With Days of the Dead Indianapolis day one in the books, I was excited to see what was in store for day two. Highlights would include an appearance by Slipknot & Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor as well as a Q&A panel with Cooper that I couldn’t miss. Making my way downstairs to the convention center, I saw a gigantic line for newly arriving con attendees picking up their day pass. And it didn’t take long for the crowd to begin filling the horror arena!
Otis & Eddie
Wearing my press pass band on my wrist, I made my way to Corey Taylor’s booth knowing his table would dominate today’s schedule. That’s when I discovered he wasn’t expected to arrive for two hours. With some time to murder….err…kill, I made my way to horror icon Bill Moseley!
Making his horror debut as Chop-Top in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), Bill became best known for the twisted role of Otis in Rob Zombie’s Firefly trilogy. Although I love The Devil’s Rejects, another personal favorite Moseley role is Luigi Largo in Darren Lynn Bousman’s bonkers horror musical Repo! The Genetic Opera. While he’s known for intense sadistic roles, Bill is far from the villain he portrays on screen. This soft-spoken man is kind, generous and welcomed every fan with autographs and selfies. Although he politely declined an interview, he did mention his upcoming film with Nicolas Cage titled Prisoners of the Ghostland, which is expected to drop this fall! And, of course, he signed my copy of The Devil’s Rejects.
Right next to Bill’s table was Butch Patrick, better known as Eddie Munster from the quirky ’60s sitcom The Munsters! And what item did I have Butch sign? You guessed it. A Munsters vinyl album featuring songs inspired by the show on pumpkin colored wax! Because I’m a sucker for unique apparel and photos, I bought a Munsters t-shirt and personalized autographed picture featuring The Munsters family and their iconic Dragula dragster. To top it off, Butch agreed to a short interview! Here’s the link to that interview – read what he had to say about memories from set and Rob Zombie’s recently announced Munsters remake, currently in the works.
Following the graciously granted interview with Butch, I thanked him and made my way down the hall to discover Corey’s line had grown significantly. And the singer was still not expected to arrive for another hour! Taking my place in line, I struck up conversations while looking in amazement at Slipknot cosplay by hardcore fans. That is, until a skunk caught my attention. No, really. What I first thought was a stuffed animal actually began to move! It didn’t take long before word reached my end of the line that it was a tame descented pet someone brought to DotD as their con companion. It was about that time Corey had finally arrived!
Due to the number of fans eagerly awaiting to meet the iconic metal singer, photos were not offered at his table to ensure the line kept moving. This was hardly a disappointment to most fans, myself included. It was good enough just to say hello with a brief exchange and an autograph.
However, when I reached Corey’s booth, I was asked to show my convention pass. I held up my wristband and the rep seemed oblivious to what it meant. I told her it’s a weekend press pass. She shrugged and hurried me through. It was at that time it dawned on me: no one knows what this wristband means. This was problematic for several reasons. With all due respect to Days of the Dead showrunners, a more clarified press ID may come in handy for future events allowing more efficient and effective access in such a fast pace environment. This should, in turn, help boost quality coverage throughout every platform covering future DotD shows. Regardless, it was with great pleasure that I had a very quick conversation with Corey about his trip to the convention as he autographed my vinyl copy of The Gray Chapter.
Q&A with Alice Cooper
Having made it through Corey’s line surprisingly quick, I hurried off to Alice Cooper’s panel. And it didn’t disappoint. Addressing a packed house, Alice spoke about pioneering shock rock and incorporating horror theatrics in his shows.
“Rock needed a villain,” said Cooper. “We had all these Peter Pans and no Captain Hook. And I was glad to be the villain.”
Alice also mentioned that he promises anyone who joins his band three things: they will see the world, they will get paid and they will get stitches.
“I don’t use rubber blades in my act,” laughs Cooper. “Anyone getting too close to one is likely to get cut. And it happens.”
The legendary rocker went on to speak about his upcoming tour this fall mentioning that, after a year of no live music, everyone in the industry is eager to get back on stage. Joining Cooper on tour will be Nita Strauss, a guitarist who joined the band in 2014 and, as Alice puts it, “looks like a Victoria’s Secret model, plays like Eddie Van Halen and recently won guitarist of the decade.”
After exciting fans with news of his upcoming tour, Cooper “wow-ed” us all with wild stories from his life in rock n’ roll. The singer made the audience laugh with shocking tour stories including the time he released a chicken at a peace festival thinking the animal could fly. This resulted in the audience ripping the poor flightless bird to pieces, a mishap that came as a shock to the performer. However, this Q&A took a somber turn down memory lane when Alice spoke of his relations with the 27 Club, the iconic musicians who all passed away at age 27. Mentioning that Janis Joplin could drink everyone under the table and the time he competed with Jim Morrison to see who could hang from Whiskey A GoGo’s balcony longest, Alice segwayed into his sobriety. After vomiting blood in a hotel room one day, his wife knew it was time to get him sober. And now he celebrates 38 years. Something that probably saved his life and allowed his fans to continue enjoying his live performances.
Freaks, Geeks and Ghouls Come Out to Play
Following Cooper’s panel, costume and cosplay began to dominate the convention. Any hotel guest unaware of DotD could have easily thought they fell asleep and woke up in October! And several of these costumed fanatics strutted their stuff at the “Chaostume Contest” held in the early evening.
Costumes and cosplays aside, what is a convention without the presence of vendors selling horror art and t-shirts!? One crafty pop culture and horror aficionado, Patrick Hart, displayed an abundance of insane artwork he creates himself! And not too far away was Jeremy Raby and Amanda Gentry Pierce with Southern Sun Boutique pressing unique images onto t-shirts right there at their booth! These were just a couple examples of tables offering a smorgasbord of items not sold at your local retail store.
Saturday Night KISS
As night fell upon us, a concert was preparing to rock the house. In full makeup and costume, the cover band Kiss Resurrection took the stage singing all of the band’s greatest hits! Everyone cut loose and had a great time singing along with balloons bouncing in the air and through the crowd. This was one fantastic way to end day two at Days of the Dead.
This is part two of a three part series on Days of the Dead. Watch this space.