Alice Cooper says his theatrical gigs opened a “huge door for Bowie”

He said he never saw Bowie as competition but instead "encouraged" him

Alice Cooper has revealed his theatrical rock shows were a major inspiration for David Bowie, who once told the rocker it was what his own band “should be doing”.

Cooper, whose new album ‘Detroit Stories’ was released last month, said in a new interview that his shock-rock beginnings spurred Bowie to pursue making music that was both theatrical and commercial.

Responding to a fan question sent into Metal Hammer as to whether he ever crossed path with the late icon, Cooper said: “David used to come to the show when he was a mime artist, he was Davy Jones back then. I remember at one of our ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ shows, he brought his band the Spiders From Mars and he was saying, ‘This is what we should be doing.’ But he never did it the way we did it.”


He added: “When we started doing theatrics and still had hit records, that opened up a huge door for Bowie, Lou Reed and Velvet Underground because you could be theatrical and commercial at the same time. I wanted there to be an artistic movement, I created Alice as a villain and Bowie created all of his characters to fit who he wanted to be, so I never really saw him as competition — I encouraged him.

David Bowie performs on stage on his Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane tour
David Bowie (1947 – 2016) performs on stage on his Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane tour in London, 1973. CREDIT: Michael Putland/Getty Images

“Bowie and I talked all the time, we’d compliment each other. There was a whole thing about Bowie and Lou Reed talking about my androgynous thing being fake and they were right — of course, it’s fake. It’s a dark vaudeville show and I play a character. Lou and David knew me and knew I couldn’t be more down-the-middle American but I just happened to tap into this character and the image — I knew how to make that character scary, sexy, revolting and funny at the same time!” he said.

Cooper sat down recently with NME‘s Nick Reilly to talk about his new album. You can watch the In Conversation video interview below.

The legendary rocker discussed shocking the establishment and explained why rock isn’t dead after all.


In other news, Cooper recently revealed the identity of the only rockstar who calls him by his birthname, Vincent Damon Furnier. “The only person who calls me Vince is Keith Richards.”

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