Referred to as the Godfather of Shock Rock, Alice Cooper is an iconic music artist who has produced countless hits in his illustrious over five-decade career. Vincent Damon Furnier started off as the lead singer of the band Alice Cooper and after the band broke up, he adopted the band name as his own.
The Billion Dollar Babies singer is particularly known for his distinct live performances. From fake blood to deadly snakes and from electric chairs to guillotines, Alice Cooper’s shows present a theatrical brand of rock that shocks and entertains the audience at the same time. If you want to be part of the thrilling live experience, purchase Alice Cooper tickets now.
Vincent Damon Furnier was born in Detroit on February 4, 1948. He is named after the writer Damon Runyon and his uncle, Vincent Collier Furnier. His father, Ether Moroni Furnier was a pastor. Cooper began taking active part in church when he was eleven years of age. He first went to the Washington Elementary School and later to Nankin Mills Jr. High.
Cooper’s family first moved to California and then to Phoenix, Arizona. There he studied at the Cortez High School. It is interesting to note that in his high school yearbook, he described his ambition as To be a Million-Record Seller. After high school, Cooper enrolled into the Glendale Community College from where he graduated with a degree in fine arts.
Alice Cooper was inclined towards music since a young age. Eager to take part in the local annual Letterman’s talent show, he formed his first rock band The Earwigs in high school. These musicians dressed up as members of the legendary rock band The Beatles and performed its parodies. Initially only Glen Buxton, one of the band members, knew how to play a music instrument while others simply mimed. However, they not only received an overwhelming response from the audience but also won the talent show. This encouraged them to learn to play music instruments and transform themselves into a professional music band.
Soon after, they changed their band name to The Spiders, with Furnier as the singer, Buxton the lead guitarist, Tatum as Rhythm guitarist, Dunaway as bass guitarist and Speer as drummer. The musicians performed regular gigs at local bars and soon garnered a strong and devoted fan base in the Phoenix area.
With dreams of making it big in the music industry, they decided to move to Los Angeles. This is where they were noticed by Shep Gordon who introduced them to the iconic composer and record producer Frank Zappa which led the band to their first recording contract.
In 1968 The Spiders changed their name to Alice Cooper upon discovering that another band of the same name already existed. The new name comes from a 17th century witch that spoke to Furnier via an Ouija board. Besides, the musicians also felt that the sound of the name was innocuous and decent, something that’s in contrast to their music and image. Later on in an interview, Furnier said that the whole story about the witch was ‘pure urban legend.’ He stated “I heard about the witch thing probably the same day you did, but it was a great story.”
Contributions as Part of Alice Cooper - The Band
The debut music album by the band Alice Cooper came out via Straight Records in the year 1969. Titled Pretties for You, the album has eclectic influences in its songs and a psychedelic touch to it. Too avant-garde for its time, the album failed to make much of an impact commercially, although it did hit the US music charts in its first week. The musicians had yet not developed the hard rock sound that they became famous for later.
The band’s second studio album Easy Action was released by Straight Records in March of 1970. Its title is inspired from a line in one of the band’s favorite movies, West Side Story. The tracks on the record were written by Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Glen Buxton. The critics were however not impressed with its content and the record failed to fare well commercially as well.
It was with Love it to Death, the band’s third studio album that they earned commercial success. Its most popular song I’m Eighteen was released as a single prior to the recording of the album. It was their first Top 40 hit and convinced Warner Bros. to release their album.
Over the next few years, Alice Cooper the band treated the fans with a number of hit albums. These include Killer, Billion Dollar Babies, School’s Out and Muscle of Love.
Contributions as a Solo Artist
Alice Cooper as a band played its final shows in Brazil during March and April of 1974. In 1975 Furnier parted ways with the band and decided to pursue a solo music career. By this time, Alice Cooper had become his legal name and so he continued to produce music as a solo artist under the same name. In response to a question about the break-up of the band, the singer said that having produced music for ten years, they had gone ‘pretty dry together.’
Alice Cooper’s debut solo music album Welcome to My Nightmare hit the shelves in March of 1975. It is also his only record released by the Atlantic Records. A concept album, Welcome to My Nightmare is about the nightmares of a child called Steven. Its songs, if listened to in sequence, form a story through his nightmares. The tracks from Welcome to My Nightmare are among the most played in Alice Cooper’s concerts.
Cooper followed up the success of his first solo record with Alice Cooper Goes to Hell. Since the ballad Only Women Bleed from Welcome to My Nightmare was a huge hit, the singer continued with the rock ballads in his second solo album. Its song I Never Cry was written about Cooper’s drinking problem which later went on to affect his work and also led him into rehab. Cooper referred to the track as ‘an alcoholic confession.’
Suffering from problems at the personal end, Cooper’s 1980s’ albums Special Forces and Zipper Catches Skin were rather disappointing. He made his comeback on the charts with the 1989 record, Trash.
The legendary rock musician went on to produce several music records over the following decades. His most recent album Paranormal came out in 2017.
Alice Cooper Tour Tickets
At 69 years of age, Alice cooper is as entertaining a recording artist as he is a live performer. His shows are full of theatrical acts and can comprise any and every kind of prop, ranging from electric chairs, swords and dolls.
The iconic musician has announced the 2018 dates for his A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper Live Tour. It is in support of his latest music album. If you want to catch the excitement live, wait no more to get your hands on Alice Cooper tour tickets.