Jeffrey Morgan, biographer of Alice Cooper and The Stooges and former Canadian editor of CREEM magazine, on musicians in the Justin Bieber generation: “It’s gotten a lot worse; now they’re all alkie homo junkie drug addicts”.
It’s fair to say our latest Industry Insider interview is a bit different from the norm, but one of the the funniest and most essential reads yet… gems like these only happen every leap year!
Alice Cooper – photo Brian Banks © 2008
JEFFREY MORGAN is the authorized biographer of both Alice Cooper and The Stooges. He became the de facto Canadian Editor of CREEM, “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” after Lester Bangs personally invited him to write for the legendary music publication in 1974. His award-winning column Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout can be read exclusively at: www.jeffreymorgan.info.
In 2011, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum cited Morgan’s biography as “Recommended Reading” about Alice Cooper, alongside Alice’s own 1976 autobiography, Me, Alice. Morgan’s poetry has been published in Rolling Stone magazine; and his award-winning newspaper column “Jeffrey Morgans Media Blackout” appeared for over half a decade in Detroit’s Metro Times.
Jeffrey Morgan spoke to Ngawara Madison for our Music Vice Industry Insider interview series. Enjoy!
How did you acquire permission to write Alice Cooper’s Biography? What was the arrangement process?
I didn’t have to; Alice’s management contacted me.
How did you go about finding all the information on the artist?
I didn’t have to; I’m an Alice Cooper fan.
What is your educational background, and what degree/tertiary education would you suggest for budding biographers and writers?
Sorry, but I don’t know what “tertiary” means; I’m a rock critic. Dave Marsh would know; he’s a rock journalist.
Did you always want to be a writer?
No, I wanted to be a comic book artist but I kept writing letters to Creem, which they kept printing, and the rest is misery.
How do you keep your focus when writing a book?
I wear glasses.
What time management strategies do you put upon yourself to ensure that you reach your deadlines?
I wear a watch.
How many hours a day were you working on the two aforementioned biographies ?
The Alice Cooper biography took a whopping seven years to write, between 1992 and 1999. It would have been completed a lot sooner, but that workaholic Alice kept on putting out new albums and touring so we had to keep updating it until the end of the century, at which point we called it quits. Luckily, not everyone is that prolific so The Stooges biography only took a year.
How much do you think the lifestyles of musicians has changed from the Alice Cooper hey days, to the current Justin Bieber generation?
It’s gotten a lot worse; now they’re all alkie homo junkie drug addicts.
What other positions of employment have you held over the years that have allowed you to keep up your writing?
I loiter with intent.
Do you have an advice for young writers out there dreaming of a career as a published author or biographer?
To quote from a hand-written letter that Fran Lebowitz sent me in the early 1970s when I asked her about writing for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine: “I would strongly suggest that you stay in school and get all such foolishness out of your head.”
© Ngawara Madison, Music Vice
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