Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier, February 4, 1948)
is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With a raspy voice and a stage show that features numerous props, including pyrotechnics, guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, reptiles, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock
". He has drawn equally from horror film
, and garage rock
to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock audiences.
Originating in Phoenix, Arizona
, in 1964, "Alice Cooper" was originally a band
with roots extending back to a band called The Earwigs 1964, consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica
, Glen Buxton
on lead guitar, and Dennis Dunaway
on bass guitar and background vocals. By 1966, Michael Bruce
on rhythm guitar joined the three and Neal Smith
was added on drums in 1967. The five named the band 'Alice Cooper' and released their debut album in 1969 with limited chart success. The band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album, ''Billion Dollar Babies
''. They broke up in 1975 and Furnier adopted the band's name as both his legal name and his stage name, beginning his solo career with the 1975 concept album
''Welcome to My Nightmare
Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock
, hard rock
, heavy metal
, new wave
, glam metal
, and industrial rock
. He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been described as the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock and roll
, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre".
He is also known for his wit offstage, with ''The Rolling Stone Album Guide
'' calling him the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a radio DJ
with his classic rock show ''Nights with Alice Cooper
Cooper was born in Detroit, Michigan
, the son of Ether Moroni Furnier (1924–1987) and his wife Ella Mae (''née'' McCart; born 1925). He was named after his uncle, Vincent Collier Furnier, and the writer Damon Runyon
. His father was an evangelist in The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
and his paternal grandfather, Thurman Sylvester Furnier, was an apostle
(from 1917) in and president
(1963–1965) of that church.
Cooper was active in his church at ages 11 to 12. Following a series of childhood illnesses, he moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona
, where he attended Cortez High School
. In his high school yearbook, his ambition was to be "A million record seller".
The Spiders and Nazz
In 1964, 16-year-old Furnier was eager to participate in the local annual Cortez High School Letterman's
talent show, so he gathered four fellow cross-country
teammates to form a group for the show: Glen Buxton
, Dennis Dunaway
, John Tatum and John Speer.
[Cooper describes in detail in his first autobiography, ''Me, Alice'', how he was tasked with organizing an act for the show.]
They named themselves the Earwigs.
[''Super Duper Alice Cooper.'' Dir. Reginald Harkima, Scott McFayden, and Sam Dunn. Banger Films in association with Eagle Rock Entertainment, the Movie Network, and Movie Central. 2014 - documentary]
They dressed up in costumes and wigs to resemble The Beatles
, and performed several parodies of Beatles songs, with the lyrics modified to refer to the track team: in their rendition of "Please Please Me
", for example, the line "Last night I said these words to my girl" was replaced with "Last night I ran four laps for my coach". Of the group, only Buxton knew how to play an instrument—the guitar—so Buxton played guitar while the rest mimed on their instruments.
The group got an overwhelming response from the audience and won the talent show. As a result of their positive experience, the group decided to try to turn into a real band. They acquired musical instruments from a local pawn shop
, and proceeded to learn how to play them, with Buxton doing most of the teaching, as well as much of the early songwriting.
They soon renamed themselves the Spiders
, featuring Furnier on vocals, Buxton on lead guitar, Tatum on rhythm guitar, Dunaway on bass guitar, and Speer on drums.
In 1966, The Spiders graduated from Cortez High School, and after North High School
football player Michael Bruce
replaced John Tatum on rhythm guitar, the band released their second single, "Don't Blow Your Mind", an original composition which became a local hit, backed by "No Price Tag".
By 1967, the band had begun to make regular road trips to Los Angeles to play shows.
They soon renamed themselves Nazz and released the single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now", backed with future Alice Cooper track "Lay Down and Die, Goodbye". Around this time, drummer John Speer was replaced by Neal Smith
. By the end of the year, the band had relocated to Los Angeles.
Name change to "Alice Cooper"
In 1968, the band learned that Todd Rundgren
also had a band called Nazz
, and found themselves in need of another stage name. Furnier also believed that the group needed a gimmick
to succeed, and that other bands were not exploiting the showmanship potential of the stage.
They chose the name "Alice Cooper" largely because it sounded innocuous and wholesome, in humorous contrast to the band's image and music. In 2007 in his book ''Alice Cooper, Golf Monster'' Cooper stated that his look was inspired in part by film. One of the band's all-time favorite movies was ''What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
'' starring Bette Davis
. "In the movie, Bette wears disgusting caked makeup smeared on her face and underneath her eyes, with deep, dark, black eyeliner." Another movie the band watched over and over was ''Barbarella
''. "When I saw Anita Pallenberg
playing the Great Tyrant in that movie in 1968, wearing long black leather gloves with switchblades coming out of them, I thought, 'That's what Alice should look like.' That, and a little bit of Emma Peel
from ''The Avengers
The classic Alice Cooper group lineup
consisted of Furnier, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith.
With the exception of Smith, who graduated from Camelback High School (which is referred to in the song "Alma Mater" on the album ''School's Out
''), all of the band members were on the Cortez High School cross-country team, and many of Cooper's stage effects were inspired by their cross-country coach, Emmett Smith.
Cooper, Buxton, and Dunaway were also art students, and their admiration for the works of surrealist
artists such as Salvador Dalí
would further inspire their future stage antics.
One night after an unsuccessful gig at the Cheetah club in Venice, California
, where the band emptied the entire room of patrons after playing just ten minutes, they were approached and enlisted by music manager Shep Gordon
, who saw the band's negative impact that night as a force that could be turned in a more productive direction.
Shep then arranged an audition for the band with composer and renowned record producer Frank Zappa
, who was looking to sign bizarre music acts to his new record label, Straight Records
For the audition Zappa told them to come to his house "at 7 o'clock." The band mistakenly assumed he meant 7 o'clock in the morning. Being woken up by a band willing to play that particular brand of psychedelic rock at seven in the morning impressed Zappa enough for him to sign them to a three-album deal. Another Zappa-signed act, the all-female GTOs
, who liked to "dress the Cooper boys up like full size Barbie doll
s", played a major role in developing the band's early onstage look.
[Barry Miles's biography of Frank Zappa includes a vivid description of how the GTO's influenced Cooper to wear makeup and dress in drag onstage.]
Cooper's first album, ''Pretties for You
'' (released in 1969), was eclectic and featured an experimental presentation of their songs in a psychedelic context.
Alice Cooper's "shock rock" reputation apparently developed almost by accident at first. An unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper, a feather pillow, and a live chicken garnered attention from the press; the band decided to capitalize on the tabloid sensationalism, creating in the process a new subgenre, shock rock
Cooper claims that the infamous "Chicken Incident" at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival
concert in September 1969 was an accident.
A chicken somehow made its way onto the stage into the feathers of a feather pillow they would open during Cooper's performance, and not having any experience with farm animals, Cooper presumed that, because the chicken had wings, it would be able to fly.
He picked it up and threw it out over the crowd, expecting it to fly away. The chicken instead plummeted into the first few rows occupied by wheelchair users, who reportedly proceeded to tear the bird to pieces.
[Cooper confirms this version of events in an interview in ''Alice Cooper: Prime Cuts''.]
The next day the incident made the front page of national newspapers, and Zappa phoned Cooper and asked if the story, which reported that he had bitten off the chicken's head and drunk its blood on stage, was true. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, "Well, whatever you do, don't tell anyone you didn't do it."
[Five years later, the Chicken Incident would be parodied in the second verse of the Ray Stevens song "The Moonlight Special", with Cooper referred to as ''Agnes Stoopa''.]
The band later claimed that this period was highly influenced by Pink Floyd
, and especially the album ''The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
''. Glen Buxton said he could listen to Syd Barrett's guitar for hours at a time.
Despite the publicity from the chicken incident, the band's second album, ''Easy Action
'', produced by David Briggs
and released in June 1970, fared even worse than its predecessor, entirely failing to dent the ''Billboard
'' Top 200. Around this time, fed up with Californians' indifference to their act, they relocated to Pontiac, Michigan, where their bizarre stage act was much better received by Midwest
ern crowds accustomed to the proto punk
styles of local bands such as the Stooges
and the MC5
. Despite this, Cooper still managed to receive a cream pie in the face
when performing at the Cincinnati Pop Festival
. Michigan would remain their steady home base until 1972. "L.A. just didn't get it," Cooper stated. "They were all on the wrong drug for us. They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else."
Alice Cooper appeared at the Woodstock-esque Strawberry Fields Festival
near Toronto, Ontario, in August 1970. The band's mix of glam and increasingly violent stage theatrics stood out in stark contrast to the bearded, denim-clad hippie bands of the time. As Cooper himself stated: "We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation".
In autumn 1970, the Alice Cooper group teamed with producer Bob Ezrin
for the recording of their third album, ''Love It to Death
''. This was the final album in their Straight Records contract and the band's last chance to create a hit. That first success came with the single "I'm Eighteen
", released in November 1970, which reached number 21 on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100
in early 1971. Not long after the album's release in January 1971, Warner Bros. Records
purchased Alice Cooper's contract from Straight and re-issued the album, giving the group a higher level of promotion.
''Love It to Death'' proved to be their breakthrough album, reaching number 35 on the U.S. ''Billboard'' 200
album charts. It would be the first of 11
[See the Alice Cooper entry under ''List of albums produced by Ezrin'' at Ezrin's Wikipedia page]
Alice Cooper group and solo albums produced by Ezrin, who is widely seen as being pivotal in helping to create and develop the band's definitive sound.
The group's 1971 tour featured a stage show involving mock fights and gothic torture modes being imposed on Cooper, climaxing in a staged execution by electric chair
, with the band sporting tight, sequined, color-contrasting glam rock
-style costumes made by prominent rock-fashion designer Cindy Dunaway (sister of band member Neal Smith, and wife of band member Dennis Dunaway). Cooper's androgynous stage role had developed to present a villain
ous side, portraying a potential threat to modern society. The success of the band's single and album, and their tour of 1971, which included their first tour of Europe (audience members reportedly included Elton John
and a pre-Ziggy David Bowie
), provided enough encouragement for Warner Bros. to offer the band a new multi-album contract.
Their follow-up album ''Killer
'', released in late 1971, continued the commercial success of ''Love It to Death'' and included further single success with "Under My Wheels
", "Be My Lover" in early 1972, and "Halo of Flies
", which became a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands in 1973. Thematically, ''Killer'' expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role, with its music becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a boa constrictor
hugging Cooper on-stage, the murderous axe chopping of bloodied baby dolls, and execution by hanging at the gallows
. In January 1972, Cooper was again asked about his peculiar name, and told talk-show hostess Dinah Shore that he took the name from a "Mayberry RFD" character.
The summer of 1972 saw the release of the single "School's Out
". It went Top 10 in the U.S. and to number 1 in the U.K., and remains a staple on classic rock
radio to this day. The album ''School's Out
'' reached No. 2 on the US charts and sold over a million copies. The band relocated to their new mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut
. With Cooper's on-stage androgynous persona completely replaced with brattiness
, the band solidified their success with subsequent tours in the United States and Europe, and won over devoted fans in droves while at the same time horrifying parents and outraging the social establishment. In the United Kingdom, Mary Whitehouse
, a Christian morality campaigner, persuaded the BBC
to ban the video for "School's Out", although Whitehouse's campaign did not prevent the single also reaching number one in the UK. Cooper sent her a bunch of flowers in gratitude for the publicity. Meanwhile, British Labour
Member of Parliament Leo Abse
petitioned Home Secretary Reginald Maudling
to have the group banned altogether from performing in the country.
In February 1973, ''Billion Dollar Babies
'' was released worldwide and became the band's most commercially successful album, reaching No. 1 in both the US and UK. "Elected
", a late-1972 Top 10 UK hit from the album, which inspired one of the first MTV-style story-line promo videos ever made for a song (three years before Queen's promotional video for "Bohemian Rhapsody
"), was followed by two more UK Top 10 singles, "Hello Hooray
" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy
", the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached No. 25 in the US. The title track, featuring guest vocals by Donovan
, was also a US hit single. Around this time Glen Buxton left Alice Cooper briefly because of waning health.
With a string of successful concept album
s and several hit singles, the band continued their grueling schedule and toured the United States again. Continued attempts by politicians and pressure groups to ban their shocking act only served to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper further and generate even greater public interest. Their 1973 US tour broke box-office records previously set by the Rolling Stones
and raised rock theatrics to new heights; the multi-level stage show by then featured numerous special effects, including Billion Dollar Bills, decapitated baby dolls and mannequins, a dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth, and the ultimate execution prop and highlight of the show: the guillotine
. The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi
, who appeared on stage during some of the shows as executioner
. In 2012 at Dragon Con
, Randi and Cooper discussed their working relationship during this period. The Alice Cooper group had now reached its peak and it was among the most visible and successful acts in the industry. Beneath the surface, however, the repetitive schedule of recording and touring had begun to take its toll on the band.
''Muscle of Love
'', released at the end of 1973, was to be the last studio album from the classic lineup, and marked Alice Cooper's last UK Top 20 single of the 1970s with "Teenage Lament '74
". An unsolicited theme song was recorded for the James Bond
movie ''The Man with the Golden Gun
'', but a different song of the same name by Lulu
was chosen instead. By 1974, the ''Muscle of Love'' album still had not matched the top-charting success of its predecessor, and the band began to have constant disagreements. For various reasons, the members agreed to take what was expected to be a temporary hiatus. "Everyone decided they needed a rest from one another", said manager Shep Gordon at the time. "A lot of pressure had built up, but it's nothing that can't be dealt with. Everybody still gets together and talks." Journalist Bob Greene spent several weeks on the road with the band during the ''Muscle of Love Christmas Tour'' in 1973. His book ''Billion Dollar Baby'', released in November 1974, painted a less-than-flattering picture of the band, showing a group in total disharmony.
Cooper later wrote an autobiography with Steven Gaines
called ''Me, Alice'' which gave the singer's version of that era of his career, among other things.
During this time, Cooper relocated back to Los Angeles and started appearing regularly on television shows such as ''The Hollywood Squares
'', and Warner Bros. released the ''Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits
'' compilation album. It featured classic-style artwork and reached the US Top 10, performing better than ''Muscle of Love''. However, the band's 1974 feature film ''Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper
'' (consisting mainly of 1973 concert footage with 'comedic' sketches woven throughout to a faint storyline), released on a minor cinematic run mostly to drive-in theaters, saw little box-office success. On March 5, 1974, Cooper appeared on episode 3 of '' The Snoop Sisters
'' playing a Satanic cult singer. The final shows by Alice Cooper as a group were in Brazil in March and April 1974, including the record indoor attendance estimated as high as 158,000 fans in São Paulo on March 30, at the Anhembi Exposition Hall at the start of the first ever South American rock tour.
In 1975, Alice Cooper returned as a solo artist with the release of ''Welcome to My Nightmare
''. To avoid legal complications over ownership of the group name, "Alice Cooper" had by then become the singer's new legal name. Speaking on the subject of Alice Cooper continuing as a solo project as opposed to the band it once was, Cooper stated in 1975, "It got very basically down to the fact that we had drawn as much as we could out of each other. After ten years, we got pretty dry together." Manager Gordon added, "What had started in a sense as a pipe-dream became an overwhelming burden".
The success of ''Welcome to My Nightmare
'' marked the final break-up of the original members of the band, with Cooper collaborating with their producer Bob Ezrin, who recruited Lou Reed
's backing band, including guitarists Dick Wagner
and Steve Hunter
, to play on the album. Spearheaded by the US Top 20 hit ballad "Only Women Bleed
", the album was released by Atlantic Records
in March of that year and became a Top 10 hit for Cooper. It was a concept album that was based on the nightmare of a child named Steven, featuring narration by classic horror movie film star Vincent Price
, and serving as the soundtrack to Cooper's new stage show, which now showcased more theatrics than ever, including an furry Cyclops
which Cooper decapitated and killed.
Accompanying the album and stage show was the television special ''The Nightmare'', starring Cooper and Vincent Price
, which aired on US prime-time TV in April 1975. ''The Nightmare'' (which was later released on home video in 1983 and gained a Grammy Awards nomination for Best Long Form Music Video
) was regarded as another groundbreaking moment in rock history. Adding to all that, a concert film, also called ''Welcome to My Nightmare
'' produced, directed, and choreographed by West Side Story
cast member David Winters
and filmed live at London's Wembley Arena
in September 1975, was released to theaters in 1976. The film was released in a special edition DVD in 2017.
Such was the immense success of Cooper's solo project that he decided to continue as a solo artist, and the original band became officially defunct. Bruce, Dunaway, and Smith would go on to form the short-lived band Billion Dollar Babies, producing one album—''Battle Axe''—in 1977. While occasionally performing with one another and Glen Buxton
, they would not reunite with Alice until October 23, 1999, at the second Glen Buxton Memorial Weekend for a show at CoopersTown in Phoenix. They reunited for another show, with Steve Hunter
on guitar, on December 16, 2010, at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix. This lineup would perform together again (televised) on March 14, 2011, at the induction of the original Alice Cooper group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
, as well as on May 11, 2011, at London's Battersea Power Station
at the Jagermeister
Ice Cold 4D event (webcast). Bruce, Dunaway, and Smith appeared on three tracks they co-wrote on Alice's 2011 album ''Welcome 2 My Nightmare
''. In 2017, they appeared on two tracks they co-wrote on Alice's album ''Paranormal
'', released in July, and in November they joined his current live band for five tour dates in the United Kingdom.
Following the 1976 US No. 12 ballad hit "I Never Cry
two albums, ''Alice Cooper Goes to Hell
'' and ''Lace and Whiskey
''; and the 1977 US No. 9 ballad hit "You and Me
", it became clear during his 1977 US tour that Cooper was in dire need of help with his alcoholism (at his alcoholic peak it was rumored that Cooper was consuming up to two cases of Budweiser
and a bottle of whiskey a day). Following the tour, Cooper had himself hospitalized in a sanitarium for treatment, during which time the live album ''The Alice Cooper Show
'' was released.
In 1978, a sobered
Cooper used his experience in the sanitarium as the inspiration for his semi-autobiographical album ''From the Inside
'', which he co-wrote with Bernie Taupin
; it spawned yet another US Top 20 hit ballad, "How You Gonna See Me Now
". The subsequent tour's stage show was based inside an asylum, and was filmed for Cooper's first home-video release, ''The Strange Case of Alice Cooper
'', in 1979. Around this time, Cooper performed "Welcome to My Nightmare", "You and Me", and "School's Out" on ''The Muppet Show
'' (episode #307) on March 28, 1978 (he played one of the devil
's henchmen trying to dupe Kermit
and Miss Piggy into selling their souls). He also appeared in an against-typecasting role as a piano-playing disco waiter in Mae West
's final film, ''Sextette
'', and as a villain in the film ''Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
''. Cooper also led celebrities in raising money to remodel the famous Hollywood Sign
in Los Angeles, California. Cooper himself contributed over $27,000 to the project, buying an O in the sign in memory of close friend and comedian Groucho Marx
. In 1979, Alice also guest starred on good friend Soupy Sales
show, "Lunch with Soupy Sales" and was hit in the face with a pie, as part of the show ... when asked about the experience, Alice had this to say about his pal: "Being from Detroit, I came home every day and watched Soupy at lunch (Lunch With Soupy Sales). One of the greatest moments of my life was getting pie-faced by Soupy. He was one of my all time heroes."
Cooper's albums from the beginning of the 1980s have been referred to by Cooper as his "blackout albums" because he cannot remember recording them, owing to the influence of illicit substances. ''Flush the Fashion
'', ''Special Forces
'', ''Zipper Catches Skin
'' and ''DaDa
'' saw a gradual commercial decline, with the last two not denting the ''Billboard
'' Top 200. ''Flush the Fashion'', produced by Queen
producer Roy Thomas Baker
, had a thick, edgy new wave
musical sound that baffled even longtime fans, though it still yielded the US Top 40 hit "Clones (We're All)
". ''Special Forces'' featured a more aggressive but consistent new wave style, and included a new version of "Generation Landslide". His tour for ''Special Forces'' marked Cooper's last time on the road for nearly five years; it was not until 1986, for ''Constrictor
'', that he toured again. 1982's ''Zipper Catches Skin'' was a more pop punk
-oriented recording, containing many quirky high-energy guitar-driven songs along with his most unusual collection of subject matters for lyrics. 1983 marked the return collaboration of producer Bob Ezrin
and guitarist Dick Wagner
for the haunting epic ''DaDa'', the final album in his Warner Bros. contract.
In mid-1983, after the recording of ''DaDa'', Cooper was hospitalized for alcoholism again, and cirrhosis
of the liver. Cooper was finally stable and sober (and has remained sober since that time) by the time ''DaDa'' and ''The Nightmare'' home video (of his 1975 TV Special) were released in the fall of that year; however, both releases performed below expectations. Even with ''The Nightmare'' scoring a nomination for 1984's Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video
(he lost to Duran Duran
), it was not enough for Warner Bros. to keep Cooper on their books. By February 1984, Cooper became a "free agent" for the first time in his career.
Cooper spent a lengthy period away from the music business dealing with personal issues. His divorce from Sheryl Cooper was heard at Maricopa County Superior Court, Arizona, on January 30, 1984 but a decision was made by the couple not to move forward with the divorce. The following month he guested at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards
alongside co-presenter Grace Jones
. Behind the scenes Cooper kept busy musically, working on new material in collaboration with Aerosmith
guitarist Joe Perry
. The spring of 1984 was taken up with filming, Cooper acting in the B-grade
horror movie ''Monster Dog
'', filmed in Torrelodones
, Spain. Shortly thereafter he reconciled with Sheryl; the couple relocated to Chicago. The year closed with more writing sessions, this time in New York during November with ''Hanoi Rocks
'' guitarist Andy McCoy
. In 1985, he met and began writing songs with guitarist Kane Roberts
. Cooper was subsequently signed to MCA Records
, and appeared as guest vocalist on Twisted Sister
's song "Be Chrool to Your Scuel". A video was made for the song, featuring actor Luke Perry
and Cooper donning his black snake-eyes makeup for the first time since 1979, but neither the song nor the video drew public interest.
In 1986, Alice Cooper officially returned to the music industry with the album ''Constrictor
''. The album spawned the hits "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)
" (the theme song for the movie ''Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
''; in the video for the song Cooper was given a cameo role as a deranged psychiatrist) and the fan favorite "Teenage Frankenstein". The Constrictor album was a catalyst for Cooper to make a triumphant return to the road for the first time since the 1981 ''Special Forces'' project, on a tour appropriately entitled ''The Nightmare Returns''. The Detroit leg of this tour, which took place at the end of October 1986 during Halloween, was captured on film as ''The Nightmare Returns
'', and is viewed by some as being the definitive Alice Cooper concert film. It was released on DVD in 2006. The concert, which received rave reviews in the rock music press,
[For example, see the November 13, 1986, issue of ''Kerrang!'' music magazine, whose front cover bears the headline 'The Night He Came Home ... Alice Knocks 'Em Dead in Detroit'.]
was also described by ''Rolling Stone'' magazine as bringing "Cooper's violent, twisted onstage fantasies to a new generation". The ''Constrictor'' album was followed by ''Raise Your Fist and Yell
'' in 1987, which had an even rougher sound than its predecessor, as well as the Cooper classic "Freedom
". The subsequent tour of ''Raise Your Fist and Yell'', which was heavily inspired by the slasher horror movies of the time such as the ''Friday the 13th
'' series and ''A Nightmare on Elm Street
'', served up a shocking spectacle similar to its predecessor, and courted the kind of controversy, especially in Europe, that recalled the public outrage caused by Cooper's public performances in America in the early 1970s.
In Britain, Labour M.P. David Blunkett
called for the show to be banned, saying "I'm horrified by his behaviour – it goes beyond the bounds of entertainment". The controversy spilled over into the German segment of the tour, with the German government actually succeeding in having some of the gorier segments of the performance removed. It was also during the London leg of the tour that Cooper met with a near fatal accident during rehearsal of the hanging execution sequence that occurs at the end of the show.
''Constrictor'' and ''Raise Your Fist and Yell'' were recorded with lead guitarist Kane Roberts
and bassist Kip Winger
, both of whom would leave the band by the end of 1988 (although Kane Roberts played guitar on "Bed of Nails" on 1989's album ''Trash
In 1987, Cooper made a brief appearance as a vagrant in the horror movie ''Prince of Darkness
'', directed by John Carpenter
. His role had no lines and consisted of generally menacing the protagonists before eventually impaling one of them with a bicycle frame.
In 1987, Cooper also appeared at ''WrestleMania III
'', escorting wrestler Jake 'The Snake' Roberts
to the ring for his match against The Honky Tonk Man
. After the match was over (Roberts lost), Cooper got involved and threw Jake's snake Damien at Honky's manager Jimmy Hart
. Jake considered the involvement of Cooper to be an honor, as he had idolized Cooper in his youth and was still a huge fan. Wrestlemania III, which attracted a WWf record 93,173 fans, was held in the Pontiac Silverdome
near Cooper's home town of Detroit.
Cooper recorded a music video for the "Poison" B-side "I Got a Line on You" after the song was featured on the soundtrack to ''Iron Eagle II
On April 7, 1988, Cooper nearly died of asphyxiation after a safety rope broke during a rehearsal concert wherein he pretended to hang himself, a stunt he would often perform during live concerts.
In 1988, Cooper's contract with MCA Records expired and he signed with Epic Records
. Then in 1989 his career finally experienced a legitimate revival with the Desmond Child
produced and Grammy
-nominated album ''Trash
'', which spawned a hit single "Poison
", which reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 7 in the US, and a worldwide arena tour
In 1991, Cooper released his 19th studio album ''Hey Stoopid
'' featuring several notable rock musicians guesting on the record. Released as glam metal's popularity was on the wane, and just before the explosion of grunge, it failed to have the same commercial impact as its predecessor. The same year also saw the release of the video ''Alice Cooper: Prime Cuts'' which chronicled his entire career using in depth interviews with Cooper himself, Bob Ezrin, and Shep Gordon. One critic has noted that ''Prime Cuts'' demonstrates how Cooper had used (in contrast to similar artists who succeeded him) themes of satire and moralisation to such good effect throughout his career. It was in the ''Prime Cuts'' video that Bob Ezrin delivered his own summation of the Alice Cooper persona: "He is the psycho killer in all of us. He's the axe murderer, he's the spoiled child, he's the abuser, he's the abused; he's the perpetrator, he's the victim, he's the gun slinger, and he's the guy lying dead in the middle of the street".
During the early 1990s, Cooper guested on records by the most successful bands of the time, such as the Guns N' Roses
album ''Use Your Illusion I
'', on which he shared vocal duties with Axl Rose
on the track "The Garden
". He also had a brief appearance as the abusive stepfather of Freddy Krueger
in the ''Nightmare On Elm Street
'' film ''Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Cooper made a cameo appearance in the 1992 comedy film ''Wayne's World
''. Cooper and his band first appear onstage performing "Feed My Frankenstein" from their album ''Hey Stoopid''. Afterwards at a backstage party, the movie's main characters Wayne Cambell and Garth Algar discover that when offstage, Cooper is a calm, articulate intellectual as he and his band discuss the history of Milwaukee
in depth. Wayne and Garth respond to an invitation to hang out with Cooper by kneeling and bowing reverently before him while chanting "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
In 1994, Cooper released ''The Last Temptation
'', his first concept album since ''DaDa''. The album deals with issues of faith, temptation, alienation and the frustrations of modern life, and has been described as "a young man's struggle to see the truth through the distractions of the 'Sideshow' of the modern world". Concurrent with the release of ''The Last Temptation'' was a three-part comic book series written by Neil Gaiman
, fleshing out the album's story. This was to be Cooper's last album with Epic Records, and his last studio release for six years, though during this period the live album ''A Fistful of Alice
'' was released, and in 1997 he lent his voice to the intro track of Insane Clown Posse
's ''The Great Milenko
During his absence from the recording studio, Cooper toured extensively every year throughout the latter part of the 1990s, including, in 1996, South America, which he had not visited since 1974. Also in 1996, Cooper sang the role of Herod
on the London cast recording of the musical ''Jesus Christ Superstar
In 1999, the four-disc box set ''The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper
'' appeared, which contained an authorized biography of Cooper, ''Alcohol and Razor Blades, Poison and Needles: The Glorious Wretched Excess of Alice Cooper, All-American'', written by ''Creem
'' magazine editor Jeffrey Morgan
The first decade of the 21st century saw a sustained period of activity from Alice Cooper, the decade in which he would turn sixty. He toured extensively releasing a steady stream of studio albums to favorable critical acclaim. Beginning in 2000 with ''Brutal Planet
'', a return to horror-filled heavy metal, industrial rock, set in a dystopia
n post-apocalyptic future, inspired by our brutal modern world, and a number of current news stories appearing on CNN
The album was produced by Bob Marlett, with longtime Cooper production collaborator Bob Ezrin
returning as executive producer. The accompanying world tour, which included Cooper's first concert in Russia, also resulted in ''Brutally Live
'', a DVD of a concert, recorded in London, England, on July 19, 2000.
Cooper made a guest appearance on a 2001, 3rd-season episode of ''That 70s Show
'', "Radio Daze" in which he partakes in a game of ''Dungeons & Dragons
''Brutal Planet'' was succeeded by the sonically similar and acclaimed sequel ''Dragontown
'', which saw Bob Ezrin
back as producer. The album has been described as leading the listener down "a nightmarish path into the mind of rock's original conceptual storyteller" and by Cooper himself as being "the worst town on Brutal Planet". Like ''The Last Temptation'', both ''Brutal Planet'' and ''Dragontown'' are albums which explore Cooper's born again Christianity. It is often cited in the music media that ''Dragontown'' forms the third chapter in a trilogy begun with ''The Last Temptation''; however, Cooper has indicated that this in fact is not the case.
Cooper again adopted a leaner, cleaner sound for his critically acclaimed 2003 release ''The Eyes of Alice Cooper
''. Recognizing that many contemporary bands were having great success with his former sounds and styles, Cooper worked with a somewhat younger group of road and studio musicians who were familiar with his oeuvre of old. The resulting ''Bare Bones'' tour adopted a less-orchestrated performance style that had fewer theatrical flourishes and a greater emphasis on musicality.
Cooper's radio show ''Nights with Alice Cooper
'' began airing on January 26, 2004, in several US cities. The program showcases classic rock, Cooper's personal stories about his life as a rock icon and interviews with prominent rock artists. The show is broadcast on nearly 100 stations in the US and Canada, and has been broadcast internationally
A continuation of the songwriting approach adopted on ''The Eyes of Alice Cooper'' was again adopted by Cooper for his 24th studio album ''Dirty Diamonds
'', released in 2005. ''Dirty Diamonds'' became Cooper's highest charting album since 1994's ''The Last Temptation'' at the time. The Dirty Diamonds tour launched in America in August 2005 after several European concerts, including a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival
in Switzerland on July 12. Cooper and his band, including Kiss drummer Eric Singer
, were filmed for a DVD released as ''Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux 2005
''. One critic, in a review of the Montreux release, commented that Cooper was to be applauded for "still mining pretty much the same territory of teenage angst and rebellion" as he had done more than 30 years previously.
In December 2006, the original Alice Cooper band reunited to perform six classic Alice Cooper songs at Cooper's annual charity event in Phoenix, entitled "Christmas Pudding".
[Damon Johnson, a guitarist in Cooper's then band, filled in for the deceased Glen Buxton.]
On July 1, 2007, Cooper performed a duet with Marilyn Manson
at the B'Estival event in Bucharest, Romania
. The performance represented a reconciliation between the two artists; Cooper had previously taken issue with Manson over his overtly anti-Christian on-stage antics and had sarcastically made reference to the originality of Manson's choosing a female name and dressing in women's clothing.
Cooper and Manson have been the subject of an academic paper on the significance of adolescent antiheroes.
In January 2008, Cooper was one of the guest singers on the new Avantasia
album ''The Scarecrow
'', singing the 7th track "The Toy Master". In July 2008, after lengthy delays, Cooper released ''Along Came a Spider
'', his 25th studio album. It was Cooper's highest charting album since 1991's ''Hey Stoopid'', reaching No. 53 in the US and No. 31 in the UK. The album, visiting similar territory explored in 1987's ''Raise Your Fist and Yell'', deals with the nefarious antics of a deranged serial killer
named "Spider" who is on a quest to use the limbs of his victims to create a human spider. The album generally received positive reviews from music critics, though ''Rolling Stone'' magazine opined that the music on the record sorely missed Bob Ezrin's production values. The resulting ''Theatre of Death'' tour of the album (during which Cooper is executed on four separate occasions) was described in a long November 2009 article about Cooper in ''The Times'' as "epic" and featuring "enough fake blood to remake ''Saving Private Ryan
During this period Cooper was also recognized and awarded in various ways: given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
in 2003; in May 2004 he received an honorary doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University
. In June 2005, he was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.
In May 2006 he was given the key to the city
of Alice, North Dakota
. He won the living legend award at the 2006 Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards
event; and he won the 2007 ''Mojo'' music magazine Hero Award. He received a Rock Immortal award at the 2007 Scream Awards
2010s and 2020s
In January 2010, it was announced that Alice would be touring with Rob Zombie
on the "Gruesome Twosome" tour. In May 2010, Cooper made an appearance during the beginning of the season finale of the reality-show ''American Idol
'', in which he sang "School's Out
With his daughter, and former band member Dick Wagner
, Cooper scored the music for the indie horror flick ''Silas Gore''.
During 2010, Cooper began working on a new album, dubbed ''Welcome 2 My Nightmare
'', a sequel to the original ''Welcome to My Nightmare''.
In a Radio Metal interview, he said that "We'll put some of the original people on it and add some new people ... I'm very happy with working with Bob (Ezrin) again."
On December 15, 2010, it was announced Cooper and his former band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
. The induction ceremony took place March 14, 2011, where Cooper was inducted by fellow horror-rocker Rob Zombie. Original members Bruce, Cooper, Dunaway, and Smith all made brief acceptance speeches and performed "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out" live together, with Steve Hunter filling in for the late Glen Buxton. Alice showed up for the event wearing a (presumably fake) blood-splattered shirt and had a live albino Burmese python
wrapped around his neck.
Cooper told ''Rolling Stone Magazine'' that he was "elated" by the news and that the nomination had been made for the original band, as "We all did go to the same high school together, and we were all on the track team, and it was pretty cool that guys that knew each other before the band ended up going that far".
On March 10, 2011, Jackson Browne
, David Crosby
, Graham Nash
, Cooper, Jennifer Warnes
, and others performed at a benefit concert in Tucson, Arizona
, benefiting The Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding, a foundation that raises awareness about and provides medical prevention and treatment services to people with mental disorders. In June 2011 Cooper took his place in the Reasonably Priced Car at the BBC auto show ''Top Gear
On June 9, 2011, Cooper was awarded the ''Kerrang! Icon Award''
magazine's annual awards show. Cooper used the opportunity to hit out at the "anaemic" rock music that dominates the charts, and said he has no intention of retiring from the industry.
Cooper supported Iron Maiden
on their Maiden England World Tour
from June to July 21, 2012, and then headlined Bloodstock Open Air
on Sunday August 12. On September 16, 2012, Cooper appeared at the Sunflower Jam
charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall
, London, performing alongside Brian May
lead guitarist of Queen
, bass guitarist John Paul Jones
of Led Zeppelin
, drummer Ian Paice
of Deep Purple
, and Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson
Cooper cameos as himself in the 2012 Tim Burton adaptation
of ''Dark Shadows
'' that starred Johnny Depp
, Michelle Pfeiffer
and Helena Bonham Carter
. In the film, Depp's character Barnabas Collins
, assumes his name to be that of a woman, describes Alice as the ugliest woman he has ever seen.
In 2013, Cooper announced that he had finished recording a covers album, based on songs by his rock star drinking buddies in the 1970s who had since died from excess, and that it was scheduled for a spring 2014 release. Later he announced that the album will likely be released in 2015.
On January 28, 2014, it was officially revealed that Alice Cooper would be the opening act for Mötley Crüe
's final tour, which would span throughout 2014 and 2015. Cooper was featured on the song "Savages
" on Theory of a Deadman
's new album.
Cooper was the subject of ''Super Duper Alice Cooper
'', a biographical documentary film by Canadian directors Sam Dunn
, Scot McFadyen
and Reginald Harkema
. The film won a Canadian Screen Award
for Best Feature Length Documentary at the 3rd Canadian Screen Awards
in 2015. In October, Cooper released the live album and video ''Raise the Dead: Live from Wacken'', which was recorded at Germany's Wacken
heavy metal festival the previous year.
In 2015, Cooper premiered Hollywood Vampires
, a supergroup
featuring Johnny Depp
and Joe Perry
with a new studio album of rock covers, featuring many guest artists including Paul McCartney
, and live dates at L.A.
's Roxy Theatre
and at Brazil's Rock in Rio
festival in September. In 2016, Cooper made headlines again as he resumed his running gag
of campaigning for the US presidency.
Cooper featured as a co-headliner with Deep Purple
and Edgar Winter
for several tour dates from August to early September 2017.
Cooper released the album ''Paranormal
'' in July 2017. It featured contributions from drummer Larry Mullen
, Billy Gibbons
of ZZ Top on guitar and Roger Glover
from Deep Purple on bass. Guitarists Tommy Denander
and Tommy Henriksen
contributed most of the guitars.
On Easter Sunday, 2018, Cooper performed as Herod
in NBC's live performance
of Andrew Lloyd Weber's
''Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
''. Reviews were positive, with ''The New York Times
'' critic Noel Murray praising "Alice Cooper's magnificently scenery-chewing performance" as a "startling moment of clarity," and Lorraine Ali of the ''Los Angeles Times
'' describing his performance as, "Weird? Yes, but also perfect in a campy, dramatic and evil "Billion Dollar Babies" kind of way. Cooper's part was small but indelible." Cooper had previously recorded the song (though not performed it live) in 2000, with the 1996 London revival cast.
Cooper released his twenty-first solo album, ''Detroit Stories'', on February 26, 2021.
Style and influences
During an interview for the program ''Entertainment USA
'' in 1986, Cooper told interviewer Jonathan King
that the Yardbirds
were his favorite band of all time. Cooper had as far back as 1969 said that it was music from the mid-sixties, and particularly from British bands the Beatles
, the Who
, and the Rolling Stones
, as well as the Yardbirds, that had the greatest influence on him.
Cooper would later pay homage to the Who by singing "I'm A Boy" for ''A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who
'' in 1994 at Carnegie Hall in New York, and performing a cover of "My Generation
" on the ''Brutal Planet'' tour of 2000. During an interview with Ozzy Osbourne
from radio program ''Nights with Alice Cooper'' on May 22, 2007, Cooper again affirmed his debt of gratitude to these bands, and to the Beatles in particular. During their discussion, Cooper and Osbourne bemoaned the often inferior quality of songwriting coming from contemporary rock artists. Cooper stated that in his opinion the cause of the problem was that certain modern bands "had forgotten to listen to the Beatles".
On seeing shock rock pioneer Arthur Brown
performing his US number two hit "Fire" in 1968, Cooper states, "Can you imagine the young Alice Cooper watching that with all his make-up and hellish performance? It was like all my Halloweens came at once!" A 2014 article on Alice Cooper in ''The Guardian
'' mentioned Arthur Brown and his flaming helmet, "British rock always was more theatrical than its US counterpart. Often this involved destruction or macabre gimmickry", with Cooper responding, "That's why most people thought we were British at first".
Evidence of Cooper's eclectic tastes in classic and contemporary rock music can be seen in the track listings of his radio show; in addition, when he appeared on the BBC Radio 2
program ''Tracks of My Years'' in September 2007, he listed his favorite tracks of all time as being: "19th Nervous Breakdown
" (1966) by the Rolling Stones; "Turning Japanese
" (1980) by the Vapors
; "My Sharona
" (1979) by the Knack
; "Beds Are Burning
" (1987) by Midnight Oil
; "My Generation
" (1965) by the Who; "Welcome to the Jungle
" (1987) by Guns N' Roses; "Rebel Rebel
" (1974) by David Bowie; "Over Under Sideways Down
" (1966) by the Yardbirds; "Are You Gonna Be My Girl
" (2003) by Jet
; and "A Hard Day's Night
" (1964) by the Beatles, and when he appeared on Desert Island Discs
in 2010 he chose the songs "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
" by the Yardbirds; "I Get Around
" by the Beach Boys
; "I'm a Boy
" by the Who; "Timer" by Laura Nyro
; "21st Century Schizoid Man
" by King Crimson
; "Been Caught Stealing
" by Jane's Addiction
; "Work Song" by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band
and "Ballad of a Thin Man
" by Bob Dylan
, former front man of White Zombie
, claims his first "metal moment" was seeing Alice Cooper on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert
. Zombie has also claimed to have been heavily influenced by Cooper's costumes.
In a 1978 interview with ''Rolling Stone
'', Bob Dylan stated, "I think Alice Cooper is an overlooked songwriter".
In the foreword to Alice Cooper's CD retrospective box set ''The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper
'', John Lydon
of the Sex Pistols
'' as the greatest rock album of all time, and in 2002 Lydon presented his own tribute program to Cooper on BBC radio. Lydon told the BBC that "I know the words to every Alice Cooper song. The fact is, if you can call what I have a musical career, it all started with me miming to 'I'm Eighteen' on a jukebox".
The Flaming Lips
are longtime Alice Cooper fans and used the bass line from "Levity Ball" (an early song from the 1969 release ''Pretties for You'') for their song "The Ceiling Is Bending". They also covered "Sun Arise" for an Alice Cooper tribute album. (Cooper's version, which closes the album ''Love It to Death'', was itself a cover of a Rolf Harris
In 1999, Cleopatra Records released ''Humanary Stew: A Tribute to Alice Cooper'' featuring a number of contributions from rock and metal all-star collaborations, including Dave Mustaine
, Roger Daltrey
, Ronnie James Dio
, Bruce Dickinson
and Steve Jones
. Sonic.net described it as "intriguing combinations of artists and material" while Allmusic.com noted "the novel approach will definitely hold interested listeners' attention".
A song by alternative rock group They Might Be Giants
from their 1994 album ''John Henry
'' entitled "Why Must I Be Sad?" mentions 13 Cooper songs, and has been described as being "from the perspective of a kid who hears all of his unspoken sadness given voice in the music of Alice Cooper; Alice says everything the kid has been wishing he could say about his alienated, frustrated, teenage world".
Unlikely non-musician fans of Cooper have included Groucho Marx
and Mae West
, who both reportedly saw the early shows as a form of vaudeville revue,
and artist Salvador Dalí
, who on attending a show in 1973 described it as being surreal, and made a hologram
, ''First Cylindric Chromo-Hologram Portrait of Alice Cooper's Brain''.
[A replica of the hologram can be seen at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Cooper and original band members Dennis Dunaway and Glen Buxton studied Dalí as art students at Cortez High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and the cover art of Cooper's DaDa album features a slightly altered version of Dalí's painting "Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire."]
In the early 1970s, a story was widely reported that ''Leave It to Beaver
'' star Ken Osmond
had become "rock star Alice Cooper". According to Cooper, the rumor began when a college newspaper editor asked him what kind of child he was, to which Cooper replied, "I was obnoxious, disgusting, a real Eddie Haskell
," referring to the fictional character Osmond portrayed. However, the editor ended up reporting that Cooper was the real Haskell. Cooper later told the ''New Times'', "It was the biggest rumor that ever came out about me. Finally, I got a T-shirt that said, 'No, I am not Eddie Haskell.' But people still believed it."
On June 20, 2005, ahead of his June–July 2005 tour, Cooper had a wide-ranging interview with interviewer of celebrities Andrew Denton
for the Australian ABC Television's ''Enough Rope
''. Cooper discussed various issues during the talk, including the horrors of acute alcoholism and his subsequent cure, being a Christian, and his social and work relationship with his family.
During the interview, Cooper remarked "I look at Mick Jagger
and he's on an 18-month tour and he's six years older than me, so I figure, when he retires, I have six more years. I will not let him beat me when it comes to longevity."
Cooper frequently refers to himself in the third person as "Alice"
as a way to distance himself from his stage persona.
Marriage and relationships
In the period when the Alice Cooper group was signed to Frank Zappa
's Straight label, Miss Christine of The GTOs
became Cooper's girlfriend. Miss Christine (real name Christine Frka), who had recommended Zappa to the group, died on November 5, 1972, of an overdose.
[Cooper describes how he fell for Miss Christine in his 1976 autobiography ''Me, Alice''.]
Another long-time girlfriend of Cooper's was Cindy Lang (1949-2017), with whom he lived for several years.
After his separation from Lang, Cooper was briefly linked with actress Raquel Welch
Cooper then reportedly left Welch, however, to marry ballerina
instructor and choreographer Sheryl Goddard, who performed in the Alice Cooper show from 1975 to 1982. They married on March 20, 1976. In November 1983, at the height of Cooper's alcoholism, Goddard filed for divorce, but by mid-1984, she and Cooper had reconciled. The couple has three children: daughters Sonora and Calico, and son Dashiell.
In a 2002 television interview, Cooper stated that he had never cheated on his wife the entire time they had been together. In the same interview, he also said that the secret to a lasting and successful relationship is to continue going out on dates with one's partner.
In a 2019 interview, Cooper said that he and his wife Sheryl have a death pact, wherein they will die at the same time, sparking a flurry of headlines. But Cooper clarified his comments telling USA Today, "What I was meaning was that because we're almost always together, at home and on the road, that if something did happen to either of us, we'd most likely be together at the time. But neither of us has a suicide pact. We have a life pact."
Drugs and alcohol use
In 1986, Megadeth
opened for Cooper on their US ''Constrictor'' tour. After noticing the abuse of alcohol and other drugs
in the band, Cooper personally approached the band members to try to help them control their abuse, and he has stayed close to front man Dave Mustaine
, who considers Cooper to be his "godfather". Since overcoming his own addiction to alcohol in the mid-1980s, Cooper has continued to help and counsel other rock musicians with addiction problems. "I've made myself very available to friends of mine – they're people who would call me late at night and say, 'Between you and me, I've got a problem.'" In recognition of the work he has done in helping other addicts in the recovery process, Cooper received in 2008 the Stevie Ray Vaughan
Award at the fourth annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert in Los Angeles.
During an interview with Johnnie Walker on BBC Radio 2 in September 2007, Alice said that he was not a Christian when he gave up drinking, but stated that he thanks God for "taking it away", saying, "I mean if He od
can part the Red Sea and create the universe, He can certainly take alcoholism away from somebody." Although he originally did not speak publicly about his religious beliefs, Cooper was later vocal about his faith as a born-again Christian
Throughout his career, Cooper's philosophy regarding politics is that politics should not be mixed with rock music. Cooper has usually kept his political views to himself, and in 2010 said, "I am extremely non-political. I go out of my way to be non-political. I'm probably the biggest moderate you know. When John Lennon
and Harry Nilsson
used to argue politics, I was sitting right in the middle of them, and I was the guy who was going 'I don't care.' When my parents would start talking politics, I would go in my room and put on the Rolling Stones
or the Who
as long as I could avoid politics. And I still feel that way."
On occasion he has spoken out against musicians who promote or opine on politics; for example, in the build-up to the 2004 presidential election
, he told the Canadian Press that the rock stars campaigning for and touring on behalf of Democratic
candidate John Kerry
were committing "treason against rock n' roll". He added, upon seeing a list of musicians who supported Kerry, "If I wasn't already a Bush
supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt
? Don Henley
? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."
[On Zimbio's list o]
(accessed May 8, 2012), Cooper is a Republican.
In December 2018, Cooper predicted that the next U.S. president
would be "worse" than current incumbent Donald Trump
, while arguing that musicians talking politics to their fans was an "abuse of power".
Every four years since releasing his single "Elected" in 1972, Cooper has satirically run for president.
Cooper is a fan of the NHL
's Arizona Coyotes
. On February 18, 2012, the Coyotes gave away his bobblehead
in a promotion for the first 10,000 fans for a game with the Dallas Stars
. Cooper is a longtime baseball fan, supporting the Arizona Diamondbacks
and Detroit Tigers
. As a child, he dreamed of playing left field in the Tigers outfield alongside Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline
. He has coached Little League baseball teams since his son played in the early 1990s. Cooper is also a fan of NBA
basketball, supporting the Detroit Pistons
Cooper is an avid golf
er and says that the sport helped him play a major role in overcoming his addiction to alcohol,
and has even gone so far as to say that when he took up golf, it was a case of replacing one addiction with another.
The importance that the game has had in his life is also reflected in the title to his 2007 autobiography, ''Alice Cooper, Golf Monster''.
Cooper, who has participated in a number of Pro-Am
[Details of the Pro-Am events Cooper has participated in can be found in ''Alice Cooper, Golf Monster''.]
plays the game six days a week, off a handicap
Cooper has also appeared in commercials for Callaway Golf
equipment and was a guest of veteran British player and broadcaster Peter Alliss
on ''A Golfer's Travels''. He wrote the foreword to the Gary McCord
book ''Ryder Cup'' and participated in the second All*Star Cup
in Newport, Wales
In popular culture
Cooper, a fan of ''The Simpsons
'', was asked to contribute a storyline for the September 2004 edition of Bongo Comics's ''Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror'', a special ''Monsters of Rock'' issue that also included stories plotted by Gene Simmons
, Rob Zombie
and Pat Boone
In October 1979, Alice Cooper was featured in the Marvel
comic book ''Marvel Premiere
'', Volume 1, Number 50 loosely adapting his ''From the Inside
Cooper is also the subject of the "we're not worthy" meme, which originates from his cameo in Wayne's World with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in 1992.
Cooper contributed his likeness and over 700 voice lines to Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle, a pinball machine
released in 2018 by Spooky Pinball that also features ten songs performed by Cooper. Only 500 machines were made.
Solo band members
* Alice Cooper – lead vocals, harmonica, guitar, percussion, synthesizer (1964–present)
* Ryan Roxie
– lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1996–2006, 2012–present)
* Chuck Garric
– bass guitar, backing vocals (2002–present)
* Tommy Henriksen
– rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals (2011–present)
* Glen Sobel
– drums, percussion (2011–present)
* Nita Strauss
– lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2014–present)
* Dick Wagner
– guitar, bass (1975-1979, 1982, 1983)
* Steve Hunter
– guitar, (1975-1979, 2011)
– lead and rhythm guitars (2011-2014)
* Erik Scott
– bass (1980–1982)
* David Rosenberg – drums (1985–1986)
* Kane Roberts
– lead and rhythm guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, backing vocals (1985–1988)
* Kip Winger
– bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1985–1987)
* Paul Taylor
– keyboards (1986–1987)
* Ken Mary
– drums (1986–1988)
* John McCurry
– lead and rhythm guitar (1988–1989)
* Al Pitrelli
– lead guitar & music director (1989–1991)
* Hugh Mcdonald
– bass (1988–1991)
* ''Pretties for You
* ''Easy Action
* ''Love It to Death
* ''School's Out
* ''Billion Dollar Babies
* ''Muscle of Love
* ''Welcome to My Nightmare
* ''Alice Cooper Goes to Hell
* ''Lace and Whiskey
* ''From the Inside
* ''Flush the Fashion
* ''Special Forces
* ''Zipper Catches Skin
* ''Raise Your Fist and Yell
* ''Hey Stoopid
* ''The Last Temptation
* ''Brutal Planet
* ''The Eyes of Alice Cooper
* ''Dirty Diamonds
* ''Along Came a Spider
* ''Welcome 2 My Nightmare
* ''Detroit Stories
Awards and nominations
* List of Alice Cooper personnel
* List of glam metal bands and artists
Official ''Nights with Alice Cooper'' websiteNights with Alice Cooper on Planet RockHigh-quality photos of Alice Cooper
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