Alice Cooper Mark Lawson Talks To...


Alice Cooper

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In 40 years, Alice Cooper has gone from being a man who respectable

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God-fearing Americans wanted to hit with a golf club

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to someone who plays golf with the same section of society.

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The angry reaction at the start was in response to the stage persona,

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the long-haired satanic radical figure who sang anthems of rebellion including School's Out and Elected,

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and wrapped snakes around his neck before being executed.

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Off-stage, Alice Cooper is a polite, thoughtful, non-drinking man

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whose only addiction is golf, but some people are still confused

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by the gulf between the rock monster he created

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and the man born in Detroit as Vincent Damon Furnier.

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I'm interested, with people who become famous under a stage name,

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is there anyone to whom you're still Vince?

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Yeah. My mom. My mom still calls me Vince.

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It's funny cos she still lives with us. My dad passed away, so my mom lives with us.

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It's still with her, "Hey, superstar! Take out the garbage!"

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I didn't become a star to her until I brought home a picture of me and Frank Sinatra.

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When she saw that, she went, "OK. Now you're something!"

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To her, that was like the passage.

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She'd seen me on TV, but that didn't mean anything until she saw the Sinatra picture!

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-Which I understand.

-So on your passport, it is Alice Cooper?

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Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I changed my name legally about 1972.

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My manager, who's been my manager for 43 years now, Shep,

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he said, "We've got to own the name. We've got to make it a brand.

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"You need to be Alice Cooper." I said, "OK.

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I had to say to my mom and dad, "By the way, I'm Alice Cooper now."

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My dad's reading the paper, "Oh, that's nice."

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You have this double life, which I know from people who knew I was going to interview you today.

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Lots of people, including my teenage children, said, "He's really scary. Be careful."

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Yet a very posh London lawyer said, "I played golf with Alice Cooper."

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This is your curious double life.

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I like the juxtaposition of me and Alice.

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I grew up in a Christian home. My dad was a pastor.

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My grandfather was an evangelist. My wife's father is a pastor.

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I grew up in, not a strict, but a very Christian home.

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Then I went as far away as I could.

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I was the prodigal son. Came back and became Christian again.

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And so, you know...

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When I did go out there, I created this Alice character,

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because it is so easy to be the villain,

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even though my real life is nothing like Alice at all.

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It's fun, though, to put on his skin and the make-up,

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and become this arrogant Alan Rickman-type of condescending villain!

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Because it's nothing like me.

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It's probably the same with Anthony Hopkins and Hannibal Lecter.

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If you meet the two, you go, "How could you be playing that horrific guy?"

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That's the fun of it. I don't take a lot of responsibility for Alice.

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I talk about Alice in the third person, you know.

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But it's more complicated. Anthony Hopkins has played CS Lewis.

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He doesn't go around with people calling him Hannibal.

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-LAUGHS I do!

-Yeah, sure.

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But it is more complicated for people because it's a permanent persona for you.

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Yes, I think so, and I think there was a time

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when I didn't know when to turn Alice off.

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There was that early... When they recognised me as Alice,

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I didn't know where the grey area was, where he began and I ended.

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That had a lot to do with alcohol. I was the most functional alcoholic.

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As soon as I got sober,

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I realised there had to be a break between me and Alice.

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Because that Alice really didn't want to be married.

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He didn't want to play golf, go to the movies, have kids,

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do all the stuff that I like to do.

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So I said, "Why shouldn't we do that together? You be Alice.

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"I'll play you on stage and when the curtain comes down, you're gone

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"and I become me again."

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Honestly, it's a very good relationship we have together!

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In that hour or so before you go on stage,

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in the way that an actor gets into character, is it the same thing,

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-or can you do it quite easily now?

-Now I do it quite easily.

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It used to take me half the day to psych up into being this character.

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Now it's at a point where the curtain's down, I'm in the make-up,

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I'm talking to my guitar player,

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"Hey, we have a 7.30 tee-off time tomorrow. Da-da-da..."

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The curtain opens and it's...

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And I'm Alice. My posture changes.

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My face goes like this. Everything is now Alice.

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And you're Captain Hook up there, really hamming it up.

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It's nothing like it. You could have a toothache or have pneumonia.

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You could have six broken ribs

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and nothing's gonna bother you while you've got that adrenaline rush.

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# I'm driving in my car now.

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# I got you under my wheels

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# I got you under my wheels... #

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There's a huge amount about this basic question,

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whether performers become addicts or addicts become performers.

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Rob Lowe the actor, in his recent memoir, he says that he believes

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that addicts are attracted to show business

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because of the gamble of it.

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The fact that you can be on top one minute and down the next. Do you buy into that?

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I tell young guys all the time,

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"In this business there's very few guys that just keep riding the top."

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The Beatles, OK. The Rolling Stones have their roller coaster career.

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Michael Jackson had a career that stayed up there.

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There's a few people like that.

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I say, "If you're not ready to take some defeat,

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"if your ego is so fragile that you can't take a slap in the face,

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"if you can't lose a few rounds to win the fight, I don't know you're going to survive in this business.

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"You're going to get knocked down.

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"Your ego's going to get bruised.

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"You just have to find a way to fight back up."

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There are various theories.

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Some people say that stars simply have more money for pills and booze.

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-And a lot more time.

-A lot more time.

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Other people say it's about recreating off stage the buzz that you get of being on stage.

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-Do you have a theory?

-It's just pure decadence.

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You're a kid in a candy shop!

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You're 21 years old.

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You have a hit record that's Number One.

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Money is pouring in and there's nobody to say no.

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What could go wrong?

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Everything, if you don't have somebody there to kind of direct it.

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Of course, the first thing we did was we'd go party with Keith Moon

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and all these insane rock stars.

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Cos we were now one of them.

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We were buying Rolls-Royces, doing everything you could decadently do.

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Luckily, Shep was watching the money.

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"Yeah, go ahead and get that, but, you know, keep a lid on it."

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But partied every single night, and we felt it was our job!

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It was our job to read in the paper the next day

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that Keith Moon and Alice Cooper were caught in a 7-Eleven stealing a candy bar or whatever.

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It was in the press, "Well, they're rock stars.

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"They're allowed to do that."

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There was no such thing as a night that wasn't a party - no such thing,

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when somebody says, "He's staying at home tonight."

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What? What are you talking about?

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How many years are we going to be in this situation? We'd better take advantage of every night.

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Reading your book,

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four times, we can say you've cheated death.

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I'm not a doctor, but if you'd gone on drinking you probably would have died.

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He gave me two months. He said, "I'll be really generous with you.

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"The way that your internal organs are right now, if you're throwing up blood, you have pancreatitis.

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"That means this has shut down, that has shut down. Your liver's probably ready to go.

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"I'll give you...a month to two months."

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He said, "Now the ball's in your court.

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"You could either join your buddies Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix,

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"or you can quit and it will all repair itself, but it will take a lot of time."

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I think everyone that's still around right now - Lou Reed, Iggy Pop...

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-David Bowie.

-All the guys that are here my age that are still working came to that crossroad also.

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Had to decide if they were going to live or die.

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The ones that are here decided to live and that was where I was at.

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The other side, which is admirable, is that some people who try to get sober,

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it's very hard and they fail.

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Was it a struggle, and does it remain so?

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Well, it was an interesting thing. We talked about...

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I talk to atheists all the time. "There is no God. There is no God.

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"There's no miracles." And I say, "You're looking at a miracle."

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I was the most addicted alcoholic on the planet.

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You never saw me without a drink.

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My natural thing was to always have it with me.

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I was drinking all day, yet I would never miss a show.

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I would never blow a line in a movie on television or anything like that.

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That was probably my problem.

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I never got drunk enough.

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I was on that Dean Martin kind of buzz, you know.

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And so... To me, there was just no problem with it at all,

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but I was buzzed all the time.

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The alcohol was my prop of props.

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I went in the hospital. I came out. I went right into a bar.

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I sat down and ordered a Coca-Cola, waiting for the craving to come.

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I said, "I'm going to have to face it. I'm going to face it right now."

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Nothing happened. I had my Coca-Cola and I left.

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"Boy, this thing's gonna hit me like an avalanche. I'm going to wake up in the night needing a drink."

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30 years later, I've never had that craving. I have never had that...

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Even in the most pressured situation the thought of having a drink never occured to me.

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I really believe God just took it away from me.

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Even the doctor said, "You've never been to an AA meeting?" "No."

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"You don't have a sponsor?" "No."

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"Then your willpower..." I said, "No. I have zero willpower.

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"It's just gone. It's like I had cancer one day.

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"I don't have cancer the next day."

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I said, "It's just that simple."

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I can't tell you... I didn't do anything miraculous. It's just gone.

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So I have to attribute that to a higher source, you know.

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There's that disparaging phrase for people who haven't gone through the programme,

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-the white-knuckle drunk clinging on to sobriety, but you're not remotely that.

-Not in the least bit.

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I am probably the most stress-free person in the world, you know.

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I am more surprised than anybody else.

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My doctors would call months later and go, "How are you doing?"

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"Fine. Do you want to play golf? Do you want to go to a movie?"

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They would shake their heads and go, "I don't believe this.

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"You should be having all kinds of reactions."

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It was just a medical miracle.

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A lot of writers and actors who've got sober,

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they panicked the first time they went to the page or the stage sober.

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They thought that somehow the talent was connected with the addiction.

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Did you feel that?

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Oh! I wore a hole in the carpet the day that I played Alice sober.

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I decided to go back on tour.

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I said, "What if I go out in all this leather and Alice doesn't show up?"

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I was truly worried about it.

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The music was ready. The band was ready. Everything was ready.

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The only thing I could do was just stand up and just be angry.

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And this new Alice was born, this really arrogant...

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The only way I could approach it was to be vicious,

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to treat the audience like I was a dominatrix and they were my trick.

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That's how it felt, too.

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I realised that the audience loved that. Alice never said thank you.

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Alice just kind of went...

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I really enjoyed playing it like that.

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So I said, "Good. I have a new Alice to play."

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# No more Mr Nice Guy!

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# No more Mr Clean

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# No more Mr Nice Guy They said I'm sick, I'm obscene... #

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The other thing is whether there is such a thing as an addictive personality.

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There's a running gag through your autobiography

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that golf has become the replacement addiction.

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It's almost that you have to have as much golf as possible, and the best.

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I am the most addictive personality there is.

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When I was a drinker, I always had a drink in my hand.

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If I watch television... I had 28 televisions in my house!

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I still have a lot of televisions,

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but you learn to be addicted to the right things.

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I've been married 35 years.

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I've never cheated on my wife.

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The things that I love, I am desperately loyal to.

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My band, just rock n roll in general.

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I'm very loyal to Alice Cooper.

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A lot of times, Alice should have hung it up and moved on.

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But I said, "I will not let this Alice die!"

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So there were about five different careers with Alice.

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And so, yeah, golf became...

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When I quit drinking, I said, "I've got all day here.

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"To do what?

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"I don't work till nine o'clock at night.

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"Am I gonna watch TV all day thinking about alcohol or what?"

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I didn't know how I was gonna react to being sober.

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"I've gotta find something that's a positive addiction."

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I picked up a golf club and I hit the ball and I think I was immediately addicted.

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The ball took off, had a little draw on it,

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landed in the middle of the fairway and it was like a ballet to me.

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I just went, "That was great!"

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So golf is the perfect way of becoming addicted.

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You might hit 60 bad shots, but Lord help you if you hit five good ones.

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Then you're addicted, cos next day, you hit six good ones.

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Then you hit seven or eight good ones and now you don't want to go to work any more.

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Because of the example you are to people,

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there clearly are people who are in trouble,

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do you want to get in contact?

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I almost feel it's a duty.

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I've had people call me, major actors call me, and say,

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"Keep this quiet but I really have to go some place and get sober."

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I say, "Let me tell you one thing. You don't go in there to slow down.

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"'I'm gonna take this vacation from alcohol, drugs or whatever.

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"'Then when I come back, everything will be OK.'

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"It won't be. You're going to go right back. Maybe more."

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People go into Betty Ford 15 times. They didn't go in there to stop.

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I think you have to get down to where you can't go any lower

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before you raise your hands and go, "Help!"

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You think you have that moment where you can save yourself. You can't.

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You just gotta get to the lowest rung then give up.

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Something that's less serious but you have to face in a long career

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is this pressure that there are fans who want the early stuff, old stuff.

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Some performers resent that.

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To me, that's suicide! LAUGHS

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I'm a fan. I go to see the Rolling Stones.

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I wanna hear Brown Sugar. I don't wanna hear the reggae version.

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I wanna hear the version I know.

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I wanna hear them do ten or 15 of their greatest songs.

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The Who, Paul McCartney, everybody. My youth is invested in those songs.

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I don't want to see you do them differently.

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Now I'm in that same position.

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When we go on stage, we may do 28 songs in the show.

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I'd say 18 of those songs are standards that you have to do.

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-Eighteen.

-School's Out. Billion Dollar Babies, No More Mr Nice Guy,

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Poison, Only Women Bleed, all those songs they have to hear.

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-Elected is a favourite of mine.

-It's our last song in the show.

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And I realise,

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if I was in the audience and didn't hear that, I'd feel a little angry.

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# ..Doodle dandy in a gold Rolls-Royce

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# I wanna be elected... #

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But there are hits and then there are what you'd call stage hits.

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Dwight Fry was not a radio hit, but they expect to see Dwight Fry on stage,

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the straightjacket, the guillotine.

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I would never take that away from them.

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I stage it differently. I set it up differently.

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I light it differently but when they see the nurse with a straightjacket,

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the place goes crazy, they want that more than anything.

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I'm not going to not do that.

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SCREAMS: I gotta get outta here! I gotta get outta here!

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I gotta get outta here! I gotta get outta here!

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I gotta get out! I gotta get out! I gotta get outta here!

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Going back into your childhood, you were born in Detroit

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just after the Second World War,

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Vincent Damon Furnier.

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The significance of Damon, Damon Runyon, creator of Nathan Detroit.

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Famous in print and more so in Guys N Dolls.

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My dad and my brother... and his brothers, all my uncles,

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were Daschiell Hammett characters, Damon Runyon characters.

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They were actually those wise guys on the corner.

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You know, my Uncle Vince, my Uncle Lefty!

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-You even had an Uncle Lefty, which sounds a fictional character.

-Yes.

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I never saw my Uncle Lefty without a tuxedo on

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that was kinda half undone and a martini glass and cigarette.

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He was one of the Rat Pack. He was dating Ava Gardner.

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My dad was sort of in the middle. My dad was a really sharp guy.

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My dad and my mom were jitterbug champions.

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They could dance.

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They had all kinds of trophies for that kind of '40s swing dancing.

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So they were all in that world of Damon Runyon.

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Guys N Dolls, when I watch that movie,

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it looks like I'm looking at a family reunion, you know!

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-Uncle Lefty was "lefty" because he was a boxer?

-He was a boxer.

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These guys were all real characters.

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They would sit around. Everybody had a cigarette and a beer.

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They were watching fights on Friday night on this black and white TV.

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I was the only boy in the family.

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I'd sit there watching the fights.

0:20:330:20:36

I'd take a sip of the beer and say, "That's just awful!"

0:20:360:20:40

Cos it tasted awful! I'd take a hit of the cigarette and go, "Who would ever...?!"

0:20:400:20:46

But they were my uncles and they were great. They were really...

0:20:460:20:50

Even when I became an international star, they were still the same guys.

0:20:500:20:55

So when I saw Guys N Dolls and Westside Story

0:20:550:20:59

and those kind of shows...

0:20:590:21:01

Or the Thin Man, William Powell and Myrna Loy,

0:21:010:21:04

I was looking at my family cos they all were those guys.

0:21:040:21:08

Your dad would have been a fantastic Damon Runyon short story.

0:21:080:21:12

The secondhand car salesman who is fatally honest and therefore...

0:21:120:21:17

My dad sold used cars in Detroit in the '50s and couldn't lie.

0:21:170:21:22

He couldn't lie. Honest Mick, they would have called him.

0:21:220:21:26

Cos he would sell the guy the car.

0:21:260:21:29

The guy would be driving away and he would stop the car and say, "We turned the odometer back."

0:21:290:21:35

He says, "The axle's broken on the back." He had to confess!

0:21:350:21:39

And the other guys, who were all criminals, would go, "Mick.

0:21:390:21:44

"Come here.

0:21:440:21:46

"You can't be a used car salesman and tell them the truth.

0:21:460:21:50

"Become a preacher. Become a pastor or something."

0:21:500:21:53

And he ended up being that.

0:21:530:21:56

It's in many ways amazing that we're talking to you now.

0:21:560:21:59

Before the age of 20, you almost died twice, I mean, seriously.

0:21:590:22:04

-First of all, burst appendix at the age of 11.

-11 or 12, yeah.

0:22:040:22:08

Peritonitis. They seriously didn't think you would survive.

0:22:080:22:12

I was gone. They took two or three quarts of peritonitis out my stomach.

0:22:120:22:17

The problem was that my appendix broke

0:22:170:22:20

and I didn't get that immediate doubled-over pain that you get.

0:22:200:22:26

I just got sick. I thought I had the flu.

0:22:260:22:29

So for two days, I was throwing up, I thought I had the flu

0:22:290:22:33

when it was peritonitis that was dripping through my system.

0:22:330:22:38

The doctor took my blood then went, "Get this kid to hospital right now!"

0:22:380:22:43

I got there and my white corpuscles were just...

0:22:430:22:47

The doctor was looking at me and thinking I was going to die.

0:22:470:22:50

So I was in the hospital for a month and a half, two months

0:22:500:22:54

before they could even take the appendix out.

0:22:540:22:58

They said, "If we opened him up right now, all of his organs would be like mush.

0:22:580:23:04

"We have to keep draining this poison until he's strong enough to get the operation."

0:23:040:23:10

I weighed 68 pounds. I couldn't eat. I couldn't do anything.

0:23:100:23:14

And once again, another miracle.

0:23:140:23:18

When they did the operation, the doctor told my mom and dad, "When we go in there, he might not be alive."

0:23:180:23:25

They walked in. I was reading a comic book and chewing gum.

0:23:250:23:29

Going, "Hey! How you doing?"

0:23:290:23:32

So I was... The doctor went, "What?" LAUGHS

0:23:320:23:36

"The kid has a real will to live!"

0:23:360:23:38

1967, by then you were in a band.

0:23:380:23:42

It was The Nazz at that point.

0:23:420:23:44

-The band van was flattened on the freeway.

-On Good Friday morning.

0:23:440:23:49

Coming into Los Angeles. Can't say that we hadn't had a few beers.

0:23:490:23:53

Cos we had. There were six or seven of us, with all the equipment.

0:23:530:23:57

Coming down, a lady cuts us off and the van starts going like this.

0:23:570:24:02

It flipped over three times, landed on its roof and just spun around.

0:24:020:24:07

It was literally, you could put the whole van... It was like pancake.

0:24:070:24:12

The amps all over the freeway.

0:24:120:24:14

I woke up and I looked up and I was laying on the freeway.

0:24:140:24:19

Glen our guitar player was on the freeway. Dennis was over here.

0:24:190:24:23

We all kind of woke up at the same time and looked around.

0:24:230:24:27

I think the worst injury was a cut here, on one of the guy's shoulder.

0:24:270:24:32

Nobody had a broken bone. Nobody had anything.

0:24:320:24:35

It was just... And the van was destroyed.

0:24:350:24:39

There was nothing left of it. The guys in the band were fine.

0:24:390:24:44

Everybody that was working on the freeway that day said, "Well, everybody's dead."

0:24:440:24:50

And we all got up and sat down on the kerb. We were in shock.

0:24:500:24:55

We were all in shock, but nobody was hurt.

0:24:550:24:58

It was insane that that was...

0:24:580:25:01

If you looked at the van. You would go, "Ah! That's impossible."

0:25:010:25:05

The fourth near-death experience, the most weird one, in Brazil, on stage,

0:25:050:25:10

somebody pulled a gun, which could have been an attempt to kill you.

0:25:100:25:15

There's a picture. It's 158,000 people indoors.

0:25:150:25:19

It was the loudest crowd. It was the biggest indoor concert of all time.

0:25:190:25:25

And there's a picture from back here with us on stage.

0:25:250:25:28

It wasn't the security, it was the army that was in front, there was that many people.

0:25:280:25:34

One of the army guy's gun is gone out of his holster,

0:25:340:25:38

and right behind him there's a guy and he's pointing it right at me.

0:25:380:25:44

Maybe he was just going to shoot it in the air,

0:25:440:25:48

but it was pointed right at me.

0:25:480:25:52

So that was a weird one, that one was.

0:25:520:25:56

Your musical influences in childhood.

0:25:560:25:59

You say Elvis was out there, but you didn't take much interest.

0:25:590:26:03

Your dad sang Sinatra in the car but it was Uncle Lefty, he gave you a Chuck Berry record.

0:26:030:26:09

A Chuck Berry record. Sweet Little Sixteen, or something like that.

0:26:090:26:14

It was the first time I'd ever heard that guitar...

0:26:140:26:17

SINGS RIFF

0:26:170:26:19

Just that blues riff.

0:26:220:26:24

And I was immediately this.

0:26:240:26:27

I was already bought into it.

0:26:270:26:29

And I didn't really hear that kind of riff again

0:26:290:26:34

until the Beatles and the Stones, who went back to Chuck Berry.

0:26:340:26:38

We didn't know anything about Sonny Boy Williamson or Willie Dixon or any of these blues guys.

0:26:380:26:44

I thought the first Rolling Stones record, they wrote it all.

0:26:440:26:48

Then I looked and it was all blues guys from the south.

0:26:480:26:52

So they basically sold us back our own music!

0:26:520:26:56

But it was great! They did it so good. They were so cool about it.

0:26:560:27:00

We suddenly started buying these records,

0:27:000:27:04

these old blues records, trying to find songs that we could redo.

0:27:040:27:08

Sixteen, the Chuck Berry, must have been an influence on Eighteen, when you came to it?

0:27:080:27:13

It probably was.

0:27:130:27:15

We did Eighteen during the Vietnam War.

0:27:150:27:18

I think the crux of that song was that "I'm a boy and I'm a man".

0:27:180:27:23

You know. "I'm confused. I can get killed but I can't vote about it.

0:27:230:27:29

"I can't even drink because it's not my age.

0:27:290:27:33

"18 is just miserable - and I like it."

0:27:330:27:37

The punch line at the end was not "I'm 18 and I hate it."

0:27:370:27:41

It was "I'm 18 and I...like it. I love it."

0:27:410:27:46

It's like the confusion of being 18 was great.

0:27:460:27:50

I think that was the punch line of that song. The audience love it when you go, "I'm 18 and I like it!"

0:27:500:27:57

# I gotta get outta this place

0:27:580:28:02

# I'll go running in outer space

0:28:030:28:06

# I'm 18 and I like it

0:28:060:28:08

# Yeah! #

0:28:110:28:12

We've talked about the various ways you might have died in your life.

0:28:120:28:16

-You could have died in Vietnam. Many of your generation did.

-We were all 1-A. Everybody in our band...

0:28:160:28:23

To explain, 1-A was that you were good to go.

0:28:230:28:26

If there would have been another big resurgence.

0:28:260:28:30

-We were in college and we should have been 1-Y, but they were getting to the point...

-1-Y was exempted.

0:28:300:28:36

Exempted, for being in college, but we were all 1-A.

0:28:360:28:40

And, er... I think we would have gone.

0:28:400:28:43

I don't think there would have been any problem. I was not anti-war.

0:28:430:28:48

I was always taught to be extremely loyal to America.

0:28:480:28:52

And at the time, it was a righteous war.

0:28:520:28:56

At the time. Later, it became something else.

0:28:560:28:59

A couple of years later, we realised we could have won it, and we didn't.

0:28:590:29:05

Why? It was a money-making machine.

0:29:050:29:08

Everybody started protesting the war but at that time, I would have said,

0:29:080:29:13

"Yeah. Let's go get the commies." I would have been happy with that.

0:29:130:29:17

But it was a lottery system that we came out way back on the other end of it, so we never got called.

0:29:170:29:24

But, no, I would have gone! The guys in the band were very much the same.

0:29:240:29:29

The long hair, which you kept throughout your life,

0:29:290:29:32

that was a direct rebellion because in the army you had to have very short hair.

0:29:320:29:38

We lived in Arizona, where hair this long would get you killed

0:29:380:29:43

from drunk cowboys.

0:29:430:29:45

And there were many times when we had to fight our way out to the cars

0:29:450:29:49

to get out of town because in 1965, '66, you would leave...

0:29:490:29:55

There'd be a rock club and a cowboy club.

0:29:550:29:58

They both let out at the same time.

0:29:580:30:01

So we'd be trying to get to our cars and there'd be five, six cowboys

0:30:010:30:05

leaning on your car going, "Hey! You a boy or girl?"

0:30:050:30:10

Lots of times, somebody would break a bar stool, give us one in each hand and say,

0:30:100:30:16

"The only way you're gonna get to your car."

0:30:160:30:19

It was just a melee!

0:30:200:30:22

But there were guys that had long hair that got killed in Phoenix...

0:30:220:30:27

-Seriously?

-Guys that were beat to death. They were out on their own.

0:30:270:30:31

Car load of cowboys come up, you know, and that was it.

0:30:310:30:35

Now the cowboys have all got hair like me! It's OK to have long hair.

0:30:350:30:40

But back then, if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time,

0:30:400:30:44

it was like rockers and mods, you know.

0:30:440:30:47

Arizona in the 1960s. Not only having long hair but taking a girl's name.

0:30:470:30:52

-That was quite...brave.

-Oh, yeah.

0:30:520:30:55

We couldn't have been more slap in the face.

0:30:550:30:58

We were way out on a limb on that one!

0:30:580:31:02

But, yeah, that was it.

0:31:020:31:04

That was going to be the thing that was going to make us different.

0:31:040:31:08

We had no problem wearing our girlfriend's slip,

0:31:080:31:12

as long as it had blood over it, black leather pants

0:31:120:31:15

and motorcycle boots and make-up smeared on.

0:31:150:31:19

We were probably scarier then than we ever were any time.

0:31:190:31:23

There was nothing to compare us to.

0:31:230:31:25

Five of us would walk in, everybody would go, "What the hell is that?"

0:31:250:31:30

So that got Frank Zappa's attention, anyway.

0:31:300:31:34

"I love these guys." You know.

0:31:340:31:37

Alice Cooper is such a famous name, it's one of those amazing things.

0:31:370:31:41

You were sitting round in one of the early bands, looking for a new name.

0:31:410:31:46

-Yeah.

-And just for some reason, that came out of your mouth.

0:31:460:31:51

It was one of those things. The guys in the band were all art students.

0:31:510:31:56

Nothing was just going to be what it was.

0:31:560:32:00

It was always more surrealistic than that.

0:32:000:32:03

When we decided to change the name from The Nazz, we said, "We've got to come up with something."

0:32:030:32:09

"How about the Husky Baby Sandwich?" You know! Ridiculous names!

0:32:090:32:13

The Blood Of A Dragon and all that.

0:32:130:32:15

I went, "We've got to come up with something that's the opposite of what we are.

0:32:150:32:21

"What if we had a name like a little old lady that lived down the street?

0:32:210:32:26

"Like an Alice Cooper." That was the first name that came out.

0:32:260:32:30

I could have said Betty Thompson or Martha Franklyn or whatever.

0:32:300:32:34

Alice Cooper was the first name I could think of that sounded like an old lady that baked cookies

0:32:340:32:41

and sat and knitted on her porch.

0:32:410:32:43

Then we started thinking.

0:32:430:32:45

Alice Cooper, Baby Jane, Lizzie Borden.

0:32:450:32:50

It had a rhythm to it that kind of was macabre.

0:32:500:32:54

It had that sort of strangeness to it.

0:32:540:32:59

You never had one of those moments years later thinking, "My mum knew a woman called Alice Cooper"?

0:32:590:33:04

No, but I lost my bank card and I went to my bank.

0:33:040:33:08

And I said, "I lost my bank card."

0:33:080:33:11

The girl didn't look up. She said, "Name?" I said, "Alice Cooper."

0:33:110:33:15

There's 20 Alice Coopers at my bank!

0:33:150:33:19

She said, "Which one are you?" I said, "Probably the only mister."

0:33:190:33:25

We had a thing for every city we went into, it was,

0:33:250:33:29

"If your mother or grandmother or aunt is named Alice Cooper,

0:33:290:33:33

"she gets a free pass backstage."

0:33:330:33:36

We would get backstage, there'd be like nine old ladies with blue hair.

0:33:360:33:41

"I'm Alice Cooper." We'd take pictures with them.

0:33:410:33:44

That became a funny thing. Who's the real Alice Cooper?

0:33:440:33:48

Your manager is like your dad being too honest to be a car salesman.

0:33:480:33:53

He took an amazingly honest stand for somebody in the rock business.

0:33:530:33:57

-Even now, you don't have a formal...

-We have no contract.

0:33:570:34:01

We've been together 43 years. Jimi Hendrix knew us.

0:34:010:34:05

We were living in the basement of this black band called The Chambers Brothers in Watts during the riots!

0:34:050:34:12

We were the only white guys.

0:34:120:34:14

We had to look up. There were tanks outside.

0:34:140:34:17

Jimi Hendrix knew who we were. He knew Shep.

0:34:170:34:20

And he says, "Shep, you're Jewish, right?"

0:34:200:34:24

Shep goes, "Yeah." He said, "You need to be a manager. I know a band that needs a manager."

0:34:240:34:30

He put us together. The next day he was my manager and, you know...

0:34:300:34:34

The very next day we got signed by Frank Zappa.

0:34:340:34:37

Everything major happened in two days.

0:34:370:34:40

There are so many stories in rock,

0:34:400:34:43

so many bands end up suing the manager who has stolen the money.

0:34:430:34:48

This is the opposite, with Shep. When you've run out of money,

0:34:480:34:52

you discover that he's locked it away for you.

0:34:520:34:56

Yeah. He was very, very... Shep and I had this thing that we...

0:34:560:34:59

I don't know why I trusted him with my life.

0:34:590:35:03

He doesn't know why he trusted me with his life.

0:35:030:35:07

I never questioned him, ever, on any business deal.

0:35:070:35:11

I said, "Shep, you're the smartest business guy I know.

0:35:110:35:15

"You do the business. I'll do the art.

0:35:150:35:17

"We'll meet in the middle and figure out how this works."

0:35:170:35:22

There was never a discussion of what the percentage was, discussion of where the money was...

0:35:220:35:28

And I might have been the only guy in the business for my whole career that had cash.

0:35:280:35:35

Shep made sure I always had cash somewhere.

0:35:350:35:38

Even if I thought I blew all the cash, he had it.

0:35:380:35:42

So, I mean, that was the relationship, always has been.

0:35:420:35:46

-It's another of those narrow escapes. It could...

-Oh, yeah.

-In this business.

0:35:460:35:50

-There are so many people who ended up with nothing.

-That's right.

0:35:500:35:54

A million-to-one that you find a manager that's not going to take advantage of that money coming in.

0:35:540:36:01

50 million albums, you know. It's a lot of cash coming in.

0:36:010:36:05

And I never once, ever...

0:36:050:36:07

even questioned anything.

0:36:070:36:10

He never questioned anything for me and there was never a problem.

0:36:100:36:15

So, to this day... We might get a contract in ten, 20 years.

0:36:150:36:19

Just to see how it works out. MARK LAUGHS

0:36:190:36:23

A lot of the Alice character was planned, but some of it, the notoriety, was accidental.

0:36:230:36:29

1969, I think, the legend

0:36:290:36:31

that you killed a chicken during a stage show?

0:36:310:36:34

-In the more exotic versions, it goes on that you drank the blood.

-Oh, yeah. Never killed a chicken.

0:36:340:36:41

The audience killed a chicken.

0:36:410:36:44

At the end of our show, we would open up feather pillows.

0:36:440:36:48

Two pillows would fill this room.

0:36:480:36:51

The next thing I know, there's a chicken on my stage.

0:36:510:36:55

60,000 people out there in Toronto.

0:36:550:36:57

A Canadian had brought a chicken!

0:36:570:37:00

Somebody said, "I've got my wallet, my drugs, my keys, my chicken!

0:37:000:37:04

"Let's go to the show!"

0:37:040:37:06

We didn't bring it! Somebody threw a chicken on stage.

0:37:060:37:11

Being from Detroit, never being on a farm in my life,

0:37:110:37:14

it had wings, it had feathers, it was a bird, it should fly.

0:37:140:37:19

I picked it up and chucked it into the audience,

0:37:190:37:22

hoping it would fly out, somebody would take it home as a nice pet.

0:37:220:37:27

It plummeted into the audience and the audience tore it to pieces.

0:37:270:37:32

Nice hippy Toronto audience tore it to pieces

0:37:320:37:36

and threw the parts back up on stage.

0:37:360:37:39

Next day, "Alice Cooper kills chicken, blood everywhere."

0:37:390:37:43

Of course, it never happened.

0:37:430:37:45

The kicker to the story is the first five rows were in wheelchairs.

0:37:450:37:50

They were the ones that killed the chicken.

0:37:500:37:53

That made it more weird to me. "I'll kill this chicken and throw it back up!"

0:37:530:37:58

Frank Zappa called and says, "Alice, did you kill a chicken last night?"

0:37:580:38:03

I went, "No." He said, "Don't tell anybody. They love it!"

0:38:030:38:07

I went, "They love it?"

0:38:070:38:09

And realised that I was suddenly this...

0:38:090:38:12

vicious, insane killer of chicken.

0:38:120:38:15

Nobody ever said anything about Colonel Sanders kills a billion chickens a week!

0:38:150:38:21

But this rock star killed a chicken.

0:38:210:38:24

You know, I can deny it now because it never happened,

0:38:240:38:27

but at the time I didn't deny it.

0:38:270:38:30

The more conscious decision was the snakes.

0:38:300:38:33

I was surprised by this because I'm frightened of snakes,

0:38:330:38:37

but apparently, as long as they're well fed, they're not dangerous.

0:38:370:38:41

I was just like you. I was backstage in Florida at a concert.

0:38:410:38:45

One of the girls backstage had just a little...boa constrictor.

0:38:450:38:50

This big. I jumped!

0:38:500:38:53

And immediately thought, "Wow! If I jumped like that,

0:38:530:38:57

"what would a snake five times that big look like on stage?"

0:38:570:39:01

So I had to learn to like the snake, too.

0:39:010:39:05

I had to learn to pick up the snake, put it around my neck and go, "OK."

0:39:050:39:10

I knew it was going to get a reaction.

0:39:100:39:12

I immediately went out and we found this big eight-foot snake,

0:39:120:39:16

put it on and, honestly, I was just like everybody else, like that.

0:39:160:39:22

Until I realised that it really had no problem.

0:39:220:39:25

It kind of liked it up there.

0:39:250:39:27

# Now, is it my body?

0:39:290:39:32

# Or something I might be?

0:39:340:39:36

# Or something inside me, yeah... #

0:39:380:39:41

And for your parents.

0:39:410:39:43

Your dad, as you say, was a preacher,

0:39:430:39:46

and in the British newspapers you were often called the Antichrist.

0:39:460:39:50

I wasn't in politics, so I couldn't have been the Antichrist.

0:39:500:39:55

-LAUGHS

-But was it uncomfortable for them?

0:39:550:39:59

I think there was a period of time when my dad and mom both paid for it

0:39:590:40:04

because the press did paint me as being

0:40:040:40:07

the worst thing to happen to anybody's kids ever, of all time.

0:40:070:40:12

And we milked that. I saw that as an opportunity.

0:40:120:40:16

The more the parents hated me, the more the kids liked me.

0:40:160:40:20

But my parents did go through a lot of stuff.

0:40:200:40:25

My dad, though, had a great sense of humour. My mom did, too.

0:40:250:40:29

My dad would actually address the church,

0:40:290:40:33

and say, "Look, you all know Vince, since he was this big.

0:40:330:40:37

"You know his sense of humour."

0:40:370:40:40

And they had to agree that that was my dark sense of humour.

0:40:400:40:45

I was either going to be an actor or this and this is what it ended up being.

0:40:450:40:49

So they gave him a pass on it, you know.

0:40:490:40:52

There was nothing anti-Christian about what I was doing.

0:40:520:40:57

I always had that core of believing, so I would never cross the line.

0:40:570:41:03

You know, I never claimed Satan as anything except an enemy.

0:41:030:41:09

I always looked at Satan as the enemy.

0:41:090:41:12

-Never as my ally.

-It's been said that you've been crucified on stage.

0:41:120:41:17

-Is that a myth?

-I never did that.

0:41:170:41:19

I would never do that. That would be something Alice would never do.

0:41:190:41:24

That would go totally against Alice's grain.

0:41:240:41:27

First of all, he would think that that was too...obvious.

0:41:270:41:32

He would think that that was too sacrilegious.

0:41:320:41:35

Obviously, they cut my head off. They hung me.

0:41:390:41:42

I would never do a crucifixion.

0:41:420:41:45

That would be going totally against what I believe.

0:41:450:41:48

That would be blasphemous.

0:41:480:41:50

It's strange. Few people thought David Bowie was Aladdin Sane.

0:41:520:41:57

They saw it as a character he took on, but it was odd with you.

0:41:570:42:01

People thought that you were Alice.

0:42:010:42:03

Yeah. And, I mean, there was a...

0:42:030:42:06

Well, you have to remember, we did not have internet.

0:42:060:42:10

We didn't have immediate information.

0:42:100:42:13

We had a lot of good urban legend.

0:42:130:42:16

By the time it got to Mary Whitehouse, we were the worst things that could come to England.

0:42:160:42:22

They immediately banned us.

0:42:220:42:24

So the notoriety of Alice Cooper became even more.

0:42:240:42:28

"What did he do?" "He set a German Shepherd on fire!"

0:42:280:42:31

"He did this and he did that."

0:42:310:42:34

By the time I got here, I was the worst human being on the planet.

0:42:340:42:38

But the public, the British public...hated the fact

0:42:380:42:43

that Mary Whitehouse was telling them what they couldn't see.

0:42:430:42:47

My allies were the British public. They crusaded for me and said,

0:42:470:42:52

"Even if we don't like him, let us decide we don't like him."

0:42:520:42:56

But when they did see it they liked it so, I mean...!

0:42:560:43:00

I always credit the British public for actually

0:43:000:43:05

being a very big part of Alice's career.

0:43:050:43:09

The American public didn't get me till the British public got me.

0:43:090:43:13

I think they got the tongue-in-cheek sense of humour behind what I was doing.

0:43:130:43:20

It's interesting you say that your parents would say at the church, "It's Vince's sense of humour."

0:43:200:43:26

It is very funny. School's Out is a funny song. Poison.

0:43:260:43:30

"I'd like to kiss you, but you're next of kin." They're funny songs.

0:43:300:43:34

Yes. To me, the cleverness of the lyrics were very important to me.

0:43:340:43:39

I'd say, "Nobody has written more clever lyrics than Chuck Berry."

0:43:390:43:44

So I would listen to Chuck Berry.

0:43:440:43:46

I said, "What you do is you write the punch line first,

0:43:460:43:50

"then back up the song.

0:43:500:43:52

"That's how you write these songs."

0:43:520:43:55

Ray Davies was very good at that, writing Lola and Dedicated Follower Of Fashion.

0:43:550:44:01

So I learned from watching those guys, how they did it.

0:44:010:44:05

Then I did it and took it one step further and said, "Here's a story in three minutes.

0:44:050:44:12

"Here's a bigger story in 12 songs."

0:44:120:44:15

So it became a bit more of a Broadway theatrical piece for me.

0:44:150:44:22

The key thing about Alice, which we've mentioned, was that parents hated Alice Cooper

0:44:220:44:27

and young people liked Alice.

0:44:270:44:30

-The key song in that respect is School's Out.

-Yeah.

0:44:300:44:34

It reflects what students think rather than their parents.

0:44:340:44:38

You figure this, how many chances do you get to write an anthem

0:44:380:44:42

that everybody on every continent's going to get?

0:44:420:44:46

What can you say that's gonna unite that many people...?

0:44:460:44:50

-Did you think as consciously as that?

-Yeah.

-You did?

0:44:500:44:54

We knew there was Happy Birthday, there was Merry Christmas.

0:44:540:44:58

I said, "What is that common denominator?

0:44:580:45:01

"School. What about school?

0:45:010:45:04

"The last day of school. The last three minutes before you have three months off!"

0:45:040:45:10

The biggest release of all time. You knew you didn't have to go to school for three months.

0:45:100:45:15

If we can capture that three minutes

0:45:150:45:18

and that reaction in a song, it's gonna be huge.

0:45:180:45:22

We started writing "school's out", "school's been blown to pieces",

0:45:220:45:26

"school's this, school's that."

0:45:260:45:28

It has a built-in guitar part that was almost...

0:45:280:45:32

SINGS CHILDISHLY

0:45:320:45:34

It was really bratty.

0:45:340:45:36

That was the only song out of all the hits that I was sure was a hit.

0:45:360:45:41

All the other ones, I went, "Maybe. I don't know. Maybe."

0:45:410:45:45

You listened to it for three minutes and you went,

0:45:450:45:48

"It's the anthem of all anthems."

0:45:480:45:51

# School's out completely

0:45:530:45:58

# School's been blown to pieces... #

0:46:000:46:06

Then you start writing and thinking,

0:46:060:46:09

"What's the next one?" You try to write, School's Back In.

0:46:090:46:14

Nobody's celebrating that! Nobody says, "Yay! School's back in!"

0:46:140:46:18

You get one of those in your life.

0:46:180:46:21

School's Out was ours.

0:46:210:46:23

My Generation was The Who's. Satisfaction, the Rolling Stones'.

0:46:230:46:27

When you hear that one song, that's the one that connects you with that band for ever.

0:46:270:46:33

So that was our... sort of our key song.

0:46:330:46:37

-Alice began to have interesting fans.

-Yeah.

-Salvador Dali.

0:46:370:46:41

You'd started as an art student interested in Surrealism.

0:46:410:46:45

-He was our hero.

-Then you end up with...

0:46:450:46:48

He actually did specifically say he liked Alice Cooper?

0:46:480:46:52

He didn't just like it. He created a piece of art around it.

0:46:520:46:56

He said, "I'm going to do a three-dimensional hologram."

0:46:560:47:00

He didn't say that. We couldn't understand a word he said!

0:47:000:47:04

But it was Alice Cooper on this pedestal, singing a song

0:47:040:47:08

with all these diamonds on.

0:47:080:47:10

It took three days to shoot it, and you could put your hand through it.

0:47:100:47:14

But it was moving. I don't know how he came up with the idea how to shoot it, but he did.

0:47:140:47:20

Then the third day he comes in and he had his hand behind his back,

0:47:200:47:25

and he goes, "This is the Alice Cooper brain."

0:47:250:47:29

And it was this plaster brain that he had built that night.

0:47:310:47:35

It had a chocolate eclair running down the back.

0:47:350:47:39

It had ants crawling all over it, painted on, that said, "Alice and Dali."

0:47:390:47:44

And I went, "That's great. Can I have it?"

0:47:440:47:47

He goes, "Course not. It's worth millions!"

0:47:470:47:50

The idea was in this painting that this brain was falling out of the back of my head.

0:47:500:47:56

I wonder, the darkness that is there in the Alice act,

0:47:560:48:00

the many references to death and guillotines.

0:48:000:48:03

-You've got skull and crossbones socks on.

-Yes. Very scary socks.

0:48:030:48:08

Is there a connection there, that you've had to think about death a lot?

0:48:080:48:14

I think that it's classic that there's no...

0:48:140:48:18

There has never been any commercial movie,

0:48:180:48:21

any Shakespeare play, any book,

0:48:210:48:24

anything that's been a commercial success, that didn't have to do with sex, death or money.

0:48:240:48:30

Those are the three things that everybody's most interested in.

0:48:300:48:34

Death is something that, since we don't know exactly what happens...

0:48:340:48:39

As a Christian, I know what I think happens.

0:48:390:48:43

It's always that mysterious place to go. What happens afterwards?

0:48:430:48:49

My show was always a morality play.

0:48:490:48:51

If you're the bad guy, no matter how much fun you have, you're gonna get it.

0:48:510:48:56

Alice always got his head cut off, or hung. The villain has to get it.

0:48:560:49:01

So, what happens after that?

0:49:010:49:03

Next time you see Alice, he comes out in a white top hat and tail.

0:49:030:49:07

Fred Astaire style. Balloons with confetti. He's back.

0:49:070:49:11

The party's started again. That's always been the style of the show.

0:49:110:49:15

# ..Baby, baby

0:49:150:49:18

# Come on and save me, save me

0:49:180:49:21

# My, my baby, baby

0:49:210:49:25

# Come on and save me now... #

0:49:250:49:28

There are lots of horror movie references.

0:49:280:49:31

You've also become involved in various horror movies.

0:49:310:49:35

As an actor - Prince Of Darkness, Nightmare On Elm Street. You're on the soundtrack of Scream.

0:49:350:49:41

Being involved in those movies was something I really liked.

0:49:410:49:45

I liked being asked to do that.

0:49:450:49:47

Cos I always looked at myself and Ozzie as the new monsters,

0:49:470:49:52

the new generation's monsters.

0:49:520:49:54

So when we got asked to be involved in those movies, which were the modern...

0:49:540:49:59

They weren't Dracula and Frankenstein. They were the new killers, the boogie man, basically.

0:49:590:50:05

I enjoyed either writing songs for it or doing a cameo in it.

0:50:050:50:10

Playing Freddy Krueger's father,

0:50:100:50:13

I had to be this Southern, kind of real horrible sorta...

0:50:130:50:18

you know, Tennessee Williams kinda drunk.

0:50:180:50:21

'That was fun cos I didn't play Alice. I got to play somebody else.'

0:50:210:50:26

Are you ready for it, boy?

0:50:260:50:28

You've been a waste since the day I took you in.

0:50:290:50:33

Now it's time to take your medicine.

0:50:330:50:35

'And because of Scream and the Alice stage show,'

0:50:400:50:44

you curated a season at the National Film Theatre of horror movies.

0:50:440:50:49

Does that go back to teenage years?

0:50:490:50:51

Oh, no. This big. In Detroit, we were this big.

0:50:510:50:55

On Saturday, our parents would drop us off at the movie theatre, we would sit there all day.

0:50:550:51:02

And have the best time of our life. They were a little bit scary. We would run out then come back in.

0:51:020:51:07

Cos you wanted to see it.

0:51:070:51:09

When they asked me to put together a list of the best Halloween movies, it's fun for me.

0:51:090:51:16

I go through the list and go, "Oh! I forgot about that one."

0:51:160:51:20

The Haunting Of Hill House. Claire Bloom and Julie Harris.

0:51:200:51:25

That's a good one. You never see the monster. It just scares the hell out of you.

0:51:250:51:30

I like finding those old ones that everybody forgot about.

0:51:300:51:35

A lot of the newer scary movies aren't anywhere near as scary as some made in the '60s.

0:51:350:51:41

One thing you've been doing in England is filming the new Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows.

0:51:410:51:48

That goes back to your adolescence. It was an American TV show.

0:51:480:51:52

It was an American soap opera which was so out of place.

0:51:520:51:56

It would have been equal to Coronation Street or something like that, only it was vampires!

0:51:560:52:02

And they had all the same problems that the people next door had.

0:52:020:52:06

The daughter getting pregnant.

0:52:060:52:09

All of a sudden, his brother had a twin that nobody knew about.

0:52:090:52:14

All the same plot things, except they were vampires.

0:52:140:52:18

And only Tim Burton would remember that soap opera enough to bring it back to life.

0:52:180:52:24

You know.

0:52:240:52:26

And I think only Johnny Depp would be the guy to play the main vampire.

0:52:260:52:31

So when they called me to play it, I went, "Dark Shadows? Really? I'm in!"

0:52:310:52:37

It's really going to be...

0:52:390:52:41

Tim Burton has to be a long-lost brother or cousin of mine.

0:52:410:52:45

We talked the other night and every single reference point we had was the same reference point.

0:52:450:52:51

The same movies, everything.

0:52:510:52:53

We grew up, basically, together, but never meeting each other!

0:52:530:52:58

It struck me, he must have been influenced by Alice.

0:52:580:53:02

-It's the classic look that Tim Burton goes for...

-When it came to rock n roll,

0:53:020:53:07

I was his guy

0:53:070:53:09

because I was, basically, the rock n roll monster that he wanted.

0:53:090:53:13

I came along, and there it was. He knew all the songs, the lyrics, everything. So did Johnny.

0:53:130:53:19

I'm a fan of theirs. They're a fan of mine. That worked out well.

0:53:190:53:25

We talked about people becoming confused between you and Alice, the character,

0:53:250:53:30

people who think you're going to be scary and difficult and frightening.

0:53:300:53:35

-You must get a lot of, "You're actually really nice!"

-I do!

0:53:350:53:39

I'm Mr Nice Guy. I never say no to an autograph, no to a picture.

0:53:390:53:44

I generally do like people, you know.

0:53:440:53:47

Which, I think, surprised people.

0:53:470:53:49

When I first started being Alice, I didn't know, "Am I supposed to go to the movies with a snake?"

0:53:490:53:56

"Do I put my make-up on in order not to disappoint people?"

0:53:560:54:00

That's when that grey area started getting clear.

0:54:000:54:03

That guy couldn't live in my world and I couldn't live in his.

0:54:030:54:07

So I started going, "I just gotta be me and let Alice be Alice."

0:54:070:54:13

People go, "How come you don't live in a big dark castle somewhere?"

0:54:130:54:17

And I go... What can you do?

0:54:170:54:20

In golf or music, do you still have ambitions?

0:54:200:54:23

Are there things you think, "I want to do that?"

0:54:230:54:26

I think there should be an Alice Cooper Broadway play.

0:54:260:54:29

-Whether I'm in it or not doesn't matter.

-A sort of Mamma Mia?

0:54:290:54:33

-Yes.

-Using the songs.

-There's so much story involved.

0:54:330:54:37

The songs are already written and who doesn't want to see a play

0:54:370:54:41

that's sort of written in a nightmare?

0:54:410:54:44

It could be a lot of fun.

0:54:440:54:46

I think that play will probably happen...

0:54:460:54:49

probably as an homage to Alice Cooper

0:54:490:54:52

after I'm probably done,

0:54:520:54:54

because it's a really good story and the songs are right there.

0:54:540:54:59

I've always wanted to do Welcome 2 My Nightmare on Broadway, without watering it down.

0:54:590:55:05

Without taking an orchestra and making it palatable for 75-year-old people from Iowa.

0:55:050:55:11

Let them go see Mamma Mia. Great. The Alice Cooper show would be rock.

0:55:110:55:15

It would be a real band playing at full Alice volume those songs.

0:55:150:55:19

What would happen on stage would be, not just visual, not just auditory,

0:55:190:55:25

but smell, have the seats wired a little bit for a little shock.

0:55:250:55:31

Never knowing who's sitting next to you,

0:55:310:55:35

if they're in the show or not.

0:55:350:55:37

A guy next to you might all of a sudden go up into the ceiling.

0:55:370:55:42

A sort of Hell's-A-Poppin', where the theatre itself IS the show.

0:55:420:55:47

You kind of don't know if you're in the show or not. That would be a great show.

0:55:470:55:53

I think it's not going to happen till I'm, like, 70.

0:55:530:55:57

Maybe another seven years, but I would like to direct it.

0:55:570:56:00

I would like to sit back there and have the fun of directing somebody else playing me.

0:56:000:56:07

I think that would be a lot of fun.

0:56:070:56:09

I would say, "Alice wouldn't do that! Are you crazy? Alice wouldn't say that!"

0:56:090:56:15

-Do you have a cut-off date? Can you see yourself being Alice 70s, 80s?

-I don't see why not.

0:56:150:56:21

I think if you're physically able to do it.

0:56:210:56:24

I always said if I get fat, if I lose my hair,

0:56:240:56:28

if I get on stage and I don't want to do this any more,

0:56:280:56:31

if the audience doesn't show up,

0:56:310:56:34

those are all things that would make me go, "OK, enough."

0:56:340:56:37

None of that's happened, so there's no reason for me to stop.

0:56:370:56:42

At 63, I'm probably in better shape than I was when I was 30.

0:56:420:56:46

When I was 30, I felt like I was 63, cos I had partied that much.

0:56:460:56:50

But when I quit drinking, 30 years later, I'm 63,

0:56:500:56:54

I have got more energy now than I ever had when I was 30.

0:56:540:56:58

I don't see where the cut-off point is.

0:56:580:57:01

Mick Jagger's four years older than me. He does three hours on stage.

0:57:010:57:06

He's kind of a prototype for me. I look at him and go, "OK!"

0:57:060:57:11

You know. "Party on, Mick!"

0:57:110:57:14

You talk about being loyal to Alice.

0:57:140:57:17

We've all seen comedians who have a particular character,

0:57:170:57:21

they retire the character and go off on another one.

0:57:210:57:24

-Have you ever thought, "I'm going to cut the hair..."

-No.

-"..and get an acoustic guitar"?

0:57:240:57:30

I like the idea that Alice became

0:57:300:57:33

woven into the fabric of rock n roll as a character.

0:57:330:57:36

50 years after I'm dead, I hope there's somebody else playing Alice.

0:57:360:57:41

I just think he's now a true American character.

0:57:410:57:45

I think he's now... You could go to a halloween store and buy an Alice costume.

0:57:450:57:50

And I'm very happy with that.

0:57:500:57:53

I'm very, very happy to have created a character the way Edgar Allan Poe

0:57:530:57:57

created a character,

0:57:570:57:59

the way that Tom Sawyer was created or any fictitious character.

0:57:590:58:03

I'm kind of proud that I did create a character that will, hopefully, live on.

0:58:030:58:09

-Alice Cooper, thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:58:090:58:13

MUSIC: "Eighteen" by Alice Cooper

0:58:130:58:19

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:240:58:27

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:270:58:30

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