Backstage Pass with Legendary Alice Cooper
Rock stars are known for their odd and outlandish lifestyles, but not everything is what it seems to be on TV and magazines. I had the honor to sit down with Grammy-award winning rock star, Alice Cooper and his wife Sheryl for an intimate interview to talk about all things music, technology, and philanthropy.
Unlike many rock star biographies, this success story starts with love. Alice and Sherly have been married for over 40 years. During the last four decades, the couple has toured the world, raised three kids, and started a non-profit that has changed thousands of lives. It’s not something fans and musicians expect to hear about a rock veteran like Alice Cooper.
Their love story started at the Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare Show, where Sheryl was picked out of a pool of 2000 women auditioning to be backup dancers. It was her skills and grace that captivated Alice, and they were married only one year later. The couple credits their successful marriage to their love and endless pursuit.
“After 40 years, he still pursues me like I’m not already his,” said Sheryl. “So that’s a great secret.”
The couple also credits their strong marriage to faith and loyalty, which has kept them devoted to each other on and off the road. While touring can come with lure and temptation, they both know that their love for each other is the cement that keeps them together.
After 50 years in the music industry, Alice still spends a lot of time on the road. The touring life of a rock star can seem luxurious, but it doesn’t come without a cost. For Alice and his crew, each day revolves around the show. Everything from their diet to their schedule can affect their performance at shows that host up to 20,000 people.
Those big crowds are made up of Alice Cooper’s multi-generational fan base, which Alice credits to his quality music and entertaining shows. Something that wasn’t always the case only a few decades ago. Today, it’s something Alice and his band take great pride in.
It’s no secret that technology has shaken the world, and the music industry is no stranger to it. Over the last decade, the music industry has been disrupted by technology. It’s changed the way music is produced, sold, and purchased. According to Alice, young bands depend so much on technology that they’re forgetting to write good songs.
“The way music is bought and sold has taken the young band and destroyed it,” said Alice. “Musically, we’ve traded gourmet for fast food.”
To someone breaking into the industry, Alice recommends building a fan base around exceptional live performances. Starting small and expanding as you go is a great way to build a loyal following who is willing to watch you play. For young bands, Alice recommends listening to The Beatles, who in his opinion, wrote perfect records.
In addition to his band, Alice Cooper is also part of the Hollywood Vampires, a band made up of some of the most iconic men in Hollywood. Musicians like Joe Perry, Glen Sobel, and Alice Cooper make up the band founded in 2015. Sheryl is part of the band as well, singing vocals in the background.
Alice and Sheryl use the same influence they have with their bands to further their philanthropic efforts. Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock has been making an impact in the lives of teens in the greater Phoenix area for over 20 years. For Alice and Sheryl, it’s a cause near and dear to their hearts.
The organization expanded five years ago when they opened a teen center for at-risk youth in the community. The 50,000 square foot facility offers teenagers an opportunity to let out their energy by experiencing performing arts. Activities like music, art, and dance, are all offered as an alternative to troubling and dangerous options like gangs, drugs.
The amazing work done at Solid Rock is positively changing the lives of teens, their families, and their neighborhoods. By seeing the potential in these young adults, Alice and Sherly are helping break the cycle of poverty, incarceration, and sometimes even death.
Alice and Sherly hope to soon work on a blueprint to expand the program across the country. They hope to tackle gang, drug, and alcohol abuse among youth in cities throughout the nation.
Alice credits the success in his life to compartmentalizing different areas of his life. His role as a family man always comes first, which he prioritizes and honors before anything. His duties as a husband, father, and now grandfather keep him grounded before going off and talking all his other responsibilities.
The tight bond between Alice and Sherly can be witnessed as they tour around the world as Alice Cooper and The Hollywood Vampires. They share a bus, hotel, and stage as they wow fans with their captivating music and performance.