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Alice Cooper Delivers One-of-a-Kind Commencement Speech

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Most graduation ceremonies feature some boring person droning on as everyone checks their watches and wonders when they can leave. But what if your commencement speaker was Alice Cooper?

On Saturday, 600 grads from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles were treated to witty oratory from the shock-rocker, who also received an honorary doctorate from the school.

Since it’s his second such award, he quipped, “One more of these and I can write prescriptions.”

And what kind of wisdom did he impart on the musicians?

After more than 40 years in the business, had a lot of insights to share, starting with, “First of all, the fact that I am here as your keynote speaker raises a lot of red flags. It show’s an obvious lack of judgment on your part.”

He also told the graduates that mediocrity is their greatest enemy, so if they’re going to be in the industry, be fearless.

“If you succeed, you become a genius,” he said. “If you fail, you become an idiot. You can always start again.”

Cooper also dropped a few very famous names, including this anecdote about the King of Rock and Roll himself:

Elvis said to me, ‘Hey, man, yer that cat with the makeup and the snakes. That’s cool, man. I dig that’ … So there I was with a loaded snub nose Smith and Wesson 38 aimed at Elvis Presley. The little devil on my shoulder said, ‘Kill him.’ The angel the other shoulder said, ‘No, just wound him …’

We bet that’s a speech during which no one ever checked the time.

When he isn’t warping young minds, Cooper is prepping for the May 22 release of his concert DVD, ‘The Strange Case of Alice Cooper,’ and in June, he’ll perform at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

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