Alice Cooper, Godfather of Shock Rock: ‘I Teach Bible Study’

AP Photo/Paul Jeffers
AP Photo/Paul Jeffers

Alice Cooper, “Godfather of Shock Rock,” revealed this week that he is a substitute Bible teacher in his spare time.

In a video taken at the pre-Super Bowl celebrity flag football game in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, Cooper, real name Vincent Damon Furnier, revealed his hobby to Nati Celebrity Services vice president Chris Riddick.

“I teach Bible study,” Cooper says in the video. “I’m sort of a substitute. If nobody shows up, I’m the bottom-of-the-barrel guy.”

Cooper also says in the video that he attends Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, an interdenominational congregation.

In the late sixties and early seventies, Cooper made a name for himself with outlandish, sometimes gory stage antics, like guillotining himself, impaling baby dolls with a large sword, and beating up Santa Claus onstage.

That stands in stark contrast to Cooper’s Christianity. In an interview with the Harvest Show a few years ago, Cooper explained how he came to the faith.

“I’m the perfect example of the prodigal son,” Cooper laughed. “My dad was a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist, and my wife’s father is a Baptist pastor. So I grew up in the church, and all of my friends were church kids. I had so much fun. I mean, I was in church on Sunday, Wednesday night, Friday nights. All my social life was based around kids in the church.”

Cooper said in the interview that his reputation as a provocative rock ‘n roller is not incompatible with his Christian faith.

“I looked around and went, ‘There’s no villains in rock ‘n roll,'” Cooper said. “‘Why not create rock’s ultimate villain?’ And still, without thinking, you know, that wouldn’t affect my faith at all. The Bible is full of villains. I’ll be this villain. And I gave Alice his perimeter, his areas where he wouldn’t go past. And I still find songs, from the first albums, that totally have all these Christian by-words going through it, because it comes out of you, what’s in you.”

According to a 2011 feature on Cooper and his wife in the Arizona Republic, the rocker is a reformed alcoholic, having finally beaten his addiction in 1983.

“There was a point where I did just about everything you could do in the world of rock and roll,” Cooper told the Republic. “You get to a point where you’ve bought everything you could want – cars, houses – you’re still not satisfied. You ask, ‘What else is out there?'”

Cooper’s wife Sheryl founded an aerobic ministry at Camelback Bible Church. The couple have three children.

“Alice and Sheryl are so committed to each other and to their kids,” the couple’s close friend Lisa Savale told the Republic. “I think part of that is their faith.”


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