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Alice Cooper, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Was 'Elated' When He Got the News

'I was so happy that it was the nomination was for the original band,' says Cooper

December 14, 2010 8:00 AM ET
Alice Cooper, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Was 'Elated' When He Got the News
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

 

Long before Marilyn Manson, Ziggy Stardust and KISS, Alice Cooper invented theatrical rock. The original Alice Cooper band (consisting of Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith) scored enormous hits with "School's Out," "I'm Eighteen" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" before they broke up in 1976. Lead singer Cooper (born Vincent Furnier) has carried on the group's name for the past the 35 years.

Tell me your first reaction to the news.
I was elated and I called the original band guys immediately, and said, 'Well, remember when we started in high school?' [Laughs] 'Here we are. Only took 45 years.'

What does this mean to you?
The big difference between the Hall of Fame and anything else is that you are voted in by your peers and the people that influenced you. I look at the list of people that are in there it's all of my heroes from, Pete Townshend to the Yardbirds to the Beatles to the Stones and everybody that we listened to in order to become Alice Cooper. It's pretty amazing to us that those are the same people that actually vote on you. So that's quite a privilege.

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You called yourself the 'Pete Rose of the Rock Hall' for years.
My first instinct was to say, 'Maybe I'll have Pete Rose accept for me. In my makeup.' It's an odd thing. For a while, I think that people didn't take us seriously, musically. For years I was like, 'Well, you know, jeez, we had two Number One albums and 14 Top 40 hits and, like, 15 gold albums. I don't know what it takes for them to take us seriously.' I think there was a misconception of Alice Cooper that we were much more concerned with the music than the theatrics.

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A lot of people probably don't even realize that Alice Cooper was a band and not just a person.
Yeah, yeah. And I was so happy that it was the nomination was for the original band. It's too bad that Glen [Buxton] passed away, because he was our Keith Richards. He lived that life and just lived it 'til it killed him, which was too bad. We all did go to the same high school together, and we were all on the track team, and it was pretty cool that guys that knew each other before the band ended up going that far.

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Are you guys going to perform?
Yeah, in fact, we've done a couple things together in recent years. The band broke up in 1976. I wanted to take it more theatrically and I can understand why, I think, the band got exhausted. It was never one of those bitter break-ups. It was a break-up that was, 'I have different ideas, you have different ideas, but lets still be friends.' But we've done different charity things together recently where we've done 40 minutes of the hits.

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Do you think you'll wear a tuxedo?
I don't think Alice would wear a tux unless it was a mirrored one. And we're trying to figure out, if we do 'Schools Out' do we send balloons full of confetti into the audience? I think so. I doubt if there'll be a snake there though.

Are you thinking of playing in more shows with the original band in the near future?
I think it is inevitable. We have kind of been looking for an excuse to do that anyway. Why not do 4 or 5 major cities, Detroit especially since that's where we broke out of. Los Angeles, New York, London, Toronto. Those were like the five cities where we got our biggest push. We might do that in the spring.

I've read that you're cutting a new album with Bob Ezrin.
Yeah. It's like the Beatles doing another album with George Martin. We are doing Welcome To Me Nightmare Part II. We decided, why not give Alice another nightmare? All of the songs are written at this point. I can't see it coming out until spring of next year.

You have pretty ambitions plans for next year then.
Yeah! Oh my gosh, next year is gonna be unbelievable. I do six months on the road anyways. I've got a feeling this is gonna be more like 12 months.

I've read that you're a Republican. Is that accurate?
I am extremely non-political. I go out of my way to be non-political. I'm probably the biggest moderate you know. When John Lennon and Harry Nilsson used to argue politics, I was sitting right in the middle of them, and I was the guy who was going 'I don't care.' When my parents would start talking politics, I would go in my room and put on The Rolling Stones or The Who on as long as I could to avoid politics. And I still feel that way.

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