Tuesday night at Good Records, three original members of Alice Cooper -- bassist Dennis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers all -- sat in homemade electric chairs to talk about their days playing with renowned Arizona golfer Vincent Furnier.  Then they signed memorabilia, and copies of Dunaway's bestselling book about how some teenagers from Arizona became one of Warner Bros. Records' biggest-selling bands 40 years ago. They were also down to play a few songs -- the chart-toppers and those that should have been.

And for most fans of the band, including those who traveled from as far away as California for the event, that would have been plenty: a trip down Amnesia Lane with the men who wrote and played on some of the greatest rock and roll anthems of the early 1970s. When they took the stage around 10 p.m., the trio opened with a ramshackle "Caught in a Dream" off the band's 1971 Love it to Death, with Bruce handling lead vocals. Good enough. Not arena-sized but big enough to fill a Lower Greenville Avenue record store for damn sure.

Then the smoke machine kicked in (sort of?), on-and-off-and-back-on-again Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie strolled out ... and then, surprise, Furnier himself strolled out. Without the makeup. Without the snake. Without the blood. And without warning.

The crowd thought he might show. After all, Alice Cooper's in town tonight at the American Airlines Center, opening for Mötley Crüe on its "farewell tour." And Good Records' Chris Penn, who staged The Greatest Book Signing Ever, had hinted earlier in the evening that, yeah, you might wanna stick around after the book signing. But judging by the delayed reaction, the slight pause before the roar, you could tell: No one actually believed he'd be there. But, sure enough ...

And then, it was right into "Be My Lover" off Killer.

The original band hasn't performed together since 2011, when it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alice Cooper's set list at Good Records #schoolsout #alicecooper

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Missing, of course, was the Alice Cooper band's fifth member: guitar player Glen Buxton, who died in 1997. Furnier said he was "probably smoking a cigarette in the corner. Whatever he's doing is illegal."

Then they launched into the band's first-ever radio hit, "I'm Eighteen," the first of The Big Three (including "No More Mister Nice Guy" and "School's Out") performed during a short set that was just about perfect. Because despite Furnier's insistence that "we haven't done this one in about 40 years" before almost every song, the band -- shorn of its infamous theatrics, stripped down to fit onto a pink-carpeted record-store stage the size of large table -- sounded like it never disbanded. And whatever animosity existed between the original trio and their old friend and former frontman was left in the long-ago past, or at least masked by broad grins and playful nudges.

Only once, before "Under My Wheels," could you tell theirs wasn't the most amicable of break-ups way back when. Furnier mentioned something about this being his fourth band in two weeks -- a reference to the mishmash of line-ups with which he's been sharing the stage. Dunaway told him, "I guess things are getting better for you." Furnier just smiled and blew past it.

The band was supposed to wrap it up after "the big singalong," as Furnier referred to "School's Out." (He told the crowd that "if you don't know this song, then leave right now.") But after a few minutes back in the Good Records office, they emerged to play one more at Roxie's insistence: the 43-year-old "Elected," because, as Furnier said, "it's so topical right now." 

Damn right. It sounded brand-new. Show of the year.

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