Live from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper: Dallas Film Festival Recap

This is part 3 of a 3-part tour blog series on the Live from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper film festival circuit.

April, 2019
Dennis Dunaway

The three-city film festival tour has brought us from the arid climate of Phoenix to the icy winds of Detroit, then to the toasty warmth of Dallas, back where the film was made. Despite the difference in the weather, the fans were all part of the same music-loving family. I mean the real fans, that is. Not those rude autograph sharks that think they can annoy me into helping them make a fast buck. I think some of them would cut my hand off if they thought it would continue signing. Okay, well this paragraph took an unexpected turn. I am smiling, you know.

By now, Cindy and I had gotten to know Steve Gaddis, director of Life from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper, pretty well. He’s a knowledgeable, easy-going guy that loves music and films. His editing talent is an obvious ingredient in creating the charm of this film.

Of course we had met Chris Penn and his wonderful family back in October of 2015. His lovely wife Jennifer held down the fort with their three young boys while Chris was away promoting this film, Plus he’s been moving his Good Records store to a new location in Dallas! As Cindy well knows, it’s the significant others that really deserve the awards.

Chris, Steve, and I got up bright and early and drove across town to be on the Bo and Jim Show on KZPS radio. I had done their show before to promote the actual book signing event documented in this film. That was over three years ago. So I already knew you didn’t need any coffee to wake up because Bo and Jim are a high-energy blast.



Cindy and Dennis Dunaway at the Dallas International Film Festival

Okay, this was a bit of awkward planning. We were to hit the Dallas International Film Festival red carpet (although Chris had brought some of the pink Astroturf for us to stand on), and then a tribute band called Dallas Cooper were to perform, and then (here’s the awkward planning part) our film was to screen at a theater a few miles away!

No sweat; everyone drove to the the other theater for our screening. Wow!

The Studio Movie Grill Theater had a powerful sound system! And with the live recording being mixed by Justin Cortelyou and Bob Ezrin, it sounded like my bass amp was right there in the theater – and the volume was cranked! Cindy and I hung out with fans afterward and they were all talking about how loud the bass was.

So far, Cindy and I had eaten Mexican food, Mexican food, and more Mexican food, so this time Chris suggested an Italian restaurant. Chris parked and was handed claim ticket #18. We all thought that Kozmic Koincidence was a sign that this was the right place to eat, and it was.

Chris invited us to a music fest in downtown Dallas to hear a psychedelic rock band called Tripping Daisy. It was easy to see why people were excited about them doing shows again. Their music and their visual presentation had a lot of swirling colorful impact and was a ton of fun.

Our final Dallas International Film Festival screening was at The Magnolia Theater and the crowd’s reception was every bit as great as the film’s first premier back in Phoenix. Once again, we included Cindy in the after-film discussions. Her answers come from a viewpoint that fans haven’t heard before. She’s ready to share her tales now. And when it comes to speaking in front of people, Chris and Steve are both naturals.

Hey! The film won the Dallas International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature!

This film festival tour had a mission. To premier in the city where the Alice Cooper group started, then screen in the city that gave us our edge, and then return to the city that hosted this very special reunion. There are more film festivals in the stars. I hope you get to see it, and hear it, in a theater with the volume up to 11.

When you do, I’m sure you will agree with me - this film has a whole lotta heart. If you question that, just ask the members of Dallas Cooper if they enjoyed it.

Chris Penn, Steven Gaddis, Dennis Dunaway, Cindy Dunaway, and Dallas Cooper.