date published: October 23, 2006

5 questions with...

Alice Cooper
by Josh B. Wardrop

Rocker Alice Cooper has shocked and thrilled music fans for almost four decades with his over-the-top brand of Grand Guignol stage performance and hard-edged sound. On October 29, he plays the Orpheum Theatre and his new syndicated radio show, “Nights with Alice Cooper,” airs locally Saturday nights on WZLX-FM 100.7.

Q: Where are you right now?
I am in Springfield, Ill., and I swear to you I actually met someone named Bart Simpson today. I checked his ID and everything.

Q: What’s the stageshow like these days?
Well, if Springsteen is the main event, then we’re the circus sideshow that you can’t resist peeking at—which always ends up being more fun. We do the classics, and we’ve brought back the guillotine. So, if you’re in the front 10 rows, wearing white is a real bad idea.

Q: Has Alice changed over the years?
Looking at old footage, I realize that when I was drinking, Alice was really a mess, a whipping boy, a victim. Now that I’m sober, I couldn’t play him that way anymore. Now, he’s really more of a dominatrix/supervillain. He’s arrogant, in a funny way.

Q: What’s your most vivid memory of playing in Boston?
In 1968, I remember playing a daytime show on Boston Common, and it had to be 100 degrees with 90% humidity. And then I played the night show at the old Boston Tea Party. And it was worse! I still remember it as the most miserable show of my life.

Q: Talk about your radio show. Safe to assume it’s not easy listening?
I play stuff I love that nobody plays anymore—Procol Harum, Love, Paul Butterfield. And I tell stories, because I pretty much know everyone I’m playing. And there are no sacred cows for me, so, you know, I can call Bono the anti-Christ (laughs).