Graffiti

Originally Published: 1988

Alice Cooper: Eight Questions

Author: Mary Dickie

In a non-descript hotel room in downtown Toronto, the legandary Alice Cooper sits on a non-descript sofa, drinking Clamato juice and Diet Coke chasers and compulsively watching game shows. Alice has been storming his way across the world with his latest album, Raise Your Fist and Yell, and equally legendary stage show, which is notorious for its theatrical tricks, sadistic violence and, especially, blood letting (Alice guesstimates they go through "a couple of humans full" a night). Alice quit a nasty drinking habit a few years ago and says he now feels like "a field general." Graffiti decided to ask the general eight crucial questions.

1. What's you all-time favorite stage stunt?

I always liked the guillotine a lot: But in the most recent shows I like the blood balloons, because they involve everybody. They go out over the audience and burst!

2. Have you ever been injured during the proceedings?

I put a rapier sword through my leg one night. I do this thing where I stick it into the stage and it going boinnnggg back and forth. Only I was looking away and I went (crash sound) and it was IN my leg! And everyone thought it was just part of the show, except the guys in the band. So it's dripping, and there's a puddle of blood in my boot - REAL blood - so I pulled it out. The funny thing is that it didn't hurt at the time because the adrenalin level is so high on stage. So I did the rest of the show, but if I stood in one place too long my boot would fill up with blood. After the show, when the adrenalin had worn off, I went 'AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!' They wanted me to get a tetanus shot, but the only thing in the world I'm scared to death of is needles. I'll never be a junkie! So I just took a bottle of VO whiskey and poured it over. It was like the Alamo or something. In the morning I couldn't even bend my leg, but I did the show that night. Adrenalin is amazing medicine.

3. How do you retain your youthful attitude

I avoid normal things. I can't help my attitude anyway - it stopped sometime in high school. If someone told me to go to the bank and open a checking account, I'd say 'How?' I just don't live in that world. Or 'Why don't you work on your taxes tonight?' 'Because I'm going to write a song!' You know? There are things in my life I just don't accept.

4. Who's your favorite Alice imitator?

There's a stripper named Stephanie Evans who does me. She does the whole big production - hair down to the floor, gigantic snakes, hanging, the whole bit.

5. What are your favorite bands?

I listen to hard rock, a lot of metal. I like Guns'N Roses, Faster Pussycat, Screaming Blue Messiahs and the Godfathers. What really brings me down is that MOR contemporary scene. I hate that, it's the worst!

6. What's your favorite horror movie?

That's like asking me my favorite child! I've seen every horror film there is. Maybe Evil Dead, Halloween, Alien... The Sound of Music was pretty scary.

7. What are the major lyrical influences?

I don't really know where my lyrics come from. I read the National Enquier a lot, you know, 'Boy Born With Dog's Head.' I think Laura Nyro's a great lyricist. I don't much like his music, but I think Paul Simon's a good lyricist too. Some of the metal guys kind of miss on that.

8. Where has Alice's influence been felt the most?

I see a lot of Alice in every band I see! I see Alice in Bon Jovi, Stryper, Motley Crue, everyone. They've all drawn from the early Alice image - we were the first to use makeup, rattled hair, torn clothes, high-heeled boots.There's a certain style that's attributed to Alice, and then there are a few bands who are very Aliceish in the way they play. Like KISS, WASP, Twister Sister.. Yeah, Dee Snider admits it. It's almost embarrassing sometimes. I think it's great that they give me credit, but I don't want to be thought of as a dinosaur. I'm actually younger than a lot of those guys in the supposedly new bands. I'm still in competition with them, and when it comes to energy, we'll blow any of 'em off the stage!