Alice Cooper, the once-terrifying demon scourge of rock and roll, forgot he had an Andy Warhol silkscreen in his house. We’re not surprised that Cooper has an interest in art—not only has he collaborated with Salvador Dalí in the past, but he’s clearly a learned and sophisticated man—but the story of how he rediscovered the work (valued at between $2.5 to $4.5 million) and why he’s putting it up for sale is still a pretty good insight into the musician’s life.
Rolling Stone spoke to Cooper about his discovery of the 1964 “The Little Electric Chair” silkscreen, which was prompted by having lunch with Dennis Hopper “a decade or so ago” and hearing that the actor was in the process of selling off some of his own Warhol collection. The work had been in storage for “nearly 40 years” before Cooper thought to look for it. He “was surprised that it didn’t get lost” during his many moves, and explains that he lost track of it because “it just didn’t fit in the house in Arizona. It’s much more of a New York, L.A., or London thing.”
Despite sounding like he didn’t much care for the piece in the first place, Cooper told Rolling Stone that he “occasionally palled around with Warhol” and liked him personally, but was always “a little bit more of a Salvador Dalí guy” who didn’t feel entirely comfortable “with the Factory crowd.” After being given “The Little Electric Chair” as a birthday gift in the early ‘70s, Cooper ended up placing it in storage instead of displaying it alongside his favorite art, which consists mostly of “quirky artwork depicting neon signs from old roadside motels [and] his own shock-rock ephemera.”
“The Warhol thing never was a nostalgic thing for me,” he says. “I liked it and I kept it but it doesn’t affect me emotionally at all. I’m sure there’s a lot of people looking for a Warhol electric chair. Good. Let them find this one.”
“The Little Electric Chair” will be sold on October 23rd, with “a percentage of its fee” going to Cooper’s Solid Rock foundation.
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