COOPER STILL PLAYS 100 shows a year, and though his songs don't get dropped into the rotation on many radio stations, he still records new albums and believes that his last five or six are among the best he's ever done. As for that lack of airtime? "I don't get disappointed, because I understand it now. I was, for a long time, outraged. I said, 'This song that I've got right here is so much better than what they're playing on the radio,'?" he says. "That song they're playing on the radio every hour - we would have thrown away. Bowie would have thrown it away. Elton would have thrown it away. Rod Stewart would have said [it's terrible]. But it's getting played because they're the new band. Every once in a while, they come up with a good song, and you go, 'Oh, turn it up; that's a good one,' but it's rare."

That's not to say that Cooper has disdain for every new band. He's keen on the eclectic sound of Panic! at the Disco and is clearly agog over the White Stripes. "I was so curious to see that band live," he says. "I like the records, and I hear the Detroit garage rock in it, and I hear that this guy [Jack White] has so much stuff going on in his voice and in his guitar playing. Then I went and saw him live in London, and they got me. This guy pulls it off onstage. He never stops moving. He's always playing, and it's a little off, but it doesn't matter. I bought into all of it."

But Cooper doesn't record for radio; he does it for his fans - and the range of ages at his shows makes it clear that the fans wouldn't be pleased if he decided to hang up his straitjacket. Mooney, a longtime fan (though when the rocker first showed up at Mooney's golf club all those decades ago, he had no idea what or who Alice Cooper was), nearly gave up going to Cooper's shows at one point, afraid he was too old. "I thought, You can't go anymore; you're the oldest guy here," he says. "But I wasn't. I look around, and there are guys older. He's crossed all those generational lines."

Though Cooper wishes more artists would put a theatrical edge on their shows, he's hardly sitting around lamenting the past. He still crafts his own theatrical stage show and has found his own way to give the monsters of classic rock airtime: He hosts Nights with Alice Cooper, a syndicated program that airs five to six nights per week on 110 stations around the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. "Dick Clark's company said the one slot in radio that's dying around the country is seven to midnight. [They asked], 'What do you think about taking that spot syndicated?'?" recalls Cooper. "I said, 'I'll take it if you let me play what I want to play.'?"

So at least five nights per week, Cooper summons tunes by the Yardbirds, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and, of course, Alice Cooper, and gives his underserved-by-radio audience the chance to listen in on conversations between him and his rock contemporaries, including AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Rush's Geddy Lee, and Aerosmith's Joe Perry.