ALICE COOPER To Break Ground On Phoenix Youth Center

Dennis Wagner of The Arizona Republic reports that Alice Cooper is teaming up with Grand Canyon University in Phoenix to establish a $3 million youth haven featuring a school of rock 'n' roll, a concert hall and sporting attractions similar to a Boys Club.

"It's a sanctuary where they don't get shot, they don't get stabbed, they don't have to worry about somebody trying to sell them drugs," said Cooper, whose songs include hits such as "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Welcome to My Nightmare".

Cooper conceded that some parents might view him as unlikely, if not objectionable, in the role of a philanthropist bringing morality and religion to America's youth.

He has been labeled one of the "bad boys" of rock, and even his New York publicist, Cheryl Lawson, described the scenario as "just weirdly strange."

"It's a great juxtaposition," Cooper agreed. "Trust me, I walk that tightrope every day . . . Part of the fun is the edge of it."

The ALICE COOPER GROUP was renowned for drunkenness, debauchery and morbidity. It's revolutionary rock theater — featuring snakes, guillotines, executions and all sorts of ghoulishness — was condemned by the likes of Tipper Gore and Ann Landers.

But Cooper said those who understand his shtick recognize that the show has always been a blend of farce and satire. They also know that the band's leader became born-again 16 years ago when he quit booze.

Since 1995, Cooper has overseen Solid Rock Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides funding to children's causes and college scholarships to Christian students.



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