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Originally Published: September 26, 1998
Author: Jill Fick
Take away his long hair and his custom leather jacket and Alice Cooper could be mistaken for anyone but a rock star.
His voice is soft, his eyes friendly. Hardly the image he portrays on stage with wild makeup and snakes.
Cooper, makeup and reptile free, sat at a table in front of the stone fireplace at the Rendezvous Lodge on the Thornwood Golf Course grounds, primed to meet his fans. He gave a few minutes to talk to a small group of reporters.
Cooper said he appears at two Halloween-related attractions each year. Last year, it was Boston and Denver. This year, the Toledo area and Atlanta.
"It's really the one time I get to go one-on-one with an audience," he said.
Cooper who is best known for his 70s hits, "Eighteen", and "School's Out", still tours and says his singing now is better than ever. Back then, he drank and it showed in his sound, he said.
"I'm healthier now than ever," he said.
Cooper said he's happy to see acts like Kiss making the rounds again.
"I think the old guys should get out like that more often," he joked.
When asked what he thought of today's rock groups, he was kind.
"Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do with rock and roll," he said. "I kind of feel sorry for bands today. They have to rehash what's been done. I think the last original band was probably Jane's Addiction."
And what about Marilyn Manson, whose persona is similar to Cooper's?
"He's got a girl's name and he wears makeup," Cooper said. "How original."
For those who missed Cooper Friday night, he will return to the Rendezvous Lodge tonight at 7:30 p.m. for another autograph session.
And if you can't make the trip, but want to see him, the whole session will be broadcast live on the Internet.
Webmaster Floyd Collins of Fremont said the Haunted Hydro is the only haunted attraction live on the web.
The address is www.hauntedohio.com
Organizers may expect 40,000 visitors to the Haunted Hyrdo dark Attraction Park throughout its October run, but the attraction Friday night was rocker Alice cooper.
About 300 people stood in line to meet the singer and get his autograph on everything from 8-by-10 glossies to posters to videocassettes of the Muppet Show on which he appeared.
Dawn Godeke, 31, of Antwerp, and her husband Ken, 33, were among many in the crowd wearing Alice Cooper shirts.
"If it says "Alice Cooper" on it, we probably have it," she said.
They began collecting all of his music and memorabilia shortly after they were married. They have every album, cassette and compact disc the singer has made.
"I always liked the music back in the 70s, but I didn't know who it was," Ken Godeke said. "I just like the concerts because it's more like theatre."
Daughter Alexis, 7, said she begged her parents to bring her on the two-hour trip.
Desiree Layne, 23, of Dayton met her fiancee on his web page that's all about Alice Cooper.
"I didn't like him at first," she said of Cooper. "I didn't know enough about him."
But now Layne shares the view of her fiance, Lee Davey, 22, of Devon County, England.
He likes "a bit of everything" about Cooper.
"He writes good songs and the theatrics. Just about everything."
Betty Bateson, 45, of Temperance, Mich., clutched a video of Cooper as she waited in
line outside the Rendezvous Lodge.
"He is the greatest," she said
Her husband, Mike, 46, said he played in a band that opened for Cooper at the Toledo Sports Arena in 1971.
What does he like best?
"His dress, his stage show," Mike Bateson said.
The couple's nephew, Terry Marotz, 23, of Warren, Mich., was equally excited.
"I like all of his songs," Marotz said. "It means down to earth. You can understand the words more than in rock now."