ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alice Cooper

Updated on January 5, 2014

Welcome to the Alice Cooper Nightmare

Alice Cooper is one of the few, to survive decades in the rock and roll world. World renown for their wild make-up and horror theatrics, the band has always been the forerunner in the world of shock rock. Snake on stage? Torture, fights, amazing stage show, bizarre antics and gutsy, ground breaking music.. Alice Cooper did it first and did it best. Close to 40 years later, Alice Cooper is going stronger than ever and appealing to a whole new generation. A true rock and roll legend.

What you'll find on this Lens

Alice Cooper - The Early Years

"We wanted it more live and raw. We didn't want a studio sound" Alice Cooper

Ella Mae and Ether Moroni Furnier's son arrived on the 4th of February 1948 in Detroit Michigan. They named the future rock great Vincent Damon Furnier. Vincent attended Nankin Mills Middle School after going to Washington Elementary.

When the family moved to Phoenix, Vincent was enrolled at Cortez High School. While at school Vincent and some friends decided to compete in the annual talent show. The band, which was called The Earwigs was made up of members of the cross country running team. Amazingly, since they were dressed up like The Beatles and lip syncing because they could not play any instruments, they came in first. The win inspired them to go out and purchase some instruments and get serious.

They then changed their name to The Spiders. The band at this time included: lead guitarist Glen Buxton, bass guitarist Dennis Dunaway, rhythm guitarist John Tatum, drummer John Speer and of course Vincent doing the vocals and playing harmonica.

The band began making trips to California to play in 1967. They had changed two of their members by this time, Neil Smith was now playing drums and Michael Bruce was now the rhythm guitar player. They also decided to rename themselves The Nazz. Unfortunately the band discovered that their was another band using that name under the leadership of Todd Rundgren. Once again they were searching for a name. They finally settled on Alice Cooper.

I'm eighteen and I like it.

Alice Cooper

Frank Zappa was inspired to sign the band to a three album deal after they had appeared at a club called the Whiskey-a Gogo. The first album the band put out was called Pretties for You. It was not well received by either fans or critics. The second album that the band put out titled Easy Action met the same fate. Frank Zappa then sold his rights to the band to Warner Brothers Records. The band decided to relocate to Detroit where they felt they would be better received by fans.

For their third album the band was teamed up with producer Bob Ezrin. The first single released in November of 1970 was I'm Eighteen. In February 1971 the entire album Love It To Death was released. The album was the band's big break through on the way to stardom.

The band went on to have numerous successful albums and singles. Among these were the albums wre; Killer, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. Their singles included; School's Out, Under My Wheels, and Be My Lover.

Due to disputes among the band members as to the direction that they should take, the band split up in 1975. Vincent legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and went on to have a hugely successful solo career. The rest of the group formed a band called the Billion Dollar Babies.

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

After a playing a gig at the once famous Whiskey-a-Gogo in LA, the band was approached by Shep Gordon a band manager. It was Shep who got the band an audition with Frank Zappa. The band thought that the audition was for 7am (it was actually for 7pm) and showed up on Frank's doorstep in full costume at that time. Frank was so surprised that a band would show up that early and ready to play, that he signed them to a three album deal.

Quick, what do you think of Alice Cooper?

See results

Stage Show

'our personalities refined down on to a stage performance' Alice Cooper

One of the biggest parts of Alice Cooper's success is the stage show. The band and the solo artist are renown for their outrageous and bizarre stage antics. While the rest of the rock world was touting the 'peace and love movement' the Alice Cooper band was going the other way and examining the darker side of human nature. Their macabre shows often used greed, lust and torture to shock the audience.

Alice has done everything on stage from torture to mock fights. He even beat up Santa Claus. During his tour for Billion Dollar Babies he decapitate and stabbed dolls, representing babies. His concept albums have had him playing the role of a maniac right down to being put in a straight jacket. He even did a mock dream sequence complete with dancing teeth.

Shock Value

'People that haven't seen us yet are shocked because they think that Alice Cooper must be a female folksinger. They don't expect the whole thing.'

Alice Cooper

Alice almost always executes himself as part of the show. This has been done in many ways. He has been hung, strapped to the electric chair and probably his most famous death scene is when he is beheaded by a guillotine. Alice claims that the guillotine was inspired by his high school coach who had the class building guillotines to slice watermelons. Some of the high tech effects are built for the band by magician James Randi. Randi has also appeared on stage with Alice as part of the show.

His personal trade marks on stage include dark eyeliner around his eyes and often at the corners of his mouth. His costumes are usually tight and leather. He is often carrying a whip. As part of many of his concerts Alice performs with his snake.

Whatever the band and the artist have done there is no denying that he is the forerunner and master of shock rock. Bob Dylan once said that his music was over shadowed by his stage show. While in some cases this may be true, but there is no denying that an Alice Cooper concert can rival any Broadway show for entertainment.

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

'Pop is one thing, anthems of necrophilia are quite another' Leo Abse British MP

When Alice Cooper went to tour England for the first time some members of the British Parliament wanted the group banned. When they finally did arrive, Alice had his own way of saying hello. He somehow managed to get his truck stuck, during rush hour in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. Funny thing was the billboards on both sides of the truck were a photograph of Alice Cooper, taken by Richard Avedon wearing nothing but a boa constrictor.

Alice Cooper Solo Artist

'We put a stake through the heart of the love generation.' Alice Cooper

After the band broke up Alice moved to California. While in California he began to get into television, becoming a regular on the hit game show Hollywood Squares.

In 1975 Alice cooper recorded his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare. The band was made up of Dick Wagner and Lou Reed's back up band. The album was produced by Bob Ezin and was released under the Atlantic Record's label. Vincent Price, the famous horror film actor was featured on this album. The concept album was also made into a TV special called The Nightmare which was first broadcast in April of 1975. In September of 1975, the filming began for the now cult classic movie, Welcome To My Nightmare. Unfortunately the film did not do well at the box office.

During this period of Alice's life he was drinking extremely heavily, rumour has it that he was dinking a bottle of whiskey and two cases of beer daily. It was at this time that Alice co-founded the now famous Hollywood Vampires (a drinking club). The Vampires were all famous rockers, members included; Ringo Starr, Mickey Dolenz and Keith Moon. The 'Lair' of the vampires was a loft in the Rainbow Room in LA. By 1977 Alice's problems with alcohol had reached life threatening levels. He realised that he need help and checked into the New York Sanitarium. His experiences at the sanitarium prompted him to co-write with Bernie Taupin on the album From The Inside.

After his release, Alice went on to do numerous different projects. He was featured as a guest on the Muppet Show , the show aired in March of 1978. He released a number of albums, one of which, Flush the Fashion was produced by Roy Thomas Baker. Baker was known for his work with legendary rock band Queen. In 1983 he got back together with producer Bob Erzin and guitarist, writer Dick Wagner to do the album DaDa. The album was the last one in his contract with Warner Brothers Records.

School's Out

'On the last day of school, it’s the national anthem. On that day, it’s the most popular song on the planet. I become Francis Scott Key for one day.'

Alice Cooper

Alice was forced to go back into hospital in 1983 due to his alcoholism. He moved back to Phoenix to spend time with his wife and children. It was during this rest period that he took up the game of golf.

In 1985 Alice signed on with MCA. He agreed to due a video with Twisted Sister. Unfortunately due to it's gory graphics the video was banned. The album Constrictor was Alice's first album for MCA which was released in 1986. He also released Raise Your Fist and Yell under the MCA label. When his contract ended with MCA in 1988 Alice signed on with Epic Records.

His career really took off again with the albums Trash (1989) and Hey Stooped (1991). During the 90s he was a featured vocalist on the Guns and Roses album Use Your Illusion. Alice made appearances in a number of films including Wayne's World and Nightmare on Elm Street. He also toured extensively and released such albums as The Last Temptation. Alice opened his first restaurant in 1998, Cooperstown. It is located in downtown Phoenix and features a live web cam.

Alice toured Russia for the first time as part of his Brutal Planet tour. Brutal planet was another concept album that was released in the year 2000. This was followed up with the Dragontown album, which saw the reunion of Alice and producer Bob Erzin.

'If you get murdered - what a great thing. What a great publicity thing.'

Alice Cooper

Alice began his own radio talk show on January 24th 2004. The program entitled Nights with Alice Cooper is based out of Phoenix and is broadcast by KDKB-FM. The show has been syndicated and now plays in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, and the UK. He has featured many legends of rock, on the show including: Meatloaf, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie and Def Leopard.

Alice has also begun a writing career. His first book being an auto-biographical effort entitled Alice Cooper, Golf Monster. He claims that golf is one of the main reason he was able to defeat his addiction to alcohol. His love of the game is so great that he now hosts an annual celebrity golf tournament. Tiger Woods has said of Alice, 'he is one of the best celebrity golfers around'. He even made a guest appearance on the show A Golfer's Travels.

Alice throughout his long career has been featured in a number of commercials. Some of the most memorable are the Staples ( back to school theme) and the Marriot Hotel spots. He has also done ads for a real estate company, Miller beer, a restaurant and golf products.

How long will Alice cooper stay in the spot light? He claims that since Mick Jager is six years older than him, he still has six years, because there is no way he will let Mick out due him in terms of longevity. Here's hoping Alice will keep rocking for many more years.

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

'He must have turned white.' (reference to Charlie Pride) Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper and the band were playing a show in Knoxville Tennessee when Alice's snake disappeared. Alice had left the snake in the hotel bathroom overnight and in the morning the snake was gone. The band contacted management to let them know that the snake was missing. The staff looked for the snake but were unable to locate it. The band moved on to the next stop on their tour. About two weeks later, the snake was found. Apparently it had gotten into the toilet and had stayed hidden in the pipes. The snake reappeared in Charlie Pride's bathroom.

Important People in Alice's Life

One of Alice Cooper's first celebrity girlfriends was Miss Christine, her real name being Christine Frka. She was a member of the band The GTOs. On November 5th 1972 she was discovered dead of an overdose.

Alice had a long time girlfriend by the name of Cindy Lang. Their relationship lasted from 1968 until 1975. The relationship ended with Cindy suing for palimony.

After his break-up with Ciny he was rumoured to have been dating Hollywood legend Rachel Welch.

Alice married current wife Sheryl Goddard on March 20th 1976. The couple has three children.

Calico Cooper: she was born on May 19th 1981. She has been performing in her father's shows since she was 16 years old. She has played many parts during the tours including; 'Cold Ethyl', the death dealer, and Brittany Spears

Dashiell Cooper: was born in 1984. He now has his own band called Runaway Phoenix.

Sonora Rose Cooper: was born in 1993

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

'I said "yes" and they go, "Wow" and start checking for holes in her throat.' Alice Cooper

While en route to England Alice sat down on the plane next to an elderly lady who was travelling from Beirut. The lady who, Alice estimated as being about 85, asked that she be allowed to sleep until the plane landed. Alice was more than happy to comply. Upon landing Alice attempted to wake the woman only to discover that she was dead. They removed the body from the plane, and Alice was questioned about what had happened. After hearing his story the people said "wow" and then checked the elderly lady's throat for holes.

Awards & Accolades

'I promise every time I walk down this street I will polish that little star.' Alice Cooper

Rock Immortal Award in 2007 at the Scream Awards

Honorary doctorate Grand Canyon University May 2004. Alice was granted a PHD in Doctor of Performing Arts

Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame December 2nd 2003. Alice's star is located at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Dr.

Key to the city of Alice North Dakota in May 2006

Stevie Ray Vaughn award at the Musicares MAP fund 2008, for his work helping other celebrities with their addictions

Believe the humour, not the rumour

Alice Cooper

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

Rumours have always surrounded the band. One of the most debated stories is how the band got it's name. One version says that the name came to them while using a Ouija board. Apparently the name was spelled out to them and then the Ouija board relayed the information that Vincent was actually a reincarnation of a witch who had lived in the 17th century. The witch's name was Alice Cooper. Another version says that they chose the name because it had the image of a "cute and sweet little girl with a hatchet behind her back". Still another version says that it was a spoof on the Archie comics, Alice Cooper is the name of Betty's mother. Which story is true is still under debate.

Solid Rock Foundation

"But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion." Alice Cooper

The mission: "Solid Rock's primary goal is to honour Christ by helping to meet the spiritual, economic, physical, and social needs of teenagers and children within out community."

In November of 1995 Alice Cooper and his friend began the charity known as the Solid Rock Foundation. It is a non-profit Christian organization based in Phoenix Arizona, geared at helping teens.

Rebellion

'Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion.' Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper serves as President to the now 501 active members. They are dedicated to helping children of their community "one child at a time'. One of the main goals of the SRF is to build a center where teens can go to be safe, learn new skills, play games, express themselves and share their thoughts.

Who would have thought that the world's foremost "shock rocker" would be involved in such a worthy project?

'Even hippies hated us, and it's hard to get a hippie to hate anything.'

Alice Cooper

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

'I used to be terrified of snakes' Alice Cooper

Another famous story about one of Alice's snakes involves a heating pad. The snake had been given a rat to eat but apparently the snake did not know when to stop and kept on eating. It ate the rat and a heating pad wires and all. The band immediately found a local vet to examine the reptile. The vet said it was 'the most astonishing x-ray' he had ever taken. The story does have a happy ending, the vet was able to successfully remove the heating pad and Alice was able to borrow another snake from a reptile center until his own snake was able to go back on the road.

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

"Now no killing chickens." ASPCA

One of the most notorious stories circulating about Alice Cooper is the chicken incident. The band was in Toronto, Canada playing with John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Peace Festival. Somehow a chicken got on the stage. Alice being from Detroit had no idea that a chicken could not fly. He threw the bird out to the audience thinking that it would fly away, instead the bird fell and was killed. The newspapers picked up the story and reported that Alice had bitten the head off the chicken and drank it's blood.

Upon hearing of this incident Frank Zappa called the band to verify the story. Alice denied what the papers were saying and Frank's response was basically 'well whatever you did keep doing it'. He realised that the publicity that the band was achieving was pure gold.

One celebrity who really took the incident to heart was Pete Townsend of the WHO. The band even mentions the incident in their song Put the Money Down. The line goes "There are bands killing chicken".

'Now everywhere I go the ASPCA is there, "Now no killing chickens." Okay I promise I won't kill any chickens. Go tell that to Colonel Sanders. He kills seven million chickens a day. If I had barbecued the chicken it probably would have been okay.'

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper Lyrics Trivia Quiz

Printable Trivia Questions

Position your cursor over the question mark found beside each question for the answer.

'Daddy is an agrophile in Texas Mommy's on the bar most every night' is a line heard in what song?

If you heard the line 'I dumped on Sheila on Thursday I'll drop Melissa today' what song would you be listening to?

'I don't want to talk about that, I don't want to talk about it' is a line from what song?

'Listen darlin' now I'm heading for the west Straightened out my head but my old heart is still a mess' is a line from what song?

What song would you be listening to if you heard this line 'You ask me babe, "Can you work tonight" I've been up, babe, since broad daylight'.

'Well stop look and listen there are ants that are gathered here' is a line from what song?

If you were listening to the line 'Nobody gonna take you Nobody gonna touch your rebel skin' what song are you hearing?

'Turn out the lights and hold me I want to touch you everywhere' is a line from what song?

'And the scavengers are feeding Cuz the killing fields are bleeding' is a line fom what song?

If you heard this line you would be listening to what song? 'We drank the blood we spilled And growled at our enemies'



Click Here To Print This Quiz

 

Alice Cooper VS the World

Which is your favourite artist?

See results

True Alice Cooper Nightmares

Alice Cooper has learned over the years that if you work with reptiles strange things happen. While on stage at the House of Blues in LA the snake had to go to the bathroom. And it did. All over the stage. Alice was right in the middle of a song and there was nothing that he could do. The audience was laughing and the snake just kept on going. By the time the snake was done there was stuff all over the stage, and all over Alice. He had to finish off the show while trying not to gag.

Alice Says

Alice Cooper Quotes

'The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school.'

'I don't kill chickens. Colonel Sanders does.'

'I have never made fun of religion. Religion is something I don't even want to mess with, because I am really afraid of the clouds opening up and my being struck by lightening. Satanism is something else I don't mess with. I think that the heavy metal bands that do are playing with fire. I have never influenced people in a negative way, and I'm not about to start now.'

'Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion.'

'He (Marilyn Manson) has a woman's name and wears makeup. How original.'

'The hippies wanted peace and love. We wanted Ferraris, blondes and switchblades.'

'If you are listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are.'

'We don't mind that, that's making them accept more, making fun that we accept that. The thing is this is the way we are. We think it's a gas.'

'So what this is is us, our personalities refined down on to a stage performance. In other words the way we play is the end product of the way we live-we live in the cities, you see.'

'We got on his label, and the Bizarre organization is just going up and up. So we have faith.'

'We would walk over the names of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, never ever thinking that our names would ever be on the Walk of Fame. That is really quite a privilege to be here.''

I’m in your corner all the way.

Alice Cooper

'I've already played with Tiger. He mentioned me in a golf magazine as one of the best celebrity golfers.'

'This community cannot afford to go backwards we need to be moving ahead and moving together regardless of the color of skin one has.'

'Well, all of it is a freak thing, because it doesn't coincide with what the normal person thinks of the normal city.'

'That's like making fun of maniac because his brain isn't completely right, because he isn't the norm.'

'People that haven't seen us yet are shocked because they think that Alice Cooper must be a female folksinger. They don't expect the whole thing.'

'It's a big flash of all these things and whatever you take out of that statement's one statement, one mind, one statement, one act, one show, and all the songs are one.'

'I didn't go to my senior prom, but I played it.'

'I appreciate an audience that reacts to the music, even if they jump on stage and try to beat us up, I think that's a fantastic reaction. I think that they're really hearing something then.'

'I play every single morning. Alice Cooper has never played golf. I play golf. If you put golf clubs on stage, he would think they were weapons.'

'When we get together and rehearse, which is always living with each other, we always talk about what would make it better, what would mean more, what would say more. So we're always improving and growing.'

'That was very close to getting killed. Usually at pop festivals we have people jumping on stage.'

Alice's New Album

Great Alice Cooper stuff from Amazon

Share your stories, rants and/or raves ...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 4 years ago

      I love his radio show in Phoenix. Listened to it every night until I moved to the Philippines.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Alice Cooper is the man of the 20th AND 21st centuries. He's awesome as a performer, a true original, a humble and amazingly nice guy. This website is a great tribute to a really great man. Thank you!

    • profile image

      chickie99 4 years ago

      a face that only a mother could love....LOL!

    • StillPlaysWithT profile image

      StillPlaysWithT 4 years ago

      I really like his music. He's one of the few artists who seem to perform better with age. Think my favorite song is "Lost in America."

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Learned a lot here. Love Alice Cooper. Just got his latest CD. Woohoo!

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      Really interesting lens.

    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 6 years ago

      I met Alice Cooper once when I was working at Spaceship Earth (Epcot). He said, "Nice place you got here." I said, "Welcome to my nightmare." I hated that job, LOL Disney is a great place to meet famous people but it's a craptastic job-walking in heels on a treadmill all day, and a lot of times, all night too because they would schedule us to work a double if someone else didn't show up. Sometimes I'd sleep in the break room because I didn't have time to drive home and come back to open in the morning. From what I've heard, Alice Cooper used to go to Disney a lot. I don't know if he still does though.

    • cuteordeath profile image

      cuteordeath 6 years ago

      This is a great page! I adore Alice Cooper! Seeing him live last year was one of the highlights of my life. ^^

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I must say I love this article, I have been an alice Cooper fan since I heard the song" He's Back ( the Man behind the Mask) on my local rock station here in Tampa FL. many years ago. I admire this Man in every way, not just as a King of Shock Rock, but as a person in general. I have read his Autobiography "golf monster" awesome read I must add. I have a cool Name i coined for him, he is the "Edgar Allen Poe of Shock Rock". His songs can be funny, morbid,and Poetic as well. And style and stage shows ever changing In closing I want to Just say Keep on Rockin Alice, and be Blessed always.:o)

    • atirial profile image

      atirial 7 years ago

      A really comprehensive lens of Alice Cooper!

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 7 years ago

      I love this guy. I really like Welcome to my Nightmare - The Muppets version!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i love alice cooper music and my mom love you.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      What a great tribute to one of my all time favorite performers! I love Alice!