Show Business: Schlock Rock's Godzilla

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Little did Nickie know that Vince would soon be fronting a gaggle of presumably straight males operating as a Los Angeles rock group with a transvestite look. At that point, Alice Cooper seemed more appropriate than Nazz or Spiders, names the group had worked under previously. The group was so weird that it naturally came to the attention of that master zapper of the Establishment Frank Zappa, who released Alice's first LP (Pretties for You) on his own Straight label. It was not until Shep Gordon, their current manager, saw them and took them on that the Alice Cooper phenomenon began to happen. "When I saw 2,000 people walk out on them," said Gordon, "I knew I had to manage them. They exhibited the strongest negative force I'd ever seen."

Alice has recently taken possession of a four-bedroom desert sprawl of a house in the Paradise Valley section of Phoenix, just beneath the Camelback Mountain residence of Senator Barry Goldwater. The Senator is safe. Alice has no immediate plans to return to the West. Home at the moment is a Manhattan penthouse that is, by his own description, "elegantly decadent." Until recently he lived in a 40-room mansion in Greenwich, Conn., complete with a male effigy hanging by the neck in the living room, wall-to-wall mirrors in the bathrooms, swastikas posted on the bedroom walls. The band still lives there. Alice's friends and colleagues describe him as a straight heterosexual (so does Alice), and he has been seen with the same girl, Cindy Long, for five years.

His next ambition, says Alice, is to make a movie. "I want to write it, produce it, everything," he says. "It will be the ultimate decadent movie. It would have to be."

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