During a recent appearance on BBC's "The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker", legendary rocker and golf aficionado Alice Cooper was asked if he still plays golf as much as he used to. The 75-year-old musician responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I play six days a week. I play every day. It's so funny that I never get tired of the game, because every shot is — it's an addiction; it truly is an addiction. In fact, I have rock guys that say, 'Hey, I wanna take up golf.' And I go, 'Be careful,' I said, 'because you'll wanna play every day, all day.'"
Cooper also talked about some of his golfing buddies, including fellow legendary rocker Glen Campbell, who sadly passed away in August 2017 at the age of 81. He said: "Yeah, Glen was great. I mean, Glen was truly... Um, he was really one of those guys that was probably the best short game, amateur short game I'd ever seen in my life. At 60 yards in, he was as good as any pro."
Alice continued: "One time Eddie Van Halen called me up and said, 'Hey, I wanna come to Arizona and play golf.' And I went, 'Okay, great.' Now, Eddie, after the first game of golf, he said, 'How's my game?' And I went, 'Eddie, you are a great guitar player.' [Laughs] And he says, 'Yeah, but what about my game?' I go, 'Eddie, you're a great songwriter.' The real reason he came in, he says, 'Okay, let me tell you the real reason I wanted to come in. I need for you to get me a guitar lesson with Glen Campbell.' Glen Campbell was such a great guitarist that other guitar players could hear what he was doing and go, 'Oh my gosh, this guy's amazing.' So Glen Campbell was going to give Eddie Van Halen a guitar lesson."
Asked if the guitar lesson ever happened, Cooper replied: "Oh yeah. He came over to the house. Glen lived pretty close to me, and they sat down, and he said, 'Eddie, sit down. There's a guitar right over there.'"
Alice offered a different version of his Eddie Van Halen-Glen Campbell story back in October 2020, just a day after Eddie's passing. Asked by the KSLX radio station if the guitar lesson between the two legends ever materialized, Cooper said: "At that point, I know that [concert promoter] Danny Zelisko and I got in touch with Glen, and I don't know if it ever did happen. But the fact that Glen could play the 'Battle Hymn Of The Republic' and the national anthem at the same time on an acoustic guitar was incredible. Glen was considered one of the great guitar players in music — not just rock and roll or country, just guitar player. And guys like Eddie Van Halen saw that, and they went, 'I wanna take a lesson from that guy.'
During the KSLX interview, Cooper paid tribute to Van Halen, saying: "He was a true rock and roller. I mean, he was, like, 'If I have to give up smoking, I don't wanna live.' That kind of thing. And that's easy to say when you're young."
Asked if he ever jammed with Eddie Van Halen, Alice said: "No, I never did. And I really wished I would have. I played with almost every single guitar player you can think of at some point and never got around to Eddie. And here's the weird thing. I've only met one guy in [the classic lineup of] that band, other than Eddie. I met the bass player, Michael Anthony. And I met that fabulous lead singer [David Lee Roth] one time…. I know Sammy [Hagar] really well. But as far as [the classic lineup is concerned], Dave — Dave was one of the great frontmen of all time. We just weren't in the same circles. And the last time I saw him, it was FOO FIGHTERS' birthday party at the Forum. And I went up, did two or three songs with the FOO FIGHTERS. And I passed this guy in the hall that was totally bald-headed. Yep. And he says, 'Hey, Alice, how you doing?' I went, 'Oh, hi, how you doing?' I had no idea it was Dave."
Alice added: "Honestly, a lot of people knock Dave. He is one of the great frontmen of all time."
When the interviewer pointed out that Eddie could not only play guitar, he could write great songs, Alice concurred. "And he wrote on piano," Cooper said. "I mean, he sat down at the piano and wrote a lot of those songs on the piano; he didn't write them on guitar. He was musically really — he really knew what he was doing. And he revolutionized that guitar. The last guy that revolutionized guitar was Jimi Hendrix. And then Eddie comes along and changes everything."
Photo credit: Jenny Risher