Alice Cooper Reunion at Music Biz 2017, As Told By Dennis Dunaway

I was still on a high from playing in the Alice Cooper reunion at Tennessee Performing Arts Center the night before. I had a busy day ahead at the Music Business Association’s Music Biz 2017 conference.

By breakfast, the Renaissance Hotel was abuzz with industry professionals and musicians. Every open chair was filled with reps from Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, iTunes and more energetically brainstorming with record label execs and artists.

Most of my day was spent speaking with the press or playing music. During breaks, I met tons of fans from all parts of the globe. They told me about their first introductions to our music and what it means to them. The stories are similar but I always get a thrill out of hearing them. We would talk about their favorite songs, concerts they had attended, and how they wished Glen was still around.

At 8 o’clock, it was time for the Music Biz Industry Jam 2. The ballroom was dark except for the theatrical lighting on stage. The crowd was filled with music professionals.

Backstage after the show at Music Biz 2017. Left to right: Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Michael Bruce, Bob Ezrin, Robin Zander, Ryan Roxie, and Alice Cooper. Photo by Philamonjaro.

In the green room, Michael, Neal and I were having photos taken with Robin Zander of Cheap Trick when Alice walked in. I told Alice he could go back to his room because we had a new singer. He didn’t listen. 

Steve Harkins (Vice Chairman of Music Business Association and  presented Alice’s road manager, Toby Mamis, with a special lifetime achievement award.

Then, Bob Ezrin took the podium and charismatically told the story of how he first met the Alice Cooper group (you can read about it in my book). The conference had announced that Michael, Neal, and I would accept the award on behalf of the full band.

Always ones for drama, we had planned all along that when Bob called us onto stage to accept our lifetime achievement awards, Alice would walk up with us.

It was time to play our six songs. This performance was more intimate without any theatrical props. As most people know, that’s a rarity for us! I saw teary eyes in the crowd.

I burned the midnight oil enjoying the other performances and chatting with incredible musicians. I especially liked watching Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge), Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer), plus the Campbell family’s special tribute to Glen Campbell.

I saw Sesu Coleman (Magic Tramps), Steve Conte (New York Dolls and Michael Monroe), Rachel Bolan (Skid Row), Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Brother Cane, and Black Star Riders), and Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osborne, Quiet Riot, and Whitesnake).

It means a lot to be honored by the industry, and even more to be able to join my friends on stage and play music that is so dear to me. Stay tuned for some collaborations coming up on Alice’s next album.