Vintage Guitar - July 2018 - open - 32

before Alice's Paranormal album, Neal came
out and the three of us started jamming - and
visiting Alice. We went over and did three or
four songs in the studio.
You're working on a signature-model
guitar, right?

Yeah, Terry Dennis, who works with Bigsby
and Vibramate, is shopping the idea for an
Alice Cooper "guitars of the stars" thing. I
had an SG with 24 frets, a Bigsby, P-90s, and
a master Volume. I covered the whole thing
with mylar, which was kind of interesting.
We're going to work toward that. Glen's was
the three-pickup SG Custom.
Which guitars are you currently using?

I met this guy in Toronto, and he asked
if I'd be interested in being endorsed with
his company, Hunter Guitars. He had one
model, and it was like an SG but fatter, like
a middle-aged SG (laughs) with 24 frets and
a whammy bar, which I replaced with a real
Bigsby. It looks a lot like the one we're working
on with Terry Dennis. I've also got a Yamaha
SBG-500 on which I added a roller bridge and
a locking nut. There are two things I need
from a guitar - for it not to feedback, and not
to break strings a lot.
When not working with the Alice Cooper
Group, you do a side project with your wife,
Lynn, on bass.

Eighteen Again

B

efore there was an Alice Cooper, man and
solo artist, there was the band called Alice
Cooper. From 1969 to '74, it cranked out seven
influential albums with the dual-guitar attack
of Michael Bruce and the late Glen Buxton.
Bruce contributed many of the band's anthemic
smashes, such as "I'm Eighteen," "Be My Lover,"
and "Muscle of Love." The group reunited last
year for a U.K. tour, and we sat with Bruce to
discuss how it all happened, and how it went.
How did the Alice Cooper reunion happen?

Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, and I played
at Summer NAMM, in Nashville, and I don't
know if it was coincidence or conspiracy, but
Alice was there, too, and we ended up playing
together. The crowd loved it, so Shep (Gordon,
the band's longtime manager) said, "Let's do
some U.K. gigs and see how it goes."
We started in Leeds, then did Birmingham,

Manchester, Glasgow, and Wembley. After
Wembley, Alice said the reviews were better
than if we had written them ourselves, so he
started thinking about U.S. dates.
For the U.K. shows, you relied on current
Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie for amplification.

Ryan has become the Glen Buxton figure,
and he's doing a great job. I use his spare Marshall on the other side of the stage. It's great
because it's two Marshalls and everything is
behind the set.
Talk about how the classic lineup contributed on Cooper's last two studio albums.

It started with Alice's Welcome to My Nightmare sequel in 2011. [Producer] Bob Ezrin
called me and said,"We want to do one of your
songs." Neal and Dennis were there and we did
one of Dennis' songs, one of Neal's, and one
of mine. That got the ball rolling. Then just

VINTAGE GUITAR

32

July 2018

Which amps are you using for that band?

I have a Fender Deluxe reissue with a tube
preamp and 12" Eminence speaker. I also have
a Fender Ultimate Chorus, which is solidstate,
but I love the stereo sound, so I split my line
out with one on each side of the stage and
get a really nice sort of tube vibe, and a wash
when I want it. I've been able to blend the two
and it really has a lot of body and overtones.
I replaced the stock speakers in the Ultimate
Chorus with Celestions, and it made the world
of difference. It still has that solidstate sound,
but with the real stereo effect blended with the
Deluxe, it's a real nice thing.
You and the Alice Cooper group had a
huge impact on rock music and guitar in the
'70s. What goes through your mind when
you think about that?

I told Alice how I just wanted to thank
him for what we did. I'm 70, and to be able
to play this late... my mind is still wrapping
itself around the fact that I just played with
the Alice Cooper group. When you're 20 and
you're out there as a rock band, your mind
doesn't go there, because of course you're
forever young. - Johnny Zapp

Michael Bruce: Philamønjarø.

MICHAEL BRUCE

Yeah, we call it Michael Bruce and the Texas
Chainsaw Ballet. We're digging out some gems
from my catalog and trying to do some of the
Cooper songs that Alice doesn't do so much.


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