Thursday, July 2, 2015

A View from the Bottom End

Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group – Dennis Dunaway and Chris Hodenfield (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press)

Perspective is everything. Even a passing glance at the shelf full of books that have penned about Alice Cooper, the man and the band, and your likely to uncover nearly as many takes and storylines as there are books. How things happened, what (and in some cases who) went down can often be widely varied.

Such is the case with the autobiography of original Alice Cooper bassist Dennis Dunaway Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group. Based on Dunaway’s story, he may have been the most clearheaded and chemical free member of the band to offer up his version of events; from the founding of the band and on through the evolutions and incarnations on the way to fame.

Dunaway, with an assist from writer Chris Hodenfield, serves up tale that is at once familiar from so many up from nothing to stardom bios of so many rockers and yet also offers up heartfelt insights into the band’s personalities. Dunaway’s recollections of the troubled life and ultimate too young death of guitarist Glenn Buxton offers a different perspective from Buxton’s hard charging public persona.

While he certainly enjoyed the highs of the rock star life, Dunaway also levels a dose of reality when he details life after the spotlight dims. He brings an interesting perspective to the inner workings of the music business, the LA music scene in the late 60s and early 70s and reminds of the long gone days of the $3.50 concert ticket.

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