Alice Cooper Opens a ‘Sanctuary for Troubled Teens’
He rose to fame as a makeup-sporting shock rocker whose music, stage name, and concert shenanigans gave parents nightmares and drove kids wild -- but we've known for awhile now that Alice Cooper, a.k.a. Vincent Furnier, is actually a nice, normal, golf-loving guy, and he just proved it again with the grand opening of his long-planned Rock Teen Center in Phoenix, AZ.
Billed as "a creative sanctuary for troubled teens," the Rock Center recently opened for business after an 11-year stretch where Cooper raised money for it with his annual Christmas Pudding variety show. Tonight (June 29), the Center will host a free concert featuring performances by a variety of local bands, as well as "pizza and age-appropriate beverages." Attendees must be between 13-20 years old.
For Cooper, who also plans to add volunteer music instructors for free classes, the Rock Teen Center is all about giving kids choices. "We look at it this way," he said during a recent interview with the Arizona Republic. "If a 13-year-old kid right now is living in an area where the majority of the people are in gangs or into drugs or things like that, this kid doesn't have much of a chance because he's born into it. A lot of guys in gangs that I know don't want their younger brothers or sisters involved in that world. They would rather have them doing something else because, you know, it ends up either dead or in jail."
Concluded Cooper, "That's basically what that life is going to be. So if you can learn bass or guitar or piano, whatever it is, at least it's an option. And that's what we believe in, giving them an option."