5 questions for Alice Cooper
Get out your leather. Hide your children. And put on a lot of eyeliner.
Alice Cooper is shock rocking his way into the Bradley Center on Friday, Aug. 7 as the special guest of Mötley Crüe for their "Final Tour." Cooper however, has no plans of finalizing his show on the road any time soon.
In fact, this year the member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is achieving new milestones in an already legendary career. He's reformed and recreated the infamous Hollywood Vampires for a run in September. The Hollywood Vampires was a '70s drinking club of high tolerance rock musicians with Cooper at the helm as oresident. A lot has changed since then. Instead of recreationally out drinking each other, the line up, which includes Johnny Depp and Joe Perry, will be rocking the crowd's faces off.
A companion "tribute" record of cover songs will be released and includes featured guest appearances by Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson and more.
I recently had the very special chance to ask Mr. Cooper five questions for OnMilwaukee.com. He chatted with me from the road, as he makes his way to the city he schooled the world on in "Wayne's World." I got some really personal, uncensored answers that I've shared below.
Lindsay Garric: Alice, you have a connection with the fair city of Milwaukee burned in celluloid history through your very famous and memorable scene in "Wayne's World" where you instruct on the translation and Algonquin pronunciation "Mil-ee-wah-kay." You go on to expound about "one of the most interesting aspects of Milwaukee" being that it is "the only major American city to elect three Socialist mayors." So, I'm going to put you on the spot, what else do you know about Milwaukee?
Alice Cooper: Beer. Beer. Bratwurst. Cheese. All the things that make men work. Ok? Milwaukee is the man's city, I think because, it's you know – it's everything that men love – Algonquins, Socialists. No. (Laughs) I'll tell you a little something about that bit. When I did the bit, Michael (Mike Meyers) came up to me and said, "Hey, can you do a couple lines for us, you know as far as like just reading, doing some acting on this thing, doing some dialog?" And I went, "Sure." And he hands me about 30 pages of dialog. And I said, "When are we gonna shoot this?" And he goes, "In about 30 minutes." And I went, "Uhhhh …" So, a lot of the stuff that I was doing on that, what I was riffing on – just totally riffing. I don't remember exactly what I said. We did it two or three different times and I'm really not sure if you really did have Socialist mayors. (Laughs) That might have been a lie – I'm not sure! But Milwaukee … the All American City!
LG: Over the years I've been lucky to observe the really positive way you live your life. Chuck (Garric's husband, Chuck, is the bassist for Cooper) and I have lovingly coined your lifestyle as the "Tao of Coop." In Chinese Philosophy, Tao is "the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order." So, sum it up for me, what's the "Tao of Coop" in a sentence or two?
AC: OK. Marriage is two imperfect people who just refuse to give up on each other. That's our Dao right there. Alright? So, when you find exactly the right person and you are in love with that person and they are in love with you, you just refuse to give up on that other person. And that's what a great marriage is! Alright? OK. I think that's very romantic.
LG: Let's put that Tao into action in an area of your personal expertise: golf. Let's say someone is on the golf course and nothing is going their way, what should they do?
AC: It's a game. It's not a lifestyle. I mean it's just a game. We go out and play and every once in a while I'll have a really good day and everything is going right. And I'm hitting every green. And I'm making every putt. And Chuck will be struggling and Ryan (Roxie) will be struggling. And then, all of a sudden Chuck will knock one in from 80 yards out – IN the hole! And that makes his entire week. It's a game! And every once in a while, you know, you have a great day. But, you can't get mad at it. Nobody's paying me to play golf. If they were paying me to play golf, then yeah, they would expect something. But, you know, yeah, I just happen to play more than anybody else, so like anything else you are going to get better at it. If Chuck played as much as I did he'd be as good as I was. But, he has responsibilities (laughs) whereas I don't. (Laughs)
LG: Alice, you are a bonafide style icon. Even before Chuck started playing with you, when I would observe my mascara and eye liner running into spidery trails down my cheeks, I would say "I've got Alice Cooper eyes!" How much a part of the transformation into the Alice Cooper stage persona does costume and makeup play for you? Do you feel like the stage persona has trickled over into your off-stage style habits or maybe the other way around? Is there a specific wardrobe piece that Alice can be found in on and offstage?
AC: No, they're totally different, they are totally opposite. You know, if you see me offstage usually on the road in the first part of the day, I'm usually wearing, you know, really stylish golf attire. You know, slim black pants, cool shirts – things like that. Because I play golf. But, I wanna look cool on the golf course, so I wear cool things. Alright? Now, when I'm onstage I never even think about golf, it never even occurs to me. I'm Alice Cooper then. And Alice has got a certain style, a villainous style. I always thought villains should look really good. They should look really sharp. Black. A lot of black. Slim, dark, sexy and dangerous. I don't look anything like that offstage. I'm a jeans-and-T-shirt (guy.) The only thing really cool about my boots. I wear Fluevog swordfish boots that are really cool greaser boots. And that's the most stylish thing about that. And I wear Diesel jeans. I mean, I'm cool. Alright? But, no, the makeup … it comes from being an art major. I was an art major in school, so I can look at a character like Alice Cooper and say I'm going to design Alice to look like this. Because if he looks like this he would be my favorite rock star. And that's why I design Alice to look like my favorite rock star.
LG: You're spending a lot of time on the road this year, like always. You've got the Mötley Crüe "Final Tour" and a run with The Hollywood Vampires. After all that time on the road, what's the best part about coming home?
AC: Everything. I love where I sit and where I watch my giant television. Everything I love about coming home is the familiarity about it. You know, I know where everything is. I know where the TV changer is. I know where the sunflower seeds are. I know where the bodies are buried. I mean. No, I mean not that at all. (Laughs) No, I've been in this house since 1972. And you know, all the kids grew up there. The grandkids are now growing up, you know, halfway between there and their parents' house. So, the house is full. I had a real estate lady come over and she looked at the house and she says, 'This house is so personal. This is you and Sheryl's house. So personal." She says, "If you were going to sell it you'd have to take everything out. Because it's got so much of your style in it that nobody would get it." (Laughs) I said that was great. It took, you know, from '72 to now to make it our style! Yeah, a lot of it's funny and a lot of it doesn't make any sense, but that's just cuz it's, ya know … that's Sheryl and I.
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