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Dennis Dunaway - Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures In The Alice Cooper Group

Label: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Book
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 9/ 10


Between the dueling documentaries: Super Duper Alice Cooper and the band's manager Shep Gordon Supermensch, there's been a lot of vintage Alice Cooper nostalgia lately. But, bassist Dennis Dunaway's memoir is the first from the band's perspective. Nearly 300 pages recounting the struggles of the original incarnation, first as high schoolers, through the tough rise and eventual destruction (once success comes) of a tight knit group of friends. To do so, without venom directed towards any particular party, nor avoiding the tales of vices on the road, during the early 70s, is quite remarkable. Water (and wasted fortunes) under the bridge, Dunaway remains friends with all the surviving members, to this day. things unwind in a smooth, easy to read style.

 

Although it's his book, Dennis takes great pains not to monopolize the dialogue, telling his story, as well as those of the other band members, all as part of a collective. That includes his wife, who was drummer Neal's Smith's sister, as well as band costume designer. There are anecdotes with famous people and honest appraisal of missteps. In addition to a chronology that ticks through each studio album and subsequent tours, their time in Arizona, LA, greater Detroit and NYC dovetails with Zappa, The Doors, Iggy Pop/Stooges, amongst others, all of whom appear within the pages. Intriguing read, as much for the music history, as the personal account. A small section of candid, black & white photos is included.

 
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