Metal Hammer

Metal Hammer - June 1991

Metal Hammer
(June 1991)

Originally Published: June 1991

Alice Cooper on Censorship and Politics

Author: Alice Cooper

"When my sensational and gory shows first appeared in the seventies, they featured me hanging, being decapitated, and hacking up baby dolls! But I never really ran into strong opposition or the kind of censorship that now threatens rock, particularly in the States. The new toughness is really a matter of politics.

People had more fun in the old days. There was no pressure on me and they realised it was only rock'n'roll. The whole PMRC thing (Parents' Music Resources Committee), is about politics. It's really not a moral issue. The organiser Tipper Gore's husband is running for president, and was at the time she came out with this whole PMRC thing. It actually hurt him because there are too many people out there of voting age, thirty to forty, who are rock'n'roll fans! They thought they were going to nail the teenagers. They forgot there are now people fifty years old, who listened to Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones and Alice Cooper! So they bit off something more than they could chew.

If you live in the United States, the rules are that you can't censor it. That's what we fought for, and what the whole country is about. If you start censoring, then it's not a free country. Your choice is you don't have to go see the show or buy the album. Or your choice as a parent is you don't allow your kids to buy the album. Of course, they are eventually gonna sneak out and buy it.

The only two places I ever had problems with censorship were in Munich, Germany, and Las Vegas - of all places. When we first came to England there was a big furore. More people were interested in the rumours about Alice than the reality. It was a bit like the Sex Pistols coming over to the States. There was so much rumour about them. The great thing about the English is that they enjoy a good row. Just Alice coming over was gonna make The Sun and The Times! So we went all out for sensationalism. Our truck broke down in Piccadilly Circus - in the rush hours - and we hit the headlines.

We did every publicity stunt and the press loved it. We enjoy doing that old Hollywood publicity stuff. There's nothing wrong with it - as long as nobody gets hurt. We were accepted later, but at first it was very dangerous. Even now - people are still very afraid of Alice Cooper. We are the band that should have gone away, like a bad disease. But we are still here and bigger than ever!"