“WISH I WERE BORN IN BEVERLY HILLS”

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Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper drinks a beer as his two companions enjoy a glass of champagne in front of a white Rolls-Royce in Hollywood, California. -- Image by © Neal Preston

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When I was around 10 yrs old the family needed a new start, so we packed up and left upstate NY– headed out west.  We jammed everything we had, including the ol’ man’s ’79 Harley Low Rider, into the back of a rusted-out old maxi-van and hit the road.  That cross-country trip is one I’ll never forget… After a quick stop in Anaheim, we set sight for Phoenix, AZ.  We didn’t have a whole lot of prospects, no job waiting or family to speak of.  But if you’re determined and willing to roll up yer’ sleeves and work your way up, you can get ahead in America– even now, no matter what people say.  Mom wasn’t above waiting tables to feed us kids, and badass biker man worked at a machine shop that ground-out those threaded connectors you see on the end of coaxial cable.  It was a nasty place– the oil flowing through the massive screw machines hung in the air like fog, and he’d come home at the end of the night shift soaked to the bone.  We started our new life in Arizona living out of a tent in the desert north of Phoenix.  It was pretty wild out there– you could sometimes feel the rattlers slither under the tent at night to cozy-up to the warmth of our bodies just on the other side of the thin tent floor.  Soon we had graduated from the tent to a trailer in Glendale, and finally to a modest rented home of our own on the west side of town– all thanks to a lot of elbow grease and grit.  I admire the work ethic and sacrifice my mom and stepdad put forth back then, and consider myself lucky to have been through all that I have, because I know I’m a survivor who can face most situations head-on and come out on top– or at least alive.

Try to put the screws on me, and I’ll screw right from under ya’.

I remember when we started to do pretty well as a family, and moved from the west side of Phoenix to the more affluent east side.  Well, I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t say that it felt like The Jeffersonsmovin’ on up, brother.  I spent my formative years living, working, and carousing town– Biltmore, Arcadia, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.  The Valley as they call it, while well populated and spread-out, still had a small town feel back then.  Now it’s mostly an endless, soul-less strip mall with a revolving door of comers and goers.  People around town knew each other back in the day, and put down roots.  And we had our share of local celebrities that you’d see out and about.  Guys like Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Glen Campbell, and you guessed it, Alice Cooper.  Where did I meet Alice Cooper?  Where else– at church.  Oh, and the car wash.  Alice is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.  And a helluva golfer to boot.

Don’t go judgin’ a book by its cover.

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Alice Cooper Alice Cooper

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