Real Rock Today: September 17, 2015

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Alice Cooper: ‘There are people I’m pretty sure aren’t of this planet’

Hello Alice. How are you?
I am doing great. We’re in Jacksonville, Florida tonight, Miami tomorrow. It’s a never-ending tour!

You’ll be in Swindon around Halloween. What are you hoping for from the people of Swindon?
Well the coincidental thing about Swindon is that my wife’s maiden name is Goddard, and the Goddards are the major family of Swindon (1). I said to her: “You must own something here.” No. Nothing. It means nothing. As for Halloween, as far as I can see the only place that really goes for it in England is Camden.

Every day is Halloween in Camden.
Well yeah. Other places in England kind of like it but they’re not into it. It doesn’t matter — we’ll take Halloween with us.

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Bruce Springsteen proved glock-rock is better than cock-rock

For years now I’ve counted Bruce Springsteen as one of my favorite songwriters, but that wasn’t always the case. It’s hard to pinpoint what it was about The Boss that turned me off for so long, but I know exactly what it was that made me realize the error of my ways: He’s got some really, really good songs.

Growing up, my mom was a dyed-in-the-wool Springsteen fan, and every Saturday morning I’d wake to the sounds of some Bruce album—usually Live In New York City—blasting in our living room. It’s a tradition I’ve since accepted as my own but, at the time, my punk-loving teenage self wasn’t having it. I saw The Boss—quite incorrectly, I might add—as some bloated vestige of ’70s rock ’n’ roll, which is the last thing that would ever interest a punk-obsessed teen.

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An ageless Robert Plant continues to defy odds, mesmerize audiences without Led Zeppelin

It’s past my bedtime and it’s probably past Robert Plant’s too.

But at 67 Plant is defying the need for deep sleep, both on Facebook (where his demise proved to be a hoax Sunday) and at Molson Amphitheatre, where he brought the Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar tour after cancelling a June 15 show.

“I woke up this morning and found that I had more of a similarity with a crooning Kermit than my normal Golden self, so heaps of apologies,’’ Plant said at the time.

Apologies accepted, especially after Plant and the six-man Sensational Shape Shifters turned the frog into a prince of a 100-minute show.

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AC/DC concert draws some noise complaints from Wrigleyville residents

For some North Side residents, AC/DC shook Wrigley Field a little too much Tuesday night.

Ald. Tom Tunney’s 44th Ward office received between 15 and 20 messages from Wrigleyville-area residents about the sold-out concert, which included stage-level pyrotechnics, Tunney’s chief of staff Bennett Lawson said. Most calls were noise complaints, while a few residents expressed concerns about malfunctions with the Cubs Hotline, intended to address concert questions, Lawson said.

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Interview: Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen opens up

Phil Collen joined Def Leppard just in time to play guitar on “Pyromania,” the massive 1983 release with which he and his bandmates emerged at the helm of the pop-metal ‘80s, rocking the charts with hits as emblematic of the day as “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages.” But they really hit their stride a few years later with “Hysteria,” the 12-times-platinum masterstroke that sent three singles to the Top 5 on the Hot 100 —“Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Armageddon It’ and “Love Bites.”

So when Collen says the album they’re releasing in October, their first studio release in seven years, is “the best thing we’ve done since ‘Hysteria’,” he has to know he’s raised the bar on any reasonable expectations for the album. But he doesn’t come off as the kind of guy who overdoes it on the self-promotion.

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