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Alice Cooper

Glen Sobel (right) backs Alice Cooper at the California Mid State Fair Grandstand Arena on July 25 in Paso Robles, Calif. Cooper will open for Mötley Crüe Dec. 4 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Way back in August, drummer Glen Sobel called the Journal Star to talk about a Lincoln-invented product, the Kelly Shu. It's a device that mounts microphones inside drum kits for the long haul, which is something the drummer for Alice Cooper can certainly use.

The band has been opening for Mötley Crüe's soon-to-really-be-the-last farewell tour at nearly every building that ends with the word "arena," "center" or "dome."

It might be hard for anyone in the audience at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln to see this Friday, but both Sobel's and Tommy Lee's drum kits will have the Lincoln product installed in them. See if you can catch a glimpse when Lee goes airborne in the Cruecifly portion of the show.

Back in August, along with talking about the Shu Sobel spoke a little bit about the up-up-upcoming show. Here's a bit of that long-ago discussion, and a few post-scripts to preview the show.

On if he's taken a spin in the Cruecifly, Lee's roller coaster-esque drum kit that flies above the audience mid-show: "Everybody asks me that," Sobel said. "I haven’t done that yet. My drum tech has, but I haven’t. Not yet.”

On the difference between his set with Alice Cooper and Tommy Lee's with Mötley Crüe: “I gotta do my drum solo the old-fashioned way,” Sobel said. “On the ground, not going upside-down or on a track. I’m just stationery, doing my thing. So it pushes me to do the best thing that I can do, 'cause yeah there’s a big roller coaster with drums going upside-down and that’s pretty wild. So you’ll get a taste of both.”

Update: In October, Sobel sat in for Lee during a Buffalo set after tendinitis forced the Crüe's drummer to take a break. (Lee's doing fine these days and is expected to play in Lincoln, the band's first show following a brief break before this final month on tour.) Sobel wrote about the experience, including the part where he still didn't get in the roller coaster drums, on his Facebook page on Oct. 14:

"So today at 12:30 p.m. I got a call from Mötley Crüe management about me filling in for Tommy Lee who has a hurt wrist. After our Alice Cooper set, I rocked a set with Crüe here in Buffalo, NY. It's been an insane day of prep and making cheat sheets. I can't describe what an honor it's been to rock tonight with Vince, Mick, Nikki and Tommy, who was handling some of the electronics and cueing me through the in-ear monitors from side stage. No -- I did not do the Cruecifly drum solo. But I played with the guys for the finale of 'Home Sweet Home' on the hydraulic stage by front of house.

"It's one of those things -- had I known when I was a kid this would happen one day -- you get the picture."

On the spectacle of this arena rock show: “We've got all the props with Alice," he said. "The giant Frankenstein, the guillotine. There's a lot of pyro on our show. There’s a lot of stuff. There's a lot of moving parts to this tour. But it went great last year. We did 72 shows together last year and they figured for the second year, the final year of their farewell thing, let's keep it the same. Let's do that again."

To watch the versatile Sobel -- who, by they way, provides percussion on the current "Monday Night Football" theme -- absolutely shred a cover of "Hot for Teacher" at a drumming convention, go to

Reach the writer at 402-473-7438 or On Twitter @LJSMatteson.


Features reporter

Cory Matteson is a features reporter.

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