Alice Cooper superfans, Geoff Pender and Steven Ward, recently interviewed the singer before his Mississippi concerts. They found out some interesting details about the rock icon.
Dustin Barnes/The Clarion-Ledger
JACKSON, Miss. — As he held a loaded .38 revolver on Elvis Presley, Alice Cooper recalls, “The little devil on my shoulder said, ‘Shoot him. What a great story. Don’t kill him, just shoot him.’”
The king of shock shooting the king of rock ‘n roll in 1971 would have, no doubt, made international headlines.
But seconds later, Cooper said, he found himself on the floor in Elvis’ hotel suite kitchen, the gun knocked far away and Elvis saying, “That’s how you take a gun out of somebody’s hand.”
Cooper recounted this first meeting with Elvis during an interview with The Clarion-Ledger about his upcoming shows in Tupelo — Elvis’ birthplace — and Biloxi. Cooper recalled pantomiming Elvis in front of a mirror years before he joined a rock band and says Presley was a musical and theatrical influence, as were the many Southern blues musicians who influenced other top rock acts of the 1960s and ‘70s.
“I had a great relationship with Elvis,” Cooper said.
“… In 1971, I was in Las Vegas, and I get a call: Elvis wants to meet you … I went to the Hilton, got in an elevator and in the elevator is Liza Minnelli, Chubby Checker, Linda Lovelace and me … We get up there and (Elvis) comes walking in and says, ‘Hey man, you’re the kid with the snake, right? That’s cool man. I dig that makeup, dig that whole thing.’ He takes me into the kitchen and says, ‘I want to show you how to take a gun out of somebody’s hand.’
“Elvis and I had this very strange kind of mutual admiration kind of thing for each other,” said Cooper, who took shocking audiences — and parents — to levels of which Elvis probably never dreamed. “He liked that I was doing something he had done — shock the kids, shock the audience. He loved the fact that somebody was still doing it.”
Cooper, 69, is still doing it.
Although the shock may have worn off, he’s still entertaining audiences with elaborate theatrical performances and sets that include a 50-foot Frankenstein’s monster, a guillotine, an electric chair, straightjacket escapes, snakes and pounding hard-rock anthems and hits that span nearly five decades.
Cooper said he has a new album coming out in June, a reunion with producer Bob Ezrin, whom Cooper describes as “my George Martin,” and three of the original Alice Cooper band members. Cooper, born Vincent Furnier, split with the original Alice Cooper band in 1975 and changed his name to the band’s name.
Cooper’s first shows in Mississippi and across the…