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17Jan/121

Former Alice Cooper Guitarist Dick Wagner Collects A Lifetime Of Stories In New Book

I recently finished reading 'Not Only Women Bleed,' the new autobiography by former Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner. One of the bits that I was most surprised to learn from the book was that he co-wrote 'Just As I Am,' a song that he submitted to Clive Davis (who had been supportive of Wagner's songwriting in the past) which eventually was recorded by Air Supply.

I read Wagner's book right after reading 'Billion Dollar Baby' by Bob Greene and while I enjoyed Greene's book more personally, I imagine that Cooper fans will find Dick's book to be an enjoyable peek behind the Alice curtain. Wagner delves into some of his side work, most notably, his work with Aerosmith, but I would have enjoyed more details for some of the other work on his musical resume, especially his session work with Peter Gabriel which gets only a very brief mention.

Wagner's longtime associate Bob Ezrin recently penned the following review of the book for Amazon.com:

It feels a little self-serving to write a great review about a book in which I am a character and I would never normally do this but...I am SO proud of Dick and this amazing accomplishment that I have to weigh in here. This is no pandering or self-serving, ghost-written "auto-biography" that sanitizes the past to protect the "author" or amplifies the glamor and excesses to sell units. This is a thoughtful recollection of slices of Dick's life. It's witty, artful, literate, sometimes cheeky, often philisophical and profound, gentle and loving, whistful and exuberant but, above all, musical. But that's Dick in a sentence. Reading this will certainly entertain anyone who has an interest in the "Roman" era of the music business. But it also offers insights into the complex and often insane life of the musician celebrity; the one close to, but not quite at, the top of the entertainment foodchain. In its honesty it does encompass sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - but also pain, yearning, sacrifice, adventure, growth and the joy of creating.

Aside from being my go-to musician and writer on the majority of my projects in the 70's and 80's and now again in the new milennium, Dick Wagner is also my dear friend and a good man who has more than paid his dues over the years. To see him healthy and back in form again makes me very happy. To read this wonderful book makes me very proud.

Bob Ezrin

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  • Redstockings2002

    Dave Carpin at Arista took Rob Hegel’s Mercury Records recording of Just As I Am (produced by Dick Wagner) to Clive Davis and suggested it as the right song for Air Supply as the follow up to their mega-hit Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.  It is a much longer story than this, but Dave Carpin gets the credit for taking the song to Clive.