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Originally Published: October 1973
No, he's not "Eddie Haskell" of Leave It To Beaver! Sure, he freaks out on stage, but he's definitely not the "Freak" that you see on stage or in photos! In face - now that the truth is known - he's not even Alice Cooper!! Read on and find out what your far-out new fav is really like!
Alice Cooper - formerly known as Vince Furnier - is a regular guy offstage! Is it hard to believe that this master of violence and freakiness would have a reputation for being a gentle person? And yet he is - one of the most pleasant, witty, easy-going, soft-spoken people you'll ever meet.
He greets friends with a big smile and shows that he is really glad to see them. When introduced to people, he quickly puts them at their ease with his natural and charming manner. And when strangers approach him, he is truly open, and shows that he is sincerely interested in them. When questioned, he answers patiently and politely, no matter how many times he's been asked the same thing.
"You've always gotta treat people nice. And show them respect," says the young man whom most adults in the world associate with indecency. And he means it, because Alice Cooper, to anyone who knows him, is a regular guy - the kind of boy, really, that most parents say they want their daughters to meet!
"What people forget," Alice claims, "is that Alice Cooper on stage is an act, and not the real person. I doubt if I'd have the energy to carry my stage act on into real life! All I really want to do is go out on stage and give people something they'll remember for a long time."
But sometimes, Alice admits that his on-stage personality is perhaps more than just an act. Maybe, Alice suggests, there is a double side to his personality, like the good Dr. Jekyll who drinks a potion and becomes transformed into the evil Mr. Hyde. And when the potion wears off, he's good old Dr. Jekyll again. Only for Alice, the "potion" is stepping out on stage in front of an audience!
When Alice is discussing his on-stage personality, he actually distinguishes between "I" and "Alice!" When he says, "I did this" or "I want to do that," he is talking about the person who's sitting right there with you. But when he says "Alice does this," or "Alice is that," he is referring to the person in the show, and speaks of him as if he were an entirely different being! Someone he knows very well, but someone else, nevertheless. (To avoid confusion here, let's call the regular guy Alice, and the guy on stage 'Alice.')
"It takes me about one second to become 'Alice,'" Alice says. "From the minute I get on stage and see 20,000 people out there, I know what 'Alice' is, and there's an immediate change. Sometimes on the stage 'Alice' doesn't even recognize people I know. That's how different I become - instant Frankenstein! And 'Alice' could even be two or three different people. He changes every day."
Alice can tell you a great deal about 'Alice,' but there are some things he confesses even he doesn't know. "I don't know if 'Alice' is a he or a she," he says, "Probably both. And I really can't remember where or when 'Alice' emerged. I only wish I could!
It could get very complicated, if you think about it too much. Both Alice and 'Alice' love snakes, but only 'Alice' chops up baby-dolls, and only Alice would sit around with friends watching and playing along with The Price Is Right. Alice identifies with Groucho Marx, while 'Alice,' as everybody knows, is definitely cut more along the lines of Count Dracula. What's it all about? Who is Alice?! Is Alice you?! Is 'Alice' you?!!
Keep guessing. Your answer is as good as ours, and even as good as Alice's! Because Alice is magic, and therefore he's whatever you want him - or her, or it - to be. Isn't that enough to know?