SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A pair of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers took the stage Thursday in South Dakota for the first show in a week of concerts benefiting a music academy for Sioux Falls Boys & Girls Clubs members.
Alice Cooper and guitarist Robby Krieger of The Doors jammed with a who's who of '80s glam and metal to help christen the $3.6 million Brennan Rock & Roll Academy in Sioux Falls. Also performing: Joey Allen of Warrant, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, and Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of Kiss.
"These guys all know my songs, so I'll be doing four or five of my songs, and then a couple of Doors songs," Cooper told The Associated Press before the show.
He said he was looking forward to performing the late Jim Morrison's parts on "Break on Through (To the Other Side) and "Back Door Man."
"I'm filling in for Jim tonight. I've done it many times," Cooper said.
The all-star band also planned to perform some Kiss songs and a little Skid Row.
The $1,000-a-ticket concert is a fundraiser for the center, which is the brainchild of Sioux Falls native Chuck Brennan. Brennan, the founder of short-term lender Dollar Loan Center, based his idea on Cooper's Solid Rock Foundation in Phoenix.
Cooper said about 100 kids a night are flocking to his Solid Rock center, which opened about two years ago.
"If you take one kid out of a gang and get him involved in rock 'n' roll or get him involved in a guitar or bass or drums, you don't just change that kid, you change the neighborhood," he said.
The Sioux Falls academy has had the feel of an exclusive, intimate venue this week, but starting in April it will become the afternoon home for young people looking to learn or improve their skills in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards or vocals.
Lessons will be given in nine soundproof rehearsal rooms, five of which are wired to a professional mixing and recording studio. The four upstairs rehearsal rooms will honor Kiss, with each decorated as an homage to the band members' characters: The Demon, Starchild, Catman and Spaceman.
Kiss' Thayer, who grew up playing saxophone in a school music program before he ever touched a guitar, said the facility will spark kids' creative side.
"I'm blown away with this whole facility," Thayer said. "I think it's a great thing."
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