News Item : ALICE COOPER: I'M NOT AS SCARY AS X FACTOR'S SIMON!
ROCKER Alice Cooper has horrified live audiences with lethal guillotines, electric chairs, giant snakes and fake blood over the years.
But he insists things don’t get much scarier than witnessing Simon Cowell in full flow on The X Factor.
The gruesome rock ’n’ roller, famed for his love of gore and the macabre, came face-to-face with his nemesis as a guest on US TV’s American Idol earlier this year.
And viper-tongued Simon, 51, certainly put the star’s own legendary scare tactics to shame.
The man they call Mr Halloween admits: “Simon’s much scarier than me. He’s nasty.
“I couldn’t be a host on a show like his because I’m really too nice.
“I would never be able to be as ghoulish as Simon.
“I manage to see through the flaws and admire a contestant’s talent no matter what.”
If it weren’t for Alice Cooper’s dark, theatrical brand of rock, there would be no KISS, Slipknot, Ozzy Osbourne, or Marilyn Manson.
However, Alice, born Vincent Furnier, shares a real affinity with X Factor contestants because he first tasted fame himself on a talent show in the ’60s.
He says: “I like The X Factor because they give all kinds of acts a chance.
“It’s not just corporate singers doing a certain type of music. They have a lot of different kind of things going on there and it’s a lot more fun than just watching a profess-ional do it.”
Alice, 62, is over here to perform two very special Halloween shows at London’s Roundhouse.
And the UK remains a home from home for him.
He says: “Every day is Halloween for Alice Cooper but this time of the year is definitely a little more special.
“The music here in the UK is still the best, I grew up listening to The Beatles.
“And the Halloween atmosphere is good because you got that dark gothic vibe – the smoke, fog.
“So I’ll be doing 28 songs with a mixture of comedy and vaudeville, packed with shocks and horror.
“It will be more of a party than a concert.” As well as oodles of blood, Alice will be killed off no fewer than four times on stage.
“They can’t get rid of me,” he says. “This time I’ve got a giant hypodermic needle in the show and I’m terrified of needles, so I’m really facing my fears with that one.
“Another new stunt we do is putting me in a box full of spikes. When the lid shuts it sprays the audience with my blood.”
Following open auditions earlier this year, the gigs also see performances from Alice’s favourite weird and wonderful devotees and sideshow acts.
But regular fans can get involved too by taking part in a Halloween fancy dress contest.
Naturally, costumes are nothing new at Alice’s shows.
He says: “I’m always amazed how creative my fans get. Just the other night some guy turns up at a show looking like half an octopus.
“I always say don’t buy a costume, make something yourself that’s unique.
“In London I imagine there will be a lot of Lady GaGas – both male and female.”
Lady GaGa, 24, is somebody Alice particularly admires.
He adds: “I love the fact that she goes all out to please and involve her audience.
“Sure, she’s a mix of me, Elton John and Liberace, but to see her live you realise that she’s a great singer and great pianist too.
“Behind all that make–up she’s not just a costume queen.”
As well as being a rock ’n’ roll nut, Alice has an encyclopaedic knowledge of classic spooky films.
This being Halloween, he has a few cinematic tips for fellow horror fans.
He says: “There’s a couple of horrors that sometimes go under the wire because they’re not necessarily the big slasher movies most people remember.
“I’d recommend Salem’s Lot with James Mason, that’s a really good vampire movie.
“Dario Argento’s Suspira and the original The Haunting with Julie Harris are good too. But if you’re gonna see something at the cinema this year, go see Paranormal Activity Part 2. It’ll make you jump out of your skin about five times.”
Alice loves horror so much he got to appear in a number of classic movies over the years, including a Friday The 13th gorefest and A Nightmare On Elm Street sequel, starring as Freddy Krueger’s dad, a role he’s itching to repeat.
He says: “I would love to play Freddy’s dad again. I got to be his redneck hillbilly father. It was a joy to play somebody who is not Alice.”
But for now, and despite his nightly on-stage deaths, he has a real zest for life and a love for playing Alice Cooper.
He adds: “I never consider it a chore, I love what I do. I’m 62 going on 28.
“Back when I really was 30 years old I felt more like a 60-year-old because I was drinking every day.
“Now I haven’t touched a drink in three decades and I feel younger than ever.
“So my plan is to go on and on.”
Just so long as they keep bringing him back to life every night.
By James Cabooter
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