Alice Cooper: My mental state was ‘very organised schizophrenia’
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 05/03/2021
Alice Cooper didn’t know if he should leave the house with his make-up on at the height of his drink and drug addiction.
The 73-year-old rocker – who got sober almost four decades ago – has recalled how he was unable to identify himself from his stage persona, who is famous for wearing signature black eye make-up and parading on stage with snakes around his neck, during his “drinking and drugging days”.
The rock legend – whose real name is Vincent Damon Furnier – admitted his mental state was like a “very organised schizophrenia”, and he had to learn how to “co-exist” as Alice and himself.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, he said: “There was a long time when I couldn’t separate the two.
“When I was drinking and drugging, I didn’t know if I was supposed to leave the house with make-up on.
“I felt I was going to disappoint people if I walked out without a snake around my neck.
“When I got sober, I went, ‘OK, I have to co-exist with this guy’. I mean, Alice is my favourite rock star but he stays on stage and I go back up to my normal life.
“That’s why I can speak about Alice in the third person. Somebody will bring in a costume and I’ll go, ‘No, Alice would never wear that!’
“It’s actually a very organised schizophrenia.”
The ‘School’s Out’ hitmaker – who released his 28th album, ‘Detroit Stories’, last month – credits giving up booze and drugs for being able to still tour in his 70s.
He added: “I don’t know what age Alice is. He could be 18, he could be 23, he could be 30.
“I’m in really good shape because I’ve never smoked and I quit drinking 38 years ago. I can do five shows a week whereas guys my age can generally do just two.”
And Alice has Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger, 77, who he quipped is “the prototype, the Energizer bunny who just goes on forever”, for never losing his passion for and desire to make and perform rock ‘n’ roll.
He concluded: “We all look up to Mick and we’ve all taken a little bit from him.
“And I’ve never lost my love for rock and roll. I do it with real enthusiasm. I never mail it in.”