When Alice Cooper decided to do a "tip of the hat to Detroit" with his new music, he felt compelled to do some Detroit songs with a few famed Motor City players. That led to his upcoming Breadcrumbs EP, a six-song mostly covers set whose high-octane rendition of Bob Seger's 1966 single "East Side Story" is premiering exclusively below.
"When people say, 'Well, what is your music?' I say it's Detroit rock -- we just put a different slant on it," says the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shock rocker, a Detroit native who moved with his family to Phoenix when he was an adolescent. "At the bottom of it, all Alice Cooper records are Detroit, Chuck Berry, hard rock and then twisting it up into what we are lyrically and performance-wise. But you take the bottom of all those songs and they're all guitar-driven rock n' roll songs, which is what I associate as the Detroit sound. I wanted to use all Detroit players and songs either about Detroit or written by (Detroit musicians)."
Cooper acknowledges that he never heard "East Side Story" -- a regional hit for Seger and his band, The Last Heard, that was influenced by Them's "Gloria" -- back in the day. Rather, one of Cooper's managers, Toby Mamis, and designer John Varvatos suggested the track and referred Cooper and Ezrin to a YouTube video of Seger performing "East Side Story" on the Canadian TV show Swingin' Time. "I had never heard that song on the radio," Cooper says. "(Ezrin) and I saw that (video) and went, 'We could jazz that song up a little bit and turn it into something else.' It has a great story and I love the chord structure and everything to it. We just treated it a little more hard rock."