The 2016 election season has been possibly one of the most bizarre and contentious in recent history, and it just got weirder, because Alice Cooper is running for president. (But if the Republican Party can put a former reality star on its presidential ticket, maybe an aging '70s heavy-metal rocker isn't really that weird.)
The Alice Cooper for President campaign has actually been around since 1972, the year Richard Nixon was re-elected.
"Back then, to promote the brand of Alice Cooper, we always tried to do things that infuriated parents because we thought that would be the fastest path to getting their children to like us," said Shep Gordon, Cooper's longtime manager and author of They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock'n’Roll. In 1972, Cooper released a new song, "Elected," and "campaigned" by performing the song at his concerts and featuring bloodied, costumed versions of candidates Nixon and George McGovern battling it out on stage. Since then, Cooper has performed the song each election season with caricatures of that year's candidates similarly duking it out on stage.
For 2016, there's also a campaign website, VoteAliceCooper.com, where fans can download "Elected" on Spotify and buy campaign swag, including posters, bumper stickers, buttons and T-shirts.
The campaign's slogan is "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times," and the candidate's platform is aptly Cooper-esque, with promises like "no more pencils, no more books," (a line from his 1972 hit "School's Out") and getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC.
But would Cooper make a good president? "He'd be horrible," Gordon laughed. "It would be great for Alice fans, but it's never something that we took seriously. Alice is an amazing rock star, but he's also a brand. Kind of like there's sometimes a perfect time to come back with a yellow M&M, there's a perfect time, in the election cycle, particularly, to highlight what Alice does by taking advantage of interest in the election."