Friday, March 6, 2009

Whatever Alice wants...

Alice Cooper came to Las Vegas as the guest of Barron Hilton in 1977 because his manager loved Las Vegas and Alice loved playing golf .

Each year, Mr. Hilton turned over the main ballroom of the Las Vegas Hilton, and hosted The Victor Awards Show where big Hollywood stars and professional athletes came together to raise money for The City of Hope.

There is only one Alice Cooper. He is one of the great musical talents and stars of our time. He was perfecting the art of 'rock opera' long before anyone else. His stage performances were pure theatre, and world famous for breaking all the rules.

But my job this particular weekend was to make sure that his appearance on the show and his stay at the Las Vegas Hilton went off without a hitch. So, my opening line was Whatever Alice wants", which meant keeping him and his 'entourage' happy. It was an easy gig...all he had to do was show up and give out an award. And play golf.

About 2 hours after they arrived, Alice was already on the golf course. As a guest of Barron Hilton, there was no trouble getting the best tee times. I am sure that few if any people there even recognized Alice Cooper the rock star.

The other two members of the entourage were his manager, Bob Emmer and his wife Sue. She was happy to go directly to the Las Vegas Hilton spa. Bob and I got to know each other. Alice was there to give out the award for Golfer of the Year, so we went over the schedule for his spot on the show.

Mr. Hilton hosted a private reception high atop the hotel with breathtaking views of Las Vegas which Alice and the Emmers attended. It was a chance to meet and take photos with the other presenters and sports stars.

It was amazing to watch how everyone wanted to have their picture taken with Alice Cooper. He 'worked the room' like a pro and talked to everyone. He was exactly NOT what any of us had expected.

There were a few 'requests' over the course of the weekend in terms of photos or adjustments to schedules. Without exception, the answer was always yes...and then he always added Whatever Barron Wants.

By the end of the weekend, it had become a running gag. We coined that phrase, which we still use to this day whenever we see each other.

But the 'Barron' had one more request of Alice before the weekend was over.

I was also working on a TV show called KidsWorld, which was a kid's version of 60 minutes where youngsters interviewed famous stars. Larry Einhorn was the Producer and Director of The Victor Awards...and KidsWorld. Small world.

So, enjoy Beth Einhorn's interview with Alice Cooper from 1977 in Las's what 'the Barron' wanted...

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