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Interview:
Alice Cooper Gabs And Golfs In New Book
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



Not many rock ’n’ rollers can write something that’s appropriate for a book store, a music shop — and a country club.

But in the just-published “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock ’n’ Roller’s 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict” (Crown, $24.95), the Detroit-born rock icon deftly mixes his passions and details the “addiction” that helped rescue him from alcoholism, a more serious habit that nearly cost Cooper his career, his marriage even his life.

“Golf ended up being a good trade-off,” says Cooper, who was born Vincent Furnier and was raised in Detroit until his family moved to California when he was 10. “I traded one bad habit for another habit, only this habit (golf) was a lot healthier.

“The thing about this book, is that when I look at the whole juxtaposition of who Alice Cooper is, the golf addiction and the music addiction, still, it’s pretty interesting how they can co-exist.”

“Golf Addict” deals with more than just the sport/music combine, however. In a chatty and easy-to-read style, Cooper — who co-wrote the book with twin brothers Keith and Kent Zimmerman — alternates chapters about his golf experiences with details about the rest of his life, including being raised a Detroit Tigers and Michigan Wolverines fan, the development of the Alice Cooper alter ego and of his trademark flamboyant and macabre stage shows, the group’s adventures in the late ’60s Los Angeles rock scene and its career-establishing move to Detroit at the turn of the decade.

He also reveals, for the first time, that it was his longtime manager, Shep Gordon, who threw the chicken on stage at the 1970 Toronto Rock ’n’ Roll Revival Show. The audience tore the bird apart after Cooper threw it into the crowd (“I figured it was safer there than on stage with us,” he says), but it turned into publicity gold when press reports had the singer killing the chicken himself.

“Golf Addict” also is unsparing in its details about Cooper’s descent into alcoholism and is surprisingly open about his post-rehab turn to Christianity.

“I never look at the past as being anything I can’t talk about,” explains Cooper, who considers his 1976 autobiography “Me, Alice” “a drunken rant.” “I’m the eternal optimist; I look at things and go, ‘Well, I don’t really live in that era anymore. I did that stuff. It’s a matter of record. But I’m really more interested in what I’m gonna do this afternoon than what I did then.”

But he does acknowledge that he “had to sugarcoat” some of the stories.

“There are people who are still alive that I didn’t really want to implicate,” Cooper explains. “I tried to stay within the boundaries of everything ... and still write a good book.”

Cooper kicks off a world tour later this month and is slated to play his annual show at the Michigan State Fair during Labor Day Weekend. He plans to record a new album, “Along Came a Spider,” in 2008.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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