Originally Published: July 1973
Alice has been living in New York for several months now, high above the city in a sumptuous East Side penthouse apartment, but he's still not totally used to urban living. "I'm just learning about New York," says the man who has lived in Hollywood, Detroit, and, most recently, Connecticut. "The rest of the band still lives in that big house in Connecticut, but I found that I was coming into the city every night. I love living in New York, but I'm really so naive. I'm just like Fred MacMurray let loose. One Sunday my folks were in visiting me and I went up to a cab driver and said 'pardon me', something he'd probably never heard before . . . 'could you tellme if the Empire State Building is open today??' - and he said, 'Yeah buddy, if you wanna climb in!!!'
We settled back, me with my tape recorder and Alice with his usual can of Budweiser beer. After his sixty dates in the U.S. Alice is scheduled to tour Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and Europe. "We'll probably be back in England this summer," he says, "It's going to be a killer for about six months. I'm going to weigh about twenty pounds at the end of it! It's gonna be nuts . . . we're gonna be like this at the end of it . . . " he shakes a lot and then falls over. "Sometimes in the middle of a tour it gets crazy. Like if you've really been up all night, you know how everything seems funny to you? Everything everyone does is funny. Like if someone drops something you laugh hysterically . . . it really is like maniacs on the road after awhile, like a Marx Brothers movie.
"See this thing on my eye?" he asks, changing the subject and pointing to a slight red mark on his eyelid. "What do you suppose it's from?" I suggest that maybe it's from watching too much TV or perhaps it's his makeup. Does he wear hypo-allergenic makeup?
"I use anything I can get my hands on!" he laughs. "anything that's black - I just wipe it on!!!"
This spring Alice's appearance in New York City was supposed to have been "Alice At The Palace", an appearance at the Palace Theatre just off Times Square, a real big, splashy Broadway show; choreographed and everything, but then it didn't happen, and now Alice is slated for Madison Square Gardens instead.
"The Palace got much too complicated," Alice says. "It's easy to say you want to do a show on Broadway, but the unions . . . God! is it a problem. Shep (Shep Gordon, Alice's manager) had to go and wear a suit and tie to meet with them, they thought the kids where going to come in and tear up the seats - which they might have done, I don't know. We couldn't use any of our own road rats - we would have to use all union people, it just got ridiculous.
"We still may do a whole choreographed thing with dancers and all in some cities," Alice contiuned, "already we're using two other people on this tour: one on the mellotron, and another guitar player named Mick Mashberg, a friend of ours from Phoenix. That's because Glenn was sick and he's still real tired. He'll go with us, but we're just going to have an extra guitar as well. Glenn can't drink anymore - and he used to drink two bottles of whiskey a day! He's completely changed now . . . he's so tranquil, so laid back. It's pretty weird to see someone who used to insult you for nine or ten years to be like that! He's so polite, it's just not him . . . !"
Alice Cooper was perhaps the first to bring theatricality into commercial U.S. rock and now it should not be unusual that he is putting some rock energy into the area of show business. He emceed George Burns' concert in New York City . . . then also he's been having lunches with Salvador Dali lately who's planning to design a hologram laser beam light for Alice's next show and wants to be involved. . . .
Alice is planning some more TV and films ventures. I asked him if he planned on getting more and more involved in the areas of traditional show biz rather than staying pat in the rock concert halls. "That's funny," he said, "because it's happening that way anyway without us even planning it or directing it. Just by itself it's moving in that direction. You know I sent the fabulous Hollywood gossip columnist Rona Barrett one of those naked pictures of me with the snake and inscribed it "To My Very First Lady Of Hollywood". She's my favourite - I think she's fabulous because she really believes in all of that, and I do too. And I think there's a whole reversal again, people are becoming stars again, they're assuming the roles of stars. Bette Midler is a star. I don't go to concerts, I hadn't been to a concert in a year, but I went to her concert New Year's Eve and she was great. I just couldn't believe her energy - she was so fast.
"So what's happening with rock now - it's like you can start with rock and then go on to something else, and at the end you're just a star. I'd like to work in a lot of different mediums, not just rock."
Alice Cooper On Tour
The following are the scheduled dates for the May and June concerts on the Alice Cooper tour. Check your local papers for any possible changes, ticket prices, and so forth. (Ed.)
Then off to Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and Europe.