Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades. With a stage show that includes guillotines, the gallows, the electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors and baby dolls, Cooper had drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock.

Alice Cooper was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. Taking on the name in 1968 the Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit “I’m Eighteen”, which was followed in 1972 by the even bigger single “School’s Out”, which reached #1 in the UK during that summer. The band reached their commercial peak with the transatlantic #1 album Billion Dollar Babies in 1973.

Furnier’s solo career as Alice Cooper, legally adopting the band’s name as his own, began with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare and reached his commercial peak with the 1989 hit “Poison”. His most recent studio release was Along Came a Spider, his 18th solo album, in 2008. Expanding from his original Detroit-based garage rock roots, over the years Cooper has experimented with many different musical styles, including art rock, conceptual rock, rock and roll, pop ballad, jazz, new wave, gothic rock, heavy metal, and industrial metal.

Alice Cooper is known for his social and witty persona offstage. The Rolling Stone Album Guide goes so far as to call him the world’s most “beloved heavy metal entertainer”. He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and is seen as the person who “first introduced horror imagery to rock’n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre”. Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.

In December 2010, it was announced that in 2011 the original Alice Cooper band would be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Trade Mark

Wears black greasepaint around the eyes and usually sides of mouth. Pioneered the use of wild/macabre stage theatrics in rock concerts.

Trivia

Alice and his original band made the song “The Man With the Golden Gun” intended for the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), but the movie producers deemed Alice “too controversial” and went with another song of the same title sung by Lulu for the movie. The Alice version of “The Man with the Golden Gun” appears on the band’s 1974 album, “Muscle of Love”.

Once belonged to the exclusive Hollywood club the “Hollywood Vampires” in the mid to late 70s.

Born at 10:33pm – EST.

Graduated from Cortez High School in Phoenix, Arizona.

Lived with Cynthia Lang from 1968-76. She sued for community property.

In 1998 opened up his own restaurant right in downtown Phoenix called “Cooperstown”. Also planning to open another one in Ohio in the year 2000.

He is an avid golfer, and has participated in several celebrity tournaments.

December 2, 2003 – he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s situated at the corner of Orange Drive and Hollywood Boulevard by the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Is the subject of the songs “Why Must I Be Sad?” by They Might Be Giants, “Scared” by Dangerous Toys, and the b-side “The Ballad of Alice Cooper” by Bon Jovi.

Was granted an honorary PhD (Doctor of Performing Arts) from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona (2004).

When the giant letters of the famous “HOLLYWOOD” sign had to be replaced with new letters in 1978, a fund-raising party was held, with the old letters being auctioned off at around $28,000 each. Hugh M. Hefner hosted the event and bought the “H”, while Warner Brothers bought the “W”. Alice bought an “O” in memory of the late Groucho Marx, with whom he had been very good friends. The check was painted on a big piece of the old sign and endorsed by Alice.

While Cooper was playing a stadium show in the 1970s, a fan threw a live chicken on stage. Cooper, who’s from Detroit and unfamiliar with farm animals, generally assumed that since the chicken had wings, it would be able to fly. So he grabbed the chicken and tossed into the air, thinking it would fly out of the stadium, when in fact it went straight down into the crowd, who ripped the bird to pieces. The parts were thrown back on stage, and the headlines later claimed that Cooper bit the head off the chicken, and drank its blood. Frank Zappa later advised Cooper not to tell the real story, simply because “everybody loves it!”.

Doesn’t seem to mind mocking his own “scary” image in the media; young people who appear with Alice act unafraid of him, while he pretends fright at ordinary things.

Cooper’s daughter, Calico Cooper, has been touring with him as one of the dancers/actors in the show.

Children: Calico Cooper, born 20 May 1981; Dashiell Cooper, born 1984; and Sonora Rose Cooper, born 1993. Sonora was rumored to be the young actress who appeared with Alice in a TV commercial for school supplies, but it wasn’t her.

Despite his horror-make up, pet snakes and wild image, he is a huge fan of Australian pop star Kylie Minogue.

Hosts a radio show “Nights with Alice Cooper”, broadcast on many FM radio stations across the US. [2005]

Went out on a limb to get his first record deal, almost to the point of getting himself and his band tossed in jail: after discovering where Frank Zappa lived, Cooper and his band set up their instruments and audio equipment right in Zappa’s yard and began to perform. Sure enough, Zappa soon came out of the house in a rage; Cooper told him that he and his band would continue playing until Zappa did one of two things: either give them a record deal or call the police. Luckily, Zappa saw fit to do the former.

Once came out with wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts (Jake Roberts) to a wrestling match, carrying a huge snake.

Appeared when the Phoenix Coyotes unveiled their new uniforms at the time at the Hard Rock Cafe, Phoenix, on August 26, 1996.

1974: Legally changed his name to Alice Cooper.

Collects cars and antique watches.

His album “Love It To Death” was recalled to airbrush Cooper’s thumb from the cover after complaints it resembled a penis.

Submitted a potential theme song for the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. The song was rejected, though it does appear on Cooper’s 1973 Muscle of Love album.

His favorite songs are “19th Nervous Breakdown” by The Rolling Stones, “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors, “My Sharona” by The Knack, “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil, “My Generation” by The Who, “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie, “Over Under Sideways Down” by The Yardbirds, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet and “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles. (Source: BBC Radio 2 “Tracks of My Years”).

He wrote the song “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” for the movie “Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI”. He also appeared in “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” uncredited as Freddy’s Father. This makes him the only person who has been involved with Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees almost years before the two fought each other in Freddy Vs. Jason in 2003.

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

He’s the godfather of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine.

Is a huge Fan of The Simpsons.

Often appeared on the Phoenix children’s TV show ‘Wallace and Ladmo’.

Wears a silver bracelet on his left wrist which can only be removed with a key possessed solely by his wife Sheryl.

As a guest on BBC’s “Breakfast” (2000) (10 Aug. 2010), Cooper disclosed to hosts Sian Williams and Bill Turnbull that he stopped drinking in 1981 and now plays golf. Has been happily married to wife Sheryl for 34 years.

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