The Rock Brigade Road Trip: Robin Trower, Alice Cooper & Dokken!

The Rock Brigade Road Trip with Jeb & James
Robin Trower, Alice Cooper & Dokken!
Somewhere in Oklahoma, May 3rd through May 6th!

Words By Jeb Wright
Photos James Rozell & Jeb Wright

The Rock Brigade Podcast hosts Jeb Wright and James Rozell headed south to Tulsa, Oklahoma for two days of rock ‘n’ roll heaven.  The agenda was simple… Mexican food, a Robin Trower concert at The Brady Theater, sleep it off at the Holiday Inn and get up the next day and do it again… the difference being Day 2 would feature Alice Cooper at The Brady.  Then, the boys would head home rocked up and ready to record another fun episode of their podcast.  It didn’t quite turn out that way.  Instead, they ended up doing an interview with Ryan Roxie, guitarist for Alice Cooper, but not after attending a Rave and seeing Eddie Trunk in action interviewing Cooper for his radio show Trunk Nation.  Then… the duo ended up on the Oklahoma/Texas border for another night of Alice Cooper. 

What started out as a quick two concert getaway ended up a wild week of rock ‘n’ roll… well, as wild as old folks get. 

Day 1: Robin Trower & a Man Named Lori

Robin Trower Set List Tulsa, Ok

Too Rolling Stoned | Confessin' Midnight | Where You Are Going To | Not Inside – Outside | Somebody Calling | Make Up Your Mind |Day of the Eagle |Bridge of Sighs | The Turning | Can't Turn Back the Clock | Daydream | Jigsaw | Little Bit of Sympathy

Encore: Rise Up Like the Sun | For Earth Below

Day 1 was pretty easy, actually.  We showed up at The Brady Theater, parked and walked to the Mexicali Border Cafe, a favorite pre-concert restaurant for Tulsa concert goers.  After a huge ass burrito and tons of chips and cheese-Rozell had a few quarts of beer while I sipped tea (12-Step thing and all) we walked back over to The Brady to get our tickets at ‘Will-Call’.  I had been instructed to meet with someone named Lori once we arrived at the venue.  Lori was part of Robin Trower’s team and they wanted to make me feel welcome as I have always reviewed and interviewed Robin over the years, even penning a press release or two.  We went to the merchandise booth and stated who we were looking for, and a friendly bloke asked if I was Jeb.  I said, “Last time I checked.”  He gave us each tour posters so we could have Robin sign them.  He said Lori would be up shortly.  We were waiting and checking out every female waiting for her.  Finally, a short guy with a gruff voice showed up next to us and said, “I’m Lori” in a thick British accent.  We didn’t see that one coming, but in rock ‘n’ roll one never knows what to expect!  Lori turned out to be a great guy and even gave me a Robin Trower t-shirt.  I was being treated like a rock star (without a shirt)!  We were led to our seats and told to meet Lori at the soundboard after the show.  With that, we sat, Lori left and the lights went down. 

Robin took the stage with two other musicians who were noticeably younger.  The age difference didn’t matter once the opening notes of “Too Rolling Stoned” blasted out of the room.  Trower is an amazing artist and axeman.  On this night he was on fire.  He played like a man a third of his age.  He bent every note and blasted every solo like his life depended on it.  Time stopped when he played and the emotion coming out of his fingertips was inspiring.  This man is a truly gifted person.  His solos are well crafted and being in a three-piece band he is forced to mix a lot of rhythmic playing in between his earth shattering lead breaks.  His band holds it all down tight allowing him to soar to the musical heavens.  Trower takes one along for the ride and never looks back.  There is really no banter between songs, there is no big production number and there is hardly even a light show.  What is left is all that matters and that is a big sound.  Trower plays loud.  It is a miracle his Fender guitar can do anything but feedback.  Robin controls the guitar with the skill of a lion tamer.  He controls every note played as well as every second of silence between notes.  He takes control and bends the music to his will.  It is truly an amazing thing to witness.

Trower is touring in support of his latest album titled Time and Emotion.  Oddly, he played only two tunes from the new album, “Can’t Turn Back the Clock” and “Make Up Your Mind.” Both were received extremely well and harken to his glory days.  His previous effort, Where You Are Going To, saw the title track and the amazing “Jigsaw” performed.   The Playful Heart from 2010 was represented by “The Turning” and “Not Inside—Outside.”  All of these songs went down well even though only his biggest fans were probably familiar with them.  The rest of the set list, however, was pure Trower magic and took the evening from great to beyond excellent.   Following “Too Rolling Stoned” was “Confessin' Midnight” which got the crowd fired up.  It was the one-two punch of “Day of the Eagle” and “Bridge of Sighs” the put the crowd on their feet.  Trower never reached higher heights than on these two songs.  They rock, and are spellbinding at the same time.  Pure brilliance.

One of the truly magical moments of the evening came when Trower trotted out “Somebody’s Calling” from In City Dreams.  Robin put his heart and soul into this song.  The solo was pure bliss.  “Daydream” was mellow but the entire band went into a jam that seemed to go on forever… much to the delight of all in attendance.  “Little Bit of Sympathy” ended the evening and really did leave us all wanting more.  Robin returned for the two song encore of Rise Up Like the Sun from 1994’s 20th Century Blues and the title track from his classic 1975 album For Earth Below.  After the show, Lori took us onto the stage where we waited a bit and were finally allowed to meet the man of the hour, Robin Trower.  He was as sincere in person as he was while playing guitar.  Day 1 was a wonderful success.

Day 2: Alice Cooper, Raves & Podcasts

Alice Cooper Set List, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Brutal Planet | No More Mr. Nice Guy | Under My Wheels | Lost in America | Pain | Welcome to My Nightmare | Billion Dollar Babies | The World Needs Guts | Woman of Mass Distraction | Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss) | Poison | Halo of Flies (with drum solo) | Feed My Frankenstein | Cold Ethyl |Only Women Bleed | Escape | Ballad of Dwight Fry/ Killer | I Love the Dead | I'm Eighteen

Encore:   School's Out

Day 2 started off good as well.  Ryan Roxie texted James and we set up a time to do the podcast.  We had a few hours to kill so it was off to the Tulsa Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where James won a hundred bucks and I donated twenty to the cause.  I made him buy me a cigar and we ate at Toby Keith’s.  We hung out and waited for Roxie to text but in true rock star fashion we only got pushed back a couple of times.  We ended up saying “fuck it”’ and went back to the Mexicali Border Cafe for another burrito.  Before dinner we parked again at The Brady and on the way over we saw Nita Strauss, the beautiful and talented lead guitar player for Cooper, standing by the bus.  Rozell yelled, “Hey Nita… we’re The Rock Brigade.”  She smiled and came over to talk with us.  We featured an amazing podcast with her about her participation in an album titled She Rocks put out by Steve Vai’s label Favored Nations.  She asked if we had tickets and passes and we told her yes and we went to eat. 

After chomping down some more awesome south of the border favorites, and James swilling down a few beers, we went back and got our tickets and passes at Will Call and walked back to where we had witnessed Trower blow everyone away twenty four hours earlier.  We found our seats in front of the soundboard and soon noticed none other than Eddie Trunk, former host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show making his way to the same row we were sitting in.  Trunk was in town to host a concert by Dokken the next night and was taking in the Cooper show as he would interview Alice the next day.  Eddie was greeting fans, and flirting with young blondes that may have needed to be carded---what a life!  James and I did tease him behind his back by chanting “UFO” a few times, as that is his favorite band.  He looked about but I don’t think he ever figured out it was us who were the culprits. 

The show was pretty amazing.  Cooper, now 69 years of age, is a master craftsman, a true artist and a unique and original singer.  The attention to detail brings about an amazing show.  Cooper is decapitated, beats up a corpse, stabs a nurse, gets put in a straightjacket and wields a sword full of Cooper Cash.  The lights, the acting on stage, the professionalism of the band and the energy of the music make Alice Cooper 2017 a must-see show.  This is not just a rock concert… it is an event. 

Alice’s band is comprised of very cool cats.  Guitarist Nita Strauss is hot as hell and she can play like Steve Vai.  She has a boyfriend, and while I have never met him… I hate him!  As if she were not already the woman of mass distraction, Nita is cool as well. She treats fans with respect, she plays the shit out of her guitar and she looks bad-ass head banging on stage.  Next to Cooper, she looks even more attractive.  She brings out Alice’s wrinkles and scowls even more than normal.  Cooper snarls, sneers and commands power like never before.  On the other side of the stage are Ryan Roxie and Chuck Garric.  Chuck has long sideburns, never smiles, and pounds the low notes with attitude.  Ryan, on the other side of the spectrum, is the prettiest 51 year old man I have met in a long time.  The scarves, the hats, the smile and the swagger make him ooze coolness.  I wonder if he has a sister… who’s single… that might be into nerds…

Ryan does not shred like Nita—she really is THAT good.  Ryan is more of a power chord/pentatonic scale guy… in other words an old school rocker.  He puts in the right riff, lick and chord and then, when it is his turn to shine, he lets it rip.  There is 3rd guitar player onstage named Tommy Henriksen.  He kind of just keeps the entire guitar army together.  He solos a bit but seems more content to keep the engine running at full power, pushing his teammates full steam ahead.  On drums is Glen Sobel.  Oh muh gawd… this dude looks like he should sell insurance.  He visually does not look like someone you’d envision in Cooper’s band but boy can he play drums.  Alice is a pro.  He has hired the best people for the job.  They deserve every accolade they get. 

When the lights went down one felt the energy in The Brady Theater increase.  The band came out with a bang performing on one of Cooper’s heaviest tunes in his canon, “Brutal Planet.”  The classic hits got the already on-their-feet crowd even more fired up.  “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels” are pure Classic Coop.  It was clear early on this was going to be a show where many eras of Alice were going to be represented.  “Lost in America” was next.  The song was even heavier live than the original and had the band throwing in some ‘heys’ and raising their fists in the air. 

A true surprise was the inclusion of the deep album cut “Pain” from 1981’s Flush the Fashion.  This is a lost Cooper Classic if I have ever heard one. When a band can play songs like “Welcome to My Nightmare” and “Billion Dollar Babies” back-to-back with ease then you know it is a great show.   “Woman of Mass Distraction” from Dirty Diamonds was very welcome in the set.  It is another ripper of a song that too often gets left behind by fans.  This sucker has a great solo, a great riff and catchy lyrics—everything that makes a great Alice Cooper song.  Nita then played a guitar solo that was just killer… that’s the only way to describe it: killer. 

“Poison” is another big hit and crowd fave.  “Halo of Flies” is there for the old school Alice fans and this band did not disappoint.  In fact, the rest of the night, sans “Feed My Frankenstein” complete with the giant FrankenAlice that walked around the stage, was classic old school hits.  “Cold Ethyl” was great as Alice had his way with her and beat her silly.  “Only Woman Bleed” came next, and saw Ethyl come back to life as Alice’s wife, as Ethyl did a poignant ballet to the song before being slapped around.  This led to Alice being ‘wanted’, but before they could catch him… he escaped as the song “Escape” was performed.  The head chopping “Ballad of Dwight Fry” is never dull.  Unlike Alice, no one in The Brady wanted out of there… even as Alice was chanting, “I wanna… get… out… of… here.”  The show only grew more intense.  “Killer” was thrown in at the end and then the band sang the chorus to “I Love the Dead” before the evening ended with “I’m Eighteen.”  Cooper and Company came back and did an encore of “School’s Out” complete with a mash up at the end with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.”  It was as good a Cooper show as I’ve seen in many, many years. 

After the show we went to the ‘after-show’ area as our passes instructed.  Soon, Nita came out and we chatted.  As we were talking, Roxie showed up—our no-show interview!  Ryan sauntered over and said, “We’re going to do this podcast, man.”  We asked when and he said he would text.  Nita shouted across the crowd, “Hey Roxie… do the interview with these guys… they’re fun.”  After a few more minutes we headed back to the hotel.   We went to our room amazed at the two days of pure rock and roll bliss we had experienced.  We were slated to go home the next day.  We were happy as hell at the road trip we had experienced. 

Time ticked on… a half hour went by.  No Roxie.  An hour went by… no Roxie.  Finally, I kicked my boots off and laid down on the bed and said, “James… Ryan ain’t calling.  It’s midnight.  I’m turning in.”  Little did I know our night was just getting started.  Not thirty seconds after I laid down, James phone buzzed.  Ryan said, “Come to the hotel.  We can do this interview.”  We jumped up and headed out.  When we arrived at the hotel lobby we found Roxie, Chuck Garric, Calico Cooper (Alice’s daughter), the girl who, onstage, hands Alice props out of a toy box, Amber Williams, and Cooper management member Kyler Clark all in the lobby.  Roxie states, “We are waiting for our Uber.  Follow us to Enso’s on Detroit Street.  The owner is a Cooper fan and said it is a quiet bar where we can do the podcast.”  We hopped in our car and followed after they piled into their ride.   We parked, grabbed our equipment and headed into the bar.  The owner was cool dude named Tom.  His co-worker passed around free Fireball shots, while I had a coke—like Alice… there is no liquor for me these days, as I drank my lifetime allotment by age 30. 

Enso’s was a quaint place.  Usually, it would have been the perfect place to set up and podcast.  On this night, the IDL Ballroom next door, where Dokken would play the next night—well technically I suppose where they would play the same night as it was now about 1:00 am. The Ballroom was hosting on this night, however, a Rave of massive and VERY LOUD proportions.  Roxie just looked around the room, looked at me and said, “It’s loud.  But don’t worry we can find a quiet room.”  The entire block was thundering with the electronic bass being pumped through the massive sound system.  There was not a quiet place within a mile.  But that fact didn’t keep the rock star Roxie from being anything but cool and calm.  Everyone stood around and had a beer—I had a coke—remember?  Chuck suddenly dropped his on the hardwood floor, shattering the bottle and making a sudsy mess.  He didn’t seem upset but rather cracked a rare smile and then reached out to have his beer quickly replaced by the owner as the guy who gave the round of shots quickly cleaned up the mess.  Enso’s knew how to treat rock stars!

Calico led us to the back in the lead with Tom, the owner, as we went out to a hallway that connected the venues. The next thing you knew we are all in the middle of the rave.  Kids were flying on X and jumping around treating the two idiot deejays that thumped away like gods.  They acted like they were watching a rock concert.  A dude that looked like he had not showered in days had his shirt off and was hopping around like he was on a pogo stick.  Girls were hula-hooping… some hoops had lights.   Calico saw the hoop-activity and had to try it.  She put down her glass of white wine and set off in search of a hoop.  She found two and soon one was flinging around her arm while another was whizzing around her head.  We were clearly the oldest people in the room and after a half an hour we retreated back to Enso’s.  Roxie continued to be confident we would find a room to do the podcast and went in search of one while the rest of us just hung out and talked about life. 


Finally, about two in the morning, as I was having a cool conversation about podcasting with Kyler Clark, Roxie walked up and said, “Hey… let’s do this tomorrow.”  James and I looked at each other and thought we could do that before we left to go home.  It was decided.  Tomorrow we interview… today we hang.  Calico is a well-known actress who played murderess Jane Miller on the hit CBS show Hawaii 5-0… like father like daughter!  Chuck led us into a conversation about the show Two Broke Girls and we got the inside scoop on how such a silly show can last seven years!  With everyone together I wanted to get a group picture.  Chuck instructed everyone to look ‘disinterested.’  He is actually a funny guy.  The conversation went back to music as I commented how cool it was to see “Pain” in the set list.  Calico said it was her favorite lyric of her father’s.  She told the story about how Alice asked her which line was her favorite and when she replied, “And I'm the loudest one laughing at the saddest wake” and then Alice challenged her to tattoo the words on her body!  Roxie asked about the podcast once again, saying we could do it the next day and he told me I better have done my due diligence.  He was obviously testing me.  I shot back, “Your first gig with Cooper was at Sammy’s Bar, Cabo Wabo.”  Ryan smiled and I knew I had passed the test. 

Day 2 finally began to wind down when Roxie and Garric asked James and I to drive them back to their hotel.  It’s not every day that happens, so we left the others and played taxi.  Chuck put the divider down in the backseat and informed Roxie to, “…quit touching me.  Guys have been touching me all night.  I’m sick of guys touching me wanting pictures.”  With that we dropped them of and headed back to our hotel. 

Day 3: Credit Cards, Dokken & Eddie Trunk

Dokken Set List Tulsa, Ok

Don't Close Your Eyes | The Hunter | Kiss of Death | Into the Fire | Breaking the Chains| Dream Warriors | Just Got Lucky | Alone Again | Maddest Hatter | Too High to Fly | Will the Sun Rise | It's Not Love | In My Dreams | Tooth and Nail | When Heaven Comes Down

While we were at the Rave the night before, Kyler told us that Dokken was playing in that very venue the following day.  At the Cooper show, Eddie Trunk told us that he was interviewing Alice Cooper and Don Dokken for his radio show earlier in the day at the same spot and then being the emcee for the Dokken gig.  When James and I woke up the next day James said, “Dude, let’s just stay.  Call your wife.”  I agreed we were having too much fun, besides who knew when Roxie would do the interview… it could be in one hour and it could be a few days.  I called home and got permission.  Cooper’s people had also said we should consider going the following day to Durant, Oklahoma on the Texas border as the band had a gig in a huge casino.  I warned my wife that we may be calling back the next day as well.  

With permission given I remembered we would need a place to stay as our reservation ended on Day 3 at Noon.  I told James I had enough points on my Hyatt membership that I could get us a free room.  I went to retrieve my card and noticed my debit card was not in my billfold.  After searching the room and freaking out James reminded me the last time I used it was at dinner.  I quickly called the Mexicali Border Café.  A man answered and I said, “Did someone turn in a MasterCard with the name Wright on it?”  The man, who identified himself as the manager said, “I have it in my office.  My wife was your waitress and she brought it up right after you left.  You’re lucky.”  I raced down to the place and he gave it to me.  So… anyone visiting Tulsa go to the Mexicali Border Café and have a giant ass burrito.  Good stuff and good people.  

Around noon we sauntered down to the IDL Ballroom and ate some barbeque at The Rib Crib, across the street from Enso’s.  We saw some friends named Matt and Mike, true rock warriors and autograph hounds.  They were staking their claim and keeping an eye out for Don Dokken and Alice Cooper, each with a handful of items hoping to be autographed.  James and I walked the alley with them, Rozell hoping to get Al to sign his golfing book.  We gave up and went inside to watch Eddie Trunk interview Alice.  Alice arrived and gave a good interview and afterward he signed some items, including James’ book, and everyone went home happy... still no word from Roxie. 

We went to our new hotel and checked in.  We had a few hours until Dokken, yet we had no tickets!  We would deal with that later.   After an hour or so of much needed rest James’ phone buzzed.  It was Roxie.  He said the tour bus was at the hotel.  The band had a rare day off and was hanging out in Tulsa.  He said to come right away and do the interview.  We loaded our equipment up and went to the car in the parking garage---parking sucks in downtown Tulsa.  Build a fucking parking lot, people!  We got lost in the garage.  After fifteen minutes of driving in circles we finally found an exit and we headed to Ryan’s hotel.  When we arrived we found him in the lobby.  He took us to the bus where we set up the equipment while he offered us beer and a Coke—it was one of Alice’s cokes.  Hey Coop—next time I see you… I owe you a pop!  I’m good for it! 

We did the interview for The Rock Brigade Podcast.  It was over an hour and it was a great chat.  We even debated over the best, worst and most underrated album to be released by Cheap Trick!  It was a total blast.  Once it was over Roxie said the same gang that we met the night before would likely show up at Dokken but we had no idea when.  He told us to use our Alice Cooper passes to get in - that the owner Tom said that’s all we needed to do to enjoy the show.  After a bit of small talk, we thanked Roxie for never giving up on us and we headed out to go back down to the IDL Ballroom and see if we could weasel our way into the Dokken gig.   We arrived and showed our passes and they said that’s what they were looking for and we went in.  I ran into Eddie Trunk who was busy hawking THAT EDDIE TRUNK t-shits that looked a lot like THAT METAL SHOW t-shirts he hawked when the show was on the air.  We actually had a nice conversation.  A lot of people think Ed is full of himself, but he’s always been nice to me and he talked to any fan that came over to talk to him and seemed to enjoy the notoriety.   I am not sure how much he, or anyone else for that matter, enjoyed Dokken though. 

I am not in the habit of bashing bands, and I will refrain from doing it here.  It was not the worst show I have ever seen.  Don can’t sing as well as he used to.  He’s not Vince Neil bad… yet… but he struggles.  His bassist, Chris McCarvill,  hits all of the high notes and one has to wonder if Don’s vocals being down so low in the mix was just ‘sound of the room’ or on purpose.  Mick Brown was a monster on drums and Jon Levin does George Lynch just fine… but something was just not right.  Maybe it was an off-night, maybe it was a band on the decline or maybe James and I had been really spoiled with back-to-back great concerts by Robin Trower and Alice Cooper. 

We didn’t see the Alice Cooper bunch until the last couple of songs.  James and I were sure to thank everyone for everything, thinking this would be our parting of ways.  Suddenly, James just point blank asked if the offer to attend the next day’s show in Durant, Oklahoma was still good.  We were told that if we show up then we will have tickets and passes waiting for us.  This was the end of yet another really good day!

Day 4: Meeting Alice Cooper & Losing My Glasses

Alice Cooper Set List, Durant, Ok

Brutal Planet | No More Mr. Nice Guy | Under My Wheels | Lost in America | Pain | Welcome to My Nightmare | Billion Dollar Babies | The World Needs Guts | Woman of Mass Distraction | Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss) | Poison | Halo of Flies (with drum solo) | Feed My Frankenstein | Cold Ethyl |Only Women Bleed | Escape | Ballad of Dwight Fry/ Killer | I Love the Dead | I'm Eighteen

Encore:   School's Out

Day 4 began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Hyatt.  I called the wife to inform her we had indeed decided to extend our road trip.  She laughed, saying she already figured we were.  Then it was time to pack it up and head south to the border of Texas where the Choctaw Casinos & Resorts were playing host to Alice Cooper.  Rooms were booking for $400 bucks a night so we opted for a Quality Inn.  It turned out they forgot to put the word “LOW” before Quality on the marque.  The place was a dump.  It was clean enough for us though and cheap… so we threw our suitcases in the room and headed to the casino.  When we went to the Will Call window we were thrilled to see Kyler was not lying to us.  I mean what a great practical joke it would have been to have these two rock nerds Rock Brigade guys drive four hours south and stiff them.  Hell… James and I may not have even been mad about that one.  It would have been too classic and made a great story.  That’s not what happened, however.  Instead, we had tickets in the fifth row!  Holy shit!  Alice Cooper fifth row in a state of the art concert hall on the fifth day of a two day road trip was pretty damn awesome!  The VIP passes for a Meet & Greet with Alice Cooper that sat in the envelope were a Coop fans wet dream come true!  This called for a trip to the merchandise booth.

I purchased a teddy bear that looked like Alice Cooper that was wearing an Alice Cooper t-shirt.  If I was lucky enough I would have him sign it after the show.  I named the critter my Nita Bear to go along with my unhealthy crush on the talented guitarist.  I am sure if she reads this my creep factor will rise… but I assure you, I am a faithful husband with zero stalking charges (convictions, at least)… and nothing odd happened to the Nita bear before or since!  You can check the stuffing…

The show was pretty much like the first one, except up close and in person.  I actually liked the up-close concert even better that the one in Tulsa where we sat back at the soundboard area.  Back a bit does allow one to take in all of the craziness… the lights, sights, and to be honest it sounds better.  Up close sounds louder (which I like) and one can really see the interaction between Alice and the musicians as well as the actors and dancers who make appearances.  It was cool that Roxie smiled at us when he saw us gawking at him like he was a rock star… well, technically I guess he is.  He threw a pick out to the crowd and James got it! 

Calico joined her mother on stage at this show and it was cool as hell having two made up crazy nurses torturing Alice.  During the encore anyone who has ever seen Alice knows that giant bouncing balls get thrown out from the stage.  One bopped me in the face and sent my glasses sailing to my left about four rows deep.  I can’t see without them but the Cooper crowd came to my rescue by the last chorus of “School’s Out” and found them and gave them back.  I could not have seen to drive so I was grateful that they were not a casualty of the weekend! 

The show ended and we stuck around for the Meet & Greet.  There must have been 70 people in all.  There were the people who purchased the VIP Packages, which include a premium ticket, three signed items by Alice when you meet him as well as a backstage tour and a gift bag. Other package offer more and others less but they are all worth if one is a Cooper fanatic! Unlike some acts that sell packages as VIP that are not all that VIP, Cooper’s package lives up to the VIP moniker.  The fans all had huge smiles on their faces.  There were a bunch of casino VIPs and then us regular guests.  Cooper did not have to meet all of us.  The man is a Hall of Famer and he can do what he wants… and he does.  What he wants to do is be there for his fans.  The man is total class and even though he plays a grotesque madman onstage, off stage he is a true gentleman.  I was very impressed by his patience, elegance and grace---even pretending to enjoy the young men he earlier golfed with doing a ‘we’re not worthy’ moment. 

We saw Roxie one more time as he was letting his fans know he gives online guitar lessons.  He was pimping out his website, which I will do here…visit for guitar lessons and visit for all things Ryan.  Nita was at the Meet & Greet as well.  We met the Executive Producer of the rockumentary Hired Gun.  He was a nice guy and Nita was promoting the heck out the project.  Check it out here:  and of course check out Alice Cooper here:  Last but not least, check out the great Alice Cooper photography by Kyler Clark here: For a quiet night of fun when no Raves are in town visit   Last but not least, eat at the Mexicali Border Café in downtown Tulsa

On Sunday, May 7, 2017, James and I realized our road trip was over.  My wife was not going to allow us to go to McKinney, Texas.  Plus, everyone had been so nice to us we didn’t want to end up as Moupies... Male groupies- that would be just horrible.  We were, after all, Rock Journalists!  Well, I suppose we are but most of all we are rock fans.  This was a killer weekend of music, fun and friends as we both enjoyed everyone we met and we are thrilled to extend our Rock Brigade Rock Family. 

The bottom line here is this:  Go see Robin Trower when he comes around.  He is a true icon and an amazing guitarist.  Go see Alice Cooper on this tour.  DO IT.  Do it twice!  What a band!  What a show.  And… go see Dokken, what the hell.  They may not be what they once were, but it was fun. 

Until next time… rock on!  And look for us to crop up somewhere at a show near you! 

Special Thanks go to…

The Robin Trower Camp: David Maida, Lori and the Robin Trower merchandise dude! 

The guy at the Alice Cooper show in Durant, Oklahoma who found my glasses and gave them back!

The Alice Cooper Camp: Kyler Clark, Ryan Roxie, Nita Strass, Chuck Garric, Calico Cooper, Amber Williams and… of course…Alice Freakin’ Cooper

The manager and his wife at the Mexicali Border Café in Tulsa

Also, let’s not forget Eddie Trunk, Tom from Enso’s, Naughty Nadia and Roxxi (PM James for details), The Brady Theater, Brad Neville, Roy Rahl and Nita Bear!