3-Wind With Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper talks with Metal Sludge Pic: Susanne Daveen
By Gerry Gittelson
It’s been nearly nine years since the great Alice Cooper checked in with Metal Sludge. So in celebration of Cooper’s induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, plus earning a 2011 Revolver Golden God award this coming April at Club Nokia, we pounced on a chance for another go with the King of Theatrical Rock.
The word “Legend” gets thrown around too often these days, but in the case of Alice Cooper, it really fits. We sat together Monday at a press luncheon at Club Nokia across the street from Staples Center, and Cooper was in a great mood. Plus, he let us in a little scoop by dropping the news that guitarist Keri Kelli is no longer in the band. Off we go.
1. First question, here’s your chance to plug you stuff. What’s going on?
Well, I’m really excited to accept this Golden Gold award form Revolver magazine award. We’re doing a show for the awards at Club Nokia on April 20, and it’s on VH1 Classic on May 21.
2. So you’re playing a concert?
Yes, and it’s with all the original band members except Glen (Buxton, who died). We’re playing together in Los Angeles for the first time in 37 years.
3. What was the last one like?
We played a double bill with Led Zeppelin at the Whisky in 1967.
4. Wow. How did you guys decide who would open?
We flipped a coin. We ended up opening the first night, and they opened for us the second night.
5. Did you blow them away?
No, no, they were a hard act to follow. They were pretty good.
6. What compelled you to bring back together the original band? How do you feel about it?
I’m happy to have the band back together. After the Hall of Fame ceremony, I thought, let’s get the band together because it’s been 37 years, and it would cool to play with those guys again.
Alice Cooper live Pittsburgh December 1971
7. It’s been a long time. What’s it going to be like?
We broke up broke up in like 1974, but there’s no bad blood at all. It’s going to be great.
8. Keri Kelli is a good friend. He’s no longer in your band?
No, Keri needs to start over. He need to start his own band because he’s a natural front man, a show unto itself.
Alice Cooper with Keri Kelli
9. You think so?
Yeah, in my band, sometimes I think guys get too comfortable, I really do, and Keri Kelli is one of those guys.
10. What was the biggest music-industry-related check you ever received, and what did you do with the money?
Well, I don’t know about the biggest, but I remember the most memorable: When “Love It to Death” broke, the record company gave everyone in the band a check for $100,000.
11. How much were you making before that?
Before that we had been living on an allowance of 50 dollars a week, so that was a lot of money back then, like $1 million.
12. When was this?
This was like 1970 or ’71, and I remember I wanted to buy four Ferraris.
13. So what happened?
My manager talked me out of it. He was a pretty smart Jewish guy, and I ended up by a house in Scottsdale for $92,000.
14. The same house you have now?
Yes, I still have it – it’s like 8,000 square feet. It was the best buy I ever made.
15. Who was the last celebrity you shook hands with?
16. Yeah? What was going on?
We were in Maui playing golf. The funny thing is, I had just read in the Enquirer how he was so sick that he was lying on his death bed! All I know is, he looked great when I saw him.
Alice loves his rock n’ roll, coffee & of course golf!
17. Rate the follow singers on a scale of one to 10, 10 being a vocal god, and you know the drill:
Paul Stanley = I’d say an 8.
Robert Plant = With him, I would 9.5.
Rob Halford = I’d give an 8.5.
18. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Make coffee. I’m a big coffee guy.
19. Do you wake up early?
Oh yeah, I wake up at 5:30, and everyone knows I love my coffee.
20. In a past Metal Sludge interview you were asked about your memories of particular cities, but New York was left out. Your thoughts on New York City?
I remember we lived in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel. You couldn’t get much lower than that.
We wanna thank Alice Cooper for being such a good sport to Sludge and still being down with us after a solid decade!