SickthingsUK: Hollywood Vampires

Hollywood Vampires

Hollywood Vampires
John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper
and Micky Dolenz (and friend).

There have been four separate Alice Cooper related groups going by this name.

1. The Drinking Club

The first was the famous drinking club which involved Alice and other celebrities including Harry Nilsson, Micky Dolenz (the Monkees), Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Bob Brown (Cooper publicist) and John Lennon amongst others. Alice was the President. Brown, the Treasurer. They used to meet in 'The Lair', which was an attic space in the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. The idea was simply drink excessively and be the last one standing.

"I founded the Hollwood Vampires when I managed the Rainbow in 1974. I had the plaque put up, and bought the baseball shirts with the large red 'V'. It was originally formed to stop 'Groupies' taking up the few tables in the alcove for hours without buying drinks. We moved on to form a baseball team and played on sundays, often at the Beverly Hills High School grounds. We even played against a brilliant Lesbian team in the SF Valley. Alice Cooper was the founder member of the baseball team which also included a young Meat Loaf, who was playing in 'The Rocky Horror Show' at the Roxy."
(Phil Joste, September 2008)

"It was at a perfect time, there were a lot of 70s rock stars living in LA and we went to the Rainbow club every single night and pretty much it ended up being a boys drinking club. We would sit up at the roof of this place and it was always the same people – Me, Bernie Taupin, Harry Nilsson, Micky Dolenz. And John Lennon would come in every once in a while and Ringo would come in every once in a while but it was sort of a last man standing drinking club. And we would sit there every night waiting for what Keith Moon was gonna be wearing. You know, he'd walk in and he was certainly a member with a handshake and everything and we'd go who's he gonna be today? Is he gonna be Hitler or is he gonna be Queen Elizabeth? He would never disappoint, let's put it that way. But it was sort of the same kind of drinking club that John Barrymore, Errol Flynn and W.C Fields had. It was just a more rock & roll one.
(Alice Cooper, The Quietus, 2009)

The actual 'Lair' looks very different than it appears on the 'Prime Cuts' video. In the video, the Lair looks like a spacious room with booths. Actually, it's more of a small loft area that overlooks a dimly lit bar room. Behind the loft is a small, dark room, which supposedly has seen many a puerile act (If only those walls could speak). Also, there's a small staircase that leads up to the loft. The loft is roped-off from the public, and to the left of the steps is the sign that reads "Lair of the Hollywood Vampires. Pres.: Alice Cooper. Members: John Lennon, etc.


The original sign that still exists in the Rainbow Bar and Grill, Hollywood.

"There is one famous story about the time the gang went over to Brian Wilson's house after an evening of cocktails. I don't remember exactly what the line up was but Iggy Pop was there too. So, they all go to Wilson's house at 3:00 in the morning and they're walking in and Brian says, "Shhhhh, be very quiet, I don't want you to wake up the kids." He then turns around and starts playing the piano and sing at the top of his lungs, "Mama'a little girl loves shortin', shortin', Mama's little girl loves shortin' bread". That went on for a couple of hours. Needless to say, the kids woke up. Alice has told this story a lot of times and I think it is Iggy who relays it in a recently done documentary about Brian Wilson.
(Renfield, March 1996)

In 2014 it was reported a documentary on the Hollywood Vampires drinking club was in the works.


2. The Baseball Team

Group two as mentioned above was the baseball team, which was formed out of the drinking club but was not confined to it.

"It started as a softball team, it was Alice's idea, and we played softball every weekend — sandlot softball. It was Alice's idea to start a team called the 'Hollywood Vampires', and we would raise money for charity, going out playing other local teams, corporate teams or the local police department or fire department. Of course, they always won! We were a bunch of Hollywood weirdos running around."
(Micky Dolenz, Huffington Post, 2014)


3. The Live Band

Group three was the name the band on the 'Goes To Hell' album were credited under. Alice changed the band name frequently. Another later name was 'Ultra Latex' as seen in the 'Strange Case Of Alice Cooper' concert film.


4. The Supergroup

Finally, group four was announced in 2014 as a album/band project featuring Alice, actor Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. An album of 70s covers (with some new material) was released in 2015 with a stellar array of guest artists including Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Brian Johnson and others. The band has toured in both 2016 and 2018 and a second album is awaiting release. You can find more information about the band here.