Times, The

Originally Published: October 11, 2003

I didn't get where I am today without...

Alice Cooper, rock god, 55

Author: Alan Jackson

Giving the Establishment a kick up the backside Rock should function as society's conscience. The more people squeal, "Ooh, but you can't say that!", the more we're going to say it. Of course, a lot of self-appointed moral guardians get their knickers in a twist. Great! Mary Whitehouse and Leo Abse were of invaluable help to me early on. You couldn't buy that kind of publicity. I was sending her flowers and him cigars. "Thanks so much for boosting my career."

Distrusting elected officials We're seen as the hell-raisers, yet we're pussycats compared to politicians. They're the ones with the sordid little -and big! -secrets. They're the threat to the nation's morals.

Being an original Real performers get the public's juices flowing, not parodies. At a pinch I can take Britney and Justin, but I'd rather have root canal work than be subjected to all their soundalikes.

Learning to chill a little When you're at that half-boy, half-man stage, you're pissed off at everything and everyone. That changes with success, of course. Suddenly, my idea of angst was not being able to get the Porsche roof up first time. All this time later, I've struck a happy medium. I can summon up the old fire on stage, but off it I know how to relax. Living here in Scarsdale is like being on permanent vacation. The biggest decision of the day is what pair of shorts to put on.

Holding back on the soap People are killing themselves with that stuff.

Literally sudsing themselves to death. I speak as someone who's been caked in greasepaint for 35 years, so I know. Let your pores clog up a bit. Give the darn things a break.

The Eyes of Alice Cooper is out now on the Spitfire label