Alice Cooper is the latest rock legend to appear on the Dan Rather-hosted AXS TV series The Big Interview, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
On the program, the 71-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer discusses how his over-the-top onstage persona — who in concert battles monsters, carouses with a boa constrictor and gets his head chopped off by a guillotine — differs from the guy he is in the real life.
In a sneak peek of the episode, the shock rocker who was born Vincent Furnier, admits that early in his career, when he was heavily into drugs and alcohol, he tried to be the Alice Cooper character all the time.
“I got to a point where I didn’t really know where Alice began,” he explains. “And if I went out to a bar that night, [I’d think,] ‘Well, do I take the snake? Do I put the makeup on? I don’t want to disappoint anybody’…[W]hen I got sober, I realized that I had to separate the two, that Alice is a character that I get to play onstage.”
Reflecting on his life offstage, Cooper notes, “I have three grandsons. My wife and I, we go to church on Sunday. I was on the PTA…I coach Little League, you know. The kids had no idea I was Alice Cooper. I was Coach Cooper.”
The singer adds that in being able to have that separation “made the Alice character even better, more intense, ’cause I got to play him. I didn’t have to be him all the time.”
Alice describes his stage persona as “a very arrogant villain…[a] very condescending, Alan Rickman type…And the audience loves that.”
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