National Enquirer

Originally Published: March 07, 1997

The American Music Awards

"Pat Boone: Why I went wacky in front of millions - It's all Alice Cooper's Fault!"

"It's all Alice Cooper's fault!" Super-square Pat Boone told the Enquirer that Cooper, the bad boy of hard rock, is responsible for touching off the religious firestorm that got Pat booted off the conservative Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The 62-year-old grandfather of 15 sparked a controversy recently when he released a heavy metal album titled "In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy." But that was nothing compared to what followed his appearance at the American Music Awards on January 27.

"Alice and I were scheduled to make a presentation together and Dick Clark thought it would be funny if I came out dressed like Alice and he came out dressed like me," Pat revealed in an exclusive Enquirer interview.

The Christian entertainer showed up in a tuxedo for the night's events, then slipped into his dressing room and emerged bare-chested with wash-off tattoos, clad in leather and wearing hip sunglasses and a spiked collar and wristbands.

Cooper was supposed to change into a cardigan sweater and white buckskin shoes and comb his hair back behind his ears.

"But he must have taken one look at those buckskin shoes and gotten sick to his stomach," laughed Pat.

"Anyway, he backed out at the last second. I walked onstage dressed like a heavy metal rocker and was fully expecting to see him dressed like Pat Boone. Instead, he was dressed like--well, Alice Cooper!"

"Most people still got a good laugh out of it."

"After all, it was obviously a joke. But a lot of little old ladies took one look at me and figured I'd gone over to the devil.!"

Flooded by thousands of complaints from viewers, TBN cancelled Pat's weekly "GospelAmerica" show, which had appeared on 400 stations worldwide.

"But I'm not going to apologize," said Pat. "It was all done as a joke. And as for my album, it has taken a major jump on the charts. It's the first time in 30 years I've been on the charts! I've been one of the biggest squares of all time. Now suddenly some people see a picture of me and think I look like a Kiss reject. I realize I'm now being judged like I used to judge these rockers. But God loves rockers too!"