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God, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Alice Cooper Interview

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 12, 2020 3:00 am

God, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Alice Cooper Interview

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 12, 2020 3:00 am

In this exclusive interview, pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie sits down with rock legend Alice Cooper. Widely considered to be the father of “shock rock,” Alice Cooper has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. While he is known for his music career, most do not know Alice Cooper is a committed Christian.

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In this sprawling conversation recorded at Solid Rock (a teen center in Phoenix created and started by Alice), Cooper and Laurie chat about his journey to faith and how he has used his faith in Jesus Christ to help at-risk youth in his community.

Growing up in a Christian home, Cooper always knew he needed Christ. But it took a dramatic turn in a drug-induced haze for him to realize he needed to recommit to Jesus Christ or he was finished. The son and grandson of preachers, Cooper knew who Jesus was and knew that Christianity was true, yet he wanted to walk his own path—a trail that led him to the heights of stardom, partying, and befriending some of the biggest names in show business.

Then it all changed. His marriage was falling apart and Cooper was in the pits of alcohol and drug use when he decided to quit and get clean. He began going to church and said that it was the fear of God that brought him around, that he was terrified of Hell. Although fear brought him to the Lord, it was the love of Christ that grew him.

The conversation also includes musings by Cooper and Laurie about the so-called “27 Club,” various legends of rock and roll, as well as a discussion about depression, suicide, drugs, alcohol abuse, and their power to destroy. This conversation in its entirety is a testament to the power of God and His transforming power and forgiveness—if we only accept Him and allow Him to change us for the better!

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Find inspiration from men and women who changed the world with Pastor Greg’s new book, World Changers. Just go to harvest.org/donate

Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast while the thinker have me at your place or call Barack right of the rock down. We started about 20 years ago and trying to find a place for kids to go where they could get out an alternative to what's on the street. Basically, and I watched a couple of 16-year-old kids do a drug deal on the corner and I went home sick kid not knowing might be a great guitar player or the dedicate might be a drummer and adjuster. Then why don't we open that give metal all alternative to go there and it ended up.

That's incredible in your and I know your impact a lot of young people here and ended and they come in and they wonder what's the catch, but you're just doing some for your community and its value to its old Christian world.

Christian guys in the Lord told us to do it so we just but that's also speaking about when I've told people he I met Alice Cooper, Alice Cooper.

What's he like is that he's the nicest guy down to earth so easy to talk to. And you know and they have kind of the stereotypical image you because you know you have a persona right.

You're the guy that will first of all, I mentioned to a young person the other day. I want to talk with Alice Cooper and these that didn't he bite my head up a batch I said that's Ozzie yeah I said I do another sister who with Alice in the chicken though, but then asserted. Maybe I'm a little mythological right you know back then, there was no Internet so everything was word-of-mouth everything was urban legend and they wanted Alice to be that more than anything I think they were looking for a villain and I was more than happy to be Capt. Hook to everybody's Peter Pan and so be the villain always gets all the good lines you and so I was built not to be the hero but the villain but the villain also has to have a sense of humor behind or doesn't work and everything is based on how good is the music you cannot put the icing on the cake without the cake, a six-hour rehearsal is five hours on the music one hour on the third so knew the band were up against Led Zeppelin were up against what you said who the Yardbirds. Those guys and you had to be as good as they work with digit was in a big moment in your life like this are a lot of musicians today when you saw the Beatles like on the Ed Sullivan show was that kind of the moment when you said music for Willow is Vincent Bernie a note out and I was painting a house that was summertime and I'm painting the house and the radio was always on care icier care UX here in Phoenix top ticket was always beach boys at four seasons in a motel and all of a sudden I hear she's not you yeah yeah yeah I went what and then I heard about an hour later I heard I won't hold you what it there is four songs I heard immediately. I kept going.

Who are these guys I had no idea they were the Beatles haircuts. Finally they said that's the Beatles from England and I saw what they look like I want all I got you out. Yeah, I got a Jew that that that's really too much fun and they were almost like from another planet to live is also the Beatles you like that it was never a liver poorly and who are these people were in the Labour Party. They were they had a great sense of humor. They talk great the girls love that which immediately got our attention. Yeah girl. I love them and I was 16 or 15 actually and I immediately called my my Dennis Dunaway who was my best friend. We were both on the cross country and track team both distance runners and he said I know that it plays drums. Another guy on the cross country team so three of the guys in the original Alice Cooper bound or for your letterman we were jocks. Which is so weird that we ended up being the most notorious band and rock 'n' roll. We were all jocks and we we found two good of the. The most notorious guys at school are guitar players were both guys I got kicked out 20 times for smoking and drinking and all this and they were the two guitar players. I went there is archives right there and you started out covering a lot of Yardbirds on Friday will when a very unappreciated vandalism and agreed that they were the you know once you got past the Beatles and Chuck Berry that you had rock 'n' roll 101 down.

Then you start looking at the Rolling Stones. Okay, now it's blue space rock that's pretty cool to learn, easy, easy to learn and then you drifted in maybe a little deeper to who okay there little more experimental and then the Yardbirds came along and we went all that's it.

That's the sound right there and have a favorite your efforts on all and I mean all of them, which drink after Roland was even though it wasn't one of their songs but 10 years time ago was one of the greatest songs of all time. All of their songs we we basically did everything on the rave available and we were the local bank of the spiders plaintiff that which is a very cool inside, but we were the spiders yet and we were the Yardbirds spent so when the Yardbirds came in Phoenix where they play the club. We were at. So we opened for them and did all their songs before the like that they were over the course of the building. Really that's great in the got on stage and blew us off the state because they were the Yardbirds. Nothing here you are young guy painting the house, listening to the Beatles. It's a big moment in your life. And then he went on to meet all the Beatles that was something weird to meet them in real I never ever thought that you would ever be. Even in the same building as the Beatles, and then all of a sudden your your you have a hit record and now you're in the game from the 70s. You are the biggest rock account that will that happen just out of just, you know, we just wouldn't give up. They wouldn't give up when you give up and finally, the producer came along, Bob Estrin, who was our George Martin. He took a bunch of good ideas, good riffs and said I know how to make this into three-minute records that get played on the radio. We went right. You were never getting played on the radio. We had 14 top 40 hits you because I have watched a documentary about your career, called superduper Alice Cooper and you know as I once did I realize watching how ahead of your time, you were in clear you been called the Godfather of chalk rock coming out all these bands at the Motley cruise the Marilyn Manson's the Rob zombies and many others to follow. You can see, you were doing that before anybody else did that I looked at the who and I sent this band is so amazing. Pete Townsend is the spirit of rock 'n' roll himself.

He just he still nipples are bleeding is five euros old Asia villain. And you know and keep your pitons adultery. And then of course he's not on my best buddies who was the greatest drummer ever heard my life. Yet he was unbelievable and I said, but this of blank canvas behind and I said what. Why don't we fill that canvas. In other words, if you're going to say welcome to my nightmare don't just say give them the nightmare. Why not produce the nightmare so it was you crawl out on the slim and either you're going to be a genius or a moron. If you say hit your genius if it's a flop ago. What an idiot. That guy was it just depends on if you get to record what you and you met some of these guys from another era.

Like Groucho Marx and while they George aren't sending like that actually know Groucho Marx. I knew that was the coolest thing ever because once you were in yet. Once you had a hit record.

It was that Willy Wonka Golden ticket I had and I knew I was going to meet the stones in the Beatles and all that and that was the coolest thing ever because they were the nicest guys, the bigger they were the nicer they were Sinatra, Elvis everybody and and then one night some aces.

Groucho's coming to your show what you know Groucho Marx and yeah so he comes to the show and he sees it as vaudeville. That's how he pictured Lisa notices vaudeville so he brings George Burns, Jack Benny, and we look alike on the corner of the site and there's all these borscht belt you know that millions and Fred Astaire is over there watching our dancers Cheryl and the dancers you know and he's going no kids are great and were getting all this great and I didn't realize that that's how they thought they saw it as vaudeville George Burns going and Gracie and I 1929. Recently we saw a guy a magician is that guillotine like that. Then use the snake and I'm just going to allow you so I was the only rock star in the Friars club and I walk in the Friars club and there. Sinatra renders Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, and all the great medians in me because apparently they saw me as comedy, probably one on TV right now. Men Steve Allen, I mean all the guys that I adored were in that room and I was just I was on Blackletter there in tuxedos and they just totally accepted me as that I was that I was Alice Cooper and they treated me a coup you know so when did Vincent Fournier become Alice Cooper. I know you would've been called Alice Cooper and the lady you just you actually change your name. We were called in as for a long time and went to LA as the Nancy. There was this Yardbirds on golden as our blue and said mass at the we found out later on the retard run Prince band was called the Nance. So now we gotta change the name and everybody came up with these horrific names just because that was the thing right in a week with our image and all that and I said why don't we go the other way when we give them something they're not going to expect. How about I was thinking Betty Crocker you know Alice Cooper came out yeah yeah and that was the name to sounded like the little lady that made cookies for everybody down the street wound up on the porch and I said Alice Cooper. That's the bands everybody goes that's so weird and on.

Yeah it is going to just irritate every parent in America and the rest is history of ours now here I am in the loop that will let me just ask you one question. You mentioned Elvis so you met all these people so what is it like to meet Elvis Presley in person dizzy. How different is he from the personae we have with him is 71. Elvis was oh so he's in big is it that he's in Vegas yet and he's Elvis Presley and it's not fat Elvis.

It's not drugged out Elvis Elvis and I get a call. Elvis wants to meet you while okay so I get there to the Hilton hotel.

You know the elevator opens up and it's Lise Minnelli, Chubby Checker, Linda Loveless and me. We go up and they check you for guns and you're sitting there talking and talking and then he comes he comes in the room and he is the room I mean he's Elvis. This is black leather good looking, handsome Elvis and he walks into society. Consumer like I was snake Asia I went yeah he's a makeup and all is the subject that man a school in aces you from Detroit right corning him a choice of so I going with him to the kitchen opens up a dry hands me a loaded Smith & Wesson 38 and I go, I start to get the bullets out from Detroit, keep the Baltimore show you how to get going on somebody's hand, a loaded gun.

By the time he says that the gun was out of my head.

I'm on the floor though the karate moves of Elvis heirs of Buddha mind. Oh my God that's great Elvis. Can I get up now and he says you will see my most prized possession. I went yeah so just me and him on the bedroom.

He closes the door and I started going most prized possession when my doing in Elvis's bedroom. I don't know what is prized possession is opens up a drawer and pulls out an envelope with x-rays and nieces. What happened was is I was leaving the body with my boys.

He scissors three boys out there drunker than one fight aces like all my boys off and I thought all three of aces broke the guys collarbone right here. He said that swung around Easter break. The guys wrist here and I'm sitting on. This is your most prized possession.

Realizing now that that was his only contact with the outside world was that fight. He, the Col. wouldn't let him go left right up down he could go to a movie. He couldn't go play pool. He could go to bar because that was his little life was in that he could have anything you want to in that room or Graceland but could only so right. Then I realized if anybody puts you in a McMansion or matter what, and gives you anything you want, you'll find a way to kill yourself because it's not natural to be held up in a place like that and he did and he ate himself to death. He drug himself to Bethany, died early the next step in the so many Michael Jackson exactly who ended up marrying Elvis's daughter but but it's happened this only rock stars. I'm going back to the so-called 27 club, you know, Brian Jones and all the you knew these guys but get your life didn't go that way. I needed to for a while. Didn't you were starting to go in that direction doing serious alcohol problem and I remember hearing that your word like a big rock of cocaine were like bleeding out here I was in setting after about you know after about two weeks. Shirley got she going to Chicago sent. I can't watch this right, but the cocaine was speaking a lot louder than her and finally I said. I looked in the near and it looked like my makeup but it was blood coming up. I think I might've been hallucinating. I don't know flush the rock down the toilet and went to bed for three days and I woke up and I called her and I said it's done.

She was right.

You know she's you have to prove, and that was that was the beginning of our relationship coming back course, one of the deals was we start going to church and we started going to North Phoenix Baptist, and there was a pastor there.

Jackson who was a Hells fire pastor and he their 6000 people, and he was talking to me because I was prodigal son number. I grew up in the church.

My dad was a pastor my granddad was evangelist and when the when the band happened.

It took me as far away as you could possibly I was a poster boy for everything wrong and then when I got sober. And if you think came back to the church realizing that's where I belong there. So we started going to and you know a lot of people say you know II came to Christ because my love of Jesus I came to Christ as my fear of God. I totally understood that hell was not getting high with Jim Morrison, hell was going to be the worst place ever in fear. I came back to the Lord, but I went to another church and that pastor preached the love of Christ which now you put the two together and it was exactly right. Yes, playing the Bible even says some say by peer you know that there's a point where somebody will blending the healthcare.I'm Johnny I was. I had because I knew if I died, and I knew that it was.

I knew Christ was Jesus Christ and I was denying him because I was living my own life and I was living my life without him. I knew that there had to either come a point where I either accepted prices for a living that life or if I died in this.

I was a lot of trouble and that's what really motivated me to send me when you say accepted Christ.

What is it me to clean. I don't think we accept Christ I think we accept the fact that he accepts us to know and I just got to a point of saying I'm tired of this life and I know that this is right that when people say well how do you know that, put that into words and I go you can't put that in words, it's because God opened your eyes and he says in a supernatural and you try to tell that to people on the go well gabba so is voodoo and so this make you understand. I could never explain it to. But when when the Lord opens your eyes and you said I realize who you are and who he is all it's a whole different world you know and write down you know I was baptized and I went to my pastor and I said I think I got a quick being Alice Cooper now and he goes really nieces as you think God makes mistakes. I want no pieces of report you it puts you in the EC put you in the exact camp of the Philistines, and you were basically the leader. So now what if you're Alice Cooper.

But what if you're now following Christ and you're a rockstar, but you don't live the rockstar life. Your lifestyle is now your testimony and that made total sense to me in a cell and there were lyrics I changed there were certain songs with the difference between 70s Alice Cooper and Alice Cooper of today, the big difference was the 70s, Alice was alcohol driven that character was a victim.

He was carrying the load up all the teenagers out there that were disenfranchised. They were the ones that were like nobody understands me this okay so Alice with them.

He represented them in on stage you can see that you know this was like that when I that Alice is gone said now what am I going to do and I thought when it be fun to be like the arrogant villain that you know I mean it, a sense of, say, Alan Rickman, who is really arrogant and and condescending but funny. Almost John Cleese almost enough where he looks down on people and you can see that it's funny but is still scary a little bit. I said that's how I should play Alice now and that worked but I found myself now. My lyrics were now aiming towards Christ that you start looking with the lyrics you started on women that's pointing to Christ and the only the only people that understood that where the Christian gets one of my albums last temptation was being sold in Christian bookstores in my record company couldn't figure out why because it was all totally you know it was doctrine. It was saying hey, the last temptation I mean if if you want with the world has to offer you. That's all you're going to get you know you know there's so many young people today. You know, we hear the names of all these people to know him personally. We talked about Jim Morrison and the Beatles and Jermaine Hendrix only had Tanner to one of my best buddies. You know Jimi Hendrix with a further idolatrous guy that never went while really and I went oh okay you think is the greatest rock guitarist of all time.

You know the most inventive that I say the most inventive, as others like Jeff Beck Clapton that or do you know they all respected Jimmy on a whole level know it sounded like no, he did it so differently and they all came out to see him and the oncology children went while and I we thought we did everything there could be done to a guitar and look at him now explain it upside down.

He's playing the blues but it's psychedelic blues us and everybody loved him, but he was the nicest guy, nicest guy and and his death was just totally an accident but yet these stores keep repeating themselves any go to the 27 club of the 60s then fast forward to Amy Winehouse or Kurt Cobain most recently wrought DJ of Vici same story Chris Cornell Chris Cornell and in Chester Bennington Mr. bank you know that's like, come on, you know, this story keeps playing itself out in the other. Someone watching this right now. You live this life you been there you've known these people that been your friends. Many of the L so like, what would you say to somebody that's thinking there's some kind of an answer or fulfillment in the trappings of this kind of life or drugs or any of better alcohol, even what would you say to them as the wheel. What course they should follow.

There's an old old saying that you know trying to fill that hole that God should have, with alcohol, drugs, sex, money, everything, and it never works. Most of the guys I know that. Listen, that actually are interested in Christianity are the guys that hung over the edge and would that far from you going out there.

The one single really and because they know that there is no fulfillment in that how many how many wives can you have the doesn't work.

How many cars you need. How many this and this and this and I keep going but there must be something it seems almost as though they tried everything but Christian because if you are me if you become a Christian. What you're saying is I'm not God anymore. If you're saying I'm not God anymore.

That's the everybody wants to be God. Even Christians have a hard time giving up your life you know there's that's the last thing they want to give up is the fact that I want to make my decisions and finally one of the come up with funny, the only thing is I've tried everything. I'm tired kill myself. I mean II think a lot has to do with clinical depression.

Jobs are and sometimes it's just undeniable. I mean, you can't talk a person other clinical depression in its is there and I'm like I've never had that I would really be afraid of that but again, even Christians. There can be Christians clinically depressed, but at least they have a Savior and dealt today. You know you have your band the Hollywood vampires Joe Perry and Johnny Depp and you know you hang out with these guys that you told me that you give a Bible development grants, and they respect you because you're you.

You know your own.

Your you're still Alice Cooper but you're a changed man on the inside and in the you know they respect you and you have this platform to reach people that like a guy like me as a preacher, it never the snow guy like me but the list no guy like you. Well, that you know because he knew me before, and they know me now and I go okay. What happened is the judge of the Lord's in my life now and what are they saying a lot of guys think old just another religion. Okay, well, the last thing you want is religion in your life what you want Christ in your life you don't want religion in your life. I think people judge Christians by other Christians send immediately. They think will you're Christian so you can do any wrong and you're better than me and I got just the opposite.

You become Christian become very aware of how far away you are.

But again Satan uses that Satan uses that as a weapon. You know I'm Christian and I made a mistake. All well then you're not really a Christian home or work in progress will exactly but little do it. You'd be surprised how much of they have this image that you have to be perfect. If you become a Christian would like to be perfect, but were certainly not going to be what heaven is like to be filled with perfect people as can be filled with forgiving people and we just have to admit our sin and we still send the Bible even says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves ever lived in the sent. There's all kinds of things you can think of commission sins of omission. I I pray all the time.

I said if I sin don't let it be something that I purposely decided to do don't don't. I don't want a sin that I designed myself I should because that's deafly first-degree murder. That's, you know, premeditated sin is something you want to avoid at all because my working to sin by omission organist and by not honoring God to where he should be on but when you sit there and go. Okay, now I know what to do here. I'm gonna God will forgive me this sin is sin to God.

It's not it's not funny to him.

While a lot of people are surprised to find out the Alice Cooper believes in Jesus Christ.

There also surprised to find out that Steve McQueen believed in Jesus Christ and was a headstrong fit before he died in there also surprised to find out that Johnny Cash had a strong faith in Jesus from his childhood. He struggled.

I think that he was just sort of like the prodigal son who came back again and again and again I never lost sight of his routers that's exactly how I relate to them because I was that same guy I went as far away as I could and then John came back because it Calling me back calling me back and and the great thing was he gave me a wife that was us a prayer warrior. I mean, you know, and that was that was what really solidified everything was like the fight, that's what really was the people say what how can you be together for 43 years and still flirt with each other, you know, because that's that's what the Lord gave us. That was our marriage and that's great.

And just as God gave you Cheryl of the Lord keep Jonathan Carter and she probably saved his life literally own shoe because he kept spinning out of drugs and yes you really hold his feet to the first of all of us guys are married, were way out of our league with her wife's every guy talk to see how far out of your league.

Are you with your wife and my wife assumed you so Johnny Cash and American icon men in black Alice Cooper is great musician also men in black often. Not only that, often and so you will you think of cash kind of looking at music in general.

Would you see him like this and you know he is actually the rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame is in the country music Hall of Fame he really and he started out his music was called rockabilly, which is kind of the precursor to rock 'n' roll with Elvis in general. Actually Lewistown. Then later he became more of this country. I, through the end of his career. He could've reclaimed his title is just this you know American original whitest as you look at kids today.

The left had tattoos of Alice Cooper. Of course, but they'll also have tattoos of Johnny Cash. That's right, what, why would a young kid today think John catches cool and wisely transcended time was something about him that she was like Steve McQueen. He was like James Dean was as clueless about him that everybody can respect that.

No matter if you were into country music. If you were into hip-hop if you were into everything disco is a Johnny Cash O'Gara because he he was maybe more relatable than doing was Dylan was very abstract and wrote a lot of things. It sounded great and it was deep and all that and some of it wasn't deep similar, just fun.

Johnny Cash had this homespun kind of Americanism to that everybody understood same with Elvis Elvis everybody love Elvis because he was that kid from the South learned how to play any honesty about him. There was no sort of like there was nothing shady about it and Johnny Cash was that icon that every single person could go yeah I listened, Johnny Cash and nobody would go Johnny Cash they go cool and then at the end of his career he was doing 9 inch nails saw Jesse when he was doing Depeche Mode. So you are on your own personal Jesus is the high voices on that one.

Yeah I never met her because I was in the studio.

He'd already done is you he was so fast that the day they call they call me in. They said you want to do this thing on Johnny Cash's album.

You know, and I somewhat saw medicine on personal Jesus.

I had to listen so I did notice on acid what he wanted to do it only got in there and they said well this is his vocal and I suppose natural things You know on the on the courses to be 20 minutes, you know, when I was done is okay so I was kind of hoping that he would be there. You know everything like that but it was just in and out, but that's you know in this business you can do that now you can you can sing on some result without ever seeing them used to be. If I find his guns and roses I was with them in the studio and or or somebody was on your album.

It was fun to have everybody in the studio you never knew was going to happen, some good could really come out of that was really kind of mechanical and all and to Beyonc don't even notice my voices on their advantage. I think it's me, sounds like me but you never know.

It's a great song. I didn't know until you told me that that was you vocalizing I love that I did it and don't know if it ended up available so I mean that's never really paid any attention to it.

I just as well I know I sang a Johnny Cash. I don't know if it ended up available, they can always just kind of go value at this didn't work listener and I understand that I have people in my oh my God so much as and when you sent it just doesn't work. But there was not one person that didn't respect Johnny He'd been in jail but she was an All-American character and there was something extremely honest about him.

You could trust him, whereas other rock stars you could could you trust. You know, Chuck Berry Berry was the best lyricist of all, I agree.

Like he was the architect of what we call rock 'n' roll. But if he couldn't think of a word did make one up.

Don't give me no bother ration is bother ration a Scrabble game and see what happens. The cooling rater was filled with the cool rater. There was something so great about you. But did you trust him. Nobody I know trusted Chuck or Jerry Lee.

Everybody trusted Johnny Cash could be like your cool uncle totaling a lot of artists of the start well they don't always finish well Elvis, you know, he was he was rock 'n' roll too many people you know that's all right, mama Gino, jailhouse rock, blues shoes, but then you know he what the Army he came out in the third in Vegas. Elvis and later Elvis but Johnny started off you know is this rockabilly icon the same place that Elvis started incense to the symptoms, but at the end of his career. Sort of written agreement, a great producer of the lungs is Johnny be good to get your stripped-down front room with your guitar and you start recording and then Rubens bringing sounds like print, Depeche Mode, 9 inch nails you know Bono others income petty in the Heartbreakers oversight had never heard before. Probably something never heard before and it can reintroduced into the new generation, and in many ways, he ended as strong as he started the other cool thing about them he go to prison and you and album for all those guys in prison.

Those guys imprisonment, Johnny Cash, we can trust him is not something I'm you either can exude that much trust.

I think maybe Mr. Rogers is an interesting concept where the two guys you could tell same or maybe Jimmy Stewart just went well. In fact, I was president I would trust us through Johnny Cash at this down-home you know he saying about being in prison he saying about a kill somebody, and I'm gonna die shot a man watches the watching Darcy never did that but I think people maybe thought he understood and the guys in prison totally got there because of that you, but there was this only scandal about him might've been pills. He struggled with the sword. His entire career because when he was starting out the road. He couldn't keep up with the pace and introduce them to uppers basically help and he continued to struggle. It was Benny's time that most of his life evenly in the later years. All men are those guys were, you know they were touring on a bus. Yeah the South for the you know what is. Guys can go to the bathroom going the bathroom you so they you know and they were doing. Like two songs and I but did you 25 shows a row so you are pumping Benny's thing about it is, is when you're in a garage with your friends in your learning songs. It never occurs to you that you can be on the road someday. Use figure what were going to go to Tucson. Maybe that's on the road.

You never realize, at some point you're going to be on the road for four years and without a break.

And when you're 20 years old are also indestructible, and it same does not come with a handbook with instruction book is is okay, now you're famous and this is what you're supposed to do's budget 21-year-old guys got number one record every throwing money at you, it doesn't say now now this is what you're supposed to do your kid in a candy shop so you doing everything and again you got so much energy that you're never tired so it's really easy to burn out at 27 I watch the guys burn out at 27 is the party never ended. And if you lived in LA or New York or London. The party never ended. It 24 hours. You know, and I was in that party. You know, but again you get to that point where I think that there's a your body, your body starts talking to St. you have to sleep now. First of all, you cannot believe your own hype. Once you start believing what you're reading about yourself. That's when guys get in trouble and they start going. It says here the best songwriter. This one guy's opinion, you have to take it you have to take what's happening to you almost as your and it is very special place where you have a record everybody likes and they like what you do on stage. That's it.

You are in you know you are no better than this guy, you're no better the neck that you might tell better stories might be more personable, but every guy that I met there was a major, major, major star was the nicest, most personable people. Frank Sinatra was to meet was one of the nicest guys around Peter Sellers wanted goods was just as cool as could be.

Dean Martin was as cool as could be. The Beatles were the nicest guys in the world. The stones couldn't be nicer.

Elvis couldn't be cool and like I kept on what I'm learning from this is when you get to their be the guy this sweeping the floor is just as important as the guy playing the guitar and I always treated everybody exactly like that never looked never look down on anybody you know and that is what keeps you going you don't make enemies that way. I know guys that are just hated in this business. People will look at the McCoy other famous but I just hate you.

You got that same why not. When I use it is to be a nice guy rather than a bad guy you know and and a lot of guys are's. They have what's called an a success complex, they will actually sabotage their own careers because they don't think they deserve. I just cannot look I was in the right place right time with the right stuff and I kept it going and I to me. Everything was about quality. How good are the songs we cannot afford to do a bad show. I don't care if you do a thousand, 15,000 shows there's not one bad show in their because you cannot afford that and maybe that's what kept me going.

My natural things I like people you know the day that that people come to you and and say I want your autograph and you can't you today afterwards when I don't want your autograph and when they don't want to take a picture of you so there's never been a time where I said no I okay think it sticks same like you said fame can kill you or it can be the greatest thing in the world.

If use it right now.

The road always either so excited about getting on stage and the audience already knows your songs and there's the excitement of getting on the stage in the very first cord. If you're tired or if you have a toothache or if you have a headache or if you have pneumonia.

The adrenaline takes care of all that.

And you're suddenly just fine out there. Great start. Okay, I have the sword that I use on stage very swashbuckling object, it's Errol Flynn's sort so it's very very cool thing to have one point in arched ticket in the stage and walk over so the fog and adrenaline. I stick it in a goes with you. My like oh no, so it doesn't hurt that bad because I'm in shock and I let go of it and it just kind of and it spurted letter know the audience thinks it's a trick the ultimate, the band knows that it's not a trick that I actually get I'm going to turn around and they're going through puddles of blood everywhere right and finally I stick it, pull it out stick it singing I'm fine soon as the shows over because now the adrenaline there's a holder in due early so we gotta get a tetanus shot and uncle Marty put sword to my leg and get a shot I took a bottle of whiskey just ported the is that's what James Bond would do right and family. I'll be all right to wrap it up and couldn't walk sure was. Could not walk at all next night. The show thank nothing, I'm all over that stage really deal with as soon as the closer you gently and I seen her do the same. She's a dancer and should have show twister and Marshall do something else. How you can dance the night shall say, I'll find a way to do it and she is and dances beautiful and I got what happened and she goes against this audience is there the shows there, you're not gonna let them down.

Yet she said something of this. We said the adrenaline is there, but afterwards there was a hole there all and I thought you know there's the adrenaline rush. But then afterwords it stops you and now the crowds gone to go back to some obscure hotel room yet and you think that for a lot of people get into trouble because of trying to maintain that high that euphoria. Yeah, that's when all the sudden well I better take it down or to go to sleep on either ticket, so speed wake up and I better take down or to balance that out and then I'll get in now you're on a roller coaster. I never got into that. I was very happy.

I never got into that, but I knew a lot of guys that were just living on this speed and this downer in the speed in this town are you I said get the account work that teeter charter kind of lifestyle at work.

I found it when I got sober I had so much more fun touring well because now I can remember what I did.

You know, and I was never a drunk drunk I was.

I was on a golden buzz.

I was on that sort of maybe the most operative alcoholic. There was never missed a show you all my lines if I can do a movie I knew all my lines everything like this. The psychiatrist that when I went to the hospital. He goes so how much you drink when you go on stage. I went, I never drink when I'm on stage while went when you're doing a movie how much you drink when you're filming I go, I never drink. She says so Alice is not the alcoholic analysis totally straight when he's working is not high yeah pieces the monster isn't the problem. Dr. Frankenstein's the problem. He says he's fine when you're working your your maintain you're doing everything is when you soon as you get done you go back to interest to medicating yourself. And so I didn't realize that when I was working I never ever used to drink on stage ever so is very interesting to find out who who the monster was with me that the character I was going to is easy to blame Alice. I think that the performing was so important to me outperforming from the audience and getting it right was so important to me and it was once you're in front of that audience. There was no excuses. You know there was a note let's take that again. The audience was there and you had to do it right the first time so I could not afford to be drunk I had to be on. Now as soon as that was done I got them and I did it and I walked out. Now I needed to relax from that I would start this habit again.

I still have this habit, but now it's Diet Coke everything you never lose that habit but it's just what you're drinking now you can clean and sober for how long.

37 years, as it is a point where you don't even like take any alcohol about nothing at all, not even near beer when Johnny Depp you I go to his house and he's smoking fake cigarettes.

Please try to quit smoking and he's drinking fake beer is a joy.

Have a fake heart attack just to have a heart attack.

This really was. It was all about but I won't even taste fake beer you know that near beer what they call it. I said, because why that's a trigger that just another reason for me I can do a trigger like that. I won't take like if you go to the dentist and I said well good to have a lot of pain so here's this angle and feels okay or Tylenol right but that's it. I I can do anything addictive. The only thing addictive to me right now is golf you play, how many days a week every six days a week.

Every day, but it all the guys I know in rock 'n' roll that were former alcoholics Lou Reed you pop Dylan, Neil Young people you would never expect all play golf really yes Dylan please call Dylan plays golf any boxes. Dylan boxes is his main thing. If you are if you he's going to go on the $64,000 question or jeopardy in his category with boxing. He'd win $1 billion.

He knows everything about everything that no, he has his own Jim. He has his own sparring partner Bob Dylan is like and what I talked to all he talked about was Roberto Duran and you know who was the best middleweight in the 80s.

He seen some Vista: this theory is that way when he does talk to Robert Zimmer in the car if you say boxing okay you're right there with them while is that weird you know that certain guys are so locked into Internet. Here's Lou Reed that we still lived together at the Chelsea Hotel which was Sodom and Gomorrah. Modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. You know there were people there sitting in the lobby who couldn't get their key in the door because they were so heroin about and he was one of them and I see him years later and he goes Alice how you doing hey Lou how you doing, it looks pretty good because I got a sister in the sun hit the ball a little bit right in the Gulf playing golf who reads playing golf when he goes Alice Cooper's playing golf in a way that we wouldn't be having this conversation.

25 years ago at the Chelsea Hotel because no what how is it that you can go from heroin to golf and somehow that would change what is there something about you stand up in front of all and you hit it and you hit a great shot and it goes right down the middle and you go yeah that's just like taking a really great hit whatever you're doing, you'll chase that you'll take five or six horrible hits and bad shots to get one more like that and you hit it you had another good now you're back and I said Lord help you if you hit 20 good shots, and around because now you can play every day and it is it's the biggest addiction golf is like is like the crack of sports there was a recall that that word today that is also active in sports but you meet guys that were addicted and all applicable interesting. I was going to learn that I did because I have to be bad for so long before I would be even competent and I have somebody present golf Billy Graham once told me she said you know Greg you should learn on the golf nights in White said because many of the people I've met that I've been able to share the gospel with. I met him gulping golf with Bob Hope with people that would become congressmen and senators and later president of Mayor I said I wouldn't vote for president and play golf you know and in any golf any present this as I don't cheat at golf don't vote for him because he's like every president, everybody I know cheats at golf not know when you when you play with your friends and not cheating is playing playing around in a tournament though.

You can't cheat, you know. Or if you're playing for money. You can't cheat but when you're when you're playing with your friends and you say I don't cheat. Come on poor people you go with that we would never think Alice Cooper would golf on Groucho's brother Mark.

I played a lot. I hope Bob Hope of course the golfer is about little part of the Zambian land, and Bing Crosby were both five handicappers.

They were really low handicappers Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were both five handicappers. They were both really good players and I remember one time this was a classic story, here's Alice Cooper appeared on here black leather at one of these Friars clubs. Everybody's in tuxedos and everybody look at is somebody that you went that's Jonathan Winters that's That's a guy concerning Cecelia Bob wants to talk you see, I walk over there there's Bob Hope Pres. Ford. The prison of steel US steel, and for five other guys and I walk over and boxes Alice Uses. I seem to be slicing the ball and I say we relax right hand. Let the club turn over everything and I the picture be like that in him standing there looking at it in the present ago I went. This is so weird is that you don't, here's these guys. Yeah, that Alice Cooper should be something they wouldn't even ever talk to but golf was a common denominator just and that was the thing that everybody's going all yeah you know you get a call it. I got a call one time at the knee. I was saying at the one of the big hotels account number New York City. The Plaza I get a call and it says hi this is Tom uses yeah I'm I'm a Pres. Ford's press agent hey listen he's got three hours off tamari.

I would like really nice and yeah I can play tomorrow.

Great five.

10 minutes later I get this call. They also Jerry is I can play my got to go to Puerto Rico. There was some kind of a thing going Jerry Pres. for only Jerry and him going well. Kim is a person of ordinary ice and will will place another time because okay yeah give me a call to be in keep me in the click what other sport with its golf was like the common denominator. I had a very special thing with the audience in the fact that I realized after long period of time.

All they really cared about was the songs they want to hear those songs. Okay I go to hear the stones when you're brown sugar. I want to hear the last time I want to hear this this this and this on our thing was, not only do they want to hear the songs, but they wanted to see the show, they would be disappointed if I didn't do the guillotine they be disappointed if I didn't do the straitjacket or if Cheryl's nurse didn't come up and become the nurse. They expect the things and you go okay.

We can give you that you be more than that are going to surprise you two or three different ways but your relationship with the audience is the very first time that you feel like you're gonna die and you start schools out in the audience goes crazy, you realize that's what they're there for that song meant something to them or you do about only women bleed and that song meant something to those of the Sinise flashlights were things like that because that's them saying the song meant something to Mayo and and I think about that with the Beatles. I think about certain Beatles songs I go at every time I hear that song means something to me. I've seen publicly in concert a few times and when everything the Beatles songs people flip out there when he starts going back to the catalog of some obscure song that some people go to the restaurant and is aware of it, to tell about it when we believe that the first quarter. Whatever people notify you of your back surely were backstage when he was doing a show I think it was here in Phoenix and we know Paul forever. You know were talkative and everything like Tesla misuse Atlas. I look at the set list of 40 songs every single song.

I know every literature. Yes and he says yeah that's her set was tonight is in US euros or 10.

Another one I see another 40 songs and I know every single right and so were sitting in the front row of the VIP area and sit there like this and they start out with. I saw her standing there, I'm on my feet. I'm 16 years old and I'm going I never do that for anybody, and I couldn't help myself. Surely there were both up there screaming out is that song meant that as your outing. I was seen again when you're doing school exactly other hip flexor you get that young to give them with the you have that you have no connection with your audience that only you have. And that's your private connection without audience and that may be the only personal thing you have with them, but when you do that song you look at them.

The going you know so you try to do every song you can do that they're going to is going to represent. Of their life in a I get in trouble with the sometimes because I defend rock 'n' roll on a level that what's being called rock 'n' roll now is rock 'n' roll you know, I see a band with an accordion and a banjo and I and they go to this new rock band ever. You know I go which are settling for you. Would you really put that band in the same record store as the who, what, this is so far away from being rock 'n' roll. So when it rock band does come along. The structure of the stripes are foo fighters are Green Day or real rock band yeah I go that's what rock is right there that's what I'm seeing that you're calling rock is settling for some forthright band.

You know I think this can be a time when there's a lot of now every generation rebels against the last generation. Last year, vinyl went up 85%. Why because kids are tired of buying air yes now they got into the ritual of a now I want to buy an elbow.

I want to open it up, smell it. Look at it. She who did what I did put the ritual put it on a turntable, put the needle down and listen to it.

The other generation was just I just want to buy one song yeah and they don't own anything. This is Eric. These kids now got an elbow everyone we open up certain purpose of the first time any of the lyrics actually have it out. We did that with every album you light up with all the little goodies they put in the elders and things like that. I think that is now apparent to what kids are doing now they're back to that organic thing I want to be. I want to own a piece of this band. I want to invest in the span good great that's great. Now you know there's good great Christian Vance my sons band is great.

Go up if they sound like Lincoln Park a little bit harder in use in the lyrics in its Christian biggest base lyrics tug-of-war you know where the world's pulling you this way and God's will you this way. Never whisper the truth.

Scream it. Don't whisper it now. Rock 'n' roll tell everybody and it is you know if you didn't know if you did most of the literature goes to hard rock band. These listen allergic or wait a minute. Kaiser Kaiser agents and a lot of the violent people are fine arts are album subbands from the 16th century to 15 your kids and put your first doors album on angle. What who is this where you hear Jimi Hendrix for the first time, you know I was sick about this. The very first time you accidentally turn on Monty Python in your 16 and you're laughing her head off and you're going.

Who are these guys, I mean that's all that lost stuff that the kids are can now start rediscovering right you so these kids have no idea that Paul McCartney was in the Beatles even know that so crazy to me to because we lived through the ever for American cactuses that hoods are preventable.

Paul McCartney and wings is simply not Paul McCartney and the beautiful things that they could seriously because that's you know he's a little younger than the amount like something songs like mother Beatles.

What is your favorite Beatles album you have clients, that's that is my opinion onto a mine revolver here is why revolver a lot of people because I was before certain purpose and it was not quite the old Beatles that was transitional. Eleanor Rigby yeah you know kind of taxman certain songs you can see where they're going but it just kind of a single moment of time. And of course rubber soul and the heels of it.

George Erickson once said, you could release them as a two albums that you know of Auburn and everyone says Sgt. peppers, but I think revolver if you eliminate Sgt. Pepper.

I would say you meet the Beatles. Of course, because that was the one that made I just go while yeah yeah and then the white elbow is amazing. They just really a mess yet released, that the white elevators. There's so many great things going on in that elbow yell and have Sue back it was it a point when they were not getting along, but they were writing your great song is my guitar gently weeps one of the great solos of all time. It wasn't George Harrison. It was Eric Clapton and this he discovered Glass onion.

That's because everything is you listen to blackbird yeah and you go. This is a piece of art is absolutely no songwriting is, you know, I realize this a long time ago that I'm sitting there with Pink Floyd in our house because they lived with us for a while we lived together and who will be listening to listening to Bert Bachrach were sitting there going wow that's really good what he did right there. We're talking about the construction of the song how that verse went right into the B section her lips just effortlessly and then went right to the course and then what you did, you he had his little something else that he went back to the B section and whirls to the Americas were all songwriters going that's so simple. And then you realize why were the Beatles, so good. They were so simple they nothing gotten away of the lyric. Nothing gotten away of the vocal. The Beatles would not have been as good as it were, without Ringo Ringo was a pocket drummer and he just stayed back there and kept it going.

Songwriting was everything so I would listen to Laura Nero and I go writes Macy. Once you get a lyric and a chord structure and you married them together and that it works there's you can explain why it works.

You just sit there and you go everybody in the room my producer and I will play it and then it will all look at each of the same chemical that worked.

I used to do a funny thing.

I had two daughters in my my wife. We write ballots we were like for big ballots. Only women bleed you and me. I never cry. Are you going to see me now like that. They were all bigots and I found that I would play them for my wife and my daughters and there's that one moment without court kits that lyric and it's the heartbreak moment. If I heard this all I would hit flavors, Cheryl. You know it to be listening and in on the girls to be listening. They go like this legal all and I look it like this.

We just broke her heart. And that's what made it work. You know Elinor Rigby is recorded yet which dieting I don't know why he chose me for that song but he did and it was I love your interpretation is the fact that they let me sing it now.

I figure there and I was going to helter-skelter or something exactly these ideal Elinor Rigby was a little okay but the fact so that they did it so many times they did so many times with where that lyric and that cord and that thing kit. If the right time and made an emotional right response to you and you will you know I love that song. Yes, that's the magic of writing you get it. Every once in a while everyone saw you get that one little moment where you can scope got it you know and only you know what, then you turn the radio and people go all yeah love that's what you think the sections in the darkness career or Ben's career with so little in this so many songs and then maybe they get to a point where those songs are coming at the scene pays is it because maybe one of its first you know your story that music and many are suffering in that time they come out of line and then maybe later. Your life changes and you don't have the same lifestyle. I don't know that's exactly what it is.

Every album is where you were at right down I can listen to an album.

I know I wrote. We run album from the inside right when I came out of the mental institution from the drinking and I wrote a song about everybody in that mental institution because it was just like a writers dream. There were so many psychotics in there that weren't interesting to me every top and I would write the lyrics in a back-and-forth and that was at one.

The very next album was totally different from that. So you look at those albums and you go, what was I thinking during now there's three elements I did I call the blackout albums.

Why don't remember writing them recording them or touring with Angelina, and I wasn't blacked out.

I just erased it. How many years was that was a period of time right in the late 70s early 80s when, literally, and they were good albums I'd listen to Michael right remember writing that song and that's something you know and now our fans love those albums because they were the tortured albums. They were the ones where I was writing all about the stuff I was gone. Cocaine or I was gone on this and this and the songs were so unique didn't like anything unlimited after killer billion-dollar babies are schools out it was this artist is insane. But let's delve into this insane mind and she was going on and some of the stuff was great. You know, and now I listen to what was I thinking you were with that but I can look at those albums. I so appreciate the but I have no idea where I was at during that I'm looking at my nightmare was one something. Something that I loved.

I was so immersed in that album because it was so thick and rich and full of self. But I was in untroubled and mentally so glad to come through and you're just you know your recollection in your stories and then just the life and he was just so wonderful that you're here continuing to make great music and making an impact in especially considering the fact that you're not ashamed to say to anyone that wants to know that you believe in Jesus Christ will absolutely you know people talk about Ellis being a rebel. There was never a rebel more of a rebel in Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate rebel.

He went against everybody and took it out, but you know you want to talk about a rebel. He was the ultimate once you realize that Alice is a character and that's another world over here here's here's the world of Alice Cooper and so I'm not touring right now so I'm over here. I'm in solid rock right now so this is the world of men right now solid rock. Tomorrow's a big tournament this not people and to remind me. I'm Alice Cooper because like totally kind of forget about but in a couple months back over here again you I don't take any of it seriously. I take the music seriously magic the show seriously. I don't take the hype seriously.

I am way past that you know I respect Alice the character and I love the charity's phone is my favorite rock star because I thought I I will even talk about him in third person noticed we say again what should elsewhere hear the Gallup elsewhere that you know or would say you know it right here is where you should do this and this and this. Michael Alice would say that you know in the songs of the song. He would do that he would do this on so keys totally divorced for me.

II don't think like him. And when I'm on stage. I think, like Alice and that's a different thing. But again with the career and all the stuff for one thing, on Christian you know and if you were going to put what's important in my life.

Alice Cooper would be somewhere around fifth or sixth place for the 123 imported think your relationship with God relationship with your wife. Certainly your kids yes and now solid rock is like a very big part of my life but I realize it. It all comes from here. To me the funniest oddest thing is this character that used to be these determined realms up on the 700 club. This is the worst person you could have her daughter Karen albums up and everything and now is an agent for price and that to me is like what a miracle that is yes you and I'm still Alice Cooper is still playing this this dark character but he's an agent of Christ. Very weird. Weird. Amazing. The Pentel yarn I always say I'm never surprised I'm always you know I'm always totally shocked everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries.

Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to harvest.org. By the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know God.org that's key NOW GLD.org


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