Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 15 June |
Saint of the Day: St. Vitus and Companions
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Alice Cooper talks faith, credits God for recovery from alcoholism

J-P Mauro - published on 03/27/18

The legendary rock star is preparing to play Herod in 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'

There are few rock stars whose stage performances have been as eccentric as Alice Cooper’s. Featuring guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper’s onstage behavior has earned him his nickname, “The Godfather of Shock Rock.” Now, as the venerable rock star prepares to reprise the role of King Herod in NBC’s upcoming broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, he has opened up about how his faith guided him to turn from the temptations of drugs and alcohol.

Cooper told Confidential that he knew he needed to make a change in his life when he woke up vomiting blood, 37 years ago:

“Everything that could go wrong was shutting down inside of me. I was drinking with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and trying to keep up with Keith Moon and they all died at 27.”

Cooper, then 33, was diagnosed as a “classic alcoholic”. He turned to his wife and the faith in which he was raised to better resist the temptations that come with the life of a rock star.

“My wife and I are both Christian,” the 70-year-old performer explains. “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.”

Of the duality of life as a faithful Christian and secular musician he said:

“There’s nothing in Christianity that says I can’t be a rock star. 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.”

NBC’s live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert will air on Easter Sunday, April 1. The production will feel more like a concert than a Broadway show, with a two foot stage and a mosh pit, however there will be stage blocking and acting from the performers. Some 1,300 audience members will also become a “key part of the narrative” as the show unfolds.

Cooper recorded “King Herod’s Song” for writers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice on their 2000 London recording. He says his inspiration for the role comes from Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman:

“When I first heard about it, I thought Alan Rickman — that condescending sort of arrogant character, and I kind of fashioned what I would do after what I thought Alan Rickman would do if he were alive,” he chuckles.

Here’s a little preview if you haven’t heard it.

John Legend will take the leading role of Jesus, with Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene.

Tags:
Christian MusicEaster
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
HOMILY
Magnús Sannleikur
5-year-old boy interrupts homily and asks for prayers for his int...
4
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
5
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
6
SACRED HEART
Philip Kosloski
5 Things to know about the Sacred Heart feast
7
Revista Misión
Interview: The husband of Chiara Corbella on his wife’s sac...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.