Maxim

Originally Published: July 2000

Alice Cooper

Truser-dropping golfers, Ozzy Osbourne's boy band and dead chickens: the one-man metal machine formerly known as Vincent Furnier unveils his manifesto for the 21st century

Author: Gordon Thomson

'Alice'. That's a girls name.

If you had a band with hair down to the waist and make-upon their face which was the loudest, most obnoxious thing in American nightmare music, and they were called 'Vincent Furnier', you'd say, 'That doesn't work.' So I said, 'What's the sweetest, most American name I can think of?' and came up with Alice Cooper. We have a running thing at our concerts - anyone named Alice Cooper gets in for free and gets to have backstage passes and everything. Normally when I go backstage afterwards there's a whole bunch of old ladies with pink hair going, 'I'm Alice Cooper!' 'No, I'm Alice Cooper!'

Wayne's World are big fans of the 'Coop. Let's clear one thing up. Are you worthy?

Yes, I am actually.

Great. And who would you get down on your knees for?

You mean humans? Let's stick to humans. Well I have a theory that there are some people who are actually not human. I think there are definitely aliens walking among us. I think The Beatles, Salvador Dali, Tiger Woods, they're all aliens - maybe Jackie Chan, ha ha ha. He does things that nobody else can do. Maybe Peter Sellers and Jerry Lewis. They might have been aliens. When you start thinking about it, you realize that these people just can't be real. Groucho [Marx]. I'd get down for those guys.

We hear you like golf. Isn't it just a tad effete for a rocker with a penchant for snakes and horror?

Hey listen, golf over here isn't a wusses' game like in Europe. Metallica play, Megadeth play - we don't take it so seriously here. We don't wear chequered pants. It's an aggressive game. I just go out and try and kill the ball. I'm just trying to make the game more violent: that's my mission. They should make people tee off a lot closer together so that you're allowed to hit into the group in front.

What's the most disgusting thing you've ever seen on a golf course?

Well, we're trying to make golf more disgusting. I saw someone defecate in one of the holes once. There was just this pile of, you know, excretion in the hole. Not pretty.

Vampires versus mummies. Who wins?

Oh, vampires every time. Mummies are kind of stupid monsters. I mean, what can they do? Grab you? But take the vampire. He's got so much more going for him - he's got weapons, he can turn into things, he can bite you and stuff - I'd take the vampire every time.

Who's the hardest man in rock?

Hardest man in rock? Of all time? It's probably got to be Iggy Pop. Him or Keith Richards. You know, there's two great questions in rock. One is 'The Greatful Dead. Why? Just why?'. And the other is, 'How is Keith Richards still Keith Richards?'

'Poison'. What's yours?

Beer. Well it was. I haven't had a drink in 18 years, but in my day my poison was Budweiser.

That's for shandy drinking, isn't it?

Hey listen, if you could drink as many Guinesses as I could Buds you'd have been paralyzed years ago. I drunk the stuff all day. Breakfast until bedtime.

Where do you stand on the boy band phenomenon? Boyzone, Westlife. Do they make your blood boil?

Boy bands? Yeah, they're over here too. Well, for a start, I've been trying to get myself, Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson to start our own boy band. We'd just get up there and scare everybody to death. We'd have weapons too - yeah, we'd do a big show with all these bands and just wipe them all out for good.

What about rock ladies?

I like Garbage, that girl from Garbage. And I've got a thing about Chrissie Hynde. I'd love to get down and eat cheese-burger right in front of her. How bad am I? Ha! Ha!

Is it true you audition your snakes?

We get most our snakes from Slash [ex-Guns n' Roses] You know Slash? Slash has got about 150 snakes, all kinds of mad beasts - Black mambos, constrictors - so when we need a snake we just give Slash a ring. He's become the guy for snakes. He's my snake connection.

Do the ladies like a snake?

Well, when you bring your snake out on stage you generally get a reaction. Ha! I just thought I'd put it out there and let the audience decide. I took a snake out onto the golf course once. As a caddie. I put it into someone else's bag. Hee hee hee.

And golf. Does that land you a lot of lovely ladies?

No, unfortunately golf appeals to the nerd. But Catherine Zeta Jones plays golf. She wouldn't be bad in a foursome, would she?

You once killed a chicken a part of your stage act. What is it with rock stars and poultry?

I've only ever done that once. But if rock and poultry really went together like peanut butter and jelly, Colonel Sanders would be the world's biggest rock star. I can definitely see the Colonel with my eye make-up on. I remember it well. John Lennon was in the crowd, Jim Morrison was there. The audience tore that bird to shreds. But you know what, the first three to five rows were full of people in wheel chairs. They're the ones that did for the chicken. And then the very next day the papers were full of, 'Cooper slays chicken on stage'. And I remember Frank Zappa calling me and saying, 'Did you kill a chicken on stage?', and I said 'No, no, no way' He just said, 'Don't tell anyone!'

'Zipper Catches Skin'. Based on painful personal experience?

Every guy has to think about that. There's nothing like that - you know women talk about the pain of childbirth? Well, it's nothing compared to this, 'cos you never know when to go up or down or just rip it out. It's the pain that cannot be explained.

You once starred in a film titled The Decline Of The Western Civilization. Part 2: The Metal Years. Can we exist without rock?

Well, we have done before. But it's not a world I can imagine living in, no. I don't think I could possible do anything else. I can't see myself in another job. Though I reckon I might make a pretty sadistic dentist. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!