Asked about his several concerts in Madison during the 1970s, Alice Cooper immediately recalled one show.
“I came to Madison during the ‘School’s Out’ tour when the mayor there was like 19 years old,” Cooper said. “He gave us the key to the city. It was like a giant key to open a beer. (laughs) That was 1972. I said, ‘You’re the mayor’s son.’ He said, ‘No, I’m the mayor.’ I said, ‘Alright.’ ”
Former Mayor Paul Soglin (in photo, above left) remembered the event.
“The story is true. The year is wrong. (Madison promoter) Herb Frank arranged it. It was a youthful Alice Cooper and me. It had to be 1973 or 1974. I was elected mayor in April ’73. If the show was in ’73, I would have been 28. If the show was in ’74, I would have been 29.” (The show was at the Dane County Coliseum on Dec., 11, 1973 with opening act ZZ Top.)
“We gave him a four-foot long beer can opener. We also gave him one of the tiny keys to the city as well. It seemed to be a fun thing to do.”
Other acts awarded keys to Madison during Soglin’s tenures as mayor: jazz great Charlie Mingus, folk singer Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan.
Soglin isn’t surprised Cooper remembers the honor. “How many keys to a city has the guy received?”