But in August 1975, Alice Cooper lent a hand on a local level.
Cooper spent a summer day picking up trash in Riverside Park with a team of “Cooper Troopers,” with sun visors, arm bands, bags, rakes, and brooms provided by Atlantic Records.
“Alice Cooper himself appeared, in a chauffeur-driven sanitation truck,” an AP story explained.
“After heaving filled garbage bags into the truck, Cooper said, ‘I think it would be a good idea for rock performers all over the world to take a few hours out of their schedule to involve themselves in community service-oriented programs.”
The mid-1970s was the height of Cooper’s fame—and it was also the peak of the anti-litter movement. Soda bottles, fast food wrappers, and cigarette butts were all over city parks and streets.
But did Cooper even live in New York at the time? And why Riverside Park?
Here’s how he explained it in his 2011 book, Alice Cooper: Golf Monster.
“Sometimes I would do nice things, just to throw off my critics,” wrote Cooper. “In August of ’75 I grew a mustache and found time to assemble and join 300 volunteer Alice Cooper fans who worked for a day to clear away garbage out of Manhattan’s Riverside Park.
“I figured the deed would keep everyone off guard while at the same time emphasize that neither Alice Cooper nor his legions of young fans were necessarily rock monsters. We were capable of being Mr. Nice Guys too.”
[Photos: Waring Abbott/Getty Images]