Alice Cooper and Desert Island Discs: it just doesn’t sound right, does it? But it was a lovely juxtaposition of a rock-solid format with the original mad man of rock (can he really be 62 years old?) Kirsty Young brought out the best in him, and he in her: by turns she was giggly, prim, probing and cheeky, and he responded with splendid anecdotes, beautifully told.
He clearly is incredibly charming and very professional, and I learned many surprising things about him. Actually I didn’t know much about him at all, so it was all a surprise. He has been married for more than thirty years (‘I’ve never cheated on her’) and has three children; his mother’s still alive, a tough ninety-something cookie whose classic line is, ‘Hey superstar, take out the garbage’; Sinatra covered one of his records; Alice had a ton of friends such as Jim, Janis and Jimi who died at 27; he could have gone the same way with the booze but straightened out and became a Christian. Not a proselytising one; he didn’t bang on about it, just said that when he was worried about the contrast between his religion and his stage act (‘I don’t know if I can be Alice any more’), his pastor said, ‘I don’t expect you to sit around: go be who you are.’ And I’ve rarely heard anyone who sounds so at home with who they are.
He spoke with humour and grace about the ups and downs of his full and colourful life: his psychiatrist; how golf is his new addiction; how he’s been with the same manager for 43 years without a contract. Nice choice of music too: lovely to hear the Who’s I’m a Boy, I’d forgotten what a great song it is.
The programme’s still available on Listen Again – an utterly entertaining and enjoyable 45 minutes.
Posted by Qwerty