Following the release of his 27th studio LP Paranormal last month — and ahead of his Australian tour this October — Rolling Stone caught up with Alice Cooper to chat through his list of lasts, including stories of learning how to Google, sticking a sword in his thigh and being mistaken for Al Pacino.
All words below by Alice Cooper.
The last nightmare I had
I've had tidal wave dreams before, and they're not fun. I had one just the other night. I was on the shore and waves are breaking, and all of a sudden I saw this wave coming that was the size of the Empire State Building and it kept getting bigger. And it was inevitable that it was going to hit, and of course you wake up right before it hits. Psychologists say that usually means there's a problem in your life, or something that's overwhelming you, and I can't think of what that would be right now.
The last time someone called me Vincent
The only person that calls me Vincent is Keith Richards. He never calls me Alice. [Last time] he said [impersonates Richards], "Vinnie, when was the last time you had a drink?" And I said, "I don't know, 25 years ago." And he said, "Begs the question, why?" And he stumbles off, and I went, "Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Sparrow!"
The last time someone stopped me and said, "We're not worthy"
When I'm on the road, if I'm in an airport, I'm not kidding you, three to four times a day. And I try to make it look like, "Oh my gosh, nobody's ever done that before, how clever of you!" And yet it happens at least three or four times.
The last time I was injured onstage
The most classic one was, I used to stick this sword in the stage and walk away and it would be stuck there. And [one night] instead of sticking it in the stage it went right through my thigh. The audience thought it was a great illusion. The band knew that it was in my thigh, and it's literally squirting little bits of blood out while I'm walking around. And at the time there's so much adrenaline onstage that I went, well, it's already in, and it doesn't hurt that bad, so at least make it part of the show. Finally I pull it out and stick it in the ground and continue the show. When the curtain comes down, the adrenaline has gone and I go, "Aaarrrgghh! [Laughs] It hurts!"
The last time I did something for the first time
I am totally illiterate when it comes to anything computers. I've gone out of my way not to have a cellphone. I have people that do all that, the social media thing, but I don't carry a cellphone. I have a laptop to watch movies on, that's all I know how to do. And the other day I said, "Somebody show me how to Google something." And I was like five years old! I'm going, "Wow, this is pretty neat!"
The last time I was mistaken for someone else
I'm flying from LA to New York, first class seat, and there's a guy sitting next to me. And I talk to him for five hours, just about everything. And I've got this little Puerto Rican hat on, and my hair's tied back and we're talking, and finally we land and I say, "Really nice to meet you" and he goes, "I'm not one of those guys, but can I get your autograph, Mr Pacino?" The guy thought I was Al Pacino for five hours!
The last time someone sang my lyrics back at me
In a department store. You know how they have these hanging racks? I walked past one and all of a sudden it opens up and this guy shouts, "School's out for summer!" And I jumped back about four feet. What did I do? At first you have the notion of hitting him, but after that you jump back and go, that guy actually planned that! He took the time to get inside all those coats and was hoping that I would walk by so he could jump out. So the idea that he took all that trouble, I went, oh, ok!
The last thing I do before going onstage
Every lead singer has a different idiosyncracy. I know Roger Daltrey [the Who] practices fly fishing. Peter Frampton irons clothes on an ironing board. I throw knives. I've become a ninja with knife throwing. I could put about 20 knives in an area about the size of a grapefruit. I throw knives and I hit the door and I'm on the stage.
The last time I was frightened
I watch these Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures shows, and we live in this big house in Arizona. Everybody goes to sleep, and I'm up in the TV room, which is like a movie theatre room, at about 12 at night, and then I realise I've got to walk through this dark house all the way back to my bedroom. And at that point in the night, you're just tired enough where every little noise sounds like something unexplainable. I become seven years old!
We're giving away double passes for Alice Cooper's Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney shows this October. Enter the competition here.
From issue #790, available now.
Topics: Alice Cooper