Alice Cooper: Rock’s Super Villain

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG)  |  By Rich Peters, MPG Editor
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Alice Cooper recently kicked off his “Paranormal Evening” tour. He is set to play locally at Jackson Rancheria on Wednesday, August 15 and his new live album A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper at the Olympia Paris drops on August 31.

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A Paranormal Evening with the Godfather of Shock Rock

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “You can’t shock an audience anymore - that died a long time ago,” said Alice Cooper. One of the originators of shock rock, Cooper understands that times have indeed changed since he spearheaded a movement in the early 70s but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to embrace his role as the bad guy.

Rock’s villain began playing out his own dark vaudeville in the earliest days of his career. “That started from the very beginning; that was always with us,” said Cooper. “I think because we were art students and that was something I saw as being essential for rock and roll. I would see all these bands - that were great bands - and they were all heroes and I just kept thinking, ‘Where’s the villain?’”

That’s when Cooper took it upon himself to become that villain and change rock and roll forever. “Every parent in America did not want their children to see this character,” said Cooper. “People would make things up…by the time you got into town you were the worst person ever. We found that funny.”

In a life well before the internet and social media, the stories took on lives of their own. “The more of the misinformation, the bigger we got. The parents hated us so much that the kids liked us.”

From guillotines and blood to the black attire and mascara, it was all about giving the crowd something that they had never experienced before. “And if you really look at it, it was just really a lot of fun,” recalled Cooper. “The audience was really having fun with us. There was nothing satanic about it.”

Times may have changed, the stage antics may be a little less shocking, and the internet may have depleted art, but that won’t stop the Godfather of his craft from putting on a vintage performance. “It will be a very similar show (tonight) to the one in the 70s except now it will be accepted a little more as excitement and entertainment more than just shock value.”

One way that Cooper has been able to continue performing at a high level for the better part of five decades is by interjecting his band with youth and energy. He prides himself not only on theatrics but on the quality musicianship that got him there to begin with.

“Everybody in my band is top of the line,” he boasted. “Glen Sobel, our drummer, just got voted best drummer in rock and roll. Nita (Strauss) just got voted best female guitar player. So I’ve kind of got a premier band. That makes such a big difference to me when I get on stage that my band can blow just about anybody off the stage.”

Cooper recently kicked off his “Paranormal Evening” tour. He is set to play locally at Jackson Rancheria on Wednesday, August 15 and his new live album A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper at the Olympia Paris drops on August 31. For more information visit www.alicecooper.com.