Vampires Don’t Suck

alice cooper

The Hollywood Vampires haunt the Turning Stone Casino.

HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, Turning Stone

Joe Perry. Michael Davis photo | Syracuse New Times

Cynics may scoff that rock supergroups featuring musical icons in the (ahem) autumn of their years are just in it for one last cash grab. Yet for everyone else, these blockbuster ensembles also provide seasoned performers who are still at the top of their games, as evidenced by the cheering sellout crowd who embraced the Hollywood Vampires during their May 24 gig at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s Events Center.

The Vampires outfit is a to-die-for merging of eclectic talents (Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and actor Johnny Depp) paying tribute to songs from their dead colleagues. As the 100-minute, 20-plus-song Verona concert suggested, that set list will only get longer with time. David Bowie, new to this year’s rock’n’roll deadpool, was saluted with the double-barreled dose of “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City,” performed with dynamic zest by the seven-member unit.

A mini-tribute to The Who, which featured “Pinball Wizard” and Cooper stuttering through “My Generation,” also featured a guitar-smashing interlude. Tracks by John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors’ Jim Morrison also found their way onto the Vampires’ set of propulsive covers.

HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, Turning Stone

Johnny Depp. Michael Davis photo | Syracuse New Times

The Vampires were at the Turning Stone for several nights of rehearsal (and surely a few days on the resort’s links for inveterate golfer Cooper), and the practice made for a perfect evening of precise rocking. Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum maintained a ferocious backbeat throughout the selection of deep album cuts, while Perry cut loose with the solo guitar antics of “Stop Messin’ Around.”

Depp, who starred in director John Waters’ juvie-movie spoof Cry Baby, certainly looked the part of a rock star since he had the best hair in the group. With his tattooed forearms on display, Depp competently performed on his Duesenberg electric guitar, although he mumbled like Marlon Brando in his prime whenever he took to the microphone.

And it would be impossible to find a more appropriate leader for this retro rock ride than Alice Cooper, whose Grand Guignol cavalcade has been going strong for more than 40 years. While it’s somewhat unusual to see Cooper sans his usual terror tropes, such as ghoulish makeup and guillotines (plus he wore a poofy Seinfeld shirt that made him resemble a blood-spattered bridegroom), he was nevertheless in fine voice throughout the night while also tossing in a few one-liners between the songs. Cooper’s tongue-in-cheek showmanship is tailor-made for the Hollywood Vampires’ evening of larkish entertainment.

 for Syracuse NewTimes

How Good a Guitarist Is Johnny Depp? Joe Perry Asked Him for Lessons

Johnny Depp may be known chiefly as an actor, but don’t underestimate his guitar skills. Joe Perry was so impressed by Depp’s playing that he asked him for guitar lessons, says Alice Cooper.

Cooper, who performs with Perry and Depp in the group Hollywood Vampires, tells EonMusic that Depp’s guitar knowledge is deep.

“Johnny is one of these guys that just loves that era, and he’s a killer guitar player,” Cooper says.

“There’s a movie called Chocolat and he plays this gypsy guitar player. He does all this Django Reinhardt stuff—and it’s really him. It’s not somebody playing for him.

“Joe Perry heard that, and he called up and said, ‘Can I get guitar lessons from you?’ So that’s how good Johnny is.”

Depp does indeed play guitar in the 2000 movie, and performs on two songs on the movie soundtrack album, including “Minor Swing,” heard below.
Hollywood Vampires released their self-titled debut album last year. They’ll be playing dates in North America and Europe in the coming months.

Cooper, meanwhile, is recording with the members of his original Seventies-era band.

By  Christopher Scapelliti for Guitar Player

Aerosmith Deny Rumors They’re Replacing Steven Tyler

“Any rumor out there about us looking for another singer is completely untrue,” band says in statement

Aerosmith have issued a statement denying that the band is looking to replace singer Steven Tyler. “Any rumor out there about us looking for another singer is completely untrue,” guitarist Joe Perry said in a statement. “All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City.” Aerosmith is scheduled to embark on their Latin American tour in September. Continue reading Aerosmith Deny Rumors They’re Replacing Steven Tyler

Hollywood Vampires preview tonight’s Turning Stone concert (photos, video)

The Hollywood Vampires are ready to kick off their first-ever tour in Central New York.

The supergroup, featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry performs Tuesday night (May 24) at 8 p.m. in the the Turning Stone Resort Casino Event Center. It’s the first show for the rock band since a performance at the 2016 Grammys, and the first before hitting 17 other cities in North America this spring and summer. Continue reading Hollywood Vampires preview tonight’s Turning Stone concert (photos, video)

Hollywood Vampires honor the dead with a show full of life (review, video)

VERONA, N.Y. — When three legends take one stage, and one of those legends is Alice Cooper, it’s hard to pay attention to anyone else.

Rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires, featuring Cooper, actor Johnny Depp and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, kicked off their summer tour on Tuesday night (May 24) at the Turning Stone Resort Casino. Continue reading Hollywood Vampires honor the dead with a show full of life (review, video)

Perry, Cooper and Depp will give ‘once in a lifetime’ tribute to rock-n-roll greats 

The Hollywood Vampires. Photo from Twitter.
– Joe Perry is a true rock and roll legend, a living icon, a title few can claim. Perry has dedicated nearly 40 years to writing and performing rock and roll. He was ranked in Rolling Stone’s list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of fame, and has served as the lead guitarist and part of the creative force behind one of the century’s greatest rock bands, creating songs such as “Dream On,” “Same Old Song and Dance,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” “Back in the Saddle” and many others. Continue reading Perry, Cooper and Depp will give ‘once in a lifetime’ tribute to rock-n-roll greats