Our Rocklahoma 2009 Trip winner, Brad Cooper, sums up his Rocklahoma Experience for us:
Here’s Grand Prize Rocklahoma winner Brad Cooper and his brother Greg hangin’ VIP style backstage with Twisted Sister. They look so…NORMAL
Hey House Of Hair fans this is Brad Cooper, the lucky winner of the HOH Rocklahoma grand prize, checking in to give you a taste of the Rocklahoma 2009 VIP experience that the HOH provided my brother and me. Round trip airfare took us to a 5 night stay just up the road from the Rocklahoma location about 4 miles north of Pryor, OK.
I had never been to an outdoor festival and this place was great. Along with a main stage, there were three side stages that played in between the main acts, thus there was music almost non-stop from noon to midnight. Vendors for food, t-shirts, airbrushing, tobacco, etc lined the outsides of the grounds. The hired and volunteer staff was absolutely the most courteous I’ve ever seen as they suffered the triple digit temps along with the rest of us.
It’s always great when our winners actually like each other! Pictured are Greg and Brad Cooper with HOH listener Don Renick who scored tickets to meet Anvil at Rocklahoma. (L-R above: Don’s daughter, HOH GP Winner Brad Cooper, Don, Greg Cooper) We dig those custom HOH/Dee shirts!!
Was devoted to metal featuring Anthrax as the headliner which annihilated the stage that night in possibly the loudest fashion I’ve ever heard. It actually hurt to listen. The band I most enjoyed that day however was Anvil. Metal with an old sound, a bit rough was pretty cool. This was the day my brother and I found a couple of side stage bands we enjoyed the most which included Krank and the Glitter Boys. Krank had a lead singer with a scream that hangs on the coat tails of Rob Halford and the Glitter Boys were 80’s hair all the way. Fortunately we were able to catch these acts a couple times during the 4 days.
Got right into the hair for which I was craving. Night Ranger didn’t headline but I thought they stole the stage that night. They flat out sounded awesome and although not typically headbanging material, they were heavier in concert than I anticipated. Warrant performed with their third lead singer they’ve had in their three appearances at Rocklahoma and although he sounded very good, I just can’t call it Warrant without Jani. I know some of you may really dislike Jani and the problems he’s had, but I’m not one of them. Ratt headlined and the set list included all the hits we’re used to. Notable sidestage performances that I enjoyed included Bang Tango that night between main stage acts Night Ranger and Ratt.
Who loves Night Ranger? WE DO! Greg and Brad Cooper meet the band backstage to compliment them on their killer set!
Continued the hair band blast with live show standouts Kix who as usual were very solid. Lizzy Borden, whose music I am not very familiar with, put on a great show and have earned themselves some of my hard earned cash as a CD purchase of their music will occur soon. No doubt however the hi-light of Saturday was the show Jackyl and lead singer Jesse James Dupree put on. Jesse was an animal with outlandish pranks on a local police officer who took things in stride, throwing beer into the crowd right out of beer vendor’s cooler, and of course destroying a bar stool with his chainsaw for the final song. Jesse wins the prize for the person I would most want to party with aside from Miss Rocklahoma. Jackyl is a 3 year veteran of Rocklahoma and we heard Jesse was better this year than any other. I would have been rolled over in the gutter if I had consumed the amount of alcohol he had while onstage, but he rocked to the bitter end, full steam ahead. Side stage notables included Faster Pussycat, with a jam packed full tent of very rowdy die hards. They should have been a main stage act. Britny Fox was a disappointment however… because they weren’t there. That was a band my brother had planned to catch from the get go.
Here’s Greg and Brad with the accident-prone Jack Russell and the rest of Great White backstage.
Finished better than strong with Twisted Sister defying mother nature and laying down the entire Stay Hungry album for its 25th anniversary celebration. The best surprise for me during the show was the performance of “Come Out and Play”, a personal favorite that I certainly was not expecting. Missing however was “I Am I’m Me”, “Shoot’em Down” and “Destroyer” no doubt due to the time allotted for Dee and the boys. During the show Mark “the Animal” Mendoza celebrated a birthday with the cake delivered by none other than Miss Rocklahoma and Dee replaced a few calories by digging into a funnel cake from the crowd while onstage. Twisted has not lost a step, 25 years later Dee’s voice is spot on and the sound is heavy and tight. The chance to see Twisted Sister was the main reason I entered the contest and I was not disappointed. Also I’ll give a hats off for a gutsy performance by Jack Russell of Great White. During the meet and greet Jack could hardly walk, and onstage, using the mic stand for a support, he explained that he had recently been in an accident and fractured 12 bones including several vertebrae and his pelvis. It hurt me to watch him move, but he belted it out anyway. Excellent Skid Row tunes split the notable bands listed above, however a “Bachless” Skid Row just wasn’t the same for me. Great sounding, head banging originals filled the amphitheatre, but I just couldn’t quite buy in.
Our fearless leader – Dee Snider – on stage and kicking ass at Rocklahoma!!
The best perk of being HOH winners was the meet and greets. Pics and autographs of Ratt, Night Ranger, Warrant, Helix, Lizzy Borden, Bonfire, Jackyl, Skid Row, Great White and of course Twisted Sister will soon have a nicely organized place on the shelves in my basement. We were all set to go meet Kix as well, however we could not pull ourselves away from the Jackyl show and the sensory overload of Jesse James Dupree.
On top of all the great bands that we were able to see and meet we had free food all day long and it was delicious. Even better was the free beer and soft drinks all day, every day. With temps in the 100’s this was greatly appreciated. The VIP tent with the food and beverages was also air conditioned…a nice treat in the temps noted above. Our VIP wristbands got us everywhere we needed to go without questions. Parking was a breeze in the VIP lot and we could get from the main stage to our car within 2 minutes and never waited in a line the whole 4 days.
Thank you HOH for choosing my essay over thousands of justified entries. My brother, whom the essay was about, and I are extremely grateful for this once in a lifetime experience. The meet and greets that we will most likely never experience again and the awesome picture of my brother and me with our rock idols Twisted Sister are the heavy metal high lights in the lives of these dedicated SMF’ers.