Film and TV

Alice Cooper's New "Doc Opera" Details Drug Abuse and Other Sordid Stories

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Well Happy Easter weekend! Last time we talked it was right before Christmas and we were talking about holiday traditions. What will you and the family be doing tomorrow?

It's so great I have all my kids here. All the girls have their boyfriends here and my son and his wife are expecting, so we are going to be grandparents. It's a great Easter because everyone's here. I think we're just going to host everything at our house.

Well congratulations on being grandparents and the film.

To me there are parts of it that are very uncomfortable. The cocaine use is something I never ever talked about. We talked about the alcohol before but not that. But in a documentary you have to tell the whole story. And also the parts about Neal and Dennis; the break up of the band. Well, they were at the Tribeca opening. I was sitting with them. And when you get their opinion about why the band broke up and how they felt, it would be easy to edit that out, but I don't think that would've been the right thing to do. You give everyone their say about what happened. And we're still best of friends.

In a documentary you have to touch base on all those things to show the big picture.

Yeah, you can't just candy coat it and say there was no problem. "Oh, Alice had a drinking problem and he got over it." Well, that isn't exactly what happened. You know, I did get over the drinking problem but then I had the coke problem. I moved to L.A. in those years, in the late '70s early '80s, which was ... A blizzard. A cocaine blizzard. Everyone in L.A. There wasn't anyone I knew who didn't do cocaine. It was almost legal, and I was just right in the middle of it. And having an addictive personality, man, I was addicted to it immediately.

You mentioned in the doc that all these bands were coming up, like the Sex Pistols, and you said something along the lines of having to keep up with the younger kids. And that was what led you to coke.

Laughter. I could've kept up with them without the stuff though you know? That was the amazing thing. I kept giving alcohol and drugs all the credit! And that's the problem usually with alcoholics and drug addicts; they start depending on it and giving it all the, you know, the credit for your talent! In the end, you would've done much better without it. For some reason, our insecurity shows up there, you know? As soon as I quit doing everything, everything started going right again. And that told me right there, when I actually got sober, I started seeing the reality for what it was. If anything, the alcohol and cocaine held me back. It didn't help my career, it hurt it.

Well the doc paints a clear, unapologetic picture of your life.

Especially since all my friends had already died. The Jim Morrisons and Jimi Hendrix's ... they all died at 27. You think I would've looked at that and gotten the message. [Laughs]

I was curious as to why Michael Bruce was never mentioned in the film?

Michael Bruce is impossible to find. We can't find him 90% percent of the time. He's in Mexico, or Spain ... and he never leaves an address and there's no phone number. He's literally impossible to find so these guys just got to a point where they said they had to exclude him because they couldn't find him. I would always include him because he was the guy I wrote most with, you know? And we mentioned that in Tribeca because someone else asked that question. I said that we would've been more than happy to include him. But if you find him, call us, OK?

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise