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How Alice killed off the hippies

Alice Cooper says his band put an end to the hippy movement and gave rock music the kick up the arse it desperately needed.

The shock rocker recalls the reaction to the band in the 1970s and says that, for the first time in years, music was fun again.

He also discusses the 70s attitude to drugs and compares it to today’s more educated views on substance abuse.

He tells In The Studio: “We were such a shock to the system. I always say that we were the band that drove the stake through the hear of the love generation. Everybody was so tired of peace and love and that whole San Francisco thing that all of a sudden here was this breath of fresh air.

“Everything that the hippies didn’t believe in. Alice Cooper was celebrating sexuality and androgyny and horror and all of this put together. It was fun. For the first time in a long time music was not political, it was fun. But the music has to stand up years from now, even after they forgot what we did on stage.

“To a lot of people who were into music and that was their life, we were an embarrassment to them. They couldn’t say they didn’t like our music. They liked our music but they couldn’t digest the image.”

Cooper recently spoke for the first time about his own battle with drugs and booze and in this latest interview describes the 70s as an anything goes environment completely at odds with today’s take on addiction.

He adds: “In the 70s it was sort of like they sent out a squadron of rock ‘n’ rollers and the ones that came back ended up being heroes and the ones that died went down with the ships. It was very hard because it was like nothing illegal at the time. Even though it was illegal, in the rock ‘n’ roll business it was very hip to be out of your mind.

“Now, it’s that drugs and alcohol is very looked down on. In the 70s if somebody said ‘That guy’s into smoking base’, everybody goes ‘Ooh, that’s pretty hip.’ Now if someone says ‘He’s into base’ everybody goes ‘That’s too bad.’

“We’ve been educated now, we realise that drugs are so destructive. As a musician, the last thing you need is something else in your way. The business is hard enough without having another stumbling block in your way.”

In the rest of the interview, Cooper talks in-depth about his hit albums – as well as the misses – and touches on the alleged feuds with Bowie and Kiss.

Stef wrote close to 5000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind in late 2016 and has since moved to his beloved Canada.