Alice Cooper: Religion Saved Me From Alcohol

By Kelly Burch 03/30/18

The shock rocker credits his Christian faith with helping him gain and maintain sobriety for over 40 years. 

Alice Cooper

Looking at Alice Cooper or watching one of his legendary rock performances, you're likely not channeling the Holy Spirit.

However, the "School's Out" singer, now 70, says that his religion helped cure him from alcoholism and kept him alive when many of his contemporaries succumbed to the disease. 

“My wife and I are both Christian,” Cooper said, according to The New York Daily News. “My father was a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist. I grew up in the church, went as far away as I could from it—almost died—and then came back to the church.”

Cooper said that he was drinking with other big names in rock and roll when he woke up vomiting blood. 

“Everything that could go wrong was shutting down inside of me,” he said of the incident 37 years ago. “I was drinking with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and trying to keep up with Keith Moon and they all died at 27.”

Cooper went to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with alcoholism. There, he realized he had to stop drinking or he would die. From that point on, he never felt the urge to drink again, he says, a miracle that he credits his faith with. 

He says that many people have trouble reconciling their ideas about Christians with his hardcore rock image. However, Cooper says that both pieces of himself can fit together with ease. 

“There’s nothing in Christianity that says I can’t be a rock star,” he said. “People have a very warped view of Christianity. They think it’s all very precise and we never do wrong and we’re praying all day and we’re right-wing. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Even today, Cooper does a daily bible study and attends church each week. Although he’s famous in a world dominated by sex, drugs and partying, Cooper says he has never cheated on his wife of over 40 years, and that he hasn’t had a drink in nearly four decades. 

Cooper, who will star in an upcoming television version of Jesus Christ Superstar, has spoken openly about his sobriety for years.

He said last year that he became immersed into the temptations of the rock and roll lifestyle in the '60s and '70s, partying with friends including Morrison, Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

“And they were already doing every drug in the world and drinking every day and living this lifestyle that was very appealing, especially for a Christian kid. And so I fell right into it.”

Though he was able to figure it out in time, he said that at first he didn’t recognize how destructive his drinking had become.

“I didn’t realize that I was an alcoholic until I realized that the alcohol was not for fun anymore,” he said. “It was medicine.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.