Idaho Free Press from Nampa, Idaho on February 8, 1975 · Page 26
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Idaho Free Press from Nampa, Idaho · Page 26

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Nampa, Idaho
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 8, 1975
Page:
Page 26
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The Idaho Free Press The News-Tribune,Saturday, February 8,1975-- B-2 AUTHOR BOB GREENE ( l e f t ) who spent five weeks on the road with Alice Cooper, wrote thai "ai the conclusion of the tour, when he realized 1 was going back to my normal life, he broke down." (Photo by Grover Cummings.) Lonely and confused The "almost 7 life of Alice Cooper Uv Stephen Kord NEW YORK - ( N E A I Hesling a can of beer on the table in between glimpses of a football game on [he television, he says. "I'm not that down on fs'ixon. 1 think he had a rough job. Aid if he's g u i l t y of a n y t h i n g , I don't think i t ' s anything new. He's just the first one to get caught . . I think [ could sit down and talk with Nixon. He's a diplomat, juil like myself. He's probably extremely charming." Tli.it. believe il or riot, was not some diehard defender of (he former President speaking at (he corner saloon That was America's infamous "pervert laureate." multimillionaire superstar Alice Cooper. Behind (lie mascara-ringed eyes and shoulder-length hair is it mind dial irautd flimflam I'.T. Barnuiri. given llic chance. \ o w b e l i e v e d w o r t h a p proximately $17 million and only 27 years old. Alice, formerly Vince Kurnier of Phoenix. Ariz., is a pop deity guaranteed to prompt a litter or grimace from the audience of just about any talk show. Rut in (he words of Dob Greene, a journalist who (raveled with (he Alice Cooper show as a performing member during the 1973 Christmas lour. Cooper is a "sad. sad person who did everything he could 10 realize the American Dream and later found it to be a nightmare." Greene, only 27 himself, is a columnist for (he Chicago Sim- Timcs and aullior of "Running." a record of his impressions while covering the 1972 Nixon-McGovern presidential campaigns. Two years ago, he met with Cooper's manager, Shep Gordon, to discuss the possibility of his accompanying (he band for .a nignlh or. .so of. . their IdiTT : ' " ' ' " Gordpo njjj.^nly consented to Greene's request but even built a spot in the show for Greene to appear on stage with Alice and the other four members of (he band. The results of this five-week stint as superstar is "Billion Dollar Babies" (Atheneum. SlOi. Greene's fascinating ac- raunl of the pop star's ersalz life (hat young men lust for (hese days (he way many of us d i d d e c a d e s a g o w h e n daydreaming about DiMaggio or Mantle. "If I had written t h i s sort of a book '20 years ago." Greene says, " f t would have been on (he New York Yankees. Alice Cooper had the same sort of ef/ert on kids as the Yankees did then. I wanted to do an in- depth book on a (op-of-the-heap rock band and Alice Cooper just happened to he at the top that moment." And that book sounds slightly familiar. as though you've read il all before somewhere -maybe something by Goethe. G r e e n e ' s n a r r a t i v e i n l e r - jnitlenlly clutches and mauls the reader's senses t h r o u g h most of the :ib4 pages. He carefully records the ambience, ego conflicts, the girls and the money - oh. the money - S70.- 000 for a onc-niphter. ' But despite what at first appears (o be a pampered life of indiscriminate sex and all the money needed to support such decadence, the rock star's life emerges as a pathetic and pointless existence. "Alice is a very lonely and confused person." Greene said. "He agreed lo do almost anything tr 'make it' as a pop star and now that he's done that, he's frantically running around trying to gel out of the image he's lorked himself into." ...Lately, as part of ^haj search , for a new identity,. Alice,ha? turned up in such incongruous places as the guest host slot on t h e M i k e D o u g l a s Show. Whether this will ease Cooper's I r a n s f o r m a t i o n f r o m baby- chopping pusedo-sadisl to rock music's own Ed McMahon is something Greene holds doubts about. "1 suspect Alice trying (o alter his image by appearing anywhere has an adverse effect -- his fans think of him as a prostitute, ready to do anything for a buck," Greene says. And indeed, the Cooper band has not released a new a l b u m in nearly two years. Nor have they m a d e a n y p e r s o n a l a p p e a r a n c e s . They h a v e plummeted from sight. The recording industry grapevine has it that Cooper will now record with a variety of established musicians though the future of his four former freak friends is unknown. "It is really d i f f i c u l t for someone on the outside of the rock heap to feel sympathetic toward anyone raking in $17 million." Greene points out. "Rut I do feel sorry for Alice. During the lour, he was on (op. All (he best-looking girls chased after him, he had the best hotel rooms, his own limousine and all Hie publicity while the rest of the band settled for second best. But at the conclusion of the lour, just before I parted company with Alice, he realized I was gelling out, lhat I was able lo go back to my normal life with the newspaper. He broke down after that. You see, (raveling ivith them had been an experience, a great one, but I knew I could leave thai life anytime I chose lo. Alice can'! and it's k i l l i n g him inside, despite hir wisecracks." Cooper was considered by many to be the most intelligent of (lie five-member group yet iHjS.hjisjness^savyy, his KARCHER MALL OPEN SUNDAY 12fo5 SALE! PANTY HOSE Irs. of famous brand at 1.95 Assorted colors. SALE 3r99 C Ladies' SPORTSWEAR Slacks Blouses Famous brand. Broken sizes Reg. to 16.00 SALE 6 99 Men's SLACKS · Casual · Dress · Knits · Wovens · Odd lots Keg. io 19.00 SALE 6 SALE STARTS SUNDAY 1.0. CHARGE - MASTER CHARGE "V BANKAMERICARD

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