Originally Published: November 15, 2006
Author: Keith J. Kelly
SHOCK rock heavy metal performer Alice Cooper, famed for 1970s hits "School's Out" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy," has just sold his memoirs to Random House's Crown Books imprint for an estimated $500,000.
The book, "Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: My 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict," is billed as a candid look at his 35-year career, his drinking and his recovery, which was helped along by a new addiction to golf.
Instead of hitting the bottle, he now hits the links about 300 days a year.
Cooper got into music on a lark when he and a few fellow members of Phoenix's Cortez High School cross-country team lip-synched Beatles songs, and it was good enough to win a local talent contest.
He was known then as Vincent Damon Furnier, but had his name legally changed to Alice Cooper in the mid-1970s as he was getting ready to go solo.
The famous story about him biting off the head of a live chicken may have been exaggerated: he recounts that a live chicken once did manage to wander onto a stage at a performance, and Cooper tossed it into the crowd, where it was said to have met an untimely death at the hands of frenzied fans.
Along the way to fame and glory, Cooper also became an alcoholic who went into rehab several times.
He's now a syndicated DJ on classic rock stations, and in 1994 became a born-again Christian.
He still plays about 100 gigs a year, and the shock-rock routine still rules. But he also manages to play golf nearly every day and is said to be one of the better celebrity golfers at the Bob Hope Classic. Golf, more than anything, is what helped him stay more or less straight, he said.
"He traded one addiction for another," said literary agent Scott Waxman, who sold the book in a pre-emptive deal to Luke Dempsey at Crown.