Alice Cooper, the dark, devilish rocker who hit mega-stardom in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s and is still performing today, re-converted to Christianity some years back and now warns that not only does Satan rule this world but many of the songs he wrote over the years were “always warning about Satan” and “God and the Devil,” and Cooper advised “don’t pick the Devil because it’s a bad idea.”
Alice Cooper, who was nominated for two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, also explained that being a Christian “makes your life harder” and noted that some televangelists, for instance, get taken down through temptations because “the Devil is very smart.”
“TV evangelism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons,” said Cooper. The Devil does not come with horns and a tail, he said, but as “the slickest car salesman you ever saw [and] I’ve seen some pretty slick pastors on TV.”
In an interview on The Harvest Show, an evangelical Christian program, Cooper explained his evangelical upbringing – his father and grandfather were pastors -- the influence of the Beatles, and the growth of his band.
As the band grew in popularity, he said, “I looked around and I went, ‘there’s no villains in rock and roll -- why not create rock’s ultimate villain?’ You know? And still, without thinking, ‘Oh, how would that bother or affect my faith at all?’”
“The Bible’s full of villains,” said Cooper. “I’ll be this villain. And I gave Alice his perimeter, you know, his areas where he wouldn’t go past.”
“And I still find songs that from the first albums that have totally got all kinds of Christian bywords going all the way through it, because it comes out of you what’s in you,” said Cooper. “So songs like ‘Second Coming’ and things like that were all pretty much always warning about Satan.”
Alice Cooper and his wife Cheryl
Goddard. (photo: alicecooper.com)
Asked whether that was “the core kind of message” in his music, Cooper said, “It always has been."
“[A]lmost everything I wrote was ‘good and evil, don’t pick evil,’” said Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier).
“You know, even when I wasn’t Christian I was saying that,” he said. “You know, ‘God and the Devil, don’t pick the Devil, because it’s a bad idea.’”
Cooper went on to discuss that if there was a Bible story that reflected his life, it was Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale and then vomited out three days later.
“[P]eople laugh at me and say, ‘Well, you know, you can’t really believe that,’ and I go, ‘If I can believe that God created the world and created everything in it, then why wouldn’t I believe a simple thing like that?’” said Cooper.
“That’s not a hard thing,” he continued. “The very fact that He [God] cared enough about me to save my life about 20 times, you know, and help me survive a million different things to put me where I am now. And then the challenge I have now, being a Christian in the rock business. You know, He kind of put me in the philistines, the camp of the philistines, which is okay.”
Commenting on the pressure of trying to be a faithful Christian in world of rock-and-roll music, Cooper said it is not easy because God puts “your soul at ease” but the day-to-day life “makes it harder, it makes your life harder.”
“It doesn’t make your social life or your normal life in America any easier,” said Cooper, who has been married to ballerina Sheryl Goddard since 1976, and has four children. “In fact, it puts you under the microscope.”
“Sometimes I think that, you know, TV evangelism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons,” said Cooper. “They put these guys on a pedestal and all of a sudden they get caught with a prostitute and every Christian I know then, is under the gun.”
“So you don’t think that’s kind of a set up?” said Cooper. “Yeah, I’m telling you, the Devil is very smart. He’s not going to come out with the horns and the tail, he’s going to come in as the slickest car salesman you ever saw. I’ve seen some pretty slick pastors on TV.”
Near the end of the interview, Cooper discussed the Solid Rock Foundation, which he started with Pastor Chuck Strobel. The foundation provides money for young people, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, to learn how to play musical instruments and write music.
Alice Cooper hits the links. (AP)
Let’s give these kids a choice, said Cooper. “Let’s give him a place to go, where they can go learn guitar, they can learn bass, they can learn how to write lyrics. It can be vocational. They can play basketball, they can do any of that stuff under the guidance of Christian businessmen and Christian people that don’t want anything from them.”
“We don’t say, ‘Okay, now, you have to learn these Bible verses,’” said Cooper. “We’re not asking anything. All we’re there to do is take care of them, and that’s the best way to show who we are. You know, so give these kids a safe place to go. Give them some creative outlet and have counselors there. Right now, we’re kind of looking for those Christian guys that have got a lot of money that want to put it somewhere. You can’t get any better than this.”
In addition to his musical career, Cooper has played roles in several movies, including Wayne’s World with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. Also, Cooper is an avid and skilled golfer.
Cooper, 67, scored a two-over par 74 on The Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a world-class course; he played in the All Star Cup in Newport, South Wales; he has appeared in commercials for Callaway Golf equipment; and he is the author of Alice Cooper, Golf Monster.