Alice Cooper has been a household name in shock rock and roll for over 50 years, and he shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
Cooper is slated to perform in Estevan on Aug. 26 as a part of his ‘A paranormal evening with Alice Cooper’ tour and the rock legend says he is going to put on a great show.
“To us it doesn’t matter where we are playing,” said Cooper.
“We’re going to play the same show no matter where we are. If were playing a club with 12 people or if we‘re playing Madison Square Garden, we are going to put on the same show.”
Born in Detroit in 1948, Cooper’s musical career began when he and a group of friends entered into a high school talent show as a Beatles cover band. The group, all track and field members played track and field versions of classic Beatles hits.
Cooper, at that time known as Vincent Furnier, then started his first real band – the Earwigs.
The Earwigs, who later became the Spiders, played covers of bands that Cooper adored like the Who, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.
After the local bar scene had been exhausted the group moved to Los Angeles where they caught the attention of Frank Zappa, who signed the young band to a record deal.
Almost immediately the band became known for their outrageous live performances. In one famous incident, a fan threw a live chicken onto the band's stage. Cooper responded by picking the chicken up and throwing it back into the crowd, who proceeded to tear the chicken apart. In altered versions of the story Cooper killed the bird himself and drank its blood.
Alice Cooper built a reputation as the king of ‘shock rock’, with performances involving guillotines, electric chairs, decapitated dolls and plenty of fake blood.
“I kind of keep Alice locked away when we aren’t playing,” said Cooper.
“Before a show I couldn’t be more normal, but as soon as that curtain goes up, my entire physiology changes, and I become that Cooper character, but as soon as it goes back down Alice is gone again.”
Touring for more than 50 years, Cooper has become a household name in the music industry and shows no signs of leaving the lifestyle behind.
“I never get tired of playing, because of the audience's reaction when they hear us on stage,” said Cooper.
“I’ve been doing different versions of this show for 50 years and I still don’t get tired of it, it would be impossible to get bored when you have an audience like ours.”
Like many rock stars, Cooper has struggled with addiction throughout his career.
Alcohol became a major issue in the singer’s life, an addiction that he would later conquer, and replace with another, much better addiction – golf.
“I guess we’ll play some golf depending on what time we get in,” said Cooper.
“We try to play at least nine holes a day, we golf in the morning and rock and roll in the night. And by the way your publisher Rick Sadick still owes me $5 from a game we played in Kelowna.”
Cooper admits he has seen his fair share of changes in the music industry since he became a part of it, but says he doesn’t see rock and roll going away any time soon.
“I think rock will always be around; everyone loves hard, guitar rock,” said Cooper.
“The music has gone from grunge, to emo, to hair metal and back again but I don’t think rock will ever die. I hope that there's kids in garages right now listening to Alice Cooper, Aerosmith and The Who. I think the only advice I would give to people that want to be rock stars is to learn how to strut. When you get up on stage, your supposed to be larger than life, you’re supposed to be this snotty outlaw, but all I see now are bands that are totally introverted. Every now and then you’ll see someone who really struts and those are the real rock stars.”
Cooper is slated to release several new albums in the upcoming year. These include a live from Paris album and a studio album both for Cooper, and a live and studio album from Cooper’s other band, The Hollywood Vampires, which features Cooper on vocals, as well as lead guitarist for Aerosmith, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp on guitar.
The name Hollywood Vampires originates from a Hollywood drinking club Cooper founded.