Alice Cooper: Keepin' Halloween Alive

Alice Cooper casts his predictions for costume choices at his Halloween Night of Fear (Iron Man, anyone?) and muses on the season’s ever-escalating appeal

Feature by Alice Cooper | 08 Oct 2012

Every Halloween – that’s gonna be the big night for Alice Cooper, wherever we’re gonna be. We’re Halloween every night, of course, but that particular night we’re in Edinburgh this year. That’s sort of like having Santa Claus at Christmas; having Alice Cooper on Halloween.

Edinburgh’s perfect for the occasion; you guys are famous for your witches. It’s only appropriate to have Halloween there. You don’t even have to dress up as a witch; you just find a real one. I’ve always thought that Scotland is innately theatrical to start with; it seems that Halloween should just be something that comes naturally to the Scottish.

Halloween in America is a whole different thing; it’s the second biggest holiday of the year next to Christmas. It’s about how much candy you can get; it’s all about the candy. It really isn’t a big deal what costume you have on; when you’re ten years old, if you don’t get two shopping bags full of candy, then you’re not even trying. It’s a very greedy holiday; you grab as much candy as you can and only give up one bag to your parents, because they’re going to dole it out slowly, and you hide the other bag so you have access to it at any time.

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Halloween is the one night of the year that you get to be somebody that you’re not. You try to pick somebody that you either admire or somebody that you’d like to make fun of, or somebody that’s the opposite of you. I’d imagine there’s going to be a lot of Lady Gagas this year – there’s always one or two characters that everybody decides they’re going to be, like Iron Man. I imagine there’ll be a lot of zombies this year. They’re having a Zombie Walk over here in Phoenix soon; 10,000 zombies.

I think everybody likes the idea of dressing like the undead and walking around half-rotting away, for some reason it’s an in thing. Last year it was vampires. They make such amazing costumes now, using the kind of make up you’d usually see in horror and sci-fi. Some of the masks are unbelievable. As a kid, I was always Zorro. For some reason, every single year, I felt like I was Zorro; I needed to be Zorro, which you can still see in my show. I still have a Zorro complex.

It’s too much fun of a holiday to ignore. In the States, if Halloween falls on a Friday, and you go to a very straight insurance company say, everybody in the office – young and old – is dressed up for Halloween. Everybody does it. It used to be for the kids, now the adults are doing it. It’s one of those nights where all the channels put on their favourite horror movies. The Sci-Fi channel plays 24 hours of horror films for a week.

There’s something about classic rock and its association with Halloween: you get Ozzy Osborne, Alice Cooper – we’re like the new monsters. We’ve been around for 45 years and have always been associated with being like rock’n’roll villains. Then there’s Rob Zombie, Kiss – but Alice seems to be the oldest vampire. I’m the senior ghoul. We’re bringing a brand new show to you; we don’t even start rehearsing for another week. There’s going to be one section called Raise the Dead where we’re going to salute some of our dead friends.

Here’s the funny thing – every night’s Halloween for us. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of June or if it’s in December, when you come and see Alice Cooper it’s gonna be a Halloween party. To us, it’s just another night, but we expect the audience to be totally dressed – we want the audience to be in full costume. The fun part for us is looking out into the audience and seeing who came as what. We’re doing a show in London but that’s not gonna be on Halloween. On Halloween night we’re going to be in Edinburgh, and the witches will be flyin’.  

Alice Cooper's Halloween Night of Fear III takes place at The Usher Hall, Edinburgh on 31 Oct