Fame: Alice Cooper

What was the most important at the start: fame, money, chicks, booze or artistic expression?

It’s a little hard to prioritise. At fifteen years old we were completely enamoured of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones and we could only imagine their lifestyle. We wanted just a little fraction of that.

What’s it like to be handed the key to the candy store? You gorged yourselves, right?

Of course! We did what any twenty-one-year-old would do. We had all the energy in the world, a product we believed in and confidence coming out of our pants. We went completely insane.

You’ve kept your distance from reality TV. What would it take for you to get involved?

The biggest tractor you have ever seen. I just hate them. An artist is supposed to work on songcraft. When I see people becoming stars just because there’s a camera on them, it’s so unfair to those that actually do the groundwork.

What advice would you offer Justin Bieber?

Justin needs to turn the corner. Everybody’s talking about him – now he needs to be the sweetest guy possible and make his own Sgt. Pepper or Thriller. [When Classic Rock laughs]: Yeah, I know that’s a little comical. Justin also probably needs to realise that he’s not a black guy.

Who made you star-struck when you first met them?

The first time you meet John Lennon or Paul McCartney, you go, “Woaaah.” Sinatra and Elvis were two of the nicest guys I’ve known. Dylan’s always a little distant but that’s his personality.

Do you get tired of hearing the “We’re not worthy” line from Wayne’s World?

Mike Myers is still one of my best friends and we often joke that I’m stuck with it for life. The thing that shocks me most when people shout it out is that they always think they’re the first. When they ask: “Has anybody done that before?” depending on how nice they are, I usually respond: “Today?”

What’s the weirdest place you’ve been recognised?

I’m so glad you asked me that. [Guitarist] Kane Roberts and I were in a twenty-four-hour doughnut shop in Los Angeles. It’s 11pm and packed when suddenly this gun shot goes off. Some guys are robbing the place. We bolted into the kitchen and as we did so, bullets hit the wall behind us. Kane breaks down the door and we get out into the alleyway, but the getaway car is waiting there and they fire off a few rounds at us. As we climb a wall, I realise there’s a guy with us. On the other side, my heart is bursting out of my body. He looks at me and says: “Are you Alice Cooper? Can I have your autograph?”

And you’re being shot at?

Yeah. I swear it’s true! We went back over the wall, I gave the cops the make and model of the car, and the guy got his signature. I was left shaking for about three days.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.