Obama to Deliver Commencement, but Alice Cooper Revs Up ASU Grads With ‘School’s Out’

By Lee Speigel

May 13, 2009 9:59pm

ABC News’ John Hendren and Karen Travers report: The politico-journo-celebrity industrial complex — remember this weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner? — was on display again tonight in Tempe, Ariz., when Alice Cooper walked into the workspace of the White House press corps.  He posed for a photo with (below, from left to right) ABC News’ Jon Garcia, Karen Travers and John Hendren. “Hi, I’m Alice,” said the long-haired rocker to reporters who put their BlackBerries down for a minute, then picked them up again to update a dozen Facebook pages. Cooper has often mixed reptiles and rock and roll. But the macabre rocker has never before mixed music and politics. “When my parents talked about taxes I’d run into my room and listen to the Yardbirds,” he told a handful of reporters at Arizona State University. That changed tonight, when Cooper, sporting a letterman-style sweater that read “Coop,” performed “School’s Out” with his son Dash’s band, Runaway Phoenix. Dash Cooper is an ASU journalism student by day, rocker by night. Most of the crowd of 70,000 — few of whom were alive when Cooper first played the song in 1972 — rose to their feet as he wailed the anthem’s final lyric — “School’s been blown to pieces.” What songs would the Phoenix native recommend for Obama, who delivers the commencement address at ASU. “Elected,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and — wait for it — “Welcome to my Nightmare.” Asked how President Obama is doing, Cooper said, “I think he’s doing a great job. He’s a rock star. You go to Europe and he’s a rock star.” Cooper said he was hoping to have a chance to chat with the president about their shared interest in golf. — John Hendren and Karen Travers

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