Mr. Nice Guy Pt. 2: Alice Cooper Set Aside Money for Road Crew During Lockdown

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

On December 20, shock rock’s biggest name, Alice Cooper, went viral on social media after a photo taken of the “School’s Out” singer serving food to a child during the holiday season circulated.

But that wasn’t the end of Cooper’s string of good deeds.

Around the beginning of the pandemic, Cooper could read the proverbial tea leaves and knew that with the shutdown of live shows, life was going to be very different for a while for him and his crew. So, what did he do? He put money aside for his road team as concert after concert began to close.

Speaking to Forbes, Cooper said that he financially supported his team during the shutdown before concerts could come back. Cooper added that he hopes that others did the same for their road crews.

“When we saw this coming, we put money aside for our crew. We could see that it was… something. So we put money aside as a backup for them,” Cooper said. “Because we knew that their unemployment would run out. And then they’d have something to go to. I think all responsible bands did that. Hopefully.”

Cooper, who puts on big, elaborate stage shows that require a big, focused team, continued, “These are people we live with. We work with them every day. The guys that run the stage are as important as the guys that play guitar. So we made sure that everybody was covered. And that was really important. Hey, we thought this thing was gonna last a month! 18 months?! Unreal.”

Upon the return of shows more recently, the 73-year-old Detroit-born Cooper toured in 2021 with KISS’ Ace Frehley. And he’s since announced multiple rounds of tour dates for 2022.

To wit, Cooper told Forbes, “I’ve been touring for 55 years. And we usually average 100 to 200 shows a year. We’re so used to being on stage that 18 months off was like insane! … Now people are out doing shows again—it’s back to the grind. And we love the grind!”

Earlier this year, American Songwriter spoke with Cooper, and we asked him about the power of the stage. Read his full response below.

American Songwriter: Can we talk briefly about the power of the stage? The stage is a special place and you’re special on it. What does the stage mean to you, what does its power mean to you?

Alice Cooper: It’s the funniest thing with me. I feel more comfortable on stage than I do off stage. When I get on stage, I feel like I’m at home. I think it’s because of how many years of touring, 55-60 years of being on that stage. I feel when I get up there on stage, that’s when I’m really alive. When I can really be an artist. I used to paint and I used to do that but you don’t get any reaction from paintings.

You don’t get any reaction from recording, really. You get a reaction from what you do and there’s an audience and they react to what you just did on stage. You either hear them laughing or you hear them cheering or you hear them do this “Ah! Oh my gosh!” To me, that’s so fulfilling. That you’re actually getting the reaction from the audience. And you miss it; that year and a half we had off, it was like coming off of a drug or something.

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