Although fans of music and politics are likely aware that Alice Cooper enjoys golfing with fellow Arizonan John McCain, it would be a mistake to assume this indicates the rocker is a diehard Republican.
Cooper, who hits the links almost daily when off tour, has informal small-talk rules with the senator.
Weve never talked about anything except basketball, Cooper says. He knows that I am extremely non-political.
Cooper sticks to golf and rock the good things in life. Well, mostly. Cooper votes, he says, but for the guy, not a party. And he wont say for whom, because he doesnt think celebrities should influence fans politics. (He does, however, admit to being surprised that the presidential popular vote was split about 50/50, describing Obama as a rock star.)
As his tour bus navigates a blizzard in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the man born Vincent Furnier sounds thrilled just to be doing the same thing hes done since the late 1960s. Cooper didnt invent shock-rock, but he expanded and molded it, creating a snake-wielding monster of ceremonies who got decapitated and electrocuted on stage.
If Idahoans attending his concert Nov. 21 at Garden Citys Revolution Center assume the madness has slowed down over the years, theyre about to get both shocked and rocked, Cooper says.
He still loses his head nightly.
A lot of people say, Well, lets go see Alice. Itll be nice to see the old guy walk through the songs. And they get to the show, and they go, Thats the highest-energy show Ive ever seen! And hes 65, almost!
Granted, Im in really good shape, Cooper adds matter-of-factly. I mean, Im in better shape at 65 than I was when I was 30.
Cooper is not so much a rock star anymore as a legend, he says.
And when I get on stage, its kind of fun, he explains. Because youre a living myth! And people dont know what to expect.
From the early days, Cooper created a theatrical element that made his engrossing stage show seem more elaborate than it really was. A major benefit is that he is able to deliver the same performance in every city, no matter the size or snowpack. (That means you, Moose Jaw.)
I always kept it to the point where Alice was the figure everything came from Alice, Cooper explains. Either he was going to do something, or something was going to happen to him. He was the central figure. So it always kept our show a little bit more low-tech, even though every single song had something going on.
Coopers latest incarnation is a 27-song crowd pleaser split between glam Alice, Nightmare Alice and a hits-laden finale that includes special covers. He and his band roar through four classics by John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Keith Moon, all in front of a backdrop of gravestones and the dead icons photos.
The audience loves that, because Im actually a guy who did drink with those guys. Its not just somebody I admired, Cooper says. I kind of say those were my big brothers, and Im the guy who survived. The show is so much fun, its like a party.
So no looming retirement?
Its the last word in my dictionary, Cooper says. At this point now, Im having more fun making records and touring (than ever), and Im selling out every venue. I couldnt ask for more, really.