Idol Chatter


Ralph Arvesen/

Alice Cooper was a rock star that everyone knew in the 70s. He was on top of the world.

As with most rock stars, the life Alice Cooper lived a party lifestyle that included a lot of heavy drinking. But when his friends began passing away at a young age, and he found himself throwing up blood, he began to reevaluate how he was living.

“Everything that could go wrong was shutting down inside of me,” Cooper told Confidential. “I was drinking with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and trying to keep up with Keith Moon and they all died at 27.”

Cooper didn’t keep everything perfect after he got sober in the 70s, he does admit. He had a relapse in 1981. He slipped when he had a bit of wine, that developed into a cocaine habit. A show in 1980 in Toronto was a casualty to his relapse after it was delayed for hours and eventually cancelled. Angry fans became uncontrollable and started a riot. At first the delay was blamed on customs, then on an asthma attack, but eventually rumors surfaced it was due to Cooper’s substance abuse.

Things continued to spiral out of control. After that tour he went home to start a family with his wife, and in May of 1981, they welcomed their daughter Calico. But despite the new addition, his drinking returned to a heavier state, until he was almost functioning like he was on autopilot.

In the fall of 1983, he was checked into the hospital by his family and given vitamins to boost his frail state. The doctors classified him as a “classic alcoholic.” He was then diagnosed with cirrhosis. After two and a half weeks he was told he could recover, if he gave up the drugs and alcohol permanently.

Upon leaving, he knew he had to go back to his roots and find Christ again.

“My wife and I are both Christian,” Cooper said. “My father was a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist. I grew up in the church, went as far away as I could from it — almost died — and then came back to the church.”

Cooper has grown in his faith since that brush with death 37 years ago. Cooper does Bible study daily and goes to church every Sunday. He also proudly says that his three kids have never had any trouble with drugs or alcohol.

When Cooper was dabbling in addiction, he was also wrecked his marriage. His wife filed for Divorce and moved out with their daughter in late 1983, but the couple was able to reconcile in mid-1984 after Cooper had changed his ways.

With his new sobriety he was back on top and back on track thanks to his religion. Most people can’t understand the life of a rock star who’s also filled with the love of God. But he says differently.

“There’s nothing in Christianity that says I can’t be a rock star,” Cooper added. “People have a very warped view of Christianity. They think it’s all very precise and we never do wrong and we’re praying all day and we’re right-wing. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Today, Alice Cooper continues to stay strong in his sobriety and his faith. Cooper recently was introduced to a whole new generation of fans through is performance of King Herod in the NBC live version of the classic musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

This isn’t the first time Cooper has taken on the Herod role. He also tackled it in 2000 when “Superstar” writers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice asked him to record “King Herod’s Song” as part of a London cast recording.

Cooper’s inspiration for his performance is “Harry Potter” actor Alan Rickman.

“When I first heard about it, I thought Alan Rickman — that condescending sort of arrogant character, and I kind of fashioned what I would do after what I thought Alan Rickman would do if he were alive.”

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