Alice Cooper hoped to terrify parents with a band who made the Rolling Stones ‘look like choirboys’

Alice Cooper
(Image credit: Jenny Risher)

Alice Cooper had a fiendishly simple game plan for stealing the souls of a generation of American youth: he wanted to create a rock ’n’ roll band who would make The Rolling Stones look like choirboys.

Looking back over his storied career in the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, Cooper reveals that seeing his parents’ horrified reaction to the Rolling Stones helped inspire him on his journey shock rock superstardom. 

Asked, ‘Do you remember the first time an artist shocked you, and did it have any impact on the route you took?’ Cooper recalls seeing Elvis, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones on TV, and realising that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had the power and presence to make parents recoil in horror...and blow teenage minds.

“I was seven when I first saw Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show and we were so used to doo-wop music when I was a kid, all of a sudden we didn’t know if Elvis was the hero or the villain, but I knew my parents liked him,” Cooper recalls. “The second time was when we saw the Beatles – we all went, ‘Wow look at that hair, look at the boots, look at the suits! These songs are the best songs I’ve ever heard!’ Then the Rolling Stones came and I got the reaction from my parents that these guys were scruffy, they could be drug addicts – that appealed to me. 

“I looked at them and thought, ‘If I ever get a band together, I’m gonna make these guys look like choirboys!’”

The new issue of Metal Hammer is an emotional salute to late Children Of Bodom legend Alexi Laiho, who passed away at the age of 41 in December, with tributes paid by Kerry King, Nightwish, Mastodon, Zakk Wylde, Dimmu Borgir and many, many more. From his early life to his rise as a modern day guitar god to his legendary hellraising, it’s the ultimate look at the life of a true one-off.

Also in the new issue, we take you inside the year that Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax changed metal forever, get Sam Carter to reveal all about the bold new Architects album, find out how Epica came back from the brink to make their most fascinating album yet and meet the excellent Divide And Dissolve – the drone duo dismantling white supremacy.

The issue is on-sale now.


(Image credit: Future)
Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.