Alice Cooper says he’s learned to “co-exist” with his stage persona.
In a new interview with the Sun, he also revealed the only person who still used his original name, Vincent Furnier.
“There was a long time when I couldn’t separate the two,” Cooper said. “When I was drinking and drugging, I didn’t know if I was supposed to leave the house with make-up on. I felt I was going to disappoint people if I walked out without a snake around my neck.”
He continued: “When I got sober, I went, ‘OK, I have to co-exist with this guy’. I mean, Alice is my favorite rock star … but he stays on stage and I go back up to my normal life. That’s why I can speak about Alice in the third person. Somebody will bring in a costume and I’ll go, ‘No, Alice would never wear that!’ It’s actually a very organized schizophrenia.”
Cooper, 73, reflected: “I don’t know what age Alice is. He could be 18, he could be 23, he could be 30.” He said of the real-live version of himself: “I’m in really good shape because I’ve never smoked and I quit drinking 38 years ago. I can do five shows a week … whereas guys my age can generally do just two.” He argued: ”I’ve never lost my love for rock ’n’ roll. I do it with real enthusiasm. I never mail it in.”
He described Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger as one of his biggest influences, but went on to say that it was fellow former-drinker Keith Richards who used his birth name. “He’ll say, ‘Vinnie, Vinnie, how long has it been since you had a drink?’ And I’ll reply, ‘More than 30 years’. And he goes, ‘Ah, begs the question, why?’”