November 2014: Volume 1, Number 1
The Godfather of Shock Rock Kicks the Bottle
I’ll never forget when Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies” album landed in record stores in 1973. You couldn’t miss its wild, reptile green cover. Totally rad! Flip played that LP every freakin day. I think she wore the grooves off the vinyl. No kidding.
But who could resist the Godfather of Shock Rock? Not Flip and a zillion other fans.
In 1971, Alice Cooper was unstoppable with mega hits like “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out,” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Today, he’s recorded more than 25 albums, selling over 50 million copies.
Alice Cooper was solid gold in the 70s. But he was also an alcoholic, guzzling a bottle of whiskey every day.
Wow. That’s some serious drinking, man!
In an interview with Rick Brown (Hub staff), Cooper said, “Nobody ever sees alcoholism coming. It’s one of those things that broadsides you.”
And he would know. In a video interview with European Tour Weekly, Cooper said the first thing he did when he woke up every morning was drink a beer. Then he’d throw up. That was normal.
But one morning he threw up blood. Not good. On stage, puking blood was part of his act. Offstage, it wasn’t. Especially in the morning at a Holiday Inn. Not good at all.
As you can imagine, Cooper lived fast and furious in the 70s. He was a member of an elite club of rockers called “The Hollywood Vampires,” which included Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Jim Morrison, and Keith Moon, among others. Every night they’d drink until they passed out. That was the goal. Scary.
After the blood episode, Cooper’s doctor warned him if he didn’t address his alcoholism he’d wind up like several of his Hollywood Vamp buddies, who had died from their addictions by then.
Even so, Cooper refused to take responsibility for his alcoholism. He blamed it on his gothy stage character, Alice. It was his doctor who finally helped him face reality: the alcoholism wasn’t Alice’s fault. He never drank when he performed on stage. Never. Alice wasn’t the drinker. Cooper was.
Whoa! Slam-dunked by his doc. Hey, whatever it takes, right?
Cooper received treatment for his alcoholism from 1977-1978. Every song in the album “From the Inside” chronicles his recovery process and the people he met in rehab.
“I started playing golf every day when I quit drinking,” Alice said in the video interview with European Tour Weekly. “That was 32 years ago. I had to find something that was as addictive as alcohol. And this game is that.”
Does Alice Cooper ROCK, or what? He tossed the monkey off his back and found a sober addiction to replace it, one that gives him joy and keeps him clean.
You can do that, too. Find a sober addiction and make the switch. For Flip, it’s cooking awesome vegan meals and munchies. For me, it’s eating them. Yummmm!
Think about it. Is your addiction kicking your butt? Are you waking up in the morning, hurling blood or whatever?
If so, rehab is calling you, baby. Talk to a recovery counselor who can help you drop kick that monkey. KABOOOOOM! It’s a beautiful sound, isn’t it?
Flip’s Outta Sight Vegan Recipes
Chocolate Cashew Brownies (Gluten-free)
- 1 can organic chickpeas or garbanzo beans (drained and mashed with a potato masher)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
- ½ cup organic cocoa powder
- ½ cup organic cashew butter
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped organic cashews
- ½ cup whole organic cashews
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Coat 8×8 baking dish with organic canola oil
3.) In a bowl blend until creamy: chickpeas or garbanzo beans, sea salt, maple syrup, cocoa powder, cashew butter, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla extract.
4.) Fold in chopped cashews.
5.) Pour into baking dish. Spread evenly. Top with whole cashews.
6.) Cook 25 minutes.
7.) Cool for 15 minutes, cut, and chow down!
Banana Carrot Delight
- 5 large organic carrots
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup chopped pecans
1.) Thoroughly clean carrots with a vegetable peeler.
2.) Cut into 2-inch chunks and arrange in a microwave safe bowl (glass bowl or Corningware bowl).
3.) Cook on HIGH for 10 minutes.
4.) Drain water from the bowl.
5.) Mash carrots with a potato masher.
6.) Add sliced banana.
7.) Mash banana with carrots.
8.) Stir in pecans.
9.) Makes a tasty, sweet treat full of vitamins and minerals. Yum!
How Drugs and Alcohol Screw Your Brain
Okay, I need to get scientific for a moment. I know, I know. It’s a strain on my attention span, too. But stay with me. This is cool stuff every addict should know if you’re trying to get clean. And especially if you’re not.
We all know drugs and alcohol are just chemicals. But you might not realize they affect three areas of the brain: the brain stem, the limbic system, and the cerebral cortex.
The brain stem controls all the functions that keep you above the grass, like breathing, blood flow, digestion, etc. It also joins the brain to the spinal cord. Kinda handy, huh?
The limbic system controls your emotions and emotional responses. It’s the “heart” part of your brain.
The cerebral cortex is what we see when we think of the brain. It’s that big blob of gray matter filling up your skull.
The nerve cells in the brain bind all these areas together. They’re the brain’s communication system. They operate like a zillion cell phones calling each other all day long.
Unfortunately, these nerve cells are what drugs mess with. Drugs imitate the natural chemicals in the brain. But they’re far from natural. Instead of imitating the normal functions of those natural chemicals, they do funky things like overstimulate the brain’s pleasure sensors.
Yeah, major trouble.
Drugs hook into the chemical receptors in your nerve cells and flood the brain with abnormal messages. As you can imagine, this totally screws your brain and body.
For example, cocaine and meth cause the nerve cells to release too much “dopamine.” Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure. Yup, that’s how you get “high” on drugs. You’re grooving on a dopamine high.
And it gets worse. Your brain is wired to repeat healthy habits that give you pleasure, like eating. But when drugs hijack the brain with an abnormal flow of dopamine, the brain rewires itself to repeat this action, encouraging you to take more drugs and keep getting high.
And it gets worse. The brain is no dummy. It knows it’s screwed. So it adjusts your natural levels of dopamine, lowering them to balance out this abnormal excess. In the process, some of the neurons you need die.
That’s the hamster wheel of an addict’s life. After a while you need more drugs or alcohol to get high, because your brain keeps lowering the natural production of dopamine to maintain a balance.
Holy crap! Could it get any worse? Yeah, it can.
Ever try to go cold turkey? If so, you know what happens. Instantly, you’re sideswiped by your lower than normal level of dopamine. Hello, depression and a host of nasty withdrawal symptoms.
Long term addiction dramatically changes the wiring of the brain. If you’ve ever wondered why they invented rehab, well, that’s the reason.
You can’t get clean or dry out by yourself. It’s too risky. Your brain is totally and completely screwed by your addiction to chemicals. You need trained professionals to keep you and your brain from crash landing when you decide to jump off that hamster wheel. Think of these people as your “parachute.” They help you make a softer landing and stay grounded.
So it’s not your body that addicted to drugs or booze. It’s your brain. It’s become an addict like you. Grim, I know.
However, all is not lost. The sober life eventually rewires your brain to regain its natural balance and function.
Whew! Good news at last.
Be good to your brain, man. It’s the only one you’ve got.
Dear Flip and Flop
Hey, we know you’ve got questions, things you’ve been wondering about us or whatever. So go ahead and ask. You can ask us anything. Really. We’ll answer all your questions in this column, depending on how many brain cells are firing (you know how it is). Send your questions in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll answer them as soon as we can. Or we’ll try. Maybe. We hope.
What classic rock and other bands do you listen to, while you’re lying on the couch, doing absolutely nothing all day? (StonerNoMore)
Good question, man! Flip and I totally groove to the Allman Brothers, Johnny Winter, Jethro Tull, Cream, Zep, Bad Company, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Stones, Jefferson Airplane (and Starship), Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, and Yes. As for other bands, I’m a Pearl Jam fan, and Flip can’t get enough of the heavy metal rocker, Sebastian Bach. She’s wearing the grooves off all his CDs at the moment.
How long have you been vegan, and what do you do for protein? I’m terrified of getting fat! (SoberGothGirl)
I’ve been vegan since the 60s. No need to eat meat, especially with all the cancerous chemicals they pump into commercial farm animals in this country. Shivers! I get plenty of protein from nuts, beans, legumes, tofu, and soy cheese. I also drink a yummy vegan protein shake every day. My favs are PlantFusion and Naturade Pea Protein. The chocolate and vanilla flavors are delish. Everything I eat goes to vitamins and minerals, very low fat. Being vegan keeps you thin, so you never have to diet. I eat like a hog all day and feel like I’m 18. I love the vegan life!
Don’t you miss drugs and alcohol and getting high, man? (OnTheFence)
Every day. But it’s not worth it. I’d rather get a sugar buzz from Flip’s tasty vegan desserts. I mean, the last time I checked I only had 3 brain cells left. Fried all the others back in my junkie days. Gotta be good to those babies, you know?
Is it true you wear green metallic nail polish? If so, what kind? (NYCVampChick)
It’s true. I’ve worn green metallic nail polish since the 60s. I’m addicted to Zoya. Ever heard of it? It’s toxin-free nail polish. No bad chemicals in it. You can get it online. Zoya offers hundreds of gorgeous shades. My fav greens are “Ivanka” (ZP507) and “Meg” (ZP624).
What made you decide to give up drugs and booze for good? (CoolPartyDude)
The truth? I fell in the toilet one night. Literally. My ex-wife was a dealer, and we always sampled every shipment of coke before she cut it. Usually, I’d sit at the kitchen table, grooving on a mellow coke high, while she cut the goods with powdered sugar. But that night I had to piss. After I zipped up, the toe of my sandal snagged on the bathroom rug, and I fell. I landed face first in a toilet full of piss (I hadn’t flushed yet). I was so stoned I couldn’t get out. My arms wouldn’t work right. It was AWFUL! I was drowning in my own piss. My ex heard the crash and rescued me. The next week I entered rehab. I didn’t think I could handle another “wakeup call” like that. Piss tastes worse than it smells. Seriously.
Dear Flip and Flop;
It sounds like you’ve been friends forever, and now you’re living together. Are you married to each other? If not, why? (RomanticWeedLover)
Flip and I have been friends since our commune days in the 60s. We tend to shack up when we’re both divorced at the same time and in-between wives, husbands, and lovers. No, we’ve never been married to each other. Actually, the thought scares us crapless. We’ve got a really bad track record when it comes to marriages. So we’re happy to remain friends with bennies. It works. In fact, our weird living arrangement is the only successful relationship either of us has ever had. Why screw up a good thing, you know? So we don’t.