A super group will rock a Las Vegas stage tonight — Alice Cooper, Kiss, Vince Neil, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Kip Winger, Rob Zombie and Dee Snider.
Those legendary stars will perform at a fundraiser in the Orleans Arena for the Boys &Girls Club, to help kids go to South Dakota’s Brennan Rock &Roll Academy to strengthen their music chops and learn leadership skills.
But the most pivotal musicians on the stage with them could be … Hairball.
“Hairball is from Minnesota, and we’re kind of like a Legends kind of show,” says guitarist Mike “Happy” Findling.
In other words, Hairball is a tribute band, with elaborate costumes and theatrics, dressing in rocker homages to Alice Cooper, Kiss and so forth.
“It’s called ‘a bombastic celebration of arena rock,’ ” Happy says.
Tonight, Hairball will be the house band while those real stars they portray (Alice Cooper, Vince Neil, etc.) will actually be onstage with them.
Pretty cool, right?
Or, as Happy puts it: “For the love of God, I’ll be playing with Alice Cooper!
“In many ways, Alice Cooper is senior ranking official onsite,” Happy says, since Alice Cooper invented/popularized theater-rock, goth-rock and glam-rock.
Happy even owes his literacy to Alice Cooper, because he read Bob Greene’s book on Alice Cooper, “Billion Dollar Baby,” in grade school.
“I really started reading books because of Alice Cooper, because finally there was something I was interested in reading about.”
But Happy also bows to Kiss and the other guys at tonight’s concert and auction.
“In 1978, my father took me to see Kiss. I was in sixth or seventh grade. Kiss made me very serious about my life. It made me very serious about the business of having fun. I thought, ‘That looks like a good business to be in.’ ”
Happy previously played with Gene Simmons, Neil and other rockers for the charity, started by Vegas resident Chuck Brennan, a Sioux Falls Boys Club kid who founded Dollar Loan Center.
When Happy first met Simmons, he told him he saw Kiss in 1978. Simmons was gracious, but since he loves a good sex joke, he also said to Happy, “What was your mother’s name?”
“In Hairball, we have a saying when we’re making decisions. We ask, ‘What would Gene and Paul (Stanley) do?’ Then we think, ‘They would fire that light man.’ ”
Happy has a firm grasp of who he is.
“I look like the illegitimate son of Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley mixed in with Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth’s moves.
“I wear spandex with fishnets underneath, and big platform boots, and a vest, and twinkling rhinestones. I love it.”
What’s the psychology of a guy who does that for a living?
“I do what feels good. It’s dancing. How do you explain dancing? ‘Why are you moving around like that?’ Because it feels good.
“It’s written right in the Bible. Rock ’n’ roll is supposed to be done with big boobs and fingernail polish and outrageous hairstyles.”
Where is that in the Bible?
“It’s in there somewhere.”
Doug Elfman’s column is on Page 3A in the main section on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.