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Well, maybe, just maybe, that young band could be created at The Rock. At least that's what one of the center's regulars, 20-year-old Michael Elston, thinks could happen.
"The center is here for musicians to connect. There's about three or four bands that have started here," he says. "I mean you can sit in your room all day and watch videos on Youtube to learn, but connecting with other musicians who have a positive mindset has changed my life."
Born and raised in Phoenix, Elston has been at the center for about a year on almost a daily basis. He was having some problems at home and started a band with his friend who spent some time at Solid Rock programs. He invited Elston to visit the center and give it a shot, because it was very therapeutic and a sanctuary where he could cope with his problems and branch out. Elston found it clarifying, and could even relate to the pastor. He's set to be a part of the Christmas Pudding drum line this year, too.
400 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Category: Music Venues
Region: Central Phoenix
"Christmas Pudding is one of the biggest events Solid Rock puts on," adds Elston. "Everyone around here gets really excited."
But don't worry; Cooper is still focused on his own career, and it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he also has a covers album coming out in 2014.
"It's very unusually for me to be that far ahead," Cooper says. "I've never done a covers album, so I wanted it to be specific to a theme. I used to have this drinking club called The Hollywood Vampires, when I used to drink back in L.A. And it was John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison — the usual suspects. So what I decided to do was dedicate the album to all my dead drunk friends."
Former Guns N' Roses manager Alan Niven once told me that we create bands and make rock 'n' roll to form the perfect family that we didn't have as children. From Cooper's perspective on his friendships in music — and how the kids are forming bonds at the center — that concept actually makes sense.
"If Solid Rock wasn't around, these kids wouldn't have had the opportunity to experience something like this," says Elston. "Like, wow, they would've never played that instrument, and maybe one day they will be famous rock stars, and it would be because of The Rock."