Pastor Greg Laurie is captivated by legendary musician Alice Cooper’s testimony, noting how Cooper’s transformation journey was “hands down” the most compelling he encountered while writing his latest book on the intersection of faith and rock ‘n’ roll.
Listen to the latest episode of the Faithwire podcast below:
“Alice, at one point, was the No. 1 rock star in all of the world,” Laurie, author of “Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus: The Spiritual Biography of Rock and Roll,” told CBN’s Faithwire. “He started living the rock star life to excess. He was pretty much drunk every day he was using drugs heavily, his life began to unravel; his wife Sheryl left him.”
Laurie recalled how Cooper one day found himself using cocaine alone in his room at the height of his dysfunction.
“He was snorting it, and he looked in the mirror, and he said, ‘I saw blood coming out of my eyes. I don’t know if it was a hallucination or if it was really happening, but all I knew was I was going to die.'”
At that moment, Laurie said, Cooper “called out to God,” and his entire life changed.
“He got off drugs, he reunited with his wife, and he’s been clean and sober for over 30 years,” Laurie said. “He gets up every morning, and he reads his Bible. … He gave a Bible to [singer] Marilyn Manson.”
Watch Laurie tell this story and share his journey exploring faith and rock ‘n’ roll:
These are the types of stories Laurie tells in “Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus,” exploring the ups, downs, and spiritual intersections found at the roots of rock ‘n’ roll.
As a big pop culture fan, Laurie said he found the topic absolutely captivating — and worthy of exploration.
“I’ve always had an interest in pop culture. Combine this with the fact that I am an evangelist,” he said of his motivation for writing the book. “And an evangelist builds bridges to culture.”
Far from a “glorification of rock music or rock stars,” Laurie said his exploration pulls back the veil to show how these musicians are ordinary people “searching for meaning in life.”
“They chase after these things, and so part of the book is filled with a cautionary tale of why this is an empty pursuit in life,” he said. “And other parts of the book are redemptive.”
Laurie continued, “The roots of rock are Gospel, they’re Gospel, they’re blues, they’re even somewhat country.”
The pastor said many people who have reached such enormous success find themselves struggling to get the exciting highs they experience at the start of their journeys.
As excitement wanes, some turn to drugs on their quest to find elation, which has led to some tragic endings for many performers.
“Many of the people who are successful in entertainment in general … they’re often broken people … who maybe thought if they made it in Hollywood, they would be happy people,” Laurie said. “If they make it, then they realize this is not the answer, and so their lives begin to unravel … these are just people like we are.”
Watch Laurie’s full interview here.
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