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Andy Warhol's Interview
Originally Published: December 1973
Author: Scott Cohen
Cindy Lang met Alice Cooper in Detroit in 1967 ("the Summer of Love") before Alice was known even locally, and has been the woman in his life ever since. But it's her style, and not Alice, that makes you notice her. Interview dropped in on Cindy to see if we could learn some of her secrets.
S: What is your relationship with Alice like?
C: We're best friends... and we're in love... and it's great.
What do you got that Alice likes?
I don't know, you'll have to ask him.
What is it about Alice that you like?
That he's always in control. In the seven years that we've been together, I never saw him lose control. In seven years we have never had a fight, and he's never bored me once.
Do you remember your first date?
Sure. He asked me what my sign was.
Where did you go on your first date?
We went to an all night movie in downtown Detroit that showed three motorcycle movies.
When you're lying in bed in each other's arms, do you call Alice "Alice"?
Yes. I've always called him Alice. He's been Alice as long as I've known him.
What kind of music do you listen to while you're at home?
I listen to everything. Alice listens to John Barry exclusively. He does the theme music for "Goldfinger," the James Bond things and T.V. themes, like "I Spy."
Does Alice ever listen to his own music?
No. I don't even like his music.
Does he keep his records on the shelf?
They're in the pile someplace, but you'd have to dig for them.
Do you like snakes?
I never thought much about them. I never knew a snake responds to you the way you respond to him. If you're cold to a snake, he'll be cold to you. But he can also be very sensual too.
What are you afraid of?
What embarrasses you?
A log of things. Anything at the wrong moment.
How old are you?
Did you have typical teenage problems?
Yes, I was a problem child.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I don't know. I was a tomboy. I played ice-hockey and sandlot baseball.
Who's your favorite hockey player?
Gordy Howe. He lived four houses from us and my Dad and he were good friends.
How do you feel about Gordy switching to the WHA?
I'm glad that he can play on the same team with his sons, and I'm glad Alex Delvecchio is staying because he was made in Detroit; he's like an institution there.
Which rock stars do you think would make great hockey players?
Iggy Stooge would make a great goaltender, Mick would probably be on a farm team and Alice would be a better baseball player. The group Chicago would make a great team. They even look like hockey players.
What are your aspirations?
I don't know yet. When you're happy with what you're doing you don't need aspirations.
Has success spoiled Alice Cooper?
Not at all.
What's the difference between Alice on stage and Alice off?
It's a big difference. I don't know that Alice on stage. He's a stranger.
But you like his act?
I'm beginning to like his act, and his music. In the beginning he was swinging on broomsticks and singing out of tune. I knew Alice for four months before I ever went to see his show, and the night I went I was definitely afraid to go back stage because all of a sudden I didn't know him. What I thought I knew about him was completely wiped clean. His Ozzie Nelson affability disappeared on stage.
How do you spend your time when you're on the road?
In bed... watching T.V. Alice watches all the game shows.
What the difference between a Holiday Inn and a Hilton Inn?
A Hilton has better toilet paper, the sheets don't have crabs and they're not recycled. You get one glass with a pitcher of water in a Holiday Inn and a tray full of glasses in a Hilton. In a Holiday Inn you'll always find a turquoise horse with sequin eyes and do-it-yourself pictures on the walls. the pictures in the Hilton are much better. At least they're Colonial. Also, the furniture at a Holiday Inn is the same furniture they give away on quiz shows.
How much privacy do you and Alice need?
About two inches.
Do you see yourself settling down someday?
Sure. I'd love to have five brats clinging to my apron strings... SOMEDAY. Alice would be a fantastic father. He loves kids. I hope he would be as good with kids as he is with snakes.
What are the chances of you becoming Mrs. Alice Cooper?
What would you be doing if you weren't with Alice?
I'd probably be happily married with a kid or two.
How does your family feel about Alice?
My mother was charmed by Alice and my father has never spoken to him yet. When I first started going out with Alice my mother would read all the mail that came into the house that looked suspicious, and she would find "Dear Cindy, I'm going to be at such and such a place, please come up and meet me - love, Alice" and she would think I was having an affair with some girl, which I think she would have accepted much more easily than she would have accepted Alice as a man. It was a little hard for her to get used to, especially after reading that he killed chickens and smeared blood all over himself and all these other ritualistic things.
Do you believe in magic?
Yes... in a young boy's heart.
Is it glamorous being America's first lady of rock and roll?
Actually Alice can be the first lady. So far there have been six years that weren't glamorous and maybe one that has. I'm still waiting for the glamor to hit me.
Does Bianca Jagger have any influence on you?
Bianca has her style and I have mine. I think about meeting her. I guess I would like her but I don't know if we have much in common. I'd hate to have a meeting with her that was prearranged. If it were spontaneous, it would be nice.
What is style?
Style is grace, under pressure.
Where did you develop yours?
In Catholic School.
I never would have guessed. Do clothes make you feel a special way?
I don't think clothes make you feel any way at all. You make the clothes, the clothes don't make you.
But aren't certain clothes magical, that anyone would look good in?
No, I don't believe everyone could look good in something. I know myself really well so I know what looks good on me. But what works for me might not work for someone else.
Where do you buy your clothes?
Bendel's, St. Laurent Rive Gauche, everywhere. Whatever catches my eye. A shop on the street, a dime store, it could be the Long Island Thrift Store. I like hats but I don't go anywhere special for them. If I see one lying on the Bowery, and I like it, I wear it. I'd wear a lampshade if I liked it.
Do you pay for your clothes or does Alice?
Everything comes out of Alice's pocket. But I'm a good investment.
Are you influenced by Black and Puerto Rican styles?
Puerto Rican more than Black, though there some great Black beauties. I've only started noticing Puerto Rican beauties, I guess because there weren't any in Detroit, where I'm from.
Do you consider yourself one of the great beauties of our times?
I don't think any one individual gives herself credit for being beautiful. It's other people who give the credit. When I look at myself in the mirror I feel very human, I don't feel very beautiful.
Do you feel funny being with one like Alice who is always in the spotlight?
I feel funny when everybody tries to push me into the spotlight that Alice doesn't even want himself.
What's your and Alice's favorite night spot in New York?
Playland, where we go after shooting pool at Guys and Dolls.
What's the first thing you did when you came to New York?
As soon as we got here these boxes of red "Killer" T-shirts arrived, the ones with Alice's head in a noose screened on them, and we didn't know what to do with all of them, so we went down to Bowery and gave them to the bums. You had to see it... these bums with dirt and filth caked to their faces, wearing brand new red Alice Cooper shirts.
What's your favorite Alice Cooper song?
"Halo of Flies."
What's the best present Alice has given you?
A red wallet that he won playing Skeet Ball. He had to go back a few times to win enough coupons.
Who are your favorite heroines in literature?
Daisy in "The Great Gatsby."
Do you believe that behind every great man there is a woman?
Do you have a motto, or a little rule you try to live by, like "live up to your good looks"?
Yes, "Don't wait for your ship to come in if you didn't send one out."
As an insider in the rock scene do you think there's a karmic debt most stars have to pay?
Definitely. Besides Alice, I don't think there's one sane person in the business, not that I've met anyway. The karmic debt is that they burn themselves up before they get the change to enjoy the money they've made. Think of Jimi, Janis and Jim Morrison. You've got to shove so much into so little time. The rock business it not 9 to 5. It's something you take home with you, something you live with. And it's harder at the top. You have to fight to stay there.
Cosmically, why do you think you and Alice are together?
All I can think of is that Alice and I are completely opposite. All we have in common is that we like to fish. Deep-sea fishing. Going after blue marlin together. Other than that he watches T.V. and I can't stand T.V. We both drink, but I don't drink when he drinks. Someone has to protect someone. When I was in high school I always looked for someone to fall in love with who was like myself, and Alice was the only person I wasn't looking to fall in love with. And I did.
What's your favorite bedtime story?
Raggedy-Anne, read to me by Alice. Raggedy-Anne.