This is another item that belongs in the Johnny Carson “I DID not know THAT!” category.
What do heavy metal rock music and Reformed theology have in common? It turns out that there is an affinity of two of the biggest metal bands of all time to R.C. Sproul.
I don’t remember how I first came across this, but the Van Halen III album has in its liner notes a “special thanks to” section. Among the mostly unknown names is R.C. Sproul.
It turns out that in the fall of 1996, after a falling out with vocalist Sammy Hagar and a failed reconciliation with founding vocalist David Lee Roth, arena rock superstars Van Halen found themselves without a singer. They called on Gary Cherone, veteran of the Boston rock scene, for an audition.
Guitarist Eddie Van Halen liked Cherone’s work ethic and soon named Cherone as the band’s third (and as Van Halen would often comment, “final”) vocalist. Van Halen III is their eleventh studio album. It is the only Van Halen album to feature Gary Cherone on lead vocals, and is Van Halen’s most unpopular album.
Apparently, Cherone is an R.C. Sproul aficionado as well. He is also an avid pro-life advocate who once wrote an Open Letter to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam challenging his pro-choice stance.
(No, I am not making any of this up.)
But guess who is R.C. Sproul’s most famous convert?
Shock rocker Alice Cooper.
Although he isn’t the most vocal Christian, Alice has confirmed in interviews that he is in fact born-again. How did his conversion come about? As though being a Christian isn’t oxymoronic enough, it turns out that Alice Cooper is also an avid golf fan. Both he and his wife are preacher’s kids too. Alice Cooper’s father is a Reformed missionary to the Navajo Indians. Sheryl Cooper’s father is a Baptist preacher in California and an avid R.C. Sproul fan.
The following is the story found on several message boards:
As it turns out, R.C. Sproul is also an avid golfer. R.C. did a small promo spot on a Golf My Way video on how to improve your game. Sheryl’s father had been sending them R.C. Sproul books on a regular basis. However, Alice and Sheryl chucked them in a box, never thinking of them again. Then one day, Alice is watching this Golf My Way video with R.C. doing a promo spot. At that very point, Sheryl walks into the room and says “Hey! That’s the guy on those books that Daddy keeps sending us!” Alice’s reply was something to the effect “Yeah, sure…” Anyway, they go to the box, and pull out the books and sure enough it’s the same guy. They hop on the phone to Sheryl’s father to see what this guy is all about. Sheryl’s father says to them to register for the upcoming convention in San Diego, and see for themselves what he’s all about.
So they did.
At the convention, Alice Cooper comes to the registration desk and registers as Vince Cooper, but pays with his VISA card, which says Alice Cooper. The guy on registration recognizes him right away, and lets the rest of the staff know he’s there. So, after the day is done, people are starting to realize who this guy is. They’re asking question after question and Alice says, “Yeah, I’m trying to see what the Lord wants me to do in life.”
The following is from Wikipedia.com
Alice has avoided “celebrity Christianity” because, as he states: “It’s really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ. I’m a rock singer. I’m nothing more than that. I’m not a philosopher. I consider myself low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians. So, don’t look for answers from me.”
When asked by the British Sunday Times Magazine in 2001 how a rebellious shock-rocker could be a Christian, Alice is credited with providing this response “Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s real rebellion!”
After conquering his alcoholism, Cooper became a noted golf enthusiast beginning in Winnipeg MB and has since participated in several Pro-Am competitions (This was detailed in his book, Alice Cooper: Golf Monster). He has appeared in commercials for Callaway Golf equipment. He reportedly has a 5 handicap and plays 6 days a week. Since 1997, he has hosted an annual golf competition, the Alice Cooper Celebrity AM Golf Tournament. All proceeds from the event go to Cooper’s charity, the Solid Rock Foundation. In August 2006, he participated in the Northern Rock All Stars Cup event – a celebrity version of the Ryder Cup, for charity.
Cooper even penned a brief foreword to the Gary McCord book, Golf for Dummies.