Alice Cooper has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2011. Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love are the other inductees.

Cooper, who I interviewed in October when he performed at Merriweather Post Pavilion, released his first album with the band of the same name in 1969.

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Still, he said, he's doing his best shows now.

"A lot of bands today get together, play, make an album, break up and form another band. There's no bands staying together," he said then. "My generation seems to have a different work ethic. I always thought, 'Do 25 albums.' I'm a lifer."

He said his success is due in part to his songwriting sensibilities -  "When I learned how to write lyrics, I was listening to Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Gershwin" - and his sense of frivolity.

He added, "A lot of hard rock today sounds joyless. Bands forget to have fun. Rock should be played from the crotch not the brain," a phrase that's now stitched on my fluffiest throw pillows.

Kevin Eck, reviewing the MPP show in October,

of Cooper, [He's] both ring master and narrator. He gives you a story line that tied the songs together, complete with characters, costume changes and props."

Photo: Cooper in October at MPP (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun)

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