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Q: Any standout Twin Cities memories beyond golf?
A: Oh, yeah. There was a big one at the arena in St. Paul in probably the late ’70s. Some guy lit off a can of tear gas and threw it, and man, did it really wreak havoc. It was right at the end of the show, and everybody thought it was actually a part of the show, as if we’d do something that stupid and crazy. We could barely finish the song — or breathe. It was truly horrible. Afterward, we printed up T-shirts for the whole crew that read, “I survived St. Paul.”
Q: Your new guitarist, Orianthi, was in Michael Jackson’s band before yours. How did she wind up with those two very different gigs?
A: Michael passed away, and then [Alice’s ex-guitarist] Damon Johnson got an offer to go play with Thin Lizzy. It just fell into place. I called over to Orianthi and asked, “When you played with Michael, how many solos did you actually get to play?” She said, “Like two.” I said, “How would you like to play 28 every night? How would you love to be in a real rock band and really show off what you can do?”
Q: Most fans love the theatrics of your show, but some fans would prefer just a straight-up rock band without all the tricks. Would you ever tour that way?
A: Every once in a while, we’ll go in and do that in a club. We played the Whiskey [in Hollywood] recently when I was shooting “Dark Shadows” with Johnny Depp. The kid is a great guitar player, and he knows all my songs, so he fit in perfectly. That’s the only time I’d do that, though — and the only time I talk to the audience. When I have my makeup on, I rarely ever say things like, “Here’s a song we did in 1972.” Alice doesn’t banter with an audience. Alice hits them over the head with a sledgehammer. If I do, it makes them think of Alice as human, and I don’t want that.
Q: We got to see you talk a whole lot on screen in “Wayne’s World.” How did that come about?
A: That was fun. Michael Myers is still a good buddy of mine. At the time, he said he needed somebody in rock who’s iconic but can also act. I was just supposed to do the song, but then when I got there he says, “Could you do a few lines for us?” I said sure, and then he hands me about eight pages of dialogue, and I had about a half-hour to prep. So I had to learn all that “Mill-e-wah-que” stuff on the fly, and a lot of it was just winging it. But it worked.
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658