Etiquette

Alice Cooper Takes a Stand on Makeup and Mulligans

The rock legend who sang love songs to corpses returns to advise our audience about appropriate travel attire, where and when to apply makeup, and what to pair with sweet, sweet blood.

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Photo Credit: Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images

Earlier in this week’s show, rock hall-of-famer Alice Cooper recalled his besotted time as a member of the original “Hollywood Vampires” and told us about the bed he inherited from his friend Groucho Marx. So we asked him to stick around to answer etiquette questions, because of course.

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Rico Gagliano: Back in the ’70s he was known for pretending to be guillotined on stage. So we figure he’s just the guy to tell our listeners how to behave. Alice, you ready for their etiquette questions?

Alice Cooper: Etiquette! I’m all over this, yes.

Proper Prostration

Rico Gagliano: All right — Here’s something from Daniell in Boston. Daniell writes:

“When meeting a rock legend, what is the proper level of prostration? Were Wayne and Garth overdoing it when they met you in the movie ‘Wayne’s World’?”

Alice Cooper: Because of that [movie], about 12 times a day, I get, “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” And everybody’s on their knees, and I have to do the whole thing with putting my ring out so they can kiss it, and all that. I was stuck with that for years, and I told Mike Myers. He said, “It could’ve been a lot worse — I could’ve given you a tagline that was a lot worse than that.”

Rico Gagliano: That’s true.

Alice Cooper: So I’ve lived with “We’re not worthy!” for a while. So, yes, if you do feel like you’re the only one that thought of that for the day, go ahead. Because I’ll pretend like you were the only one. OK?

Brendan Francis Newnam: Oh, that’s kind of you.

Rico Gagliano: That is nice of you — but what would be the appropriate level of prostration?

Alice Cooper: I think “Your Majesty” is fine. I will respond to “Your Majesty.”

No, I mean, most people will come up and they’ll say, “Mr. Cooper?” I say, “It’s Alice, OK?” I try to make it so that… I’ve never refused an autograph to anybody, and I’ve never refused taking a picture with anybody.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Well, there you go, Daniell.

Rico Gagliano: Just call Alice “Your Majesty” and treat him like a buddy.

Making up in public

Brendan Francis Newnam: This next question comes from Emma in Seattle, and Emma asks:

“Is it acceptable to apply makeup, such as eyeliner, in a public place? Or is it better to apply makeup privately?”

Alice Cooper: You know, it depends on how much you need it. I think that if you’re really ugly, yeah — put it on as much as you can.

Rico Gagliano: Such a polite thing to say!

Alice Cooper: But, you know, I don’t have any problem with a girl putting makeup on over dinner. She’s trying to look good for you, right?

Rico Gagliano: OK. Although, driving around L.A., you see a lot of people putting on makeup at the wheel of a car, like stopped at a traffic light. Is that acceptable?

Alice Cooper: Yeah, I think so, as long as… I mean, I’d rather see that than tweeting.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Oh, yeah?

Alice Cooper: Maybe the most egotistical thing on the planet. “I’m going to go to Starbucks again!” Who cares if you’re buying shoes? I don’t care. You know?

Brendan Francis Newnam: All right, I’m with you there, Alice. And Emma, so go ahead and apply makeup. You can even apply it in the car.

Alice Cooper: Sure.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Just don’t be driving near Rico.

Rico Gagliano: Yes. And don’t tweet at all.

Serpentine fashion statements

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Inductee Alice Cooper poses with a snake in the press room at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at The Waldorf=Astoria on March 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Alice Cooper pulls off the snake look at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on March 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Rico Gagliano: Here’s something from Rob in California. Somewhere in California — it’s a big place, but he’s there. Rob asks:

“When is a python around one’s neck too informal a fashion accessory?”

Alice Cooper: Well, it’s never too formal if you’re me or an exotic dancer.

Rico Gagliano: I see.

Alice Cooper: If you’re an exotic dancer, and that’s what you do, yeah, go ahead! And me, I’m kind of expected to have that at formal events. Nice Varvatos tuxedo and a python kind of looks good.

Rico Gagliano: No ascots for you, just the python.

Alice Cooper: Yeah.

Brendan Francis Newnam: No cummerbunds.

Alice Cooper: Yeah! If it was Anderson Cooper, though, it wouldn’t look right.

Sacrificing warm food in the name of manners

Brendan Francis Newnam: All right. This next question comes from Elias in Austin, Texas. Elias writes:

“If I’m at a restaurant, and I get my meal first, before the person I’m with, how long should I wait until it is appropriate to begin eating my meal before it gets cold? Is there a loophole where I can offer a bite and then begin eating, or should I just wait until their food arrives?”

Rico Gagliano: This is good for you because, of course, you have a restaurant.

Alice Cooper: First of all, he’s from Elias, Texas, right?

Rico Gagliano: His name’s Elias, and he’s from Austin.

Alice Cooper: Austin, Texas. Well, same thing; If you’re from Texas, you just eat whenever you eat. You know, you just shove it down your throat.

But I mean, come on! If you’re sitting there — I never understood this. The food’s coming, everybody’s waiting, and your food’s getting cold. That’s stupid! Eat the food when it gets there.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah.

Alice Cooper: All right?

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah!

Alice Cooper: If it’s a salad, OK, wait, sure. But if it’s a steak — you don’t want a cold steak!

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah, he’s from Texas; there’s no salad, so he should just eat.

Alice Cooper: That’s right.

Rico Gagliano: The answer is: eat it. It’s going to be meat, so eat it quickly.

Alice Cooper: You’re right, eat it.

Golf: Cooper’s rules vs. Connery’s

Rico Gagliano: Here’s something from Jeff in Lake Ozark, Missouri. Jeff asks… oh, this is a golf question for you, Alice. You’re known to be a golfer.

“Should you allow a mulligan on the first tee, or count every shot?” For those who don’t know, a mulligan is kind of like a second shot, I guess.

Brendan Francis Newnam: A free pass that doesn’t count, yeah.

Rico Gagliano: “Should you allow a mulligan on the first tee, or count every shot? There might be a wager on this one,” Jeff says.

Alice Cooper: Oh, if you’re playing for money and you both agree that there can be a mulligan on the first tee, then that’s great. But don’t assume that you can just take a mulligan on the first tee.

We play regular-guy golf, so on the first tee you hit until you’re tired, if you don’t hit one down the middle, right? In fact when we play a game, the Cooper rule says, “Everybody pars the first hole.”

Brendan Francis Newnam: Oh!

Rico Gagliano: Really? It’s just given that you get a par?

Alice Cooper: You get the par, yeah. And nobody ever argues with that. Everybody loves that rule. But, you know, if you’re going to play somebody in a skins game, or for money, then you have to play everything down. Or, as Sean Connery always says [in Connery’s voice], “Strict rules, Alice. Strict rules.”

Rico Gagliano: Is that really… do you play a lot with Sean Connery?

Alice Cooper: No, but when you do play him, he wants “Strict rules.”

Essential travel attire

Brendan Francis Newnam: OK. This next question comes from Ashley in Los Angeles:

“Alice, you tour a lot. What’s the most appropriate attire for travel, especially since we all find ourselves in such close quarters on flights?”

Alice Cooper: The best thing you can wear on a flight is deodorant.

Rico Gagliano: Not so much fashion, but…

Alice Cooper: I mean, I don’t care what you’re wearing, as long as you’re not on a five-hour flight, and the person next to you smells like 19-day-old Levis.

Rico Gagliano: Is that still happening to you? I’m imagining you travel first class a lot. There’s people without deodorant up there?

Alice Cooper: Oh, yeah. Doesn’t matter. They should actually give you, when you get on a plane… I have a theory about this, too, about sky-jacking and all that. When you get on a plane, you get your Diet Coke, you get your peanuts, and you get a gun. All right? That way, anybody pulls out a gun, there’s 59 people pointing a gun at him saying, “Yeah?”

Rico Gagliano: I don’t know if that’s the best policy, dude.

Alice Cooper: Well, you either arm everybody or disarm everybody!

Rico Gagliano: But then you’ve got a whole bunch of people who don’t know how to fire guns, in a pressurized tube! I don’t know if that’s a great idea.

Brendan Francis Newnam: And you’re assuming that everybody’s drinking Diet Coke. I mean, that’s not my experience on airplanes.

Alice Cooper: Well, yes, most of them should be. But what I’m saying is there should be a container of deodorant at every single seat.

Rico Gagliano: All right, there you go, Ashley: Deodorant and a gun. That’s the fashion on flights.

Alice Cooper: Yeah!

The birth of Blood Hummus

Rico Gagliano: Here’s something from Katie via Facebook. Katie writes, “What food is appropriate to pair with stage blood?” Very simple.

Alice Cooper: Oh, wow.

Rico Gagliano: I imagine it’s kind of sweet, stage blood — right?

Alice Cooper: It is. It’s actually sugar-based. When you see a black and white movie like “Psycho,” or anything like that, stage blood was actually Hershey’s chocolate syrup, because it has the same sort of…

Brendan Francis Newnam: Viscosity?

Alice Cooper: …Weight, yeah.

Rico Gagliano: Nice.

Alice Cooper: And so it looked very good as blood. So: stage blood…

Rico Gagliano: What are you going to pair that with?

Alice Cooper: …Well, you know, sweet and sour. Yeah. You can go salt with that, too, you know, a sweet and sour kind of thing.

Rico Gagliano: So like a margarita, maybe?

Brendan Francis Newnam: Potato chips?

Alice Cooper: Yeah, like pistachios, maybe.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Pistachios and stage blood! I think we have another product line for you, Alice.

Rico Gagliano: There you go.

Alice Cooper: It’s a dip! Like hummus!

Brendan Francis Newnam: You could totally sell that: Alice Cooper’s Blood Hummus.

Rico Gagliano: There you go.

Alice Cooper: Yeah, Blood Hummus. Good name for a band, too.

Rico Gagliano: You could have a whole series of products called Blood Hummus.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Blood Hummus!

Alice Cooper: A Mideast shock-rock band: Bloodhummus.

Brendan Francis Newnam: They can open for Hollywood Vampires.

Rico Gagliano: I’m waiting!

Brendan Francis Newnam: Speaking of… this is a bit of an aside, but you’re opening for Mötley Crüe right now. What is it like backstage?

Rico Gagliano: Oh, God.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Are all you guys drinking Diet Coke and eating peanuts with guns, or what’s happening back there?

Alice Cooper: Everybody is actually fairly sober. I mean, I know I’ve been sober 33 years now. And when you think Mötley Crüe, when they do the song “Girls, Girls, Girls?” I think now they’re doing, “Wives, Wives, Wives.”

Rico Gagliano: Things are different now for the Crüe.

Alice Cooper: Yeah. You know what? It’s two big shows. Both shows are very production quality shows. And so it’s a ton of people backstage. And in the ’70s, you know, there was this idea that backstage was naked girls running around. And, yeah, in the ’70s, that was true. Now, it’s a bunch of fat guys moving amps around with spaghetti stains on their shirts.

Rico Gagliano: Wow.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah.

Alice Cooper: Everybody wants backstage passes, and I go, “You’re going to be really disappointed!”

Rico Gagliano: Yeah. “You sure?”

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah, you’re like, “Have all the VapoRub you want.”

Alice Cooper: I mean, hey, listen, the drugs are still there. I mean, you know, Sinex…

Brendan Francis Newnam: Excedrin.

Alice Cooper: Advil, Excedrin.

Rico Gagliano: All the good stuff. All right, speaking of all this…

Alice Cooper: “You got any Bengay?!” Yeah, sure.

Party time at Casa Groucho

Rico Gagliano: Nice — you’re going to get totally stoked on Bengay. Here’s our last question, and it kind of speaks to this. We ask this of all of our etiquette guests:

“What is the most memorable get-together you have ever been to? Who, when, and where? Details, please.”

Alice Cooper: Well, if you went to dinner at Groucho Marx’s house, OK, there were always nine or ten people there that you’d go, “Wow!” You know, Marvin Hamlisch would be at the piano. And after dinner, you had to perform.

If you were a singer, you had to dance. If you were a dancer, you had to tell jokes. So, the idea was to put people on the spot, where they had to do something that they didn’t know how to do.

Rico Gagliano: Oh, man. What did you do?

Alice Cooper: It was funny, because I actually did a song with Groucho. We did “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.”

Rico Gagliano: Yeah, which he’s known for.

Alice Cooper: Yeah, he did the first verse, I did the second verse. But no rock and roll. I couldn’t do rock & roll. Now, if Groucho would’ve gotten up, he would’ve had to do like, “Smoke on the Water” or something, you know.

Rico Gagliano: Aww, why was no one recording that?

Alice Cooper: Oh, yeah!

Brendan Francis Newnam: I know!

Rico Gagliano: Alice Cooper, we are out of time. Thank you for regaling us with these great stories, and for telling our audience how to behave.

Alice Cooper: Yes. And it’s about time that you learned how to behave out there.