The raven-haired rocker turns 68 today, and while, over the years, his work may have cemented his popular associations with deviancy and the macabre, Alice Cooper — née Vincent Damon Furnier — is in fact a devout Christian.
While a successful music career took the “School’s Out” singer away from his Christian roots (and introduced him to alcoholism) at first, it eventually brought him back to his faith. “When you get out there and realize you’ve had every car, every house, and all that, you realize that that’s not the answer,” Cooper said in an interview last year with The Harvest, a Christian evangelical program (see above). “There’s a big nothing out there at the end of that.”
“So, materialism doesn’t mean anything. A lot of people say that there’s a big God-sized hole in your heart. And when that’s filled, you’re really satisfied, and that’s where I am right now.”
Cooper said that even while apostate, his songs were still heavily inflected with Christian morality.
“Almost everything I wrote was good and evil,” said Cooper. “Don’t pick evil. Even when I wasn’t Christian, I was saying that. God and the Devil. Don’t pick the Devil. It’s a bad idea. But all they saw was the image [of Alice Cooper].”
Cooper added that even when depicting suicide and gore on stage, he did practice some restraint. “I gave Alice his perimeter, his areas where he wouldn’t go past,” Cooper said, “and I still find songs from the first albums that totally all have Christian bywords going all the way through it. It comes out of you what’s in you. So songs like ‘Second Coming,’ and that, were all warning about Satan.”
Speaking of Satan, Cooper thinks he’s totally real — and can be seen in televangelists. “Sometimes I think that TV evangelism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons,” Cooper said in the interview. “They put these guys on a pedestal and all of a sudden they get caught with a prostitute, and every Christian I know then is under the gun. So you don’t think that’s kind of set up?”