Rockin' in Rhode Island: My Meeting With a Rock Star

A few months ago, I attended my nephew’s wedding in Rhode Island, and one morning my brother and I were outside our hotel when we noticed that the man who walked out and stood next to me looked like Alice Cooper. As he waited for his car, my brother and I just looked at each other, sharing twin expressions of shock.

Sure enough, it really was the legendary rock star. I know it might be hard to believe, but back in the day, I was a huge rock ‘n’ roll fan. In 1972, I spent hours standing in a field in New Jersey to see Pink Floyd and the Doobie Brothers, among many other rock concerts. Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say hello to Alice Cooper. He shared that he had performed a concert in New York the night before with Deep Purple and The Edgar Winter Band and was just about to head out for his solo tour in Europe.

For a rock star who made a name for himself after the chicken incident in 1969, Alice Cooper is a hell of a nice guy. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the chicken incident, let me explain. Back in 1969 Alice Cooper and his band were performing at the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival, a 12-hour music festival with a huge lineup of rock bands. When Alice Cooper was onstage performing, he noticed a chicken next to him, and thinking it could fly because it had feathers, he threw it out into the audience, where, sadly, it was torn apart. And in the world of no PR is bad PR, it made the band get noticed in a big way. Here’s another part of the story of that infamous night that only few know: Before Alice even got onstage, he negotiated a strategic move with the promoters. At the time John Lennon had just split from the Beatles and performing at the Toronto music festival would be his first appearance on his own. Alice Cooper turned down a 30 percent take on the revenue split, opting instead for $1 if they would put him at the prime-time slot in between John Lennon and The Doors. Now that’s what I call a smart business move.

I enjoyed talking with Alice, as we discussed music, the various places he’d been, and the shows I’ve seen over the years. At one point, I mentioned my 1968 Oldsmobile 4-4-2, and I was shocked to learn Alice Cooper is a car guy, too (he has many more cars than I do!). Before the conversation was over, he even introduced us to his wife, Sheryl Goddard. You’d expect a rock star in his late 60s to be with a woman half his age, but those two have been together since they were married in 1976.

When it came time to work on our latest newsletter, I knew, without a doubt, that this is the story I would be telling. How could I not? And, this also happens to be a great example of the kind of stories you should share in your own newsletter.

Insider’s Circle members receive a done-for-you newsletter from us to send to your clients, referral sources, and leads. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to send out your newsletter, but don’t think every part of that newsletter is set in stone. If you have an interesting personal story you want to share, by all means, use it in place of the done-for-you cover!

Personal covers are incredibly effective, especially if you have a story that will resonate with your readers. Let’s say you’re a CPA who specializes in the construction industry, and you happen to meet the head guy of the association at a conference. If you chat with him, get a picture, and put that story on your newsletter cover, it’s sure to interest your readers who work in construction and will likely know who that guy is. Stories like this make you human, and that’s important, because people don’t want to do business with companies; they want to do business with other people. What’s more, when you are able to associate yourself with a celebrity, it adds to your credibility as the expert and gives your business a boost.

It was fun talking with Alice, and learning that not only is he a good entertainer, but also good at business, and that made me like him even more!
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