When Mom arrived in Motor City during World War II, she got a job working in a tyre factory. It was there she met my dad, Ether. She is still fiery, opinionated and as vibrant as ever – she is 95.
I have a sister, Nickie, who is a year older and the brains of the family. She got straight As and is very independent – also quite opinionated, like Mom. Nickie was the only person I could play a song for and get an honest reaction. Growing up, we would sit and listen to music together all the time.
Nickie went on to become a president of a bank, then married a bass player, who passed away recently. She’s now come to Phoenix, Arizona, to be closer to me – our family moved there from Detroit when I was in my early teens. I still play her all my songs as I write them.
I had a childhood crush on actress Paulette Goddard when I was nine. I loved nothing more than watching old movies and seeing her on the screen.
My first kiss was with a girl called Dawn. She was a cute, dark-haired girl in third grade. I fell in love 25 times by the time I turned 12. I started young and girls were very apparent to me.
By the time I was a teenager, I had my first proper girlfriend. We didn’t sleep together; it was just making out and getting hickies on my neck.
I had my heart broken by a girl called Melanie around this time. She was a model for the Sears department store catalogue and didn’t have a sixth-grade body, if you know what I mean. Then my family moved to Arizona and I was sad.
I moved to Hollywood in 1970. I wasn’t really into dating; we didn’t call it that back then. A life on the road in the 1960s and ’70s when you’re a rock star meant there were no rules. You also didn’t have time to get serious with one girl.
I did have a girlfriend for six years around this time. Her name was Cindy Lang and we met in Detroit in 1967. She was a Ford model but we weren’t marriage material for one another. We had some freedom when it came to being on the road.
Meeting my wife, Sheryl Goddard, in 1975 changed everything. We married in 1976 and have three children, daughter Calico, 38, son Dashiell, 34, and daughter Sonora, 27.
Sheryl was a ballerina and actress. I fell in love the moment I saw her. We have been together for 43 years. I have never cheated on her. She trusts me on the road and I trust her. We both have a Christian background and regard marriage as a sacred thing. Her father is a pastor and we both have the same belief system – that once you’re married, that’s it.
Calico is a comedian. She is so funny and the most like me of our children. Sonora is more rules-oriented, quiet and subdued. She’s like her mother. All our kids have a strong moral code: they’re smart, grounded individuals who make me smile.
I had a problem with drugs in the 1970s and early ’80s that almost ruined our marriage, but luckily I got through that and our marriage became stronger because of it. I’d quit drugs and booze by 1983 and never looked back. It has a lot to do with spirituality and my dependence on Christ. I continue to have a strong faith.
Alice Cooper plays in Melbourne on February 14 and Sydney on February 15.
This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale November 24.
Jane lives in Melbourne, spends her time collecting vinyl records, shops at Victoria Market and spends too much on shoes. She’s big on leopard print accessories, has been writing about fashion, music and lifestyle over two decades.