Alice has had a long relationship with alcohol. While he has publicly been very anti-drugs, a can of beer was his constant companion during the early years. During the late '70s it began to be a real problem. He voluntarily incarcerated himself at the end of 1977 to Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, New York. He was there about 3 months (October To December).
I think it was a mental hospital. [but] not one full of dangerous loonies. There are hospitals with people that have problems that aren't mass murderers. There weren't a lot of rehabs back then.
(Renfield, August 1996)
- What was the final straw that made Alice finally see that he needed help and decide to do something about his drinking problem?
Throwing up blood every morning was probably one indicator.
(Renfield, May 1997)
Dr Landy was the therapist who was hired to help Alice with alcoholism c.1977. He turned out to be a psychotic quack. Landy would visit Alice at home and even on the road.
(Renfield, March 1997)
[Landy] .."treated" Alice around '76/'77 primarily for his alcoholism. At one point, Shep evidently threatened Landy with a baseball bat.
(Renfield, December 1997)
The infamous Dr. Eugene Landy died 22nd March 2006 of respiratory complications of lung cancer aged 71. He was also controversially involved with Beach Boy Brian Wilson.
Alice fell off the wagon in around '81 'Special Forces' era...
Alice was not drinking during the Madhouse Rock tour in 1978 and 1979. He started up again in 1981. Some goof wrote about Alice taking " a mighty swig" in the video. Most people miss the clever bit when Alice is taking a drink of water in the "Strange Case" video. He's drinking out of a baby bottle-nipple and all. Anyway, it's water. If he fessed up to falling off the wagon in '81, there wouldn't be any reason to try and hide the fact if it had happened earlier. And yes, that was always water in the canteen on the 'Special Forces' tour.
(Renfield, July 1996)
- Did he go back in [hospital] after Dada, or did he clean up on his own?
(Renfield, September 1995)
Alice once said that it was cool to throw up blood on-stage (as a joke--he never actually did that) but it was a waste to do it in a hotel room. It was difficult for him at times cuz he just wasn't into it and he was messed up from the drinking.
(Sickthings, May 1997)
- ca.10/77 Alice was hospitalized for alcoholism (released just in time for Christmas. Alice buys thousands of Christmas lights for his home.)
- Arizona Republic - 1st November 1977:
Alice Cooper, lead singer in the rock band of the same name, is in a New York sanitarium recovering from a bout of alcoholism, a spokeswoman for the entertainer said Monday.
A newspaper report here had Cooper, who once boasted he drank more than a case of beer a day to keep fit, admitting himself to a hospital in suburban Westchester County, but the hospital would not confirm the report.
Barbara Pepe, the Cooper spokeswoman, said that after failing to overcome his drinking problem through private, outpatient treatment, Cooper decided to take advantage of a break in his schedule to undergo a hospital program of treatment. She said she was not told where he was getting treatment.
He was expected, she said, to return to the filming of "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" in Los Angeles in several weeks.
1/78 - 4/78 (?) writing and recording of 'From The Inside' with Bernie Taupin.
8/78 (?) 'From The Inside' released
?/78 Alice and Bernie Taupin (also an ex-alcoholic) are now both addicted to cocaine (see 'Super Duper Alice Cooper' movie). Alice's health starts going downhill again to such a degree Taupin has to leave to avoid going down with him.
2/79 Mad House Rock tour begins
1981 Alice begins drinking again, reportedly after taking a sip of Sheryl`s wine during a meal - As of 'Super Duper Alice Cooper' it seems this is not true and was probably used as a cover for the cocaine issues. Sheryl takes Calico and moves to Chicago. She also files for divorce although never goes through with it.
Sept 1983 Alice goes cold turkey and cleans up for good. He calls Sheryl and they begin reconciliation including possibly seeing a councillor (Sheyl mentions this but never confirms if it ended up happening).
Alice said he never drank on-stage because of all of the moving around (he was normally quite sedentary offstage back in those days) on-stage would give him indigestion. So, he forsook his beverage of choice for a whopping 90 minutes or so during the concerts on show days. Also, as we know, he had two favorite beverages back then. One being Seagrams VO with Coke. This would have been much too sweet and gunky to drink during a workout on stage. The other, Budweiser was much too "salty" tasting to drink on-stage.
(Renfield, March 1998)