PHOENIX, AZ (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Over the course of a legendary rock career that spans 40+ years, Alice Cooper has found himself on bills or shared appearances with some extraordinarily talented people. These include John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Grouch Marx, Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, Raquel Welch, Pelé, Salvador Dali, George Burns, Jimi Hendrix and many more.
That tradition of eclecticism continues on Wednesday, May 13, when he appears before an anticipated crowd of 63,000, including 9,000 Arizona State University graduates, at ASU commencement ceremonies at Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix. Alice will perform the perennial start-of-summer anthem "School's Out," backed by Runaway Phoenix, the band of which his son Dash Cooper (ASU Class of '10) is part. Also appearing on the program is “top billed” President Barack Obama who will delivery ASU's 2009 commencement address.
"Of all the people I've ever shared a stage with Obama is the biggest rock star," said Alice. He went on to remark, "And I'd like to thank him, in advance, for changing the national anthem to 'Schools Out'."
"School's Out" always seems to take on a life of its own just about every May and this year is no different. Last week, the song was featured as an American Idol group performance with guitar great Slash joining in. The song, which first came to light at the end of the 1972 school year, will be heard in the film I Love You Beth Cooper (no relation) directed by Chris Columbus and starring Hayden Panettier with companion soundtrack album to be released by ABKCO Records next month.
Even The Muppets once got into the "School's Out" act: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHr6GbWPBVQ
Some facts about this year's ASU graduation (as if Alice Cooper and Barack Obama isn't enough):
The university will graduate about 800 teachers, 500 engineers, 300 social workers, 150 nurses, 144 lawyers, 85 architects, 160 journalists and 170 artists and performers. About 600 people are getting their MBAs, including 22 from Mexico City and 47 from Shanghai. Another 900 will receive undergraduate business degrees, in various fields.
The most popular majors are elementary education, psychology and political science, with marketing, global business and communication next. Almost 2,400 students are graduating with honors.
This year’s graduates include two 17-year-olds, Raymond Singh of Scottsdale, who will receive a degree in aerospace engineering, and Danielle McBurnett of Chandler, earning a bachelor of science in nursing. Both of these stellar young students are entering doctoral programs, Singh at Virginia Tech and McBurnett at ASU.
One graduate is a Katrina survivor from New Orleans, graduating magna cum laude four years after the hurricane destroyed her city. Another graduate was working on the 77th floor of the World Trade Center north tower when the plane slammed into it on Sept. 11, 2001, and has slowly rebuilt her life.
Kishan Lara, getting a PhD. in education, will be the first person in the Hupa/Yurok tribes of northern California ever to earn a doctorate. Guadalupe Ramirez spoke only Spanish when she immigrated from Mexico eight years ago but now is a U.S. citizen graduating with a master’s in aerospace engineering. Adrienne Azurdia started a camp for children whose parents have cancer and now has been accepted to eight medical schools.
Aside from his ongoing role as the de facto harbinger of summer, Alice Cooper hosts, Nights with Alice Cooper, heard over a network of more than one hundred affiliated stations for which Alice anchors 30 hours per week of original classic rock programming. Produced and distributed by the United Stations Radio Networks, Nights with Alice Cooper has 110 affiliates broadcasting a combination of weeknight and weekend programming. Alice's time slot reaches 1.1 million listeners (12+) each week, and his affiliates have a weekly reach of over 6 million listeners. Visit www.nightswithalicecooper.com for more information. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers