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Alice Cooper says he paved the way for today's pop star antics

Despite all the reinterpretations -- or imitators -- Cooper says his act still rings true and original.

By Brooks Hays
Alice Cooper says he paved the way for today's pop star antics
Alice Cooper performs with Rob Zombie on the night when he is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Induction Ceremonies at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on March 14, 2011. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Suits made out of meat, smeared makeup, wild hair -- been there, done that, says rockstar Alice Cooper.

"You go look at Shakira, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga -- they're doing Alice Cooper," the lead singer told Music Radar in a recent tour. "That's what we were doing in the late '60s and early '70s through to now."

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The rock 'n' roll antagonist is currently on tour, but took time to dish on the many reincarnations of his dramatic stage presence, some more derivative than others.

"When Marilyn Manson came out, I said, 'OK, let me see, a guy with make-up on with a girl's name who does theatrics -- I wish I had thought of that!'" Cooper said sarcastically. "Marilyn and I are good friends now; we've toured together. If you look at his show, it is nothing like my show. He has his own style of grotesque. Rob Zombie is probably closer to Alice Cooper because it is more of an extravaganza."

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Despite all the reinterpretations -- or imitators -- Cooper says his act still rings true and original.

"You focus on Alice as the main character, so we don't use pyro and things like that," Cooper explained. "I want the audience to get sucked in by the character because everything happens either to him or because of him."

Cooper said he and his bandmates started to find their way after learning the basics by covering Beatles and Rolling Stones' songs. After graduating to the Yardbirds, Cooper said he and his bandmates began developing their own style. That's when they realized there wasn't a true villain on the scene. So Cooper decided to fill the void.

While Cooper may sometimes decry the new, his reverence for the rockers that came before remains strong. The frontman recently recorded a cover of the Paul McCartney song "Eleanor Rigby." The cover will appear on The Art of McCartney, an album of McCartney and Beatles tributes by other greats -- including Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson and may others. The album will go on sale in November.

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Still touring strong, Cooper and his band will perform Sunday night in Los Angeles with Motley Crue. Several dozen dates have Cooper scheduled to perform across the United States well into 2015.

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