NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

alice_cooper_golf.jpgFRESH AIR

During his early-’70s heyday, shock-rock icon Alice Cooper dressed like a ghoul, with a gaunt face and mascara-streaked eyes, performing cartoonishly violent onstage stunts. His brand of rock was about breaking taboos and being decadent. He frequently, for example, took a hatchet to female mannequins and spit into the audience, often ending his performances inside a guillotine. As intentionally crude as his shows were, some of the songs — including “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” — became big hits. And on March 14, Cooper and his band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love, in a ceremony that will include presentations by Neil Young, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, Rob Zombie and John Legend. In 2007, Cooper spoke to Terry Gross about his memoir, Alice Cooper: Golf Monster, which featured him on the cover wearing mascara and lipstick, holding a golf club dripping in blood. The book is about golf — which Cooper calls “an addiction” — as well as his transformation from a kid named Vincent Furnier growing up in Michigan to glam-shock-rocker Alice Cooper, the lead singer of the Alice Cooper band. MORE

ALSO, since the 1973 release of his first album, Closing Time, Tom Waits has won fans over with his tom_waits_b.jpgoriginal songwriting and distinctively gravelly vocal style. On March 14, he’ll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2002, Waits joined Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross for a discussion about his career and his albums Alice and Blood Money. The albums were written and produced by Waits and his wife and longtime collaborator, Kathleen Brennan. Waits said he enjoys working with his wife because he trusts her opinion completely. “I can run a thing by her and she says, ‘Oh, that’s a lot of hogwash. You’ve been doing that for years,’ ” he said. “She’ll say, ‘That’s really corny,’ or ‘That’s really a cliche.’ And it’s good. So we kind of sharpen each other like knives, and it seems to work out like that.” MORE

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