Originally Published: April 27, 1978
Author: V. Byrne
Who drinks a case of ginger ale a day, gets up at 8 in the morning to play golf, and love going grocery shopping? If you answered Alice Cooper, you're right.
Unlikely as it seems, legendary shock-rock star Alice Cooper is just an average guy off-stage. On-stage, it's a different story. Vince Furnier created the character of Alice Cooper as the focus of his burlesque-gone-bizarre stage shows in 1967 and quickly turned the name into a household word. Furnier adopted the name and eventually the life-style of the Alice character and it wasn't long before "Welcome To My Nightmare" was more than just the title of one of Cooper's albums. Late last summer, Cooper took a long, hard look at his life and decided to make some changes. In a phone interview from Los Angeles last week, Cooper talked about his drinking problem and his subsequent treatment for and recovery from alcoholism.
"It's something that creeps up on you more than anything else," Cooper began. "When you're on the road a lot, you find out that alcohol is probably the most dangerous of all drugs because you don't realize what's happening until it's got you."
The rock business is a fickle one and living a fast and dangerous life is very much part of it. An entertainer's career can be over all too quickly and keeping the public interested often means becoming a character on and off the stage. Cooper became a victim of that syndrome. "I put so much time into the Alice thing that I didn't have any time to control my own life. I was trying to be that character of Alice for everyone all the time. I thought that was the way it had to be but I was wrong. The only responsibility I have is to give people every bit of Alice on stage."
Cooper has gotten to the point of having cold beer instead of coffee in the morning and it was common for him to consume two quarts of whiskey a day. All this without getting drunk. Last summer, a lot of factors came into focus for Cooper. "I just got tired of drinking that much, to be truthful, and I realized I wasn't producing anything I liked. I got lazy and lost a lot of confidence in myself. That had never been a problem for me before because I'd always loved getting up on stage. Actually, I'm something of a closet show-off but I got to the point where I was people-shy and becoming reclusive. It wasn't my personality at all, it was the alcohol."
[Segment of this article is missing - photocopied article states "See Alice, next page" at the end of this text.]