Alice Cooper traded booze for birdies, and he writes about saving his life through golf in his just-published memoir, “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock ‘n’ Roller’s 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict” (Crown).
“I traded one bad habit for another habit, only this habit (golf) was a lot healthier,” says Cooper, who went through rehab in the late ’70s and early ’80s but has been clean and sober since 1983 and has counseled other celebrities about kicking their addictions.
“Golf ended up being a good trade-off,” he says. “The thing about this book, is that when I look at the whole juxtaposition of who Alice Cooper is, the golf addiction and the music addiction, still, it’s pretty interesting how they can co-exist.”
Cooper, who co-wrote the book with twin brothers Keith and Kent Zimmerman, alternates chapters about his golf experiences with details about the rest of his life, including the development of the Alice Cooper alter ego and of his trademark flamboyant and macabre stage shows. He reveals for the first time that it was longtime manager Shep Gordon who threw the chicken on stage in a famous incident at the 1970 Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival Show.
“Golf Addict” is also unsparing in its account of Cooper’s descent into alcoholism and is surprisingly open about his post-rehab turn to Christianity. “I never look at the past as being anything I can’t talk about,” explains explains Cooper, who refers to his 1976 autobiography “Me, Alice,” as “a drunken rant.” “I’m the eternal optimist; I look at things and go, ‘Well, I don’t really live in that era anymore. I did that stuff. It’s a matter of record. But I’m really more interested in what I’m gonna do this afternoon than what I did then.”
But he does acknowledge that he “had to sugarcoat” some of the stories. “There are people who are still alive that I didn’t really want to implicate,” Cooper explains. “I tried to stay within the boundaries of everything … and still write a good book.”
Cooper kicks off a world tour on May 28 in Santiago, Chile, and is due in North America later this summer. He’s put off recording his next album, a conceptual pieces about a serial killer called “Along Came a Spider,” until 2008 but says it could turn into a two-CD set.
“That would be great; I’ve never done one,” Cooper says. “We wrote 20 songs thinking we were going to get this album recorded before this tour. We just ran out of time. But since we have five months on the road we’ll probably write another 10 songs. I’d like to put out 30 brand new songs on one album.”