God, Drugs, and Rock and Roll: An Interview with Alice Cooper
This week, we take a look at another Alice interview. In this one, entitled “God, Drugs, and Rock and Roll”, Cooper sits down with Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and discusses a large number of topics. As the conversation unfolds, it becomes evident that who Alice is matters. Not just who he is now, but who he was in the past. In fact, this is a question we’ve been asked from time to time. Why focus on albums and periods when Alice wasn’t a Christian or embracing that lifestyle? It’s a valid point – with a rational answer. Like all of us, his stories and transformation through Christ are compelling narrations of God’s Love. They are a witness to the power of the Lord’s Mercy and Grace. Using Alice’s entire catalog is important, it points out the seeds of Alice’s faith. The seeds that were already a part of him. The things he knew were TRUTH. Even though he hadn’t fully embraced and accepted them yet. It’s often been stated that our past lives are an abomination to God. But stop and think about that for a second. Isn’t it actually an incredible testimony to Him? To see and discuss the contrast between who you were before and who you are now because of Him. It’s a powerful witness to Him and His Grace.To see and discuss the contrast between who you were before and who you are now because of Him – that’s a powerful witness.
Cooper and Laurie’s discussion is a fascinating one dealing with topics which include: the Christian faith, music history, golf, addiction, marriage, and many others. It’s about an hour in length, and it’s worth watching from beginning to end. While there are a number of avenues we could take in this post, we will focus on the following themes from the discussion: 1) Priorities In Your Life, 2) The Need for Human Interaction, 3) Marriage, Relationships, & Friendships, 4) The Formula for Salvation, and 5) Who He Is, Who You Are.
Priorities in Your Life.
One of the most essential aspects of the interview is found at the very end. However, it is referenced throughout. Prioritizing our lives and finding our life’s purpose is a significant part of any Believer’s life. A good portion of that is redirecting your earthly desires. As Pastor Laurie and Alice both point out, “accepting Christ does not mean we become perfect.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Instead, we recognize the need for an intervention. We acknowledge that we are not equipped to walk this life alone. Nor are we equipped to reach our final destination without a covering for our sins.
Cooper notes that while he respects Alice – the character, it’s just a role he plays. It’s not who he is or how he thinks. His treasures are found in his faith, his family, his friendships, and “The Rock” (the teen center he helped found, located in Phoenix, AZ). His heart lies with his life’s purpose. Luke 12:34 reads, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Stop and ask yourself some questions. What do you consider to be your treasures? Where do you spend your time? Are there addictions that keep you from fulfilling your purpose? If so, work on recognizing them. Work on finding ways to redirect that focus and energy towards Him and His Word (Philippians 4:6-8). As you read and search for those things, your life will begin to change. Your spiritual eyes will open – revealing a whole new objective for your existence on this earth. Ultimately, you will start worrying less about the things of this world and more about advancing His Kingdom here on this earth (Luke 12:29-31). Our faith is a marathon, not a sprint. We are all “works in progress.”
The Need for Human Interaction.
The entire interview covers some pretty incredible interactions Alice has experienced during his career. But two things that stood out most are the re-emergence of the vinyl record and his recollection of Elvis Presley.
The re-emergence of the vinyl record is an exciting development. It’s partially based on nostalgia, but there’s another element to it as well. Music unites people – fans to artists, artists to fans, and fans to one another. Music tells stories and stirs emotions – it touches the heart but leaves the other senses wanting more. The music, itself, is intangible, but the music and album together satisfy more senses than just the auditory ones. It builds an association between the listener and the artist. Owning a piece of that period (the record, the artwork, the printed lyrics, etc.) gives the listener something tangible. It gives them a sense of connection. To hold, smell, touch, and feel a record is something more profound – it’s a form of relationship. How many times have you listened to an album while holding the cover, reading the lyrics, or looking at the artwork? It’s more than just an audio download filling the air. It’s an interactive experience.
Alice also tells some incredible stories throughout the discussion. One that stood out most for me was about Elvis. (Check it out near the ten-minute mark.) It would seem isolation and disconnection with humanity left Elvis a pretty broken man. Cooped up in Graceland and kept under strict supervision, Elvis most likely went down a self-destructive path because of such factors. (In fact, many musicians and famous people have probably gone down that same path as well.) Alice points out that we are not meant to be isolated in our existence. We are meant to be a part of society. We were created to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Ecclesiastes 4:7-10 reads, “Again, I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” When you read that passage and listen to the words of Alice, does that verse not define Elvis (and many others in the business)? If there had only been someone willing to “help them up” would some members of the “27 club (musicians and stars that died early in life)” still be with us today? Luckily, Alice had those people present in his life. People willing to “help him up.”
Marriage, Relationships, & Friendships.
It is apparent people are essential to Alice. He admits that he likes them – he’s a people person. It’s one of the things that makes him so relatable to fans, other musicians, and those he’s worked with. He’s genuine. As the previous section discussed, human interaction is vital – to our health, our spirit, and our souls. Without it, there’s not much to live for. For Alice, it seems a good portion of his identity, at least earlier in his career, came from the acceptance of his peers. Not only other Rock musicians such as Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, members of Pink Floyd, and the like but also from his relationships formed with other members of the Friars Club. Relationships are important. They often help us become better (or worse) depending on whom we choose to associate and spend time. In our relationships and friendships, we should find others that peacefully lift us up and strive to provide them with the same support (Romans 14:19). Loving them as brothers and sisters, showing them honor and respect as well (Romans 12:10). We must keep the enemy out of our interactions with others by speaking truthfully to one another and not succumbing to anger (Ephesians 4:25-27). As discussed last week, our interactions with others are often a direct reflection of our relationship with the Lord (1 John 4:20).
Alice also references his wife, Sheryl, and in general, marriage during the interview. He credits both God and Sheryl for the survival of their 43+ year marriage – stating, “Sheryl is a prayer warrior” and adds that God gave them each other to endure life together. Both he and Sheryl have also credited going to church and keeping God first in their marriage as another factor for the longevity of their marriage. God, by design, gives us marriage and other Christ-based relationships to keep us grounded. In Ecclesiastes 4:12, it reads, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Two being bonded together by His Love (the third strand). When Christ is placed in the middle of our marriages, relationships, and friendships, it’s hard for any man or circumstance to separate them. Anything merged or joined together by His Love can withstand anything. Lastly, he also references the songwriting process as a marriage between the lyrics and the chord structure. What a beautiful analogy! Think about our Father in Heaven as the composer of our lives. Placing our spouses and other key people into the framework of our lives – Pastors, Friends, Business Partners, etc. And as His plan unfolds, we can look back and see where He placed people that were vital to our walk and growth through Him.
The Formula for Salvation.
Alice admits that the fear of God was the determining factor for his initial decision to accept Christ. He knew who Christ was, but he also knew that he had been denying Him as well. Alice also makes another interesting comment about the acceptance of Christ. He states, “when we accept Him as Lord, we are really recognizing the fact that He accepted us.” In spite of our sin and faults, He chose to become death so that we might become righteous and encounter life through Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). As the discussion unfolds further, this is a recurring theme that has been covered many times in many different stories. The fact is we, as humanity, try to fit anything and everything under the Sun into the empty space in our hearts. The emptiness which we try to plug with sex, money, and the “thrills” of this world. The emptiness that only our Creator can fulfill.
Satan has sold the world a lie. As Alice alludes to in the interview, Christianity has been judged based on the followers of Christ instead of His Word. The enemy has used Christians and their shortcomings as an argument against Christ, yet followers of Christ know they are imperfect. The quest of a Believer isn’t to achieve perfection – perfection is unattainable. Instead, His followers strive to become more like Him. Working towards a lifestyle that represents Him – a life that produces fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). The lie begins with religion and ends with religion. Our goal is not to uphold or strictly follow any certain creeds, rituals, or sacred practices. Instead, we choose to follow Him and His Word – we accept Christ. He’s knocking on the door of our hearts – waiting for ALL of His children to receive Him (Revelation 3:20). We must simply believe, acknowledge, and profess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). As Alice confesses, it’s not something that can be put into exact words. It’s a Supernatural experience. It’s the process of having your eyes opened to Him and His Word. An awakening. A rebirth. Once you begin to see who He is and who you are, real change starts to take place.
Who He Is, Who We Are.
Alice references an awakening. A discovery of knowing God and knowing ourselves. He references Christians as being “Agents for Christ.” For him, it means being a Rockstar without the Rockstar lifestyle. What does it mean for you? Humanity’s innate desire is to place ourselves first – make our own decisions – do it our way – acting as “our own God.” But for those that have chosen Christ, it means we are no longer “our own God.” We are no longer in charge. We must consult His Word before making monumental decisions in our lives. It means we choose His Spirit over our flesh (Galatians 5:17, James 4:1). This is actually a comforting thought. He is complete and whole – we are “works in progress.” His Word and the Holy Spirit are in place to guide us. As we strive to be more like Him, our lives will be more fulfilled and happier as we walk His path.
For us to become more like Him, we must know more about Him and His character. He is Love (1 John 4:16), a Worker of Miracles (Galatians 3:5), All-Knowing (1 John 3:20), Our Deliverer (Romans 11:20), Healer (Isaiah 53:5), Light of the World (John 8:12), Living Water (John 4:14) and so much more. His nature encompasses all that supports life. On the flip side, we, through Him, are Fulfilled (Colossians 2:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:17), His Children (John 1:12), Free (Romans 6:6), Reborn (Colossians 3:1-3), Righteous (Isaiah 54:14) and again the list continues, but we must know that ALL of us are made new through Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). All we need do is accept the gift freely given to us at the cross. The gift of life through Him.
In conclusion, this interview was a great reminder of many things. Each of the 5 key talking points within this post are principal factors for us to know and apply within our daily lives. As we journey through life with Him, it doesn’t have to be complicated. In many areas, it’s honestly just a matter of us, “showing up.” For instance, when Alice discusses the construction, development, and founding of “The Rock,” he simply states, “The Lord told us to do it! So, we did.” The same revelations will come to ALL of those that wait upon Him and His Word. As transformation takes place, the Lord will reveal His plan for your life and the purposes He has for placing you where you are (Jeremiah 29:11). Allow Him to work through you, “walking in freedom, serving one another through His Love.” (Galatians 5:13) Then expect and know that great things, even miracles, are yet to come! You need only believe and know that He keeps His promises (1 Corinthians 1:9).
That’s all for this week, catch you next Friday.
Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
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