Alice Cooper on his friendship with Glen Campbell:
Who knew that the “godfather of shock rock,” known for his macabre heavy-metal act featuring decapitated dolls, was the best of friends with country superstar Glen Campbell?
After Campbell’s death last week, Alice Cooper acknowledged in an interview with KSAZ-TV of Phoenix that the pairing seemed unlikely.
“You think of Glen, country; Alice Cooper, rock and roll. We couldn’t have been closer,” Cooper said.
Campbell died Aug. 8 at a long-term care facility in Nashville after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Glen and I are of the same faith. We’re both Christian. I know where he is now, and I know that he’s in a perfect place,” Cooper said.
Cooper, who describes himself as a “Prodigal Son” who returned to faith later in life, said they both survived the “alcohol and drug world” of the entertainment capital at its worst, during “what we called the L.A. blizzard, when everybody was into cocaine.”
“But he had a real problem with it,” Cooper said of Campbell.
“He navigated through that. I navigated through that. We both came out the other end with great families. We both came out sober. We both became Christian. We both understood where we were. And that’s what we had in common, is that we were survivors of that world.”
Both also moved from Los Angeles to Phoenix, he noted, “to get away from that world.”
Campbell sold 45 million records over a 50-year career in show business, racking up 12 gold albums and placing 80 songs on the hit charts, including 29 in the top ten, of which nine reached No. 1.
Raised in the Baptist Church of Christ denomination, Campbell said in a 2008 interview that he and his wife, Kim, had been worshipping weekly with a Messianic Jewish congregation for two decades, celebrating both Jewish holidays and Christmas.
Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier, said in a 2009 interview about his Christian roots for “The Harvest Show” TV program that as a youth, he did missionary work with his evangelist father with Apache tribe members in Arizona before becoming a Prodigal in the entertainment world in the 1970s and ’80s. Cooper said he attended Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which he described as “a good strong Bible-teaching church.”
‘It was unique’
Cooper said many may not be aware of the respect people in the rock-and-roll world had for Campbell’s prowess with the guitar.
“People like Eddie Van Halen one time said, ‘Can you get me a guitar lesson with Glen?’ And most rockers would go, ‘What?'” Cooper recalled.
“That’s the kind of guitar player he was. He was considered one of the five best guitar players out there.”
Cooper said their families were “very tight,” and their children grew up together.
“It was unique. I was so far away from him in music, the character of Alice Cooper. And he was so far into the middle, mainstream rock and roll. He could hang out with the Rat Pack or he could hang out with Donnie and Marie. Or he could hang out with the Beatles, or anybody. He was in that middle. He was the all purpose, good-looking kid that could do anything. He was the golden boy,” Cooper said.
They shared a passion for golf, playing once or twice a week when Campbell was in Phoenix.
“If Glen called up and said, ‘Alice let’s play tomorrow,’ Cooper said, imitating Campbell’s voice, “‘I go, ‘Absolutely, let’s go.’
“I loved being with Glen.”
Cooper said, on the golf course, Campbell “had a million stories about his world, and I had a million about my world.”
“And he and I were like this,” Cooper said, putting his fingers together, “when it came to sense of humor, when it came to golf, when it came to music.”
Glenn Campbell — guitar virtuoso: