Road Diary: A Whirlwind Weekend in Detroit and Windsor
Last weekend, I had a promotional event at Chapters bookstore in Windsor, Ontario, right across the border from Detroit. When I found out that there was a benefit concert for childrens’ hospitals at the Fillmore in Detroit that night, of course I wanted to help the cause and join the illustrious lineup of musicians.
Saturday afternoon, I was on the Fillmore stage waiting to rehearse with the other musicians. The show was called Remember the Child, and was in memory of musician/songwriter Dick Wagner. All profits were to be donated to the Children's Miracle Network, Beaumont Children's Hospital, and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. If you're interested in learning more about Dick Wagner's legacy, take a listen to the Doug's Podcast interview I did earlier that week.
Time was tight because I had to get to the book event in Canada. Loudly over the PA, somebody kept asking if Barry was ready. I frantically scurried around looking for this Barry guy to let him know he was holding up the entire rehearsal. Turns out, the guy working the PA had my name wrong … it was ME they were waiting for as I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off looking for some “Barry.” Doh!
When the rehearsal was all set, we zoomed up to Windsor for the Chapters bookstore event.
The Chapters staff was efficient and friendly, and between them and my team– Paul Brenton, Sharyn Rosenblum, and my wife, Cindy–the event was perfect.
When I was introduced, before I even got up to the stage, I felt a warm welcome from lots of dedicated fans. I had some rare Alice Cooper artifacts on display, talked about my book Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures In The Alice Cooper Group, and answered questions from a great turnout of fans.
Overall, everyone had exceptionally insightful questions about the Alice Cooper group and the impact that our music had in their town. It was easy to tell that they were proud of Windsor’s part in the success of the group. Windsor is the home of CKLW, the radio station that broke “I’m Eighteen” and made it a hit. Their powerful transmitter reached a large audience in Midwestern Canada and the U.S.
Cindy and I signed books for everyone and then we signed extra copies for Chapters to have available for sale. They will also carry the audiobook, which I narrated myself.
We punched it back to Detroit for the Dick Wagner show. When crossed the border, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer asked if I was playing at the Fillmore. He recognized me from my passport.
I love those grand old theaters with the chandeliers and the balconies, and the Fillmore is extra grand. The sound is excellent and everything about it is special. Add a great lineup of musicians and an exuberant Detroit crowd and it’s one of the most exhilarating feelings on earth to be up there on stage.
We kicked off with a strong rendition of “I’m Eighteen” followed by “School’s Out.” It was one of those performances where everything clicked.
A wonderful group of kids joined us on stage: the children’s choir from the St. Valentine Catholic Elementary School. They looked like they were very happy to be singing “School’s Out.”
Detroit crowds have always loved high-energy rock and this was no different. Throughout the night, every song was as tight as could be. The verve filled the room from the stage to the back of the upper balcony.
After the show, I met hundreds of people with their own personal stories of seeing Alice Cooper in the 60’s and 70’s. They spoke in terms of Alice Cooper as the original group, even though the show was a tribute to Dick Wagner, who worked with Alice as a solo artist.
The whole night was full of appreciation for live music, great memories, and a good cause. Thanks to all of you who shared it with us.