Alice Cooper on Sobriety, the Bible, the Devil, and Golf

On Easter, The Sunday Times of London published a “A Life in the Day” feature about the godfather of shock rock Alice Cooper (interview by Danny Scott). The rock legend has sold more than 50 million albums and has been married to his Sheryl for 45 years.

Here are a few of Cooper’s comments:

• I’m up before the sun; 5am is my time. Straight out of bed, make a cup of coffee, grab my Bible, then spend the next hour reading and praying. I read a couple of chapters a day — this is my 12th reading. It puts me in a positive frame of mind. …

• I play golf six days a week, but I could easily play every day of the year if I wanted. Eighteen holes is a lot of miles to cover and it’s the main reason I’m still in pretty good shape at 74. That and finally quitting alcohol.

Thanks to Sheryl — she committed me to an asylum for treatment — this is my 39th year sober. I was never a mean drunk. I was the Dean Martin of rock’n’roll, always on this happy, golden buzz. At first it was fun, hanging out with Jim Morrison, Keith Moon and Jimi Hendrix. Jimi gave me my first joint. We thought we were gonna live for ever, but then everybody started dying. I spent a lot of time with Jim Morrison and I don’t think I ever saw him not drunk or high. On stage he was an absolute professional, but nobody was surprised when he died. …

• Being a dad changed everything for me. It gave me a reason to stay sober. On stage I was Alice but, after the show, I wanted to be Dad. That life was better than a life in the bottle.

Sheryl is also part of my touring show — she plays various characters like the Dead Bride and Madame Guillotine — so we’re hardly ever apart. I love how calm she is amid all the mayhem on stage. People are getting beheaded and everyone is splattered with blood, but I sometimes look at her face and I know she’s wondering if she left the iron on in the dressing room.

A lot of our evenings are spent working with a charity called Solid Rock. We’ve set up places where any teenager can come in and learn any instrument for free. Music changed my life; hopefully, we can change a few more.

If we’re at home we’ll watch a horror movie, but I’m rarely in bed later than 11. Then I pray for a while. I believe in heaven and hell. People think of the Devil with horns and a pointy tail. Man, you are so far off the mark! The Devil is going to be the best-looking, smoothest-talking guy in the room. He’s going to make you feel like a million bucks. But you better watch out because he’s got a whole different set of plans for you.

 

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