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Originally Published: April 1974
Author: Robbie Granit
In what may turn out to be the career move of the century, the world's favorite ghoul may give up a career of rock for TV and films. Why? The answer lies in a club and a golf ball.
Highly reliable sources reported to Circus Magazine that Alice's rock and roll career may be drawing to a close. Although the statement was intensly refused by everyone connected with the Cooper management organization, all indications seem to point towards Alice's retirement.
The rumor began during Alice's mini-tour which occured during the Christmas season. A Binghamton, New York concert was cancelled because the city fathers refused to allow Alice to play there, but eyebrows were raised when Alice cancelled a Tampa date because temperatures dropped too low. Previously, his reputation as a trouper kept Alice going through the most grueling, impossible touring situations, but recently even the cold has kept him at home. Commented sources at Alive Enterprises, "When you've been doing the same thing for ten years, eventually you get tired."
In Toledo, Ohio, when Alice and the band were pelted with fireworks and debris, they walked off the stage. A firecracker, described by arena officials as an M-80, which is equal in power to one-eighth of a stick of dynamite, shattered a light above Michael Bruce's head. A fragment of the glass hit Bruce in the face. He was rushed offstage and into a waiting limousine where he was taken to a local hospital. A particle of metal was also removed from his eye.
Incidents like this lead to Alice's dismay over the prospects of continued touring. Also, Alice's Muscle Of Love LP did not race up the album charts as was expected. Warner Brothers Records, it has been rumored, as part of their new austerity program, held back on the album and did not give it as big a push as they usually do with a new Cooper release.
One incident connected with the new album occured in South Africa, where the LP was seized by the vice squad when it arrived in the country by plane. It seemed that the officials of the South African country were informed that Alice's album was about sex, and that there was a picture of nude wrestling emporium enclosed. Naturally, all of Alice's fans that have heard the album and have seen the photo are aware that it's harmless.
Ball and club: The primary drive that may cause Alice to give up his career as a rock and roller, though, is Alice's great love of sports. Just as every supermarket has a rack of candy, gum and TV Guides at each checkout counter, so does every superstar have his quirk. Alice's is golf. He cannot pass a lawn without picturing a golf ball heading towards the cup. This "condition," as it is humorously referred to among Alice's close associates, started toward the end of his last, legendary tour, when the baby smasher hit his first golf ball. The exact spot where that occured cannot be ascertained, but Alice has described it as "Love at first slice."
Is Alice Cooper finally losing his mind? Becoming an addled and tired old man from his weird and wild life of rock and roll? Not at all. The world's favorite vaudevillian has found something as effective, if not more so, as beer to keep his mind off the pressures of recording and tours. Every Sunday, as well as every other day he is not attending to business, Alice is either at a golf course or a driving range.
Although he has been playing for only six months and is still a novice, "half slicing, half hooking" the ball, he is already beating Norman, his bodyguard, who first taught him the game. Norman is quick to point out that Alice is only winning by a point or two. Alice, when questioned about his precociousness in the game of golf, attributed it to his competitiveness, which he developed in high school athletics. Alice is already eager to take on Billie Jean or Bobby Riggs. "In golf, not tennis," Alice added, "although I'm getting into tennis next."
Alice is the only star to have played golf with members of The Doors, Marc Bolan and Harry Nilson. When asked for his choice in partners, Alice specified an obvious choice. "Roger Moore and Sean Connery. I'd like to play them at the country club in England where 'Goldfinger' plays. If not, I'd be glad to play golf with Bob Hope or Dean Martin in California." Alice is amused by the great number of celebraties who play golf, and schedules games with notables for the fun of it. Johnny Mathis was one of Alice's unique partners on the course recently.
His favorite courses so far are the Elkind Ranch in Southern California and the Pali course in Hawaii, which lies in the shadows of the Emerald Mountains. Alice gives a "fair" rating to the three other courses he played on in Hawaii, two others in Florida, and one in Georgia. Heavy rains ruined Alice's recent trip to Japan, a country noted for its golf enthusiasts. The number of courses Alice will get to test depends directly upon the cities he tours and the prevailing weather conditions. If all is right, Alice might fly ahead of the group to allow himself an extra few rounds, and his next vacation may depend entirely upon the best courses having the best weather.
Golf zoot suit: Alice doesn't allow his reputation for incredible clothing to go to pot when he's on the golf course, though. While businessmen who wear grey suits to the office turn out to the country club as colorful as peacocks, Alice shows up in simple outfits that make him look just as outrageous looking a golfer as he is a rock performer. He often wears a Japanese nylon white jogging suit with red zippers along the sides, white and blue stripes along the legs and sleeves, and a white golf cap on his head. On his feet - multi-patch-work snakeskin wing-tip golf shoes. Although Gary Player is Alice's favorite golfer, "because he always wears black," Alice swings Arnold Palmer aluminium clubs to hit Spaulding Top-Flight balls, which at the present are his favorite. His favorite irons are four and nine.
Like most golfers now-a-days, Alice rides around the golf course in an electric cart. Unlike most golfers, his is equiped with a spring loaded "beersooker," which hold six cans of Budweiser. Since he is only on the links from 7:00 in the morning until sundown, that means he drinks only six cans of beer a day. "Which is another great thing about golf," he said.
Keeping his mind on the ball, and off his usual worries about record albums and concerts, Alice regards the golf course as his sanctuary. The golf course is the only place he positively will not sign autographs. Although his best score so far is a humble 94, he aspires to become a scratch golfer, and may one day retire from rock and roll to become a pro. That one day may just be around the corner. After all, the most thrilling moment for the rock and roll star in the past few years happened on the golf course, when he hit his first birdie on a par three. He said it was more thrilling than his first gold record.
As previously reported in Circus/Raves, Alice Cooper has had problems with every album design they've ever put out since joining Warner Brothers (and before that their Pretties For You LP for Frank Zappa's Straight label was censored where it showed a woman lifting her skirt). Now Muscle Of Love, the seventh Cooper album has had its own run-in with the authorities, but from an unexpected quarter. Originally it was thought Sears and other major chain stores might boycott the LP because of its suggestive title, but the "Prude of the Month" award goes to the government of South Africa instead. Informed that an unprecedented piece of filth was coming through, the Customs and Vice Squads on the dark continent met the LPs at the airport and stripped them of their record liners, which display a comic scene in front of a fake Nude Wrestling Emporium. And there wasn't a glimpse of nasty flesh in sight anyway.
Alice Cooper was born for the silver screen, but before he makes it to the movies, he's taking a slight detour with television. Two days back from a vacation in Acapulco, Mexico, the game-loving ghoul taped a "Hollywood Squares" segment for their evening show. His next stop for the boobtube is on a segment of the Helen Mayes starrer, "The Snoop Sister," where Alice reportedly plays a witch. To facilitate his own TV viewing, Alice has installed the huge 50-inch Sony television that works like a movie projector, with the picture being cast from a projector to an enormous screen. Sony has made only a handful of these gigantic television sets which cost upwards of $3,000. They are, to be sure, color, and come complete with your very own video tape unit, so that you can make your own films.
You can also tape one channel while watching another, so if Alice should have to watch himself on "Hollywood Squares" while the "Snoop Sisters" is airing, all is not lost.