Welcome to my Nightmare!
The History of Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is coming to the Motor City Comic Con! And with that, I thought I’d give you the history of Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper, born Detroiter, has been terrifying us with his horror-inspired, blood-filled vaudeville act since 1969. According to britanicca.com, Alice was born Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit, Michigan on February 4th, 1948.
Alice spent his childhood in Detroit, but would eventually move to Phoenix, Arizona in his teens. He began his rock career with his dominant high school track team and went by the name “The Earwigs”. They did parodies of Beatles songs that would change out names with their names. “The Earwigs” changed their name to “The Spiders” and continued to gain popularity locally. They moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to “Alice Cooper”
In Los Angeles, Vincent took on the moniker “Alice Cooper”. Their act started to take on a more theatrical aspect similar to what we would expect from Alice today. After a communication error, the band showed up at 7 am to see Frank Zappa who invited them to see him at 7 pm to see their performance. He was so impressed by them showing up so early and ready to perform something so bizarre that he signed them for two albums.
He did what to a chicken?
While the first two albums were not incredibly successful, the band was getting better known for their stage theatrics. Per Biography.com, one such story details the audience throwing a chicken onto the stage which Alice threw back to the audience. The audience tore the chicken apart and threw it back on stage. Alice said the papers took the story and changed it to Alice killing the chicken and drinking its blood on stage. Frank Zappa called Alice and told him to stick with that story.
Alice Cooper’s third album would take a turn towards success as Love It to Death (1971) yielded the hit single “Eighteen”. For the next three years, they had several hits including School’s Out (1972) which hit the top ten lists in the United States and British charts. The next album Billion Dollar Babies (1973) had the successful song “No More Mr Nice Guy.”
After legally changing his name to Alice Cooper, Alice released his first solo album, “Welcome to my Nightmare” in 1975 and Alice Cooper Goes to Hell in 1976. Both albums were very successful. After those albums, Alice hit a decline both in music and health as he became addicted to cocaine and alcohol. He recovered in 1983 and set back to making music and appearing in several television shows and movies.
Alice Cooper has had a variety of successes including a hit radio show Nights with Alice Cooper in 2004 and being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. Most recently Alice released the highly successful “Detroit Stories” in 2021. And in 2021 Alice had a street named after him at the infamous Eloise Asylum.
Things you may not know about Alice:
1. He is a very good golfer and has been golfing for some time…
2. Alice Cooper was very good friends with Groucho Marx and would hang out with him quite often. Groucho had bad insomnia and would call Alice, who lived nearby and ask him to come over at 1 am. They would watch movies and have some beers until Groucho fell asleep. When Groucho passed, Alice bought the “O” from the Hollywood sign in his honor.
3. Alice Cooper is a member of the Friar’s Club. Alice Cooper’s act was coined a “vaudeville” act by Groucho Marx and many other comedians like George Burns welcomed Alice Cooper, so much so that they added him to the membership of the Friar’s Club.