The ‘king of kings’ will meet some rock royalty during ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live!’ Alice Cooper will play King Herod during the Easter event, so get to know about this shock rocker and Hall of Famer.
Welcome to his nightmare, John Legend. When John, as Jesus, faces King Herod during Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert, he’ll be looking into the makeup-painted eyes of Alice Cooper, 70. Ahead of the April 1 event, find out about this rock and roll legend, how he kicked alcohol and why he’s the perfect choice to play this role.
1. He’s called one of the original shock rockers. For more than 50 years, Alice has been giving nightmares to rock and roll fans across the world. Alice Cooper (born Vincent Furnier) became one of the most infamous rockers thanks to a stage show that has, in the past, included electric chairs, fake blood, live snakes, and public executions – usually that of Alice himself. His mix of vaudeville and rock and roll earned Alice Cooper (and the original Alice Cooper group) a cult following. It would be hit songs like “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and “Poison” that would make him a worldwide success. He continues to tour to this very day, having released his 27th album, Paranormal, in 2017.
2. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Initially, it was just the group – Vincent, Glen Buxon, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith – that was called Alice Cooper, but as everyone started to refer to the lead singer as Alice, the name just stuck. Alice would part ways with the original group ahead of his landmark album, Welcome To My Nightmare, in 1975, but when it came for Alice Cooper’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, he was glad it wasn’t just him. “I was elated [when he first heard the news],” he told Rolling Stone, “and I called the original band guys immediately, and said, ‘Well, remember when we started in high school?’ [Laughs] ‘Here we are. Only took 45 years.’ “
“I was so happy that it was the nomination was for the original band,” he added. “We all did go to the same high school together, and we were all on the track team, and it was pretty cool that guys that knew each other before the band ended up going that far.
3. Alice is actually a Christian … So, a man known for songs like “Feed My Frankenstein,” “Generation Landslide,” and “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” would seem like an odd choice for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, right? Actually, Alice not only has he played the role of King Herod before – as part of a London cast recording in 2000, according to the NY Daily News – he’s also a devoted follower of Christ. “My wife and I are both Christian,” Alice says. “My father was a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist. I grew up in the church, went as far away as I could from it — almost died — and then came back to the church.”
“There’s nothing in Christianity that says I can’t be a rock star,” he adds. “People have a very warped view of Christianity. They think it’s all very precise and we never do wrong and we’re praying all day and we’re right-wing. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.”
4. …which he credits as saving his life. Thirty-seven years ago, Alice Cooper awoke to throwing up blood. “I got to a hospital right away and was lucky enough to be treated by an amazing doctor,” he told The Star. “He told me that if I stopped drinking, I could probably record 20 more albums, but if I didn’t, in two weeks I’d be playing with my friends Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix up in heaven. … I came to realize there was something missing in my life. An emptiness. I had tried to fill it up with alcohol, but that didn’t work, so I turned to Christ.”
5. He’s also a pretty good golfer. “When I came out of the hospital, I had to find another addiction that would not kill me, knowing I have an addictive personality. I was a good baseball player, so I figured, well, how hard can golf be? Every guy I know who is a former alcoholic or addict golfs at least five days a week,” he told the San Diego Tribune in 2016. He now golfs about six times a week and he talks about this “addiction” in his memoir, Alice Cooper: Golf Monster – A Rock ‘n’ Roller’s 12 Steps To Becoming A Golf Addict.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert airs on NBC on April 1 at 8:00 PM ET