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‘The audience is now shock resistant’


Alice Cooper, former Vincent Furnier, former high school track and field star, former Detroit and Chicago resident, did not die this week at age 75. For half a century, he was not hanged, beheaded, impaled, or electrocuted, despite horribly hilarious onstage executions. . He has just released his 22nd solo album “Road” and is playing at Tinley Park on September 1st. When we spoke the other day, he said that although he is 75 years old, he is not thinking of retiring and can perform these days. I have more energy than I had in the 70s. Alcoholism held me back then, but now I’m in the best shape of my life. My children are all grown up and have children. There is no stress in my life. I am married to my wife of 47 years, and both my spiritual life and my financial life are all right. I have no problems.”

Not now.

But it just seems gruesome to point out that even Alice Cooper, who cemented his place in pop music notoriety with songs like “Dead Babies” and “I Love the Dead,” will die.

Sure, it can still shock.

Less than 48 hours after our conversation, it started trending on Twitter because he told an interviewer at the online music blog Stereogum that he was concerned that trans identities were becoming “fashionable” despite being a former rock voice that promoted broad sexual expression. and children were encouraged to transition without realizing who they were sexually. Like many insults on Twitter, the shock has come and gone, but if it matters, it’s because Alice Cooper, the provocative pioneer of gender fluidity in mainstream culture, now seems really confused about the issue.

In fact, when I asked him if this man, once synonymous with shock, would be noticed today, he immediately replied: “No, the audience is now shock resistant.” If Alice Cooper is shocked by anything, she says, “We Negative I was shocked by these mass shootings that happen every day. This is not healthy.”

Shock, in its many forms and moods – provocative, playful, creative, violent – has been such a recurring theme in Alice Cooper’s career that you might be shocked to learn that:

1. Alice Cooper bought one of the O’s On the “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles: “It was (the sign’s) 75th anniversary and it was falling down, so I started a campaign: Each letter cost $27,000 (to replace). I bought the ‘O’ for my good friend Groucho.” As with Marx.

2. Alice Cooper lived in Chicago for three years. “We lived at Lake Point Tower from ’83 to ’85. At ’83 I decided to get sober and (my wife Sheryl Goddard) decided to move away from Los Angeles and rock ‘n’ roll vampires to live in a place we’ve never been and start over. I needed this. I was trying to decide if I wanted to continue doing Alice Cooper (his stage personality). My wife’s family was in Oak Park. Living in Detroit, I wasn’t shocked, but I didn’t expect the winter to last for eight months. Half the Cubs lived there. And I remember getting into the elevator with an assistant at that time, a boy named Tom Cruise. A movie called ‘Risky Business’. I remember telling him that I hoped he would be okay.”

3. Alice Cooper has been a born-again Christian for decades. His grandfather was a publisher, and his father was a pastor. He wasn’t close to the church during his fiery notoriety in the ’70s, but eventually came back: “I’m not going to do some Christian-level songs now. I’m also looking at songs like ‘I’m Eighteen’ and ‘School’s Out’ and they’re generic, you know? Nothing demonic. Even in the old days there was nothing evil. I probably have 20 songs about avoiding the devil. My Christian past has always been out there somewhere. It became very sensational. So they were burning my records on ‘The 700 Club’ and I can guarantee they didn’t hear any of it.”

4. Alice Cooper wrote to Ann Landers. “He wrote a column about my song ‘Cold Ethyl’. If you have a sense of humor nothing was more offensive (on his record). I was singing about a man who kept his dead girlfriend in the fridge.” (Sample lyric: “Ethyl is as cold as an Eskimo Pie / So good in bed / And it should be too / Ethyl is dead.”) “Ann was crazy with necrophilia. So I wrote: ‘Ann, if this song causes a huge wave of death-loving, I will publicly apologize.’ Unfortunately, there was no rush and what could become the largest public service announcement ever was dehumanized.

5. Alice Cooper lived in the early 1970s For several years, she had stayed in a rundown mansion near the Connecticut beach, next door to Bette Davis (who inspired her heavy black eyeliner). Cooper said he and his group were treated like Munsters among the bluebloods of New England. After Alice and her friends. He left the mansion, it burned down.

6. Seven years before Michael Jackson If Vincent Price had a monologue on “Thriller”, Alice Cooper recorded a Vincent Price monologue for “Welcome to My Nightmare.”

7. Alice Cooper’s appearance in innocent 70s television shows Shows like “The Muppet Show”, “The Tonight Show” and “Hollywood Squares” were part of a deliberate glamor campaign. “I turned into a fish out of water on every level,” he said. “My manager and I sat there and realized we had cornered ourselves and had to start doing things that would open me up. I could make Johnny Carson laugh and people didn’t expect me to tell good stories or make people laugh. One of my questions was: ‘If you’re a soldier and you’re in the shower and an officer walks in, would you say hi?’ ‘With your hands?’ “I asked. Paul stopped laughing, and that’s all I ever wanted to do was make Paul Lynde laugh. I was so good at things like this that I became like Vincent Price. It’s scary but digestible.”

8. Alice Cooper never killed a chicken on stage. But he threw one into the audience. “The audience killed that chicken! They were then thrown back onto the stage. So of course I had to take a picture with Colonel Sanders. If that happens, we look at it and ask how we’re going to get promoted; How do we profit from this?”

9. Alice Cooper’s best-known fans they were not who you thought they were. Johnny Lydon sang an Alice Cooper song at the Sex Pistols audition. Bob Dylan has often described him as an underrated songwriter, and Frank Zappa signed him to his first record deal. Most famously, before David Bowie became a star, he had sought Cooper as inspiration for his stage theater. “We were very Dadaesque, and (Bowie) when he saw us, he went to his group and said that’s what they were supposed to do.”

10. Alice Cooper’s own inspirations they were not who you thought they were. “We were students of the Yardbirds. And Kim. But there’s also ‘West Side Story’ and James Bond. We wanted to mix them all into the stage show. I also remembered that dead baby jokes were very important at school. I mean, they were pretty bad. You had to whisper to them. But I guess we just turned into a giant dead baby prank. The difference is that we’ve written a few great songs.”

Freaks on Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper’s Parade 2023 Tour at 6pm on September 1 at Credit Union 1 Amphitheater, 19100 S. Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park; tickets are between $25-356 www.ticketmaster.com



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