By Josh Bell
When he first emerged in the early 1970s, Alice Cooper was a figure of danger and controversy, a rebellious rocker who brought horror imagery and dark overtones to his heavy, loud music. In the decades since, Cooper’s style has come to define heavy metal and hard rock to a greater degree than almost any other artist of his era, and performers like Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie (with whom Cooper has toured) and Slipknot carry on his legacy today.
Cooper carries on his own legacy, too, still performing hits like “I’m Eighteen,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and “Welcome to My Nightmare,” and still delivers an elaborate stage show worthy of the shock he provoked back in his early days. The most shocking thing about Cooper these days, though, is that he turned out to be a thoughtful, well-spoken guy, who promotes his love of golf, is a dedicated born-again Christian and has hosted his own syndicated radio show since 2004. None of that keeps him from delivering intense hard rock music, and, if anything, it makes his work more layered and intriguing. He may have grabbed attention by being shocking, but he’s stuck around by being smart.