Sun

Originally Published: June 13, 1997

Ghoul's Out For Summer

Author: Russell Blackstock

Rock wildman Alice Wants to beat Sean at Muirfield before he tackles Scots gig.

Lock up your daughters! Rock wildman Alice Cooper is planning an Independence Day ballroom blitz on Scotland - followed by a relaxing 18 holes. Mad, bad Alice will blow the roof off Glasgow's legendary Barrowlands dance hall with a rare one-off gig on July 4.

But these days the the golf mad star - handicap 5 - insists that his party days are over. And to stay out of trouble, the reformed boozer intends to take a swing at one of our finest courses, Muirfield near Edinburgh. But Alice hasn't completely lost his sense of fun - OR his bottle. As he relaxed at his holiday hideaway in the Caribbean, Alice told the Scottish Sun: "I may have played golf with the President of the USA but my secret mission in life is to beat James Bond at his own game. "I know that Sean Connery is a big golfer and Muirfield is one of his favourite courses. I have missed out on playing with him at pro-celebrity tournaments in the states and I'd bet any money I could beat him. But I would have to watch out as I know that Sean is a true canny Scot. I wouldn't want him to pull a few old James Bond style tricks. His golf bag might turn into a Ferrari and he'll speed off without paying up!"

To make sure that he can indulge his passion for hitting the greens, Alice has settles down in anexlcusive star-studded golfing community in Arizona. There he can count movie comic Leslie Neilsen and former Watergate scandal politician Gordon J Liddy among his neighbours and he joked "I paid millions of dollars to stay in nice district and ended up next to a practical joker and a famous crook next door. So even though I've mellowed you could say that I still live in a pretty rough neighbourhood."

Being accepted by the golfing establishment is a far cry from the days when Alice caused outrage with his gory stage show and sexually explicit songs. Dismembered baby dolls and biting the heads of chickens, Alice shot to stardom in 1972 with his No.1 anthem 'School's Out' - and went on to sell milions of albums the world over.

Now Alice is back - in a BIG way. He is jetting into Scotland to plug his latest release, 'A Fistful of Alice', and promises to belt out chart-topping hits 'No More Mr Nice Guy', 'Elected' and 'Only Women Bleed'.

At 49, Alice is in beter shape than he was 20 years ago. He hasn't touched alcohol for 15 years and runs for five miles every morning and he said "I honestly feel a thousand times better now than I did starting out. The booze just kind of crept up on me and before I knew what was happening I was an alcoholic who would drink a bottle of spirits a day without anyone really knowing how ill I was becoming. I never ate and puked up buckets of blood every morning. That kind of thing might have looked funny when I was pretending to be gruesome on stage, but it was happening in real life and I had to stop the booze before it killed me. So I did and I have never looked back. I watched how life in the fast lane killed friends of mine like Jim Morrison and Keith Moon and I decided that it wouldn't happen to me."

Alice also puts his long-standing appeal down to being one of the hardest working guys in showbiz. He explained: "When I first exploded on to the scene in Britain it was great fun. People like Mary Whitehouse tries to ban me and the press though that I was some kind of unspeakable degenerate from hell. But in reality we were a really great band, both live and in the studio, and all our shocking antics were very well rehearsed. We simply got carried away on a tidal wave of publicity and we were happy to go along with it. And anytime you get banned in Britain you end up doing great. We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody else was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next and it turned out to be us - and we drove a stake right through the heart of the love generation. But I have always been ahead of my time - even with the golf thing. When I first took to it, the only rockers doing it were unlikely characters like myself and Iggy Pop. People though it was weird, but it soon caught on. Now no rock star is seen as cool if he doesn't have a serious golf habit to contend with."

Alice has made many movie and TV appearances alongside such stars as Mae West and Gene Wilder in projects like Wayne's world, Freddy's Dead:The Final Nightmare, Roadie, John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness and Something Wilder. And he said: "I am constantly asked to do more movies but I have put them on a back burner to concentrate on my music again. I worked with young guitarists like Slash from Guns 'N Roses on this new album and it really gave me a new lease of life and the drive to get back out in front of an audience."

But Alice recoils in horror at any suggestion that he may retire. He roared: "Me, pack it all in? You must be CRAZY. I could go on doing this for as long as I like. There is always a new generation of Alice fans getting into my music. It's a bit weird seeing people who were into my music 20 years ago bringing their kids to the gigs. But it gives me a real buzz to know I can still cut it with the best of them. Although I may look a bit worse for wear without the makeup, when I am onstage Alice looks the same as he did 20 years ago and he is still rocking as strong as ever. I can't wait to get out on the road again and prove that I am meaner and leaner the before."

He added: "Although I am looking forward to ripping it up in Glasgow again I am just as excited about playing the Scottish golf courses. I have been to Gleneagles before but I can't wait to tackle Muirfield - even if Sean Connery isn't man enough to meet me. How could I visit the birthplace of golf and not play a few rounds? Nowadays, that would be a more sacriligious and shocking thing to do than anything Alice Cooper could ever dream up on stage."

IN REAL LIFE I'M MR NORMAL

Pussycat Alice like nothing better than to relax with the missus Sheryl and children Calico, 15, Dash, 11 and Sonora, 3, when he is not on tour. And the proud dad beamed: "Although I'm often seen as some kind of bloodthirsty monster, I am really quite a regular guy. I slip into Alice like Jack Nicholson is the joker in Batman. I have bee married to the same woman for twenty years and have three kids - a real Mr Normal. And just because I am a famous rock star it doesn't stop my children from taking the mickey. Sometimes I get all misty-eyed when I come home to hear them playing my old songs and telling me how brilliant and talanted I am. They're only after a raise in their pocket money, but by then it is too late. Like any dad I always fall for my kids telling me that I am great."

"The older two prefer bands like Oasis and Bush but they still like to come on tour with me. They know that it's all an act. I ain't going to come in from work, bite the head of chicken and ask:'Is this all there is for dinner'.