I know the words and music to Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies by heart. I also probably know more than the average Sick Thing when it comes to the band Alice Cooper, and the original bands’ music catalog. I’ve never seen myself as a fanatic though. My association with Sick Things (fans of Alice Cooper) has gone from rather well to horribly wrong. In all that time, I had a few entertaining moments meeting members of the original group and hanging out with them for a spell. I’ve conducted/coordinated interviews with Michael Bruce and Neal Smith. I also did a beer and a cigarette run for Glen Buxton (RIP). I’d like to meet Dennis Dunaway and Alice (formerly Vincent Damon Furnier) one day. So, before you are my credentials for reviewing this SACD. A story that needed to be told, especially if you the reader were so inclined as to like and follow up after reading by buying if you have not already, this new SACD.

For the record, the Alice Cooper band sixth studio album, Billion Dollar Babies, was a team Alice project. All involved from Shep Gordon in management to the album’s producer Bob Ezrin, deserve credit in this being as successful as it was. Plus some additional musicians that played shall we say, a tad under the radar, and contributed to the best of their abilities, such as Donovan, Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner, and the much underrated talents of Mick Mashbir and Bob Dolin, who went on a few years later to form a band called Billion Dollar Babies, with original Cooper members Bruce, Dunaway, and Smith. They did one album called Battle Axe. It would be wonderful if Steve Hoffman could re-master Cooper’s Muscle Of Love and the band Billion Dollar Babies Battle Axe in the same way. Anyway, the BIG secret at the time was that lead guitarist was having health issues. Explains the other hands in the BDB project. All that mattered was the end result, with everyone being a team player focused on making the best Alice Cooper record they could. In an imagined That Metal Show showdown, Billion Dollar Babies would surely be a contender as one of Alice’s best, with or without the original band.

Comparison: I enter as exhibit A the original Billion Dollars Babies CD that Warner Brothers first offered. Exhibit B is the Rhino 2001 two CD re-mastered version. Exhibit C is the new SACD put out just recently by Audio Fidelity. Exhibit A has been played in the presence of Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, and Neal Smith without them saying anything bad about the audio. All discs are in near mint or mint condition. The Uncle G Music Collection is kept up nicely and stored in a dry and cool place. Playback of each disc was done on a real home stereo (Sony – Phillips) and on a Blu-ray player (was lunch time and the living room was more convenient having a meal in then our home office). I would like to make clear…NEVER ONE TIME…was any of these versions of Billion Dollar Babies heard via a computer. Am sure the iTunes version is cool and all, but that’s not really what this is about. First off, it’s considered an honor that a company like Audio Fidelity would be interested in re-issuing any CD. I see it as a way to properly preserve and recreate with newer technology what was not available at the time. In my mind, there is no improving the work Bob Ezrin or all those that helped make this brilliant album did. What Steve Hoffman and Audio Fidelity materialized forty years after the Billion Dollars Babies release, let’s find out.

Alice Cooper - BDB - Audio Fidelity - front (promo)

Uncle G reviews Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies (2014 Audio Fidelity)

The first thing I did was listen to the Warner Brothers CD of Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies. My earliest comparison would be that of the CD to the memories of the Billion Dollar Babies album I grew up listening to. The CD had its advantages. No flipping the album over from Side A to Side B. No skipping anywhere. The stereo mix was the same as I remembered from the album. No difference in clarity that I could remember. I took care of my turntables and records. Back in the 80’s / 90’s my home stereo was made up of either Pioneer or Kenwood equipment. I admit, more convenient to have on Compact Disc. Seems to play/sound the same each and every time.

The original released CD to the Rhino version, I found interesting. Of course, the Rhino edition is presented LOUDER. The re-mastering process isn’t bass-friendly all the time. That can be evident on the album’s closing number, ‘I Love The Dead’. The plus side is a fuller sound in parts, especially in the piano lead homage to transvestites, a show-tune called ‘Mary Ann’.

Wake the kids and gather the folks from the hood, it’s Hybrid SACD Time!! First off, I took care in opening it. Artwork from the album is re-created, and much to my surprise and approval, so is the BILLION Dollar bill that came inside the album that I of course, taped to my teenaged self’s bedroom wall. The one included today is suitable for framing. My SACD was numbered; “Limited Edition 1101.” I took pictures, I was so impressed.

Pressing the play button, the first song on Billion Dollar Babies ‘Hello Hooray’ begins to play. My hand reaches for the volume knob. I turn it up from 2 to 3, and then 4. No distortion. It’s not as much in the red as Rhino’s remastering job. At this point, I have all three versions of BDB in separate CD trays and can pause and play from any of the three, at any time. It’s obvious the SACD is superior and that’s just hearing the first song.

The second track ‘Raped and Freezin’ proves it more. Keyboards in the background are clearer after the 2-minute mark, as is Alice’s vocals all throughout.

Track three is ‘Elected’. Alice’s vocals mostly come out the left speaker and the music mostly on the right. Listening in any format, it was always due to a placement of speakers as to if I could clearly make out every lyric, and even the political banter at the end. It’s all good here on the SACD release. Remember we have two vital ingredients to Alice Cooper; audio and visual. Every word Alice sings is important, for they paint a visual in which the music helps to project. These songs are like tiny plays. It’s theater for the mind. Some might have labeled Alice Cooper art rock because of this, but most just saw them as a hard rock act, even when touring with a guillotine and an electric chair as props. Not exactly the same as Deep Purple being a real hard rock act. KISS was Alice on steroids times four. And what drama they ended up being.

I noticed when all three CDs were in my players that I had three different total times on display. The Rhino / Warner Archives comes in at 41:05 – original Warner Brothers version at 41:08, and the new SACD leads the pack at 41:14. I asked myself why that was.

Easy explanation concerning the extra five seconds between original BDB and the Steve Hoffman mastered one. The Hybrid SACD version kept in the studio banter found before the song, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’. It goes something like this:

“OK I need one more. Tape four Dolby version.”

Could it be Mr. Ezrin in the control booth? I LIKE rarities, and it sure does sound RARE, for it didn’t appear on the BDB album I had as a teenager. Don’t know why it was included here on the hybrid SACD, but as a purist, I don’t really dig it being there. So much for a perfect 5 star review. The song itself sounds GREAT!! It’s a real hard-rocking drum song, and Alice Cooper’s drummer Neal Smith simply smokes on this one. I CRANKED the volume up listening to it. When I listen to Alice Cooper, so do my neighbors. I can report no other audio ID surprises. I feel weird bitching, but it is what it is. I’m just not used to that being inserted before hearing Neal’s drum intro after the lapse of silence in-between songs. Maybe I’m a tad anal? Because of the type of record this is, I feel it ruins the atmosphere that the songs played before this one set up. The mind should be fully focused, and it kills the concentration. Saying that I must point out that it’s easily re-established once the number starts up.

‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ gives me the opportunity to say that without the songwriting ability of Michael Bruce, the successful writing team of Bruce / Cooper would not have ever existed. Michael Bruce’s real talent is to write music that remains in your head long after the song had stopped playing. Alice knew/knows how to make a song his own by creating words and phrases his onstage character could react to. And here’s how you got one hit composition after another. The same formula is used on Welcome 2 My Nightmare with the newest Bruce / Cooper composition (with the additional help of Bob Ezrin) being ‘When Hell Comes Home’. This is the FIRST a Alice Cooper record charted in the Top 25 since Trash. Congratulations to all involved.

Also worth mentioning in the song ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ is Dennis Dunaway’s bass and how clear one can hear his playing, not only on this song but throughout the whole SACD release. Dennis’ bass work is simply superb. Explains why he was consistently at the top of the best bass player polls in those 1970 rock magazines year in and year out.

‘Generation Landslide’ is the next song and sounds as crisp as I’ve ever heard it. Followed by The Cooper’s heartfelt appreciation to their fans, a rather darker number called ‘Sick Things’. Pay attention, for the work of Glen Buxton can be heard, as can be said on the album’s closer ‘I Love The Dead’. Minor contributions but important ones nevertheless. Would be Glen’s last time working on a Cooper project. Dude’s really nowhere to be found on the originals band next, and last Alice Cooper album, Muscle Of Love.

For the louder I played this CD, the clearer the music became. Enjoyed it to its last lyric and closing note.

Alice Cooper - BDB - Audio Fidelity - Billion Dollar Bill (promo scan)

Rating: Using the one to five star rating system, Uncle G gives Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies (2014 Audio Fidelity) – mastered by Steve Hoffman, 4.75 stars. It’s perfect in every way except well…you know (see above).

Alice Cooper - BDB - Audio Fidelity - back

Date Posted: 2014-03-16T00:00:00


Music Review: Neal Smith: Kill$mith & The Greenfire Empire

Originally Published: 28 October 2014
Review: Neal Smith – Kill$mith & The Greenfire Empire (2014 Kachina Records)
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

 photo Neal Smith - KillSmith And The Greenfire Empire - cover pre-signed_zpshyd9jd99.jpg

I’ve been familiar with Neal Smith since the 1970’s, ever since I got turned on to Alice Cooper. I’m guessing around 1972 when their song ‘School’s Out’ was first released. Stayed a fan until the dismissal of the group. With Alice deciding to keep his solo career afloat after the huge success of his first solo record, Welcome To My Nightmare (1975), the rest of the guys in the Cooper band saw themselves no longer with a lead singer. It was the end of Alice Cooper, the band. Ends up I lost interest in Alice’s solo career pretty much after his follow up to ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’, with 1977’s Alice Cooper – Go To Hell album. As time marched on I’d play the original Alice Cooper band music every once in a while. Anything new with Alice and without the original guys, I just wasn’t interested. Stayed that way for over a decade. In the 1990’s and aided with something called the Internet, I renewed my interest in the runaway vocalist. In doing so, I started getting a new appreciation for Alice’s solo studio offerings. Fact is he’s worked with a shit load of brilliant musicians since 1975. The coolest thing here was that I could also find out and keep up on the other original band members doings as well. Since then I have managed to somewhat kept up.

Glen Buxton passed away back in ’97. His legend has / will live on.

Michael Bruce just weeks ago played a charity show coming out of retirement benefiting foster kids.

Bassist Dennis Dunaway is going strong currently playing with a can’t be missed rock band called Blue Coupe.

With nineteen studio solo albums under his belt, the year 2014 sees Vince / Alice co-headlining Motley Crue’s BIG farewell Tour. Alice’s last new studio effort was a sequel to 1975’s Nightmare and cleverly titled ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’. To this writer’s delight, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith perform on three songs. This makes the first time the Billion Dollar Babies appeared on an Alice Cooper studio album together since 1973’s Muscle Of Love. Nightmare 2 did well, charting all over the world.

Last, but not least is Neal Smith, who has been musically kicking ass and taking names lately. The RnRHoF member (Alice Cooper) just released the third installment to his KillSmith series. On this outing, all songs are written by Neal, and besides pounding away on the drums, Mr. Smith can be heard on keyboards, guitar, and sharing the vocal duties. Titled, Neal Smith – KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire. Now that the intro and history lesson are over, let’s focus on that.

For starters, ‘KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire’ has very cool cover art, with the front of the CD showing an evil glow-in-the-dark green human skull. Would make for a cool poster. I ordered this new CD from Neal’s own personal website. Doing so, he autographed it, which is a super cool added bonus. He does so on every CD ordered, free of charge! A legible signature too, so it compliments the cover, instead of scribble which would take away from it. Cover / Booklet opens up to reveal more cool artwork as well. Important is the two images provided because they are what sets sail your imagination. For like original Alice Cooper music anyway, it’s all theater for your mind’s eye. KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire is a concept album. Nothing I’d share with a seven year old. Neal’s lyrics can be very adult at times, which can lead to questions like; “Mommy, what are junkies, thieves, and whores?”

In a nutshell, ‘KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire’ is a modern day tale about a special ops military hero nicknamed KillSmith, who takes on the most ruthless, ferocious, and just downright evil drug lord named Diablo the Emerald King. A story that happens around the holidays. Emotionally, a roller coaster ride filled with action and suspense, that besides being capable of ripping your head off, simply rocks out.

 photo Neal Smith - KillSmith And The Greenfire Empire - credits_zps4flgbrnz.jpg

Uncle G’s Favorite KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire Tracks:

All of them really. Enlightening story told in various styles of rock music including industrial, heavy metal, and power ballads. Frankly, I can’t say enough good things about ‘KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire’. Don’t know where to begin, for I’m afraid I’ll miss something. Here I go.

Every musician on KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire project did an excellent job (see accompanying image for credits). Am sure it wasn’t easy for any of them because it’s a pretty ambitious project. Neal’s work on here is just outstanding, so only capable musicians need apply. Back to Neal, I love the cool guitar work he does, as well as his keyboard contributions. Plus behind the drum kit, Neal’s drumming is second to none. Either providing a good foundation or having moments that are absolute bat-shit crazy, such as found on the song ‘Pandemonium’. A real killer drum performance here. Overall, the album is more upbeat than mellow. Together, all eleven songs combine for a stunning example of musicianship and storytelling.

I broke this CD in while heading into Houston from Katy, driving down super Hwy I-10 East doing an average 70 MPH and being able to hear the first six songs usually without slowing down. Sunrise Saturday morning. Driving down the city streets trying to miss red lights is where I got to know tracks seven to the end of the disc. I did this on three other days as well. The rest of the time I’d been playing it almost non-stop on my home stereo. Between the lyrics and the superior accompanying music, I’m able to fully understand and enjoy Neal’s return to theatrical rock.

Rating: Honestly this was way more then I was expecting. More than one song sticks in my head, when not actually playing ‘KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire’ aloud. Impossible to say what songs I like best, but the one that caught my attention first was ‘I Want Money’. KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire is solid in both production and presentation. Using the one to five star rating system, where one star sucks through a long straw, and five stars kicks total ass; Neal Smith – KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire get 5 stars easily. Every song a gem. Different musical styles presented so to keep one’s interest. Feet planted firmly in the rock world. Even with such excellent flamenco guitar work as heard on track four, ‘The Killsmith Overture’. Lady Elizabeth Dellinger could sure hit those notes. Blends in very nicely. This song, I would love to see done live, as well as the rest of this new concept album. Perhaps a KillSmith DVD shot in concert over 2 or three nights someplace that could accommodate? I could only imagine the KILLER encores.

Well done Mr. Smith!

Interview: Neal Smith (1999)

Re-Print_Neal Smith 1999 Interview_Yahoo Group Glen Buxton Memorial presents … a re-print of an interview that American Correspondent Gary “Uncle G” Brown helped put together back in 1999.

In honor of Neal Smith’s 68th birthday (23 Sept 2015) … an opportunity to read a interview where questions were asked by fans (GBM Group Subscribers). Neal’s responses (in which he did in a day) … CLASSICK! So good, that it was deemed a shame for them to be lost, and never seen again.


In memory of Glen Buxton and those who participated with the online interview that are no longer with us — Rest In Peace.


Q & A

#1) from Janice B.
What is the order of the different houses that you guys lived in California?

Q.#1) Hey Janice!
You have to remember that I came to California to stay with my buddies, “The Nazz” until I could find a band to join in LA.

The first house that I lived in with the guys, was in Santa Monica, late summer of 1967. Then in September, the guys asked me to join the band. The next move we made, was to Topanga Canyon in the spring of 1968. The Topanga Canyon house is where we changed the name of the band to “Alice Cooper”, and met Shep Gordon and Joe Greenberg. Then we moved to “Hollywood Hills”. This home was owned by actor John Phillip Law, who I saw at the “Chiller Show” last year in NJ. And the last place that we lived in LA was for only two weeks, thank God! I will never forget the address it was 2001 Ivar Street. It was the worst location. I had a 2nd floor apartment, outside of my window was a view of oncoming traffic coming right at you and then curving away on the “Hollywood

Freeway”. There was no way a human being could ever sleep in that place. Then sometime in 1969 we left LA for good.
Thanks, Neal!

#2) from Barbara H.
I want to ask Neal if there is any chance that some of the songs from the Midnight Daydream CD might make it into video, as this is the best way to be seen in today’s younger generations eyes. The music has so much potential, and to do this I feel that it would bring you guys to the eyes of MTV and VH1 and that in fact would boost sales tremendously if any one of the songs were to hit home.

 photo Bruce Cameron - Midnight Daydream - cover_zpscna4sgtc.jpg

Q.#2) Hey Barbara!

I have already offered my services to the “powers that be”, with the “Bruce Cameron Project”, regarding anything, including a music video to promote Bruce’s music. I would be very happy to help and I agree with you 100% on the impact these efforts would make, but the final decision is not up to me.
Thanks, Neal!

#3) from Brett Cooper

Taking the entire Alice Cooper history into account, which part do you feel is most misrepresented or misinterpreted by the media/public and deserves to be clarified?


The only thing that should be completely and 1000% understood by the media, the public, and the entire entertainment world, is the fact that every idea and every concept from the very beginning of the Alice Cooper Group, throughout our entire career was a total collaboration of brainstorms from 5 friends and very talented artists: Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Alice Cooper, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith. END OF STORY.
Thanks, Neal!

#4) from TVTGKELLY

Hi Neal::

1). According to Alice he has very fond memories of the Psychedelic Supermarket circa 1968? What are your memories of this place?

2). Where and how does one get the newly released “Platinum God” and are you satisfied with all the music that you have recorded on this?

3). When do you plan to do next tour, and or more recordings?


To tell you the truth, I just remember hanging out at the Psychedelic Supermarket and I think that we rehearsed there several times. It was ok, but you must remember I wasn’t too crazy about LA hippies and freaks, but it was certainly a time capsule for the 60’s!


At present the only place on the planet you can order “Platinum God”, is at (, along with other products from the “Neal Smith Classick Drummer Collection, drum sticks, photos, mousepads, T-shirts, etc.


At present I have no plans to play in public or tour. As far as recording, I don’t have any plans right now. I am in the studio a lot and hope to be recording again in the near future. There’s a lot of recording that I would like to do.
Thanks, Neal!

#5) from Jon
The Lansley Emporium
The Alice Cooper Allegedly

Have you seen the early pix of you that Skip Ladd let me post at the Lansley Emporium ACG page? What is your favorite recollection of those The Night Riders, The Laser Beats, and The Cloth Of Many Colors days?

Q.#5) Hey Jon!

I do not recall seeing early photos at this specific site, but I’m pretty familiar with a lot of old photos of bands from my High School days, I still have many of them. These were great days, I just loved to play as much as possible, whenever and wherever I could. And of course, it was always a great way to meet members of the opposite sex! At this point the only thing I can remember about the Night Riders is that I had a really big bass drum, a surfboard, I played “Wipe Out” every night and had lots of fun. The Laser Beats were the Night Riders with a singer, that actually I never really liked at all, but we won some battle of the bands I played “Wipe Out” a lot and had some great times. I can’t believe you mention the sacred “Cloth of Many Colors”, no one knows about that band as well it should be. We only did 2 shows and we opened for the “Nazz”, I was the lead singer and frontman (no drums). Our bass guitarist Roger, was the x-sax player from the Night Riders & Laser Beats, he played a fur covered fender bass and Skip played lead guitar. Skip was the only really cool thing about the band. We had a drummer and I don’t know his name. Thank God we only played two gigs, the world would not have been ready for “The Cloth”.
Thanks, Neal!

#6) from Tom Callanan

1.) What Alice Cooper songs are your particular favorites – in terms of how
they have held up over time and your own contribution / playing?

Q.#6/1)Hey Tom!

Some of my favorite “ACG” songs are: Black Ju Ju, Ballad of Dwight Fry, Sun Arise, Caught In A Dream, Hallowed Be My Name, Killer, Halo Of Flies, Loony Tune, Grand Finale, Alma Mater, Sick Things, I Love The Dead, Billion Dollar Babies, My Stars, Generation Landslide, Elected, Muscle Of Love, Man With A Golden Gun, Slick Black Limousine, Unfinished Sweet, Public Animal #9.

My contribution to these songs, was first and foremost as the percussionist of the band. I love songs with well produced drums being played as an instrument, not as a glorified metronome. Although music production has come a long way from when we first began recording, I think that the rawness and urgency of our music has held up till today. I would love to record new songs with Alice, Michael and Dennis with today’s technology.

2.) To my ears, 1971 represents the ‘high water mark’ for great hard rock music / bands, in terms of fresh sounds, great playing / production and prolific writing. In retrospect, most of the ‘movements’ that ensued (Bruce, Aerosmith, G&R, new wave, punk ska / reggae, speed/thrash/death metal, Seattle bands) have been pretty much press repackaging, with little true musical innovation. Other than U2 and Metallica, what bands / time period since – do feel has had the same concentration of originality and punch as the period that produced ‘Who’s Next’, ‘LITD / Killer’, ‘Sticky Fingers’, ‘LA Woman’, etc., etc. Is this an accurate summation?


I have to agree with your analogy. For whatever reason the music of that time period, although it was very diversified, it was very creative with a killer energy that spread all across the “Rock World”, creating many classic rock records!

3.) Other than Neal (sic??) Pert, Stewart Copeland and Sean Kinney – who I feel have obviously been influenced by your recorded work (the playing swings as well as rocks, songs have signature ‘riffs’ , wide variety of styles) are there any post-ACG drummers that you feel you’ve influenced heavily or you are impressed by? In the same vein, are there any post ACG bands where you have felt your drumming would be a great fit – or really love to sit in with?


I have no clue if I have or have not influenced any contemporary drummers, but the drummer of the 90’s I like a lot was the first drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins, which is the only band I can think of that I’d like to play or record with. I think they helped bring percussion out of the doldrums of the 80’s, accept for AC/DC.

4.) If the ACG had the opportunity to record just one new single, what do you imagine it would sound like, who would you want for an ideal producer – and from a personal standpoint – would this be a good or a bad thing to do?


Hypothetically, I would like the music of a new ACG single to be somewhere between “Elected” and “Schools Out”, total energy and excitement! Part of our musical formula was our 6th member Bob Ezrin. Bob would be my first choice as producer for any ACG recording project. I love to work with people who challenge me and push my creative limits. As far as a new ACG single being a good or bad thing to do would depend on the reason to record. If done in the right spirit, I don’t know how it could be a bad thing to give the “Alice Cooper Group Fans” of the world what they have been waiting for, for many years.

5.) Every rock critic rates Ringo Starr as a lousy drummer. As one of the greatest drummers ever in rock, do you have any reaction to that?


Ringo is actually one of my early influences along with Charlie Watts, in that style of drumming. Without Ringo the Beatles would have never been the same, Ringo is Great!

6.) Jack Douglas has gone on record with some nasty comments about the ACG – while praising Aerosmith. Given the fact that Aerosmith imitated the ACG sound for most of their first two albums and used many of the same studio musicians uncredited – on albums from that period, this seems grossly unfair, if not bizarre. Jack produced MOL with most of the same writers and musicians used on the incredibly successful LITD, Killer and SO – yet was unable to get a hit to follow a Number One album. It seems obvious that Jack was unable to pull the band together with the same success as Bob Ezrin, in terms of selecting material and providing true direction. Jack’s comments about the band were nearly identical to those used by Phil Spector (whom he also has trashed in the press…) in talking about The Beatles ‘Let It Be’ – which was considered a failure in the same manner as MOL. Do you agree that the momentum lost on MOL was a result of toying with a successful formula – and that the ACG could’ve rallied for an ‘Abbey Road’, with Ezrin at the helm? Do you have any idea how the other ACG members feel about Jack’s comments? ….Thanks for all of the great music!


First of all Jack Douglas and I were and have always been friends. I am not familiar with what he has said about the ACG, if it was negative, well Jack was probably just drunk (only kidding Jack). As far as MOL, I like that record a lot. The title song MOL, is one of my favorites and always kicks ass live (great drum part). As a group and a unit we may have hit a creative wall because of constant touring, writing and recording. While writing MOL the music was coming from all over the place without a conceptual direction which wasn’t a bad thing because Alice, Michael, Dennis and I were all writing individually as usual. We probably should have all taken some time off, recuperated a started fresh. We did finally the following year, but then never got back together again.
Thanks, Neal!

#7) from Bryan Erickson

1.) What took so long for Platinum God to get released?

Q.#7/1) Hey Bryan!

I was not going to release “PG”, because I didn’t have enough songs to complete the album. I had 6 songs and needed more, plus I hate my voice. Last summer “1999”, I found two lost unfinished tracks in my studio, so I decided to finished them with the help of Richie Scarlet. But it was really the fans who convinced me to release the album. I still hate my voice, but I’m very happy with “Platinum God”, eighth wonder of the world!

2.) You sang every song on that album. Did you ever sing on recordings elsewhere, or with The Flying Tigers or Neal Smith Band?


The only other recording that I sang on was “Rock n’ Roll Radio” (single version) off of B$B/Battle Axe. I also sang “Rock n’ Roll Radio” live with Flying Tigers.

3.) Are they any recordings of The Flying Tigers and/or NSB?


There are some studio recordings of Flying Tigers and NSB, but the energy is not there like in the live recordings.

4.) Are you writing a book as implied at the GBMW Q&A, or was that just a joke?


If I ever write a book it will be SEX, DRUMS AND ROCK N’ ROLL, no one would get out alive in my book, it would all be about SEX not all of this other boring crap.
Thanks, Neal!


from Jan Kjellin

1. After the break-up of the band and the various other musical projects you were involved in, how did the change from rock music to real estate come about and was it a difficult change for you?

Q.#8/1) Hi Jan!

With the success of Love It To Death, I had a little extra pocket change laying around so I invested it into a property in Arizona. Within 2 years I tripled my initial investment. In the early 80’s I went through a divorce and had to sell my home in Connecticut and met some great people that helped my become interested in a field that I was already familiar with. It is a great career because I still can make time for my music. It was not that difficult of a change for me, I love business. I’m a Libra, I need the balance of music and business.

2. I’ve just ordered my copy of ‘Platinum God’ and would be interested in knowing if this is the original, “untampered with”, 70’s recording or if it has been remixed, re-recorded or anything like that?

Six songs on “Platinum God” are the original 70’s mixes, I digitally mastered these songs. The first song “Maneater Deadly To Her Prey” and the seventh song “The Sea’s A Maneater”, have new vocals and new lead guitar tracks. I discovered the bed tracks (music only) for these two songs in my studio this summer. They are the 70’s recordings of basically the same song, but a fast version and a slower version. The slower version being the original speed for “The Sea’s A Maneater”. I took the faster version and wrote a totally new song. I had to go into the studio to add vocals and Richie Scarlet added great lead guitar to both songs, and the album was finally finished after 25 years.
Thanks, Neal!

#9) from Mariann M.

1.) Just wondering…what did you do with yours Rolls Royce(s) from the ACG days?

Q.#9/1)Hi Mariann!

I had two Rolls Royce’s, a 1962 Silver Cloud II and a 1929 Phantom I. I sold the Silver Cloud when I was running out of garage space, and I had to sell the Phantom to raise money for my lawyers during my divorce in the early 80’s. Selling the Phantom really hurt!

2.) I just got Platinum God…and liked it immediately…How do you enjoy singing?


Let me put it this way, I like playing my drums much more than singing. I’m not crazy about my voice, but I have a lot of fun singing!

3.) Speaking of…my copy had a signature as well – how many of these have you signed so far?


Initially, I have signed about 1000 of the first copies.
Thanks, Neal!

from G.Brown (Coordinator Yahoo Group Glen Buxton Memorial)

Neal, Songs like “Ballad Of Dwight Fry”, “Halo Of Flies”, “Alma Mater /Grande Finale”, “My Stars”, “I Love The Dead”, “Unfinished Sweet”, “Battle Axe – Sudden Death – Winner”, and the song you end your new solo release with “Platinum God”, are very progressive…a lot of great musical moments. Do you prefer performing songs where the emphasis is more on the music, or the words?

Q.#10)Hey Gary!

As a songwriter music and words go hand in hand. They are equally important together. But while performing live, music is my overwhelming priority.
Thanks, Neal!

#11) From: Mark H.

Hello Neal, I saw you in concert at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. back in 72 or 73. You are the reason I started playing drums and I still do today. You have the whole package style, looks, talent. Do you remember that show coming out into the stadium in a Rolls Royce I believe? Is there any way I can get an autograph? Thanks, Mark

Q.#11) Hi Mark!

Yes, I do remember our show at “Three Rivers”, it was a great night. I tried to buy the Rolls Royce, but it was not for sale. As far as autographs, new releases, etc., you will have to check out my website;
Thanks, Neal!

#12) from Dan L. Gherna

I’ve always considered the real estate and rock ‘n’ roll professions to have similar attributes, in terms of salesmanship, professionalism, and promotion. Do you see the similarities? How does your rock ‘n’ roll background help you relate to clients/customers?

Q.#12)Hey Dan!

Interesting question, an analogy of the rock n’ roll and real estate professions. I have not only been asked this question before, but I have made several comparisons myself. Obviously completely different, but they have some things in common. One example is image and dress very important in both fields. Marketing yourself can be one of the most creative and fun aspects of real estate and it goes without saying, the same is true in the music business. Attitude must be positive and energetic. Act professional like you eat, drink and sleep you profession because to be successful, as a musician or a realtor, you have to be consumed by it. Be masterful and knowledgeable of your profession, and always be aware of trends and changes. Both professions offer the same opportunity for men and women, which I think is and has been a very important aspect of each profession in my opinion.
Thanks, Neal!

#13) from Jeff Pike


I am curious to know exactly how Billion Dollar Babies (the band) came together and what the overall vibe was while the band was together. Also, what was the final straw for the dissolving of the band. One more thing, I have been trying to find photos and any video of Billion Dollar Babies in
concert for years. You wouldn’t happen to have any tucked away that you might be willing to publish would you?

Q.#13)Hey Jeff!

After Michael Bruce’s (In My Own Way), Alice’s (Welcome To My Nightmare) and my (Platinum God) solo projects the ACG was to reform and do a new album. Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and I got together in Connecticut and started writing new songs for a new ACG album, but it was never to happen. So we stayed together called ourselves “The Billion Dollar Babies”, got a record deal and recorded “Battle Axe”. We were professional and the band was very up and energetic for recording and touring. “Billion $ Babies/Battle Axe” went on tour, but we were having problems with management, and shortly thereafter we broke up. As far as the B$B/Battle Axe show, to my knowledge there is no video of that great show.
Thanks, Neal!

#14) from Erik

Hi, Erik from Sweden here:

The photo of you on the cover of the “Platinum God” album is great. Tell me a little about it, when it is taken? Is it done especially for the album?


Hey Eric!
The photo with me wearing the zebra skin was taken in the Canary Islands in 1972 by Eillot Holceker. We came down from London to write the last song for the ACG album, Billion $ Babies and the song we composed was “Generation Landslide”, one of my favorites. We did a photo session, group and individual photos as usual. This zebra skin shot was just taken for fun with no special purpose in mind. The concept for “Platinum God” has been the same from the beginning in the mid 70’s, but I did not think of the cover art until I recently finished all of the music. The “Platinum God” cover with the vintage photo and new artwork, works perfectly with the concept. And then I included some photos inside, that I thought the fans would dig.
Thanks, Neal!

#15) from Tim Stradling

At the GBMW99 Dennis talked a little bit about new music being written with he and you, and that he had been speaking with Ezrin possibly looking for his thoughts on it. Can you comment on this?

Q.#15/1)Hey Tim!

I’m not sure of what your conversation with Dennis was exactly about, but Bob Ezrin is always looking for new musical material for the movies that he works on. So once in awhile we send music to Bob.

2) I also know there was some recording done with Joe Bouchard of BOC last year, and the CD is available. Do the two of you play on the Bouchard CD, or do you just have songwriting credits?


Joe Bouchard’s cd that you’re referring to is “The X-Brothers”. Dennis and I did not play on it but we wrote or co-wrote a few songs on the cd.

3.) Could you tell us a little more about these two projects? Specifically who else is involved, their style, and when they may be available?


The only project that Dennis and I are involved with off and on is with Joe Bouchard. We have written about 3 albums worth of songs in the last year or so. The only music that we have recorded to date are some original Christmas songs that may or may not be available by Christmas. They would be on Joe’s brother Albert’s label “Cellsum Records”.
Thanks, Neal!

#16) from Frank

Any chance of you returning full time to performing? Do you think there is any chance of the original Alice Cooper members recording together again?

Q.#16)Hi Frank!

In this world anything can happen. There’s no on who loves to play live more than I do, but I would really have to like the musicians that I play with. Since I don’t have to play, I have the luxury of waiting to play with musicians that I like. If it’s recording or touring, the original ACG would
never do anything together unless all four of us thought it’s the right thing to do.
Thanks, Neal!

#17) from Jeff Rondeau

1) I’d like to compliment you on your drumming style present on all the original ACG recordings. You and Dennis made a great and creative rhythmic team. Instead of just holding down the bottom end and keeping a beat the both of you contributed greatly to the compositions and above all helped make all those songs permanently etched in my brain. Who were your early influences and what, if anything, was carried over into your own playing?

Q.#17/1)Hey Jeff!

My early influences were Gene Krupa, Sandy Nelson, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Ringo, Charlie Watts and last but not least Alex Dunthart and John Barry (producer).

Carry overs to my music: Krupa and Nelson solo tom-tom work, i.e.. Black Ju Ju and Slick Black Limousine. The great fills of Baker, i.e.. Under My Wheels. The great grooves that hold verses together like Ringo and Watts, i.e.. Caught In A Dream and Still Got A Long Way To Go. Mitch Mitchell’s hi-hat work, i.e.. Killer (intro). Keith Moons energy and showmanship, i.e.. Black Ju Ju. John Barry’s use of percussive dynamics and diversity, i.e..Halo of Flies, Killer, Unfinished Sweet, Grand Finale, Man With A Golden Gun. Alex Dunthart’s flawless snare technique, Second Coming. Just a few examples.

2) Did you manage to hold onto your old Slingerland’s ( the chrome set? ) and if so, do you play them currently?


I still have all of my drums, well over one hundred drums all total. I am currently restoring the chrome Slingerland and it looks great, but I do not play them. I have a double kick birdseye maple Gretch set I play now.

3) After all you’ve contributed rock music do you still actually practice or is time too hard to come by these days? Thanks for the opportunity to ask these questions Neal.


Dennis and I play a lot with Joe Bouchard (from BOC). We try to get together at least once a week to play and write songs. We have written about 3 albums worth of music in the past year and we’ve done a little recording also. If anything is released, information would be on my web site.
Thanks, Neal!

#18) from SkiBum91

Neal, can you give any insight on the Song “Hallowed By My Name”? How it came about or anything. It is somewhat similar to “Second Coming” in it’s religious reference and was wondering if you and Alice thought about doing something along that line together or if you both came up with your songs totally unaware of the other. Also, the way Dwight Fry blends right in from the end of SC, was this Bob Ezrin’s idea or one of you guys?


Yes, I composed the words and music for “Hallowed Be My Name” and Alice wrote “Second Coming”, they were two separate songs and stood on their own merits as did every other song on “Love It To Death”. I had a very religious upbringing and that influenced “Hallowed Be My Name” as well as “Apple Bush”, that I wrote on “Pretties For You”. As I’m sure was the case with Alice’s “Second Coming”. The two songs were conceived separately, as a matter of fact, I never thought about their similarities until you mentioned it. I would guess that Dwight Fry into Second Coming was Bob’s idea but I don’t know for certain.
Thanks, Neal!

#19) from Kevin Landreneau

Hi Neal, With the new music from you and Michael on the Cameron CD (excellent by the way ), Michael being active the last few years writing new music, performing, ect….your just released CD Platinum God, the reunions I’ve been hearing / reading about the last couple years, and Dennis playing in public after being out of sight for a while, is there any hope for a Billion Dollar Babies reunion? I was thinking this would be an excellent opportunity to perform the newer songs, plus maybe give some new life to the Billion Dollar Babies tunes. I was also thinking if not a tour, maybe just a show that could be taped for the fans who could not make it. Can you comment?

Q.19/1)Hey Kevin!

There is always a possibility of anything happening, but the reason for most of the recent reunions with Michael, Alice, Dennis and myself have been in Glen Buxton’s memory. At this point I can not even speculate on anything above or beyond that point. I would do anything for Glen’s memory or for the Alice Cooper Group fans of the world.

2.) Speaking of Dennis, How is he doing, and how is his playing these days?


Dennis is awesome as always! He was the highlight for me playing at Cooperstown for the “GBMW”. Dennis and I try to play once a week we usually play with Joe Bouchard (from BOC). He is feeling great and playing even better!
Thanks, Neal!

#20) from Sandra Brown

Hi Neal, What involvement did you have in putting together the boxset ( The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper )?

Q.#20/1) Hi Sandra!

Alice and I got together in 1992 and first discussed putting together the boxset. I then talked to one of our oldest friends at Warner Brothers Records and that was some of the first efforts to get the idea out there. It was a seven year project and after that point I was not to involved. As the boxset was being designed, I helped with a few photos from my personal collection and comments about the songs for the book in the box set. I think it came out great!

2.) What did you think of the show VH1 did on you guys ( Behind The Music )?


I was happy that the VH1 show had dedicated at least half the show to the ACG, I was very unhappy that there was no mention of Glen Buxton and believe me there was plenty of room to cut some stuff that had nothing to do with the band, to make mention of Glen. By the way if there would have never been a Glen Buxton there would have NEVER been an Alice Cooper Group.
Thanks, Neal!

#21) from: Vic

Neal, I live in Waterford/ Pontiac, Michigan… My brother Curt has pointed several times at an old warehouse building on Brown Road off Joslyn & I-75… He said you guys practiced and/or recorded there…? If so, do you remember the album/year that you where there, and a little history on, how you came about finding the place?

Q.#21)Hey Vic!

It is possible that the building that you are referring to, could be the barn that we rehearsed in when we all lived on Brown Road in Pontiac. If it is the same location, we lived there 1970 to 1971 and rehearsed for “Love It To Death” and “Killer”, with Bob Ezrin in that very barn. And to tell you
the truth I have no idea how we found the house. Most of the time my sister Cindy and Alice’s girlfriend Cindy, would usually look at homes and properties for us. Without a photo I can not be sure, but chances are that it is the same place.
Thanks, Neal!


The end…The Glen Buxton Memorial Mailing List ( GBM ) 1999.

Coordinator; Gary Brown (update: Twitter @GBrown0816)

Book Review: Dennis Dunaway Autobiography

First Published: October 15, 2015
Revised: 04 July 2016
Uncle G’s FUN Book Reviews
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Book Title: Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group (2015)

Author(s): Dennis Dunaway and Chris Hodenfield

“In fond memory of Glen Buxton 1947-1997”

Ordering old school via phone, ‘Good Records’ in Dallas Texas USA, took my order, and a few days later Dennis’ book arrived. I had already seen a picture of the book on Dennis’ official Facebook page. First impression was I liked the cover photo, and that the book had eleven words in its title. If on Facebook and being asked if it was a good title or not, I’d press the ‘like’ button. It clearly gets the point across that this was a book written (with help from C.H.) by the original bass player in Alice Cooper. The one, the only, Mr. Dennis Dunaway.

Now notice that Dennis has the word ‘group’ after Alice Cooper. It helps separate from Alice’s ongoing solo career that started when Vince jumped ship (management in tow) in ’75. Since then Alice has had an overall successful solo career that began with the mega successful ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ album. An interesting catalog of albums followed. In 2015 we find Alice doing a side project, as part of a supergroup called ‘The Hollywood Vampires’ that just released their debut, self titled album. Frankly, I feel Alice deserves RnRHoF induction, on his solo career alone. Good for him he’s already inducted, and rightfully so for being one fifth of the Alice Cooper ‘group’. Which is where getting back to the book, this story ends. Admitted into the RnRHoF back in 2011. The ‘group’ since then has shown it still has some punch left in them which was apparent at a recent 2015 reunion show / appearances in Dallas Texas (Good Records). Glen was of course missed, but Alice, Neal, Michael, and Dennis played an eight song set that proved something is still there. I personally would luv nothing better than a new 40 to 45 minute Alice Cooper group concept album, and after it’s release, a tour. If not wanting to embark on a full size tour, maybe just a handful of shows so to be professionally recorded; Audio & Blu-ray. From my lips to God’s ears, there is still time left.

Dennis’ recalling of events, lays out exactly how the Alice Cooper group came about. The vast majority of the certain to be, if not already, best seller chronicles mostly up to ’74’s Alice Cooper Greatest Hits album. Superb cover artwork by Drew Struzan on that one btw. For the ‘group’ this was pretty much the end. On record the ‘group’ would not play again and it would be minus GB, until Alice’s follow up to Welcome 2 My Nightmare; Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011).

Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group. Dennis Dunaway’s personal recalling of his life. A very interesting one indeed. Successful with other bands since his Cooper days, and successful in life with a wife and two kids that has certainly kept him well grounded.

I personally never met Dennis, but I know Michael Bruce, and Neal Smith. I also had the honor of hanging with Glen Buxton when he was in Houston, back in ’97. I sat at a table with him and a few others after the Billy Blues show, and was amazed at how well he held our attention. I got to ask him anything I wanted. The dude was so cool and laid back. He sat there attentively as each of the three of us spoke, and then when finished he’d reply. Actually, he used the free time by reaching in and out of this black medicine bag he had with him. In the middle of long answers he’s reaching in, grabbing a can of beer or a cigarette, and not miss a fucking beat. He gave responses in great details. Wonderful stories about The Doors, and Kiss.

I made a beer run for GB back when he did the record show appearance, and a cigarette run (Old Gold or Basic’s 100) when at Billy Blues. Least I could do for one of my all time guitar heroes.

One of the coolest and then saddest things ever in my life … the Area 51 show, at what would be GB’s last ever public appearance. When it came time for the Cooper’s anthem ‘School’s Out’, I got to stand directly in front of Glen, as he played those all too famous, first opening guitar notes. A week later, Glen Buxton was dead. I still get choked up when I think about it too hard. My last memory of GB is him being in the back seat of a car, and exchanging pleasantries back and forth. In the rain, the automobile sooner or later pulled away. I believe it was Jeff Jatras (manager of Michael Bruce ) who seven days later told me Glen passed away.

One fanboy moment I had with GB was giving him a tee shirt. Right before the Area 51 show was to start. Was surprised and honored he actually wore it on stage. An attitude shirt I had specially made in Daytona Beach, Florida a few years before that. I never wore it. Hung on a hanger in my bedroom closet. Would scare mothers and children. It read on the upper arm sleeve; “Sticks and Stones may Break my Bones, but Whips and Chains Excite me”. On the front of the black tee-shirt; “What are You Staring At Dickhead!” I forget the rest.

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Photo: GB wearing Tee Shirt I gave him.
October 12, 1997 @ Area 51 in Houston Texas USA
Left to right: Neal Smith, Richie Scarlet, and Glen Buxton

My real regret is that I never asked to have a picture taken with him. My wife got him to sign a couple things. Treasured items now.

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Photo: Flier for the Area 51 Show.

Speaking of the Houston appearence, Michael Bruce’s manager told me that he would send posts I authored on Sick Things (a public Alice Cooper Internet Discussion Group) about Michael’s playing, to Neal Smith. To help get him interested in coming to Houston which he did, along with GB. Dennis gives him credit for the ’97 reunion, in which I do as well. It would have never have happened without his persistence. As for the record, and sorry if it’s a spoiler, but Mr. Dunaway was ill at the time, and could not participate in the ’97 Houston original Alice Cooper ‘group’ reunion. Alice wasn’t there as well. It was never believed he would show up anyway. Michael, Neal, Glen, with the help of Ace Frehley’s bass player, Richie Scarlet, and a local Houston musician playing keyboards and helping with backing vocals, John Glenn could not have done any better. For the short time they practiced, and played together, the five of them ended up a pretty tight band. These guys ROCKED! Weather wise in Houston, all during this time, it rained cats and dogs. A contributing factor I believe to Glen’s demise.

Michael Bruce once told me it was always better to take the high road, or whatever you could fit in your pockets. Only kidding! Luv U Bro’! TONS of memories. R.I.P. MB manager; Jeff Jatras (1957-2011). Truth is the man was a true scumbag the majority of the time. Killed himself in 2011. Sad in a way. Many that knew him who upon hearing news of his passing were quoted as saying; “Good riddance!”

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Photo: Jeff Jatras – Headstone

Dennis’ new autobiography, Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group. Recommend reading, so say I.

Official Dennis Dunaway Book Webpage

Thanks to Bryan Erickson, webmaster of for permission / use of photo.

Doing Liner Notes…with “Uncle G”

First Published: 14 May 2016
Liner Notes – Generation:landslide!
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

Towards the end of last year I was approached by musician Tom Underwood, asking if I’d be interested in doing the liner notes for a new CD (expanded single) that his band has scheduled for release around Spring of next year. Without hesitation, my answer was; “Yes”. I have been exposed to the band, and knew their music for some time. When going into more detail about this writing assignment, Tom added that I would be limited to about five hundred words, give or take. This made it more a personal challenge. For a lot of what I author on a semi-daily basis, easily exceeds that word allotment. The reason for the limitation Tom explained was due to what was planned as far as the printing of the actual CD booklet that would come with the physical CD. The band wanted a single page fold, so when you opened the CD single, one could pull out the cover insert and open it up to reveal a page in which the liner notes would be. After saying OK, I said I’d start to work on it soon, after bouncing some ideas around as to what I was going to say. Tom thanked me, smiled, and it was a done deal. I thanked him as well for considering me for the job. A couple weeks later on a beautiful Houston Saturday afternoon, we got together at his home. While eating a delicious meal along with Tom’s wife / bandmate Kathie Muncy-Underwood, we further discussed the plans for the up and coming five song EP.

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Photo: Generation:landslide! in concert at the Last Concert Cafe in Houston Texas. Pictures left to right: Tom Underwood_Kathie Muncy-Underwood_Charles Zittle on drums_Sellers Thomas.

Weeks later, I submitted my over six hundred words to Kathie. All was fine. We went from Fall of 2015, to the start of Spring in 2016. Then one chilly day in the great State of Pennsylvania, I receive a padded envelope containing the newest Generation:landslide! release, entitled: Carousel. A just under thirty minute CD EP, containing 5 new songs, with the last track being an instrumental, called; One Dead Rose. A group composition, while the other four tracks, all written by Tom and Kathie. Generation:landslide!, a five piece band out of Houston Texas. Mister Underwood is a guitarist and does lead vocals, while his wife Kathie plays bass and does lead vocals as well. A two guitarist band, Tom is joined by Sellers Thomas, who makes his debut here on lead vocals, with the song; Watch The World Die.On drums, Mr. Charles Zittle. One of a kind. As I say in the liner notes, his style of drumming I find akin to Alice Cooper’s; Neal Smith. That’s “Uncle G” high praise there. The Generation:landslide! catalog is filled with amazing drums beats. I witnessed Charles play on several occasions. The man’s a natural behind the drum kit. As with Neal Smith, if the name is new to you, or perhaps you have only seen it mis-spelled in a syndicated PR story, the man is a rock n’ roll legend. For the record, from here on out, the correct spelling of his name: NEAL Smith. I, Gary “Uncle G” Brown can be quoted as saying it’s cool to buy any song / album with Neal Smith’s name on it. Plays different styles, while never forgetting he’s a professional rock n’ roll drummer. Always plenty of bang for your buck! And directed to the newbies, check out the Alice Cooper song, Billion Dollar Babies. Focus on the drumming. Your only thoughts should be after hearing that song, played very loud, but not distorted, is that was fu*king incredible, and that Neal Smith pounding the skins, RULES! After that, feel free to dig into the rest of his work (drummer_guitarist_singer_songwriter), and you’ll find out quickly, I’m NOT wrong.

And then there is keyboardist, Mr. Alan Cunningham. For those unaware, Generation:landslide! didn’t always have a keys player. My first time seeing Alan perform with the group was when they played the House Of Blues (Houston) on my birthday, back in 2014. No secret I’m a fan of piano / keyboard playing. For myself, I think the additional added layer(s) of sound, opens more doors that a rock band like Generation:landslide! can go through. In my opinion they found the right person in Alan, to do just that with.

By The Way: Joining Generation:landslide! on two tracks (Days Of You / One Dead Rose) of this EP (Generation:landslide! – Carousel) is saxophonist; Ralph Armin Kaethner (Mydolls / Dead Roses ). Just one of many reasons why I feel it’s so imperative to buy this 2016 Generation:landslide! offering. Besides the fact I did the liner notes (insert smiley face).
Speaking of which, playing writer, I always found it a huge pleasure to see whatever it was that I creatively had a part in, appearing in print, or as a part of a commercial venture. I thank all those who acknowledged, and have used my work either in part or in whole, for the exposure. That would of course include; Generation:landslide!, who kept / printed every word I submitted to them for this liner note assignment. I also am very grateful to Jon Kirkman – – Yes’ Cruise To The Edge MC for sharing with me the writing rules he follows when doing liner notes himself. Good advice as always!

Sneak Peek: Here’s the first paragraph of what I came up with, used as liner notes on Generation:landslide! NEWEST studio release, the EP; Carousel. For the rest of what I said, please support the band, and buy the actual CD, so you can read the liner notes for yourself. As for those who rather not and is more interested in downloading, the MP3 version, is cool as well. Either or helps pay the bills, in which I’m sure the band is very appreciative.GenerationLlandslide! – Carousel (2016)

“Generation:landslide! A band that co-founder Tom Underwood explained to me one fine Saturday afternoon as being akin to something that should be locked up at a top secret military facility like Area 51. A remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range, and studied thoroughly. Then the both of us shared another bowl, laughed and decided that being dissected was a bad idea because not only might it hurt some, but then only a selected small group of people in white coats, would then know about the Houston Texas (USA) based band, inside and out. How fair is that we pondered. What about the rest of the world?”

Uncle G’s Closing Remarks

It’s almost the last paragraph (that you have to purchase the physical disc to find out) where I describe Generation:landslide! as; “…a Houston based psychedelic, garage power-pop group…” In the above paragraph I just quoted from the liner notes, three words in particular, jump right out at me; “…shared another bowl…”. If I was the reader, and not the author, I would assume that was referring to, a bowl of marijuana. Saying someone is 420 friendly in 2016, isn’t as bad as outing others and yourself, as being pot smokers, forty years prior. Word got around to the wrong person back then, and here comes Sargent Stadanko and the boys. May I safely assure everyone, that it isn’t like that. And so there is no misunderstandings, let me explain exactly what I was referring to when I typed, those three words. It was, a big bowl of … peanuts. Charles like peanuts as well. Ends up we shared many a bowls on many occasions. I can’t say Kathie and Sellers do. Last I heard, Alan was said to be allergic, and could not be anywhere near peanuts. Oh well. Sorry Alan. More for those who can indulge! And if you haven’t already, pick up Generation:Landslide! – Carousel. I thank you, as does the band. And keep an eye out, for whenever there is Generation:landslide! news to report, / yours truly will be right there with the details. Nevermind the fact if I had too much … peanuts … or not!

Important Generation:landslide! Web*Links

Social Media

Generation:landslide! Official Facebook Page


Generation:landslide! Amazon Dot Com (Carousel EP)

Generation:landslide! CD Baby (Carousel EP)

Generation:landslide! Carousel EP produced by Steve Bundrick & Generation:landslide! – Recorded at Bundrick and Sons Studio in Houston, Texas, USA.