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Akron Beacon Journal
(October 21, 1973)
Originally Published: October 21, 1973
Author: Steven Gaines
Last year, Alice Cooper grossed $11 million. As rock and roll's favorite vaudevillian, he undertook the most ambitious concert tour ever conceived - 60 cities in 56 days - and played to sold out auditoriums filled with 800,000 worshipping fans.
In his short but powerful career he turned the heads of the music industry by transforming ghoulishness and greed into four gold albums. Whatever it is that Alice is saying, millions of teenagers are listening very carefully, and when his new album is released next month, the youth of America will get an education course in pop sex.
ALICE HAS no real home. He hops between rented resting places in New York and L.A., and when he's not glued to a television set, he spends his time in hip bars that have become almost as famous as Alice himself.
It was during his constant coast-hopping that the 25-year-old Cooper began to compare urban sex habits in each city. While he found the mating dance at the Rainbow Bar in Los Angeles to be coy and sensual, New York's Max's Kansas City had a red-hot gutsy beat.
Relaxed, friendly and concerned, Alice doesn't give the impression he's trying to lead his fans down the garden path. Beneath his strange shag haircut, there's an intelligent head on his shoulders.
The sex gospel according to Alice is potpourri of subjects from prostitution to first awakenings. "Never Sold Before" is a rocking melodic monologue of back talk form a street walker to the man she supports. "That happens all the time," Alice said between sips of beer. "These girls want to stay with their man enough to sell themselves. I guess 'Never Sold Before' is aobut male chauvinism, too."
On the Women's Lib side, Alice presents "Woman Machine" a metallic-tinged tune about a female robot good for multiple purposes.
Part of Alice Cooper's astounding appeal is the mysterious contradiction of his professional image and his private life.
ON STAGE, he lewdly stalks about in 5-inch heels while decapitating dolls with a sword. For his evil deeds, he's either hung at a life-sized gallows or has his head cut off in a trick guillotine.
Yet, at home, Alice is a pussycat, a sweet, somewhat lonely young man who leads a life less exciting than Ozzie Nelson, he plays golf, never loses his temper and hates any kinds of drugs. His one vice is beer, and his only addiction is television. Alice spends practically all his waking hours watching TV and gets most of his inspiration from it too.
"TV is like breathing," Alice told me, "only it's not as bad for you." He watches six game shows in a row, every day, and calls it a "college education."
His new album's interest in sex, he gently warns, "isn't any dirtier than what you can see on TV." He also thinks kids can flow with it and not get ulcers like their parents."
"The way I hear kids talk, they're very open about sex. The kids can flow with it and not get ulcers like their parents."
One might think Alice's parents might have ulcers themselves, considering their son grew up to be one of the country's prime freaks. Alice's mother, however, is both surprised and happy about his stardom. For his father, who is an Arizona minister, Alice's life style and views are a little harder to take, although they respect each other's opinions.