« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 840 - Alice Cooper

2017-08-23 | 🔗
Marc gets the full story of how Vincent Furnier became Alice Cooper and took rock & roll into dark and unexpected territory. Alice tells Marc about the early formation of his band, how his return to Christianity helped him confront his alcoholism, and how he's remained sober for nearly 40 years. Along the way, he inspired, and was inspired by, the likes of John Lennon, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Frank Sinatra, Groucho Marx, Glen Campbell, and many more.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this. How are you at the placards what the fuck bodies, what the fuck and ears, what the fuckin it this is job. You too, you have my pod guy. Welcome to it while the old man, the worse. I went to the source and he's all right, about an hour over there. That was about all that was necessary I'll get into that in a minute. Hey on the show. I talked to Alice cooper and I it's interesting about Alice cooper. You know I'll tell you about that. Diminutive as I didn't. Of course, I know who I was cooper is I know, who some of his I know his reputation. Certain ways I know, my son about him, but it wasn't until I went back, listen to a bit of almost every record he did before. I really got a full picture in terms of yeah who he is musically, which I found
pretty fucking good and I obviously am not the first person to they that but for unique reasons and I'll I'll get in in a minute. I am you're in santa fe new mexico. I am doing the thing that I do sometimes when I come up here. I go to this reasonably priced, a situation that is gorgeous it's up in the mountains. It's called ten thousand waves. Get a little room and then there's a japanese spa with the pools and and tubs and massage and today recording as I am on Wednesday. The day after tuesday I had for the first time I got she ought to, and I had to get the trump knots shiatsu dad of the fibers of my fucking muscles cuz that infuses himself into your very genetic composition, when I started to realize you know of any view right now, you're egos again you have dinner, then a fucking listen, really seriously, man just really
is that that only not only is this guy, this leader, this president, probably pretty mentally unstable, which is not a surprise and some people like that about these erratic? Whatever the thing is, he's persistent and if you check your phone a lot What happens? Is you're just inundating yourself with images of him so you go to browser and you start looking at stories and you could put yourself through twenty or thirty pictures of that guy a day and if you are disturbed by what's going on or angered or terrified keep down, your brain with those images which is hard to get rid of the images on your news browser but it, has somewhat the same effect as post. There's being everywhere, like MAO zedong like like just there, Stalin or any of the other day it's fascist. Like it if they constantly put their image everywhere, which they usually do in buildings. Are they for
you to do it in your homework, constitute its on your tv to justice, image that guy's mug in varying degrees of anger and insanity and sort of your fault. Strength poses strutting pomposity poses all of that the tall and starts hammer norway at your psychic machinery. These are site terrorism tools and tactics at work to pummel. Sense of outrage to pummel your sense of what is moral and right and also to pummel what america is supposed to be. Don't be pummeled by putting yourself through multiple images, of that guy in dear head, because it does not, after while you're just kind of shut the fuck up down, which is what happens in a third terry countries, you just sort of like is again my guy. everywhere, I'm exhausted. Let me
I do my job. I hope this turns out okay and they don't. Other me how god Why am I so sad and thinking about death all the time? Don't do it and if you don't know why it's happening to, you might be the constant input of images and, of course anytime, spins out and goes all shitty hitler on us somewhere in the united states, surrounded by you know his. Following who enjoy chanting, childlike slogans that, in addition to The constant psychic pummeling pummeling with photographs will take its toll. Stay awake, staving, joint push AK, so I went visited my dad is the thing my dad is sort of trying to do. size, a trying to unload some stuff. He was sort of a kind of amateur art collector. He never Why too many winners, but you know he moved most of it out. He used to have a lot of art in his house of one kind or another native american art
some indigenous art from alaska. He had some things from modern painters here in new mexico and then a bunch of paintings by this other guy that he got soda hooked into buying. It collection by disguised or be some in encaustic, abstract bits and pieces campuses all gone, but there's one can is that the old man can unload, and I said maybe I could help you out. Maybe I can help you out now. Don't know I don't know if there's any nitty gritty dirt band fans out there or how refund. You are, if you know any nitty gritty dirt band fans out there. I, I think you could know where this is going, but my father. in his living room. Has a giant sixty eight inch by one hundred and sixty two inch canvas and it is the full painting of the album cover of the nitty gritty,
Hair bands hold on album, okay, it was done by named, stephen roster. You got the needy grid, Durbin there and got sort of a ghost bucking bronco rider there with some you? Those on it in the middle of the desert is a giant piece of art meant for the hard core, nitty gritty dirt ban and now, if you have any of those in your life to look when I look at it, I dunno why he bought it. People I don't know what, but what point in his mind he would make that asian, where they like their like here's, the album they he says they told me not to open the album, the vinyl record and I'm like who told you can. I add to the value of this particular giant painting that was album cover for a peter version of the nitty gritty dirt band. I mean the album came out the 80s what I don't know. Anything about the nitty gritty dirt band know did a couple of good ones early on. But what do I know? I don't know why my dad at this painting, but he definitely stuck with it. So I thought maybe there's an outside,
since at one you out there. My have this moment I holy shit, is my favorite nitty gritty dirt band album? How much is that canvas willing to negotiate. you. Let me know you let me know if you're interested it's a big painting if you had that moment like whole hold on by the nitty gritty dirt band holy shit, I fucking want that what that painting. I take an entire wall, my house, which it will have you have a friend that sort of like that's my that's my favorite nitty gritty dirt band album hold on right. I love that fucking covered. You can own the painting. I don't know why I bought it. for years. I never knew. Why aren't you likes. The nitty gritty durban, I dont know story behind it. Maybe I should have asked, but I'm just putting this out there. Alright. So I was cooper now I was cooper as you know there
people love his stuff and there's a lot of stuff to watch the euro is also known. These very out christian. found Christ waiter in life a refund Christ waiter, in life after years of drugs. alcohol, mostly alcohol, no problem talking Jesus, no problem, talking music, no problem talking booze, Drugs, no problem telling stories about his career in show business, and I found him to be a completely pleasant, solid proof, an dude and one of the reasons I had him on. I met Alice cooper, the first time, at conan brine. I had this moment where was watching him. This was just like last year, We putting on to show you had on the cane is doing sort of a stick, and I realize like home, it's all stick! This guy is a traditional, almost vaudevillian, showman and always has been he's real show business. Alice cooper. Real show business. Like I gotta I talked to this cat anytime. He wants to.
but what I didn't realize is that he's also. Real songwriter man. I mean I didn't in? Obviously some of you are going. How did you not know that? But but what I didn't realize it's like this that some? He did a lot of great anthems. Eighteen, his great schools. four summers: great no more mr nice guy is great, but what I've started to do. And this is really the first time I did this. and I don't know why I never did. It was when I'm dealing with an artist who has a massive catalog, which he does I can do is I can just go to apple music and listen to at least a bit of every album, and I did and what kind of blew me away about Alice cooper was: two songs that when I was a kid which were the slow song beautiful song to them kind of make me cry only women bleed and
I never cry, but those two songs are the sweet. They're, not sweet. their heavy, but their slow song to mean I never cried, could be a fucking john song and it was in. when I see the arc of where Alice cooper comes from from the first kind of out their records through sort of anthemic. You know T rebellion records to like these, like these beautiful, if they're called ballads, but only women bleed and I never cry are fucking gee just made those two songs. Those are it with release. dan shades him, among other things? amazing, songwriter, so I had a tremendous sort of fifty without cooper. Before I talk to my very grateful, I did because I entered with the proper amount of respect and not justice idea that, like this guy was crazy with the snakes and the and the teen and no extra chair, ned shit and killing chickens. So I was able to kind of go in impressed. excited, and and and he was very receptive and was great
recession. This is me and Alice Cooper back in the garage It's cool fm radio station butterfield or fill out of all the things that pops your head Paul butterfield. He was the best band ever really. When you were a kid like when you were coming up. Well there. You know we learned Paul butterfield stuck his every good rock band ever nea was started as a blues rock bench her. Will you know that if the stones, the beatles everybody and if you can sit down and play born, cargo by Paul butterfield, some of the heart parts and where some of the guitar. Yet I was learning process man yet in he ate will they were. I guess it's interesting by butterfield because he was like there. They were really legacy of the
cargo boozing? Our british guys know there were taken the records and recycling examining the yard birds were the closest thing to pull butterfield right. They were that you know they were the british blue guys, but he, when you grew up in a worrying detroit right, did you buy. Who is coming through their I well? It was. I was the union that it'll kid, but the coolest thing that ever happened to my family was my uncle. The output michael vince here was a boxer. The circle of fly wait boxer, tough little guy. Plague, telecast, her guitar yeah and iraq. Are the first thing ever brought me was chuck very sure and chuck bury was the first thing before l right heard, chuck berry and I went like just told me, a story in three minutes: it was crude, it's pretty crazy right. He was the best. Lyricists of all time does not get the credit for being the greatest weirdest of all time like like he was in the you can't catch me jar or too much monkey business too much monkey business. How how many is doing. Listen to that wonder, eh exactly
not only that, but then, if he couldn't think of a word, he'd make one up sure. Why not is, as you know, don't give me no bother asian right that ground that would get licence the cooler raider later. When I get that so you were like what like what was detroit like they like your dad in the in the in the motor business. My dad was an honest used car salesman in detroit, which means he made no money at all. Don't let your job and say we made no money in my mom was a waitress. You know it. She was it. You choose I'm waitress young. What you have is that you're, a real, oh, she was great yeah, he's still alive, ninety two years, really yeah and but my dad finally got to the point where realizing that you worked for nothing but criminals and they find admit you can't make any money in this business. You should become a pastor. He became a pastor, a
read was a pastor, went denominate, brought protestant pastor and my grandfather was the vandals and my wife's death is a baptist. Tester seek from pastors mine from my eye was the programme under a year was a prodigal son. I grew up in the church once far ways I could and it came back, that's it yeah cause. I know you talk about it, a lot in your pretty in public about being a christian again or coming back around two area, but you, but you did have an honest, the rebellion from it. Oh, my god, it is very public and so did Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson. do you guys along oh yeah? We get it, I'm not theological. We we, you know, we are good friends miata, and and the thing about it is on the last on the very last night of the tour that we work together. Yeah I can, along with merlin, really I hear he's a nice guy, I mean, but like
I imagine there must have been some contention initially use bond alot of people. Well, I sparred with him in the press a lot. We did that baker was it now. It was for real cause. You talking about I'll I'll use to really respect Alice till I heard he was christian and now No, sir, I'm I'm a priest in the satanic church and can be right know and they meet them. All we talked about was marriage via really I met. in transylvania. How that is a festival in transylvania I mean it's like castle is there and clearly that they had assumed in my health checks by the dressing room lacks any. So can I come in I what yeah? So we sat and talked, and we talked about this marriage. I've been married. Forty one years, we add a lady, lovely lady, that media s it's a good job. You know it's funny because I interned it like I've been hearing a lot about the song, you know, I'm a team, because people been emailing the I just had eighteen years sober last wednesday, so be
I sort of like you gotta do is at your song, I'm thirty six years now. I think right, you're, better you kidding, I would have been. long gone dead, I mean I, you know you remember big brothers and big sisters. When I came to elia from phoenix mayor, Jim Morrison, Jimi hendrix janis Joplin, they were like, I drank with them, and I was the little guy Lafleur. and the wall that hotel at at the landmark. You know and that's where he met shatner from his ship while they it will take me there from white, so you dead the protestant pastor, which is not hard core. Per se. In fact, he he he could tell you who played bass for the animals sure I know it's not fire and brimstone, but your grandfather was but at, but they were in that in my grant. That was pretty cool too yeah, but they were all loved music and he's he. His deal was, as he says. Look I love the music. Is I love the show? Will he take you to rock shows yeah, but he's isa? Oh yeah, and he says I have no problem with I help
with the lifestyle and I went out and about your stuff- well easier, not lifestyle, yester member. That was right when the hippy lifestyle was yet a free love when you're starting out, I just use gettin ready to go to allay, but when he saw the stones, when did you see how I was home late on ten years, or so they must there weren't hippies. Yet now it was still kind of clean and it was broken, bayesian, royal, cool stuff you saw them on like like when you're seventeen, so that must have been pretty electrifying but the Brien's you're on china may, I didn't know, justify or justified no lighting. It was just blues with a few of the the original songs? All the original first two albums. So you see this so they're in your head, you about the detroit guys. Is Mitch ryder around yet or like who's around. Those guys were on the radio yeah, but I wasn't really connected up with them, because I was so locked in Motown. Motown was on the radio again, but I was living in
ex now already, and I shall get there that quick eye at ten. I had to get out of their cause of asthma together. Detroit You see, I am almost out of bed family moved because they want you to be able to live in a really thought. He had good thinking kid. It's got a breed apparent, so I'm in phoenix and I'm painting the house on a summer. Radios always on it s a lawyer to room to room. She love. Dude yeah yeah yeah, and I mean I stopped what what was that right? It can still make you stop and really it was I've never heard thing like tat and then by half an hour later I heard please please me. oh yeah. And what is this you I'm on sea change in my life I call my Dennis dunaway, who was our based player ritual base year. We ran tracking cross country to get right,
Was here and I said: did, did you hear that and he goes yeah? What is that? Next thing? We saw a picture of him and I said: that's it. What we're doing we gotta do that we gotta do that. It's it that first, album, like you know like oh good, we just got a guy chills kind, it cause. I you know, I'm I'm a little younger than you by bad decade or so. But but we had record magnificently Put that on now and you sort of like what I tell bands all the time. Young bands knew that you know they go we'd like you to producer so she'll. Let me hear what you're doing and you've got a great image. You guys are tough and yet it like this and then they yell at me for about three minutes year in with a hook in the drumbeat and I go, I want you to do three things yeah, so I want you to listen to It was first album the forces in the beach voice and they look at me like Why- and I said, because that's how songs are written now write me the same a song and be just as angry. I get it you're angry yeah, but now write a song with a verse, a beast,
a course and then yeah, angry yeah yeah have with one that sort of way like the weird thing about going through your stuff today, which I did just like, I literally went through just a because in the seventies and There's songs on in your catalog that were hit that are like beuh full they're, not hard rock songs they're, you know like only women bleed. Oh, I never cry like you know, and I remember their dug into my brain and I'm like oh fuck. That's like that. That moment we confused a lot of people on those. Well, I mean, but but those were you I love those songs. I'd imagine were great and they were the easiest ones to write your songs for some reason where the east is harder to write a simple rock song than a simple ballad, but I was working with all the right people. Bob ezrin was our george Martin and If the guy that that that ship hooked you up with the alien alien guy yup, he came out and he was supposed to get rid of us. Oh really,
and he listened to us at max's, kansas city. We played max's one night and he came jack. Richardson said get rid of these guys. We don't want them on our relevant, which label was this. It was, jack. We just wanted him to produce. We only I bought a label at this fuzzy weren't even signed, yet nothing and the next thing you know you know Bob ezrin comes back and he goes you're going to you're going to fire me. But I love him. He says they're the future they're there they're what's going to happen, I can take this band and he says: you're punishment is you have to produce him? Oh really, that was, it was seven platinum albums later he has a good punishment yeah. You worked with them on and off for a long time, but let's go for rights or you're you're with your track and field buddy yeah. What's his name understand identity from the original band and the beatles and But you know how do you start out in rock and roll is very, very funny story. I mean you probably couldn't write this so we're all we're jocks yeah four year letter
I really like you you're a senior at this time attracting crossed or no freshmen. Okay, so I got four stripes here from track and cross country dennis has four stripes. Our drummer has four stripe. Yeah, so were the were walking through this. You know the school like we own it yeah right right now I say we as we got these three guys we want. We should do like at the letterman's club talent show right. We should do a mimic of the beatles yet put the beatles hats on radio I'll beat you yea, yea, yea, alright, be sure, yeah, yeah and, and we did it and we hired girls to scream for us, and at that moment I went. This is what I'm going to for real and you're just lip sinking at that we say no, we say yes and we, along with it, we found the two biggest juvenile delinquents in the school air, Glen Buxton and john tatum, who were always in fights or always illegal, at every the opposite of jocks right and they were guitar players because I knew it
but they ended up. Glenn ended up being one of the great yacht rock. player yeah. He was on all the other band records right on the algerian created schools out. You know he created all that stuff. He was the only guy they could jam with sid bear it right, got it right, yeah, so anyways now we've got a band and we're actually pretty. Good at this point. Are you like? Are you? Is your faith intact, yeah yeah, but I like the church to write leno and everything and I'm still running track and ratio, but were we earned this little band playing at parties in fina getting a little better yeah? Finally, we get this job at the vip club with that as that's the big club, in the thousands, the lawyer, you know and we're called the spiders now and we were all black yeah and there's a web behind us, So it's beginning, and we start with the who, when we start out with a yard, birds and train kept her. Yet
oh? You did trenck over on what our you get, the arbours version of which who which he saw you will get out in the street, a substance. Yeah yeah, and we were really a good cop, good, barbara and combo good. Combat were drawn a thousand people a week god. How clean now we're not only jocks at the school, but here yeah now, where the biggest and in the school saliva runs down. I become ferris buehler young man, I run the school, never wasting my homework teachers. I've got killed. and to no end- and I just breezed through high school and you loved it I felt that you have the attention, that'll be, and we were good. That's the thing I liked about. It was the fact that if we were just phony, it would be different, but we were actually really good.
What about the yardbirds that that that really floated your boat? So much you? Don't we loved the beatles? Are the beatles influenced everybody here for cradle of filth, yeah, we're in it, you were influenced by the bs, the stone same thing yeah. So when people say who influence you, that's a given. We then went for what about disband this cut this guitar, that sounds, it gets out of control, yeah well pete, townsend, yep and Jeff Beck, right. Those were the guys we heard those songs went. I still can't wrap my head around Jeff Beck know. No, nobody it's like I dunno think even Jimmy page said one time, there's all of us and then Jeff back again Jimi hendrix, says, like I talked to billy givens, whose on your new record, who I love Billy's great he's great he's great. he said when he opened for hendricks in taxes on that too or went on I forget the name of first band. I was moving sidewalk moving sidewalks that he, hung out in with Jimmy and Jimmy would have a stereo console brought up to the hotel,
and he would just sit around trying to figure out what you have back was doing. Everybody at nobody plays is pure as jeff back its clarity, Jimmy's investigatory rocket tar player, hand collapse. is the best way in our boys player. Jimmy pages right there on big peter green fan, Peter grew all night gap. We wish to play with him in detroit when he was fleetwood mac teachers really what mac peter yeah must in february brown will forget that fargo, but was was peter green We can get remember memorable seem like he wasn't psychotic at that point, but but was he's had now a rocky cause he felt like. I felt that the way he sang manner Well, I wasn't blows guy, I'm really I'm trying to get little bits and pieces of peter green wherever I can't yeah, he got. He wasn't as close as summit. The guys yeah. We met the clapton's in all those years, la jimmy pages, and they were kind of cool in detroit.
green was a little out here. Feels that way in general. Wasn't like warm right. yeah yeah was the best got Jimmy was the nicest coolest guy hendricks worth I always found at the big. They were the nice or they were then I realized was a nice guys in the world. Will stones and nice guys meet them to later, yet not till later, but they really. I found something out about sinatra and presley and all those guys, the bigger you got the less of it. Or cure we have, because you ve, really you, like your life, didn't enable you to really hang around with anybody that might well in the lead up when you don't have anything to prove right right. I've done it in your kind of happy to talk to somebody, especially if someone's introduced you like this. Is this guy's a good guy? Ok, yeah, you're cool. It's the guys on the way up there to the jerks.
and then and then sometimes you see in Paul dounia right and you can push and equip them a little. Maybe put your foot up triple little one hour. Maybe you aren't a little less right song about that. So So how do you get from the spiders? To los angeles? I mean went so now we're the best band in phoenix, and so we think well we're are going to go to l and conquer l a because now, where the bed We get to allay and realize that every band from every city, your best banned from every city, is in ally, trying to get in the whisky yeah one of the five or six clubs going on there and you're up against the doors me love. oh yeah, all these great band was Albert Lee right our thoroughly. I our reason other ganja, buffalo springfield. You know Europe against, so you're all out there. When you went out yeah see there are already big there are, so it's what sixty eight sixty nine killing yourself to get in any club, muddier sixty seven sixty
wait, so you guys go out there greened arm, just green. Just for you made the move. The move we age and aim of the band change that well, we didn't change the name of that. We were the now them and as easy like it but Brandon had then we found out and we said we got to come up with a name now and the first name that came up Dennis came up with the husky baby sandwich. That's all I said, that's cool, that's great, but yeah they'll be expecting that let's do something that they're not going to care. What, if you get this notorious band that we weren't by the time we were notorious in phoenix, I n l a too for doing. Was it people just didn't get? We were already very theatrical at that time. Like what
the theatrical, well anything that we could find if I could find a mob. That was part of the show. If I could find a bucket. I was a rare and top of that better right at that was anything was guerrilla theatre on stage and we did it in the stuff sounded like sort of like psychic night psychedelic noise I paid for out of songs, but they were not at all what you would normally here you know I'm purpose. We were doing pretty for use on right at point and each is I like that record. You know, because a weird is how it is. Weird is how did you find it that time you were being intentionally weird or yes, will? You have your art, majors yeah, and we and everybody sounded like this. I said if we can just throw a little yardbirds and then do the
and Dennis would bring in the songs mir when we played them for frank, zappa, frank, listened, and he says I don't get it frankton get it yeah. That's a problem, and I went is that good or bad? You know as good as I don't get it and he says what you'd have five songs that are two minutes long and as thirty seven changes in each zone and never goes back to one of the changes I went yeah and he goes. I don't get it. He is where he goes from your san Francisco units that were from phoenix. He goes okay. Now I don't get it at all right, you're supposed to do cowboy music there, so he signed us because of that we, you are an art school major. We were all art majors from college. He went on and just in high school you were just art, guys and jocks and rocks, but we were really way into Salvador Dali. We were way into really obscure electronic, but we were also way into west side story. Yep. We will way into James bond themes,
yeah, and we were the generation that was brought up on tv themes, sure so you'd find a little bit of I spy near one of the journey and they get to where the man from uncle ogier and also I notice that there is sort of like the word. It's not. There is sort of a cabaret, going to like a barrage, building vaudeville vaudeville and but but did you, but were you conscious of that? No, we didn't understand it. Why that to me, why not make the lyrics come to life? We couldn't afford it, but why not make the lyrics come to life if you're going to say later on? If you say, welcome to my nightmare, you give them nightmare, you don't just say it produced the nightmare. Why not? Nobody else was doing it like opera yeah and, if you're going to be the villain of rock, which I said, you've got all these peter pans and no captain hook. Yet I said I will
gladly be captain hook I'll, be moriarity, sir you'll be the heel of the industrial. I want to be the guy that when I walk in the room, people take a step backwards and they go to darth vader. didn't have one they didn't have one on purpose: Jim Morrison was the closest He was more of a mysterious poet. Yet right sky. I wanted to walk into a room and terrified people on purpose. Yeah now did you did you see Jim all those guys did you, oh yeah. I used to we toured with the you know the first people that ever took Their wing in l, a the doors, and this is one How do I summon? How do you end up a like what was this seen? You come out seven, where do you live? We lived were we? Finally, we met this guy named Doke near we had never met a gay person in our life church. This guy lived right in that we in the west ali would he was an actor and east any he.
Somehow said you guys, can all live at my house. Okay, but didn't come on anybody here. You know and we all went ok, so there were. Seven of us living in the living room of his house. At least we had a place to stay shirt and it I don't know how we survived that you know, but I'm in full as well. It wasn't that we just affect it. I don't even know how we got money enough to eat. We had enough money just enough to no one was workin. We were working, but just enough to barely get gas red car and again oh eat whatever. The idea was at that point, find a girlfriend it's a job, that's always the rock idea. That was it. We had to do that yeah. I don't think he invented that then, when, when MIKE Bruce would take his girlfriend in to the bedroom we'd go through her purse, but we were smart enough to only steal twenty dollars right, when you know you're wearing that, and for always the money from your para, that's exactly where the dead, while an we could rationalize it. It's for the good of the band and she'll know that if we get car yeah, so if we all had girlfriends, we
could live or you have to go yeah the real business plan and play. So how did you I got that hotel, where you met shepstone, where you know where jimi and janis and everybody to I mean it's so funny his ship and I always have different stories on how it all worked, because you know we were high. All the time There's one ships they re drug deal. Ship was a drug dealing here. So we are living at this point now we're playing a place called the cheetah club and we become sort of the. Expand there, the nasdaq right and we're playing every night. We finally get a house, but we all know it's them, sorry be free. Ass. We were living in the chamber's brothers basement lots, wet chamber rose. Had a house in. What's your friends Shaw, we lived in the basement, how'd you hook the chair, we're friends of ours and they just said: hey look, you know you guys, don't live anywhere, you can ever been chambers, brothers just happened to be friends, time and happened to be friends ship we except
So friends, meaning they got drugs from shit right right and so finally, at some point, Jimi hendrix comes over because Jimmy knows the chamber's shirt. now crazy. As it sounds phoenix when Jimmy played phoenix, we met Jimmy and we came up out of the basement like rats, you know, and he goes hey. I remember you guys from phoenix, oh yea, alright, so anyways he goes and he meat shop buys grass from shop near any cause. You know ship you're going to get. did you're young jewish guy in l a lot of money they're going to figure this out that you don't you don't have any means of support. Right should be a manager, you're, jewish, your manager, that's that very serious, that's exactly what it was near. Any sign noticed
and that needs a manager or is talking about us. So we go over to ships knock on the door. I knock on the door and it's a fog bank. It looks like I can't see too many for me for the smoke. I want to clear the smoke small morrison sitting on the couch janis Joplin jimmy at that hotel a landmark is that landmark hotel and we could make a joint last for a week. Sure because that's all we had were it wasn't even that good. A pot goes like this. It takes a handful, would just be here, and I went that's alright. Yeah I so that was never can't never get a piece of paper? Forty eight years is. Guy I you know I really like talking to him, but what's interesting about the business in general- that I am always fascinated with in both movies and music. Is that people, I think, forget how small
unity of what are ya? Then everybody knew her but like as it. You know you that every woman sort of around the same place Jimmy knew the chamber's brothers. People would come and try to make it work. We did or didn't buy their when there wasn't thousands yes evil now, and it was a very clear we really got into this creative, the people that were really good. People he adores were great people, and would you learn from them? Like I mean what did you like? What did you glean from these cats? I mean I later on the biggest lesson of my life. Jimmy died at twenty seven. Jim Morrison died at twenty seven and I looked at. I said what is what is in common here and what it was was trying to live image off stage. If you wanted to make it passed twenty so right there, and I thought you know I said I'm I have an image even more.
heavy than there are in for a long time. I couldn't figure out that I couldn't do both. You know I'm going to go out tonight. While I go to get a snake, I got to put my makeup on cuz. I want to disappoint. Anybody got to a point where I said: that's what he kill these guys, so I've got it took me till. I got sober to realize that I had to play Alice cooper and be myself the rest of the time. The it took you till the eighties. Pretty much I mean I never with I'd, never quite knew where Alice began in that one ended. Well, now you can drink right through it. You know, I mean it. Just about also you were not. I mean he owed a janitor strung out and jimmy out and what happened there, but he was on everything right now and it didn't seem like those regime morsel took pills like you would eat skittles yet, but you didn't see night was your bag. You were kind beer, it was bitter beer, yeah yeah. Most heavy bands for beer guys
drinking of their land and we ve terrified of the police. We were the first perfect target. Look at our hair hairs down to right. I mean we are the targets in l a so that The idea that you couldn't differentiate or that the line between Alison you was was was blurry like as I you know, rollins told me I'd iggy pop in here and did you and when they can either vague. We play with a u every weekend but, like you talk to him, and he is not easy poppy Jim allister bird and you know he sharp and there is definitely a line between the terrier. rewind. I knew it. The first time I saw AG we played at a pop festival, two hundred thousand people in michigan, yeah and here's. Somebody says where you're going out on after the stooges fluent with the stooges I never heard of beginning to adjust. I never heard of the mc5 yeah right yeah, but I didn't know any of these bands and next generation. So I saw you plan. I went what I said. I gotta go on after this guy s. Okay
I brought the Alice character up and everybody detroit sought and they loved it. Yeah cause it was not just hard rock, but it was this oh you're was a guy to challenge you re in a different way than Detroit, down those, certainly in those guys and in an empty. Have I look that dr cycles? I still say it's in our dna. I mean born detroit cars, the motors black leather along hears us than its it? I find it it's in what I write all the time, even the news. Back in the day, the nude bob Seeger bob's ears, gray, brownsville station. All these bans came out to Detroit yeah and if you a soft rock band. You get killed yet summit ended I think with the motown infusing into it, there's a lot of soul. Mitch was and what comes the show I owed we'd be onstage at these town or the brandy here with this do just an empty five and the who the yellow hang out. That would be and we'd be up there we looked down their smokey,
really, you know and there's this guy, this all the more time guys came down cause they dug the rock and roll. Where would go, see them at the rooster tail here? Yet, oh yeah! So, Detroit, seen during the riots, If you were long haired rock, I get free pass right right. If you in a rock band, you could go into any at club downtown during the riots, and you were fine, but that was the sixties yeah and they say it was assumed. Name was on the same team, the long hair than words, and yet we are not a threat right. Well, so how like what happens here. So I I want to clear something up that so you, like frank zappa, had a you know he got his own deal through. What was it warner? Who was who gave him was warner brothers and his in his in it was called what his label he was bizarre and straight records or stray records. Was your first deal yet right and he signed you for three records. Right, frank would come in the end of the day and he said this is how he put it. He said people are not going to believe that you can do the songs.
mere. He says anybody can layer. You know bass, drum started and make itself for he says the fact that you can do. No longer umpire and two d muller and ten minutes before the worm which were insanities, he says the Do these songs life is what I wanna get ten minutes before the word. It would just a weird stuff it ever and we could play at life uk. yeah. He had it and I laid great tight rural life. Berries anyway, could do gemstone mere easy, but you play these specific little two minute songs and don't make mistakes on them and the mothers couldn't play that sonya. That's that's what I want to get on tape. Is you guys playing life? The good part was that we could do it and you did it We made the record in three days and that's it, but that was frank. Wanted that frank, that's how he put it. I think we were a tax write off. That's what I was wondering The likelihood seem like the whole thing he liked us. He thought we were we'd be fun to be with it
the teos and wild man fischer, and you know on his group a little group of freaks right. We had a whole different than we were serious, but what we were were you a fan of Frank's means all yeah. Oh, you know for the money, one of the funniest albums of all time. really free one of the funniest elms of the right time. Yet not yet we worship frank might with great, but we didn't let him eat. You didn't really influences that right. But lady who thought that we were influenced by frank and I suddenly he was really not any influence on us. Well, that's what like shep sort of like thought that you know it was sort of a set up somehow, If I felt to me that you know that it was the tax write off idea, but you don't really feel that way. I I feel that was a little bit of each directive, but I think the tax for enough thing came from her, be comin act that common brothers than there were were we were really nothing to them. Right and make money there. There was no potential commercial position.
Coming out of. So how did I was cooper? The name come up, be weak and drop that there's no, we d board. There's no mystical element is its. Let's do something less come up with a name that is like a little old lady that lives down the street. The mixed cookies for the kids here but she may have bodies buried in the basin sure. So what name is that the very first name that came out was Alice cooper I was turning betty Crocker was cut, was in my era, alice cooper sounded like that right and it stuck near. We kept coming up the names and everybody kept coming back to Alice cooper so at the time then. So, like you guys, like there wasn't unusual people. Were you know it's sixties, so they're, not there, people are are, are outfitting themselves in in a big fashion. So you, like this spec, go of ripe was starting to evolve. In a way that in involve characters? It was happening right here and you chose to be the bad guy chose to be that the ban that if your parents hated
without justifying that was the point that was at your idea, was Shep involved in that it just naturally ship. I think ship caught onto it near. He would see why people liked Elvis, because parents hated Elvis. Why do people liked rolling stones because the parents hated the rolling stone? So my parents were crazy about the rolling stones when they for some rice, only the beatles were fine reckoner. So we taking that little nugget, all of a sudden Alice cooper, was going to be this super mega villain That was going to really upset everything and ships and learning to as he goes along with you guys, because he's just a he's. A former drug dealer turned manager and not only it, but it wasn't a day of internet right. Everything was built up and if we did a show with a snake, yeah foot to foot snake the next day, it was a fort in the foot snake sure sure it worked and he he said he really seated and I didn't ship ship ship point the chicken
to this day, he will never tell me that he planted the chicken. I thought he said he did, but the chickens was so brilliant. Yet as you don't have to wait, about we're on stage? The very last thing we do is we added a union. Can canada, if the if the toronto peace festival, yeah sixty thousand? and people here on between the doors and John Lennon so we're on the very last piece thing we get up there and we play on pretty. Are you Are you doing? Are you dressed up? Are you able to lie between look like some other barbara, but not I make up here now, but he wasn't enough animals you're, just stuff lots of mayor lots of wheat really look, we were ass, yet I wouldn't want to
but all vinyl with lightning bolts all over it and everything and everybody has to kind of glam right, yeah yeah everyone's focus out. Oh there was no such thing as glam at this point. Not yet we were glam yeah, right yeah and at the very last thing we open up pillows and c o two cartridges and it fills the place like a snowstorm. And then I look down and there's a chicken I didn't, bring the chicken and I'm going, I'm thinking. Okay, I'm kidding the audience a kick up. My wallet. Do my tickets got my chicken, I'm ready Where does this chicken come from you? Don't when you narrow it down down had to be year, so I take the chicken being from detroit year. Fact that I'd never been on a farm in my life right, it's a bird yeah. It has feathers yet has wings, but it should flasher logically
so I take it like lofted into the audience. Figuring it'll fly a little bit, so we will catch it. Take it home, though, bet that what a great souvenir to her yeah well, it plummets into the audience via and the audience tears it to pieces and that's where, a very special police restful and throw the parts back on stage now, there's bloody chicken parts. All these feathers and the next day in the paper Alice cooper, slaughters chicken. He drinks the blood. Never a right, frank calls me up, and he goes did you kill it? and on onstage last night I went no, he said tell me, but they love it. He says great press, they love it and now I'm the geek of all time right now. The kicker to the story is the first five rows earl in wheelchairs yeah. They put all the people in wheelchairs on the third, kill, killed the chicken maimed the chicken in wheelchair. The people They probably have a right to have a chip on their shoulder. The orange you can understand, sir.
in the end to me at all. If it didn't I kept got, I didn't, we need shook, don't you killed the trio? Stick it stick to its attitude. Own it yet so amateur this stuff like say, you're hanging out with John Lennon too, that three me John Lennon Leon loved. What we were doing on an yoko at this point also has an audit of this art that was going. stage, so he was under the influence of the oak. Oh and there is real, are gonna write performance are the doors newest from where we would kids yet the agri and they were yeah more says: you're around yeah yeah yeah. So we had people that saw what we were doing and they loved the fact that it was doing so. indifferent, and how did you feel, like you know, intentionally as a showman doing a different? But what? What was your feelings about the counterculture and the and the hippie movement are like, as you are connected to it right? We we were not hippies right. You know,
We were in the detroit rivalries and belongs in all the right reasons. We are in the rock and roll business for that. Yet you know we were not. We could care about vietnam right. You know, I mean it was not political was just. We were fun and and now it was yard with weariness, and yet we were that's what was missing and rock and roll right. That was fun, but also, I imagine that somehow or another because of the news was happening, the world that the extreme take that you guys we're having resonated, because there was a certain pervasive darkness going on it. We re we were in old, called satanic all this, there is nothing so tat it can specially. For me, I'm coming from the christian background, so there's nothing say tat on their you. It wasn't it wasn't. There is no upside down crosses, there's no back story to acknowledge airily its. It was that's when I realized it was basically vaudeville right as it was basically whatever you could get away with and make if they laughed great right. If they were shocked,
even better Zono right so like as it evolved into yogi teens mannequin, electric chairs, this nay pure vaudeville, right euro, like what? What else can we dan but it? But it was the grating what you had to do it with this re straight face like you really meant it and stick to this day. I still do it that way. Right and when you do that people I think no you their buying what character. Well I mean it seems that you know that a lot of your stuff throughout the years spoke specifically to a kind of adolescent, isolation and anger you know we were outside or scoggins doing the same thing right now sure I s gaga the other night envious and, above all about be yourself, be the outside her right be accepted. Beat you know, don't let them. You you, you know yours you're, perfect. The way you are and I went on- get that
we are. We represented the great disenfranchised right right, all the kids, it didn't like crosby, stills, nash, young. where are guys in right in that and then you sort of set the table for what you know. Metal became and a lot of one punk yeah yeah yeah, that's right, you're, pre, punk even actually. Without knowing it, I think iggy pop was easily the punk master If only the EU is that as nobody like that, it had only could a commodity troika right cosette real, they were the real deal yet they their great man asked employ and nobody said ever said: punk they judges sedative. What then, really show up for another, like sixty nine, that first stooges record so by seventy two, the three of those records are done and then they can disappear in the little seventy six, while they always give the remains that trunk, give it their set that seventy way whatever the romans were were feasting on on it gave the steward
Why mean I realize today that liking I want to be elected, and I wanna be sedated are pretty close, very close, as yo told me that he did yes. He says you know I wanna be sedated, he says you're elected yes, oh that's hilarious, yeah cause. I called him When I heard it, I was laughing under the new yorkers, I wanna be sedated, he goes yeah. I know yeah, that's so nice that he copped to it. He seemed like a sweet guy. He was one of the coolest guys, and you know he says you guys. We listen to his you and the stooges. See five and that's how we became the remote and got through it. I wasn't today too what wait a minute I today this morning, I cross check the dates, and I it'd elected and want to be sedated, and I'm like and that was you that was Lenin's favorite song.
Elected. He used to come to the office in new york, he'd come in and he'd listen to the acetate. I want to be elected and he leave come back the next day when we hear that again, he'd leave shepherd played for him. He finally is leaving the third day and I'm coming in, and he goes great record. Oh yeah and I said I'll a man who said he takes about four steps he was Paul would have done it better and I was like yeah paul, I said. Well, of course he would have you know, and at that point white lenin was on his own, and you know in shape, I guess, with the the harry nelson John lennon, and that whole scene, then in l, a that was the hollywood vampires with that your group was drinking club. Was we lived in l a go to the rainbow every night and it would be Harry would show up bring John if John was in town, Keith, moon, mia, mickey doliones, really top and myself and whoever else
To me, that's an interesting alignment that, like it like, I don't think I put it together until this morning. That mean you did a record but bernie top and yeah and in you know, like Bernie, was my best friend really yeah, and it's just like you know I in my naivete before you know really like looking at the overarching view of your career like I would never Associate you with Elton John it's so many, the songs or even that, like the couple hours ago, where you played with them with bon jovi's, guys, yeah now that you know an hour. Most of the great alice cooper songs are very accessible songs, yeah, a lot of that has to do with a guy named desmond child desmond child. I elicit that eighty thing happened. we will all ready been established. Disco plague was already kind of in vienna in motion and they would be have done, but the balance they would only play ballads from rock band right crash bet, Beth, aerosmith, Alice cooper only would dream on and they would only player ballot.
yeah, so is it like you have was by now his necessity? Yes, It's still needed to be on the radio. The rest of the album was all rock exactly right, so all of a sudden there's bon jovi yeah and there's motley crew right and there's warrant, and all these em coming along great with mtv yeah right exactly what mtv and what are they doing great shows near where they got great image near really these swagger here at you know, and all of them are making great records here and I'm listening to these records and gone wow good and you dirty had one life yeah, and this is so like I'm looking at it and going okay, I get what you're doing and then finally somebody's doing big show's right with production right and rock fun again, yeah, you know yet and guns and roses are, you know, there's some real swagger on stage now. You know which was desperately needed and that's it.
It? Is right now eightys the roxy that whole right, so everybody had glam yet going on. In the end, these bans and I kept him. What is the common denominator with these songs? Air is desmond child. He was the one producing and getting the songs that every one of my heard I'm worried about. What is the apnea? You give love a bad name, crate record yeah. You know right in it all came back to him, so I got in touch with him. I said I wanted the same thing, but I want it. Darker and sexier to be honest cooper unless we did poison gas here alone career. I'm here I was a huge hit right, poison worldwide rise, even bigger in that yet so that was trash. That was the that was the big research so that was kind of me raising my ugly head saying, oh by the way guys you still have to deal with me. And I think the beautiful thing about that period, it seems to me, is that all those guys who grew up on your music was like you need any help, Alice yeah. They were
we are all accessible and they were fun, they're, good, guys, yeah man- and I really I was very respectful of how good they were bon jovi and richie Sambora yep, who mia Richie, could play anything and Brian rocks used to play my buddies banned in candy. That's right, yeah roxy is one of those guys that we gladly as it is he's a good, sound man that I mean that those who I play with so many great guitar players in the bass player the winger. He went on to do his own thing and I don't like that's not my music per se, but they all sort of trained with you, that's it yeah and in in all of them brought their own thing to it. Yet but but going back like you know, when did you so you You you hit the wall in l and then ended up back in Detroit. Well, if this was at the very very beginning, we we when we went around with this was pre all that you know. Sixty eight sixty nine year final we got a gig at the whiskey barrel and I'll look up at the thing and it says Alice, cooper and who's led zeppelin come on, I'm not kidding you
Berlin zepplin at the whisky and nobody ever heard of either one of us here see size up when you were played with an and Jimmy had Jimmy page walks in, and I got there I was in the yardbirds I really don't. You were royalty to us ray and I went we open for you yeah. They said ok, tomorrow night we open for you really, the very next night we go to the cheetah club and we finally get to gigs underwrote Alice for an some guy named pink floyd. I dont know what come on now. Kenya, susie, regional void, would say with said, and we got to be very good friends because we connected up really close. You know it, but that was all these bans were all just trying to make it That's my but those with those of the rock band does it out, like you know it's hard to imagine implying that already star starving, I mean literally star Can I get Alice, govern pink floyd in one house. What your this- and this is what nineteen sixty eight
You know so we're all living in a house. I get up one morning, yeah and I walk in the kitchen and there syd barrett and he's sitting there and he still got his velvet clothes. I probably slept in every here, and there was a box of cornflakes in front of him and he's watching the cornflakes dance so real and going up and he's like a it's gone, yeah, ok, go the other route Michael says, watching the cornflakes box. The way I would watch looney tunes, yeah wow, yeah yeah. He was pretty sure we're in wasn't just a drug. Eight years eves gets old, he had all kinds of things going on that didn't really short badly till later, but one night we played with him, he hit one chord at the beginning of the show, got over the shock and just stood there. Rest of the show really didn't play anything just stood so
He was out there, but like so late, so you you have these huge hits. You know I kill her and scan schools out and billion dollar babies do great right. Those are the big three, Well now the king of the hill right, I'm eighteen kills it them. The dangerous thing about us. Yet was we had hit records now here's this band. That is pretty much hated by not just the that's right, but by other bands, because we were the future right and we were going to make them work now we're going to make them do a show. Yeah, you know yeah and the worst thing that could happen would be us to have a hit record, because now you have the willy wonka ticket, you're right right. Nobody can deny you now and you can sell, take it in. I sell tickets aid and your generating money. So all the guys up on top of the suits and the record companies are going all their wicked. That's all they care about the you'll make mind: do you make other people money? That's it right in here we were generating money. and now we we don't just have one yet now we have schools out that giants
kill huge yeah. It's He'll banking obedient checked for that matter. Out. It's the national anthem right and then after that is well lucky. Lucky then billion dollar babies comes out goes number one. Now we are their visa, and people have to swallow were dick out. Yet, and of course, now we have money to do production right so now productions are getting more insane than ever our babies when you listen to it in in in and sort of lived through, many different lives in in heavy metal and rock is not it's not it's a hard rock record We were never metal right, it was just sort of like I mean the song hello, raise like this. It's it's a beautiful, One big song, they're, completely accessible sur and bob Ezrin was the one that said your image is going to be so strong you're going to do hard rock right we're going to make it very palatable, right, you know, yeah. I read an article that was the plan. Yeah oh yeah make hit records. We wanted to make hit records
right. I read an article that mccartney did and he was. It was conversations with mccartney here and he says he was had the radio on and he heard no more, MR nice guy yeah, and he says it scared me really. He said realized that rock could be done dangerous. Really he yeah. He says it literally scared me, that's the reason that song was a threat. That's funny, and I said well, it would you know school's out was the most verse of song ever and blow the school up. There think it's weird, because it's hard for me to imagine. I guess, because you know we've had so many years of white just like you have no boundaries with music that that at that time was the oh yeah, because you know that record was up against sinatra. It was up against the supremes Simon and the phone call and Emily three, all the really commercial records were out and all of a sudden here's this record. It's a total. You know, anthem, that saying the joy of
blowing the school major hit and that's interesting. Macartney took eight like he was into it as a song. Writer yeah me ass, his great song right, oh, but it was threatening The album was only women bleed on it. That was on nightmare. I needed I needed a ballad, I needed something that was going to offset all the insanity, central america so that seventy five, so I'm twelve, and in that you know that song was everywhere and it was it's a it's a heavy hearted beautiful. I don't like. I was a dude this morning and get a little choked up yeah, it's one of fifteen different women recorded it and had hits with it. I mean tina turner, Etta James people like that a song had no unemployment, while the air will you know, but at the time they were thinking. Of course I was talking about the woman's. You know monthly here bleed and, as you know it I needed this for nightmare meaningless into listen to the fucking song right me. So I needed the wanted a ballet, the that was it
record the nightmare. It was oh yeah, it was your concert. Little Steven couldn't wake up out of his nightmare, where I could hear his mother calling, but he couldn't wake up right. That was the nightmare of not and that's why you buy him out of it. But that's where you start when you're writing a song, the you you you, you pick a story. The concept was that men walk into my name or above as soon as above we got here's the idea I said now. We have to write all the songs that connect into this nightmare and we have to then produce it on stage as a nightmare in what were the props for that tour. That was a bed that came out the very beginning. We had dancers, but we didn't have rock dancers. Yeah we had brought wait! Answers ray, I said I want to. I don't want rock dancers. I want a ballet. I want this this this this, so that when people see this, it's going to be something they've never seen before. It's a broadway show excess
on our terms right in your thinking, broadway online, so the bed comes out now ass, his on the bed, singing welcome to my night merit. I hope you like it and all of a sudden stance has come out from under the bed cassettes where the monsters we wondered at chair and there may be a really good report. Just like what's going, is, and is it post gettin posts allworthy it yeah? We didn't, I think in that show ya. We did the getting, but we had a you know. Fourteen foot cyclops, it came We have that you killed a day, actually pretty much killed me. I finally pulled his head on over. I have them with it. The iron maiden knows your thanks. Correa absolutely
using in any way before they were, but there was no bought. Seated was no limits near now. He had a budget of it. Whatever we wanted, I said I want david winners from west side story to choreograph it I want it. We got him real disney to build the characters. We got, everything worked yeah and shipping. I looked each. I said I put every penny. I haven't this production so So did I better work yet, but we had bob s room and that was the billing darbyshire. Then more than my I'm here I learned in them killed. It was just we did so we couldn't do enough sold out months in advance, it's great in how did like? How did you choreograph this stuff? Did you have to hire somebody specifically? So he didn't kill yourself, so that was that was basically David winters here and then we, brought in certain people for special effects like we bring in a meeting randy
The magician are, we heading became uneasy. I said how do we do this gear teens? Who looks exactly right near? I want the head and I want blood displeasure into the audience here if you're wearing white in the front, I said you're going to get covered it perfect. He figured it out. I said how do I get out of this? How do I show up here after they see me here? You know and we did all that stuff only used to yeah. I just remembered: wasn't there some say MR used to hang yourself terry did, the hanging that didn't work. One night, in the real. You almost killed yourself. Well, it you know it. It's a wire yeah that connects to the back. You're. Writing! That's it, and I said how do you do this? The stuntmen she came in showed me how to do it very safe thing. It stops you on before gag right. How you do that floor dropped and I was gone. Stop right. There, god just one night, the wire bricks, oh, and so, if when as soon as I feel this- and I can feel that's more attention than I snapped my head back- and it goes up over my chin- oh god, if I were Jay leno
dead. We act with the chin at so, but I would luckily- and I went down and not myself out and had a burn right here, but the broken in in enough time to wear din. Didn't snap your neck, my neck, be as I felt the pressure and let in drug another, do it must have dropped and then put an emerald catch me dry. Catch me under here we haven't very quick catchment holy shit, but you You can't believe how fast your brain works to save your life near bump and and wire that was only this big piano wire. Now. Is this big If we do it, you know we always have an you shit faced on top of it and on top of, but never on stage. Now that was it crazy thing when I went in for my alcoholism right to the to the the time to the yacht, to the that was an up in cornell university and the guy says seventy seven. So he says how much dos AL, which I blame everything on our shorthand. He says how much does Ellis drink on state yeah and I went
well when I'm playing else, I never drink right and he says well when you're doing a movie or like that. How much do you drink and I said well, I never drink when it misses, so the monsters, not the problem, the doctors, the problem, He says you know twenty, the twenty two hours you're on stage you're the other when you two hours yet as the problem here monster. Allow it! Yes, I never thought of it. I always thought it was Alice that caused the drinking nothing to do with Alice, also your name and how it is the only time that I wasn't drinking when I was working cosette here, you're out of you yeah, when I'm on stage. I was clear you know and when you first have that like be before we get into the recovery like how did you have these relationships with? Like you talk about Elvis you, at I mean. Obviously you know Nielsen who, like who I got into real heavy a couple years ago. Heretics great, laugh, I great voice and what a writer yeah the what he was. You know he would the beatles called him the best
later in america We can hear a lot of in Lennon solo work. He can hear and mccartney some of the oh really the honky I mean some of these it'll show tune kenneth and even the production a little bit yeah. But how did you I have relationships with Elvis and frank Sinatra. I know Shep told me, you and groucho were buddies. Groucho and I were a well groucho, came to the show out of curiosity, How what year we talk and probably will wish you winded youths eighty six years old, it was it was when we were doing well was always was always vaudeville theatre what arrow, but he comes the show, and they said what did you think of Alice cooper and he says alice is the last hope for vaudeville as that's how it got started, and I said that grass compliment now growth. You and I are obliged- lies shipped. It ends up managing an air because, from what I understand, it was possible mismanagement going rather than they did, that live record right, yea and ship could near it shut and ship never got picked. You, sir,
I don't want to get paid. He told them right after I said I don't want to get paid for anything. I just want to balance your books, yeah and I want to make sure you're, okay yeah, make sure you're okay. So we got to be really good friends here, he'd call me up to in the morning Alice. Can sleep come on over okay yeah? So I can. Over he'd, be in bed, be nervous but ray on the cigar. You know and there'd be a chair next to his bed, a six pack of budweiser and he'd say we sit and watch movies are always sweet and this guy would write up on the horse. Yeah like this, you know- and you know, hennessy, that guy I go yosef gay and it was now we get at never know. If he was these down here the right he's, a sea that nursery area, the catholic nerve as well, harpo and Chico, are no. I could believe
this, but I know what I know, what the sources right now yeah, but he's probably telling the truth, though right ended. Up being so, I got along with groucho better than I got along with most rock guys. funny cause like I think one of the ash and brothers had a relationship with Larry from the stooges used to go out and visit him Oh from from their namesake my eyes, I saw him at a park bench on hollywood boulevard and we walked by Larry e bay, what don t. Let it be so great cuz. We would love those guys. We were ro, we have always you're young see an area. Those guys were our guys here. You know it's weasel when we got to meet those guys that to me was, I think I was the only rockstar that was a friar, oh really, his gradual he Brian and in all the guys you know everybody. A jet took seed, ozone and I'd. Have all black leather has totally accepted
I guess not work at the communist or your friends, one meal dear right, yeah, oh gary's, warmer best bodies, I mean I was there. I was a dorman there back in the eighties doing blow and eight years I clean never came back. I still work there, it's as great man and gary's. One of you know how much fun is that guy Yet he was writing eight. Imagine you walk into a room. I've not talk to him. I should talk to your email. Dear. You walk in you sit down here between jack penny george burns at the friar steve alloy, yet every, but in your doubtless cooper and your alice cooper and they treat you it's like you're, one of the guys show business by the coolest thing in the well. That's the one thing I realized about you is: you have show business do like these guys, yet I never tried to make a joke because they were always. But you see yourself the great thing was they all sat there when I would walk in every day would be quiet, jonathan winters. We want an hundred locked in their dongle ass. He was
I talked to him before he died. I went to his house. Very good. Actor too is great. He was a. He was just a really sweet did butyl. I bought a couple of his paintings. Are you dedicated sir plastic, pa yeah yeah, he was a painter. Yeah was real for real honor I drove up in. I got the opportunity to talk to him just a couple of years before he passed and it was wild amazing at his house, and then we went out to lunch. remember you the time that him and robin Williams he did sort of the the emperor I have off when Robin williams has put a white flag up yeah I gotta stay with them. Fear yeah, yeah they're, very similar. I talked to both of them before they died naked and it was very interesting that the similarities in the darkness, in their brain, but at iso in frank, sinatra, Sinatra I got along with him. I never saw the dark side.
What helium how'd you end up, having a relation of rinks and baseball game in in vegas and the celebrity baseball game, and our team was Kenny. Rogers yeah, the carpenters yeah steve Martin albert brooks myself like this okay. So when we're playing the police department or whatever in the afternoon and there's this kid trying to get in the game's about twelve yeah, he wants to get in like this. They. Finally, governor lineman would put him on the bench yeah and he said Sergey. My hat and I says, gray, I'm walking through the casino that night this guy. Take it so what he says the boss wants to see the boss somewhere who's, the boss, yeah go over there and sen yeah, and he said there he says: coop irs will never call me coop or her, and he says coop is. I owe you one. I want Mister Sinatra is frank: air, okay, frank butter. I have no idea who that kid was Julie's brother, a son, a
His son joey was his best friend haha, oh yeah. He did a solid for a man who submit you did a solid for me. Oh really, and I went wow yeah. That's know I said well, you know I have just a kid once the baseball games a year but say: oh, you want sylvia. We we met a couple of times. But anyways, two years later he never took them up on the journey to la Bernie. Copper. Not here both get invitations to the hollywood bowl. For sinatra: yeah for Senate as oh, how cool of sinatra remembered that and got us tickets? How was it seeing him yeah? It was great, so we sat there. You know is great a yeah boss.
it's see to use use, so we cut out his frank skip. The tie, undone instead of martini and a cigarette here in the summer do one of your songs tonight get out. He did you and me really yeah and eva what and he says, yeah good song. You keep writing em kid I'll. Keep singing then. Is it burning yea, some dawn, elton songs related your song idea and that's how he paid me back that fuck and I just what I said you can't that's more than whatever you think of as beautiful, and he says I I just do songs that are good songs. He says happen to be yours. Yeah, that's got to know him better afterwards. You know in the friar's club hearing and I always got along with him yeah was another guy that you never saw the dark side of him yeah. He was always just he was clouseau sometimes, and he was this guy and yeah. He was in it, but I never saw the dark side of the show,
well, they didn't see the dark side of you know they really mean it means like in retrospect or something you completely understand know they got it. They got defected. I played the character right, they were all actors, they got it right You didn't quite get it there. Sometimes I will look at all my daddy. It's amazing that you hear your sort of it like when I saw you conan just to make what is investing a year ago, and I, when I was watching you you know with the king, in my skies The showman mystery man alright, so let's go: let's go: let's go into the middle and liking it because we're obviously we we could talk all day but like in a when you do hit the wall with alcohol because you're just drinking beer. Did you not really know that you were beer and whiskey at ten o'clock right? I was scared, in clock he had a pretty soon as get eight in the morning? Okay, and I can and everything I know I was I was dean. Martin met. Do you,
from it. You come from alcohol, no! No! No! I I I! I had no idea that alcohol was running me. I just figured hey Well, yeah, yeah I'd, never drunk yeah. I was always on this golden buzz mia, which is dangerous. Sure cause you don't realize It's going on in your body right and you're, not realizing. It takes a lot to feed that buzz, keeps getting more and more in the pancreas, as I get up in the morning, throw a blood right, and that was the the alarm for the first time. Yeah my wife says: let's go rhea and ships is let's go and when I did a check man hard the hardest thing in the world for them, they both cried their eyes out, be going back to new york, but boy did I need to be in there and he didn't withdraw. No, I didn't it was funny the first three days,
I don't like my nerves. Endings were on the outside of my body right. If somebody did right right, but I never went through the kind of dts yeah this yeah, you know you're right but four days in starfield really good rarely and I started feeling really really good and I went wow. This is kind of really strong right, so I was in for a month over month, six weeks and I came out dead straight straight for a year. I had one Sip of white wine, and I hate white wine and ones as ever it under that night, I had three bottles hidden in the house rate that quick that quick. I had no idea. I was that much we doing the thing now, the secret meaning no no, never never went to a totally fine ended up. almost ruining my marriage ruining my career second time. Yet
You did a record in between there right now. I did three records that, but when did you like from the inside comment was at right after we had our yeah? That was that was about the hospital we're when I was finally yoda one of the first time when I first came out, I said Bernie Bernie, my best friend we're both lyricists here and I go. I got table these characters in their area and we start telling them above jackknife John and millions billy and nurse rosetta and all these people that we just start writing. I made a unit up and it will just failure of a pseudo might have been the best musical record. We ever did ya you like their record the different producer to re up now, young what you know, then you realize the I when I fell. I was so surprised when I fell back and I was couldn't believe I was that much it was that much of a trigger
for me and they were and clearly it was got. It was worse than before, because now you'd, you don't just gradually get drunk at your right back where you were right and so somehow got into phoenix. I finally had enough my parents, my wife's parents, are high wife finally said in a whole intervention. You're going- and I spoke here while I let it not now no shit, so I went to a camel back hospital when a key well, this is one of the great you know. Sky opens or things and one of the one of the reasons I became christian again is. I came out and I went right to a bar and I had a coca cola and waited for that craving.
waited for it because I'm going to be around alcohol all my life, so I'm going to, he won't do deal editor. Sat there, nothing huh, okay, tomorrow's can be hell, yeah wake up in the morning, nothing no of thirty. Five years later. Never once a craving- and the doctor says that's insane that you are the classic alcoholic. How many meetings do I shouldn't have been and they said well, your willpower, I should have no willpower, have zero willpower. If you know I said god took it away from me. I said I truly believe it was a miracle as much as parting. The red sea was gutsy, enough and I would have had a never never had another never fell back ever had another drink. It never occurred to me to have a drink. Your hosting the grammy's, I'm gonna, dutch
Never kurds me have a drink and kind of that. Action was lifted as they sat was gaunt near was totally gone and even the doktor said we have to write that down as a miracle, because you should be hiding things all over the house. You should be watch did hold. I swear, I regret and securing your past anything like that, and I said it's gone. I said it's it's as if it never existed, you could put a drink in front of you know what I wouldn't even think a trigger. That is that one is that weird, not yeah? I mean it's biblical, you know so and that's the one realizing that that was from a higher source. It was not from a doctor. I wasn't a cured alcoholic. I was a healed alcoholic and that told me something I said well be something more
portant than rock and roll to me, so that was that was a white light moment, but it didn't mean I had to quit rock and roll right, but it was just a moment that you realize that some power greater than you had a better plan for me. Yet now and and you were wired with Jesus. So why not let a p g absolutely and- and it got to the point where, when I did become christian, I really got into it and realized that there was no such thing as Jesus saying. Oh by the way, you can't be a rockstar, he said be a rockstar. Now just be good represent me and I want you to go any d d d find adieus when you look at your records. Are their Jesus records not, but there references there are a lot of references in there to anti satanic things. Yeah there's a lot of little references in there to to. If you think hell is going to be getting high with Jim morrison yeah you're right where he wants. You
If there was a great line in usual suspects, the devil's greatest trick was getting you to believe he doesn't exist at a desk. When I heard that I went oh, that's a song as a great song right there, but again it never. It never dissuaded the fact that Alice cooper was this character that I and, and he was a fun character, sure yeah. There was never a time that, but it just so my lifestyle changed and also like that character. You know, despite, however, it's interpreted it interpreted, does what is steam little pressure out of the dark side lab again if I did, that kind of like the weird evil clown. I had no problem, injecting a little clue cell and this character I and every once in a while. I want Alice to slip on a banana peel when he's really trying to be arrogant, I'll share. I love that bright, yellow and let the
the un's in on it the ilo it yet right. So there is it like a tongue in cheek. I find well it shock. You can't shocking audiences, rash audiences are shot, proof, sure cnn more show than maryland, manson material aid and arabs omby put your other in the seventies. It was easy to shock an audience. Now I get my head cut off every night, you what turn on cnn there really getting their head cut her zeal? How shocking could what what we do
and what did you change your life in terms of a you know, a doing charitable thing. It just came natural. You know when that was now part of my life and and now I was following him, I went it. Just came natural. You know, here's a bunch of kids at trouble wow with what can we do to help 'em out sure you know, I'm such a perfect situation here. Here's I watched a drug deal go down and it was two sixteen year old, kids, one kid like this mere the money- and I said how does that kid not know he might be a great guitar player, whereas never been he's, never had a guitar in his hand the etiquette might be the best drummer in town, and I got the idea opening a place where any teenager could come in and learn. Guitar bass, drums for free all for free all week
to do was raise the money and- and so that's for the last twenty years. I do that yeah, you know and we get one hundred kids a day in there, oh yeah and if some number cutters some of them are gang related at but here's it is a sixteen year old kid now displaying guitar. Instead of selling meth, it works huh. So his whole life changes you know that's we end and in it, but it really is a cool thing to do it and it's fun match in these kids develop into good players. Sure you know em when kramer. as a thing to another ex junkie in Detroit yeah. I know why he does the guitars for jails. You find you find it the guys that have gone through it and have been on that side and and and survived. It always try to find a way to help kids out yeah, and
by the rock guys to write. If they you know, I have people always come to me and they say you gotta call my brother because he's an alcoholic- and it's like, I can't do that. If he calls me right he's halfway home. That means he's admitting. I got a problem right fit some pretty big stars call up at three in the morning and say: hey: where do I go yeah? No and I go ok, you're half way home and if I had to call you it's just another finger. Wagging in your face were a glory bite enough go area but attraction rather mohamed, you're, you're, saying I'm at the bottom of the wrong. I need help. Can now I can direct you somewhere, sir. You know and it's faith public knowledge that you helped new stain out dave, Mustaine, right, dave, Mustaine, and we played in budapest together.
Hello, my right near he looks great, but he had a real problem here. You know here, and I just finally just back of the neck growth of the ethics committee, but you know that some, the guys that that had the worst problems are the guys that usually end up in the most terrible because they durst thankful them they're, not their anymore, and now they go well. How can I help some other kids not to get to that place right? So your last fucked up record was the data record data. Is there was that the the blank the blackout period rugg s, which my fans always secular, but my best record, really yeah? They love those rhetoric which, like alzheimer caches skin, of special forces yeah.
Dada dada dada was a little more control flush, the fashion area. You know that guy hit on a lot of hits on here, but I cannot remember, writing you really can't stuff. No, I don't remember, recording it. Data trip it was, but that was bob Ezrin the mob was, I was fairly yeah and we pretty much knew what we were doing on that record, but zipper catches skin. near guy, now illicit you wanna go song is great. Some party who are still working part of me was Alex were still working. Yeah yeah, listen to the lyrics that I go. There was a song called zeros ascent, yeah yeah. It says I done the cape. Now I'm done diego You know, and I went on a less really good at Sea- can appreciate what you did in other times. My subconscious was writing pretty good luria. So abet begin like I guess
so he took three years off and then he can't and then trash turned everything around again and a whole new generation of of metal guy hard rock eyes and a lot of guys that you influence came to your sort of side and you know- and he made this great record yeah- and I think I was at this point. I was trying to prove the fact that I was still in the game and I was still something to be. When he could still seeing install rights on me. Now I use it, and now it was working with people that were really good and I was on a roll up. Rolling earlier work with a new kind of guitar point yeah like dig at the edge. what style of guitar playing changed yeah in those three years. Almost let you are on these guitar players were good guitar players, man yeah, I mean they weren't. Just you know: schlock players good young, and I was surrounding myself with all the best people. I was always around the variety of when I picked a guitar pillar because he was the best guy at that sure kane roberts yet and keep winger kit winners
best pace play around yeah, yeah yeah you got and they all wanted to play with you. That was it and he kept working. You keep yeah. Well, that's the thing you keep working and then, like. I listen to welcome to my nightmare, the second one and that's another one of these like it Joseph, his record ever made it's a good record man, but it's comedy it's all yeah that country. Do you got vince gill on there out there solo he lays out on that song. It's like holy when I brought that into my band yeah. They listen to it and they all pointed to each other. You you play at night, they couldn't write. he's an amazing guitar player. I just handed him a telecaster, and I say here: yeah pretend like you're in a rock band, no prob. That guy is We had like Patterson hood on there too right from the drive by truckers everyone's on that record, but I always look at it as like they're they're, they're honored, to work with you, it's nice to be in that position, and the same
this one you've got you've got some good guest stars on panel Larry Mullen Jr. Normal is one of those things where bob said the drummer for you, too yeah. I started out saying: let's not do a concept. Alright, let's just not do one, let's do thirteen great record yet great rock songs, yet that you can't deny yeah. Ok, we wrote the whole thing and Bob says how about this changed the whole bottom of the sound. I see what you mean, Larry Mullen Jr on drums. I went wow. Would he do it? He was big fan too we're all big fans of yours. You know what, if he'd do it? That would be amazing, yeah, yeah, oh yeah, and then You know we did one song I on in love and I can't get up yeah and it was a texas roadhouse, boogie song and I went we will leave. Billy gibbons out, to a minimum, and he goes. I got the flu right now, but this song makes me feel better, be
you can feel even hear his rick is it always was. There was no two ways about who had a play on Europe and he sent it back. Did too takes in killed. It killed any work with guys. Work would Lucretia work at some swedish guy lagging agnor and hunter now, with words, probably to best guitar players beyond, when we are in, and I have both him and my band. Yes as aid, this love playing with you, I wouldn't it for the record, I'm I'm happy you're still working, you seem fucking healthy as hell can't be. I am I'll be seventy next year and I'm the only one not breathing hard on stage, while it's just in the show's physically as hard as nightmare. You do anything to cate stay in shape, know right now, one thing before you go. Can you tell me what's so great about golf in a few sentences? Okay, is an addiction. I get it and I'm feeding an addiction, and I understand it, but it's also.
adaptation. Some have led the guys who of it they their relationship that almost then, with the day it is lou red. Ok, I lived with Lou read in at the chill see hotel in the worst of times you do Yes with those the dimes in new york, where you walked by the the Andy warhol tinies yeah, you see those guys with just a key in the door cause they couldn't get it open. So you opened the door and push him in the act of those time and Lou reed. Then last time I saw Lou reed. He says: hey alice, you know, yeah, hey man. Are you doing good good? He says I'm pushing the ball to the right he's. What You know, I didn't get a triple take it. I want you play golf and he goes. I offer redirected. I love maso dictum to it really dylan place golf really. Neil Neil young place golfer her stephen stills ikey pop roger waters, golfer
So what is the organ common aggregated right if they were all guys that survived the drugs him, those rigs, andrea, Andy and and all of them got addicted to gulf? I read a thing one time that didn't surprise me, Fred astaire was talking about W. She feels wareham me in the prime of their career is what does this golfing endeavours? You could come on up fred astaire. one bull and was addicted and he says it almost ruined my career science? Always very, he hit it down the middle and it felt so good to watch that ball just disappear down the middle at little clique and he says he started missing rehearsals how he can get off with you know, and he and pretty soon as I had to stop playing, because I was literally my career was suffering from it why it gets so addictive. If you hit six good,
I saw the shots. It's like taking six good hits on a chase at all right or am sold at the hugging to try and try driver so one day to say sorry for your loss with the glen gal. I was you know he could hang the rat pack or the sex pistols lay. You guys were tight that weird yeah. We had a lot of variables. You know we are both alcoholics that weren't alcoholics anymore. We are both christians, yet we hear his guitar playing. Was this great? He was another vince gill guy at great beyond anybody and jerry is another one there's another great but oh Glenn was. I watch a document region if our money is hell yeah funny as hell and our families grew up together. Our kids grew up together. It was a mistake. the time, though huh yeah, it was merciful, he got to a point where he couldn't remember anything. You know- and it was just it that that diseases so vicious alzheimer's tears. You just go away and you can't pretty soon. You just disappear.
Yeah, it's terrible what god goddamn it was. I mean we ought not to use a vote. It was great talking to you or as father marinate here, the other father mirror and good good. I was real, it was real fun and I'm glad you're doing well. We gotta come the show tonight. Where is it where at the greek theatre really yeah? It's us in deep purple and edgar edgar winner, your winner items, but what times Esther? They were on an eight. I maybe I am to do comedy. Maybe I'll, do you it myself and I got family in phoenix, so yeah, I'm out there, while my ex by ex wife was from there, but my brother lives there, oh great, and so I used to hike up camelback I used to when I live up right off of camelback the nose at camelback mountain. Maybe maybe Why just annoying? If I went on a got out alone, no one gets you. Aren't you ugly addicted? Don't worry, I buy back What what
reid was golfer what what a great country station. I I really enjoyed it and I You did as well I'll talk to you when I get home Okay, I hope you're hanging in the end I gotta have a guitar thought: nepal if just quick in France trumpet burma
Transcript generated on 2022-08-01.