|Classic KFMC Rock News|
For December 06 , 07 & 08 , 2013
The 13th annual edition of Alice Cooper's star-studded Christmas Pudding benefit show is set to take place this Saturday at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Joining the shock rocker at this year's extravaganza will be KISS, Joan Jett and the frontmen of a few of the biggest hair-metal bands of the 1980s -- Motley Crue's Vince Neil, Ratt's Stephen Pearcy, Cinderella's Tom Kiefer and Winger's Kip Winger. Hosting the bash will be one-time Seinfeld star and Family Feud host John O'Hurley.
Cooper tells ABC News Radio that the idea behind the event, which raises money for his Solid Rock foundation, is for the performers to loosen up and have fun.
"I treat it like a Christmas party," he says. "Have you ever been to a Christmas party where everybody gets up and does something? Except that this is all headliners."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer points out that fans attending the show might be treated to some unexpected collaborations.
"In the past I've had people like Pat Boone with Ted Nugent, Glen Campbell and Rob Zombie," he notes. "I would try to get people that just didn't belong together on stage together…It just shows that you're breaking down barriers."
Alice reports that one aspect of this year's concert that will be different from previous shows is that the event will feature a house band that will back most of the guest singers. Cooper says the group, Hairball, is "the best cover band I've ever heard," adding that "these guys play as good as [the guest artists' own] bands."
All the proceeds from the concert go toward the Solid Rock charity Cooper co-founded in 1995, and its affiliated Rock Teen Center facility that opened last year in Phoenix. As Copper explained to ABC News Radio, "Solid Rock foundation [offers] free music lessons for kids -- you know, guitars, drums, bass, dance, whatever it is. All the stuff you can't get in school anymore. And, it's really to get kids off the street [and] give 'em a safe place to go."
That "safe place" is the Rock Teen Center, which is open to at-risk young people ages 13 to 19. Cooper points out that the motivation behind establishing the center is to convince teenagers going down a bad path that they have better options.
He explains, "I'm looking at this 15-year-old kid [selling drugs on the street], going, 'This kid's either gonna be in jail or dead in two or three years. How does he know he's not the best guitar player in Arizona? Why don't we give him a chance, at least give him an alternative, to come in and try it.'"
Meanwhile, Cooper and most of this year's other Christmas Pudding lineup also will be taking part in a similar benefit show on Thursday night in the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas. That event will aid the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy, a facility established by Dollar Loan Center founder Chuck Brennan that offers music-education programs to underprivileged young people in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A new documentary offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Paul McCartney's latest album, NEW, will premiere Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on the high-definition music channel Palladia. Paul McCartney: Something NEW features footage of the rock legend working on the acclaimed record, interviews with McCartney and the four producers with whom he collaborated and clips capturing performances and backstage action from Sir Paul's 2013 tour.
On NEW, McCartney teamed up on various tracks with producers Mark Ronson, Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns and Giles Martin, all of whom appear in the special. The hour-long program was directed by Big Audio Dynamite member Don Letts, whose resume includes the Clash documentary Westway to the World.
Paul McCartney: Something NEW will be part of a block of programming focusing on the ex-Beatles legend that will be shown on Palladia on Thursday. The concert film Paul McCartney and Wings: Rockshow will air at 5:30 p.m., McCartney's 2007 performance at the BBC Electric Proms event will be screened at 8 p.m. and a new episode of Later…with Jools Holland featuring Sir Paul will air at 10 p.m. ET.
Something NEW also will be shown on VH1 Classic on Friday, December 13, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Elton John, his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin and members of The Clash are among the music stars who have personalized skateboard decks that will be auctioned online starting Thursday to benefit a charity founded by famous skateboarder Tony Hawk.
The second annual Boards + Bands sale features boards donated by pro skaters that have been decorated with the lyrics of their favorite song written by the artist or artists who recorded the tune. John and Taupin embellished a deck contributed by skater Chris Cole, with Bernie writing some of the lyrics to "Candle in the Wind" and Elton simply adding his signature.
The Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, meanwhile, put their marks on a board that Hawk himself donated and that features lyrics to "London Calling." Other musicians who have contributed signed skateboards to the auction include French dance duo Daft Punk, Panda Bear of the indie-rock group Animal Collective and singer/songwriter Ben Harper. Harper came up with the concept of the Bands + Boards auction.
Bidding on the skateboards will start at 8 p.m. ET at BoardsAndBands.org. Proceeds from the sale go to the Tony Hawk Foundation's initiative to create and maintain skate parks in low-income areas around the U.S.