Click on a name below to take you to that page
I met Alice Cooper at the Dragon Con held in Atlanta, Georgia, in September 2012. He was very friendly, and not at all scary! We shook hands and exchanged a few words before I had this photograph taken with America's rock legend.
Vincent Damon Furnier was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1948 (he would later change his name legally to Alice Cooper when he was 26 years old). His parents were Ella Mae and Ether Moroni Furnier who was a preacher with The Church of Jesus Christ. Vincent moved to Phoenix, Arizona
Vincent Furnier in 1964
Later renaming themselves The Spiders, the band worked up a stage
stage show featuring a spider's web as a backdrop. The band consisted of Furnier (vocals
(vocals & harmonica), Glen Buxton (lead guitar), John Tatum (rhythm guitar), Dennis Dunaway (bass guitar) and John Speer (drums). They had all just graduated from high school
Arizona, at a young age following a series of childhood illnesses, and he still lives in the state today. He attended the Washington Elementary School, the Nankin Mills Middle School
Middle School, before finally graduating from the Cortez High School in Phoenix.
Furnier formed his first rock band in 1964 when he was 16, after talking some of his cross-country teammates
team mates into entering a local talent show. Calling themselves The Earwigs, they based their performances on The Beatles, an English band from Liverpool which, by 1963, had become all the rage. They even dressed like them, and performed Beatles songs.
school and recorded their first single Why Don't You Love Me in 1965. They had a local No.1 radio hit with their second single Don't Blow Your Mind in 1966. The following year, they moved permanently to Los Angeles where they performed regularly.
The band renamed itself yet again, this time becoming The Nazz, and released the single Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now. However, after discovering
Vincent Furnier and The Nazz
discovering that there was already a group called Nazz, Furnier chose Alice Cooper as the band's new name, and later adopted it as his own. For this, he still pays an annual royalty to the other band members.
By now, Michael Bruce had replaced Tatum on rhythm guitar, and Neal Smith had replaced Speer on drums. The group was signed up by the composer & record producer
producer Frank Zappa to his new record label in 1969. Their early releases were commercial failures, but the breakthrough came with their 'heavy metal' single I'm Eighteen, (released in November
November 1970), quickly followed by the album Love it to Death (released in February 1971) which included two other hit singles Ballad
Ballad of Dwight Fry and Is it My Body.
1972 also saw the release of title track single from their fifth album, School's Out which became Alice Cooper's first major hit single, reaching No.1 in the UK singles chart for three weeks. They followed it up with their most commercially successful album, Billion Dollar Babies (1973), which also reached No.1 in the US and UK.
The Alice Cooper Band in 2003
Arguments amongst the band members led to it eventually disbanding. Furnier moved to Los Angeles to pursue a solo career as the wildly outrageous Alice Cooper. He is often referred to as the founder of 'shock rock' due to his gory, theatrical performances, which included simulating his execution on stage, or wrapping himself in his pet boa constrictor.
Cooper performs with his boa constrictor
AliceCooper in 1980
AliceCooper in 1980
Alice Cooper in 1982
Alice Cooper's first solo album wasWel
was Welcome to my Nightmare, released in 1975 through Atlantic Records. His music influenced many later
later musicians and helped shape the sound of punk rock and early heavy metal. However, alcoholism began to affect his live performances, and he was treated for it in a New York Sanitarium. He had already co-founded the legendary drinking club The Hollywood Vampires, whose members included Keith Moon (The Who), Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees) and Harry
Welcome to my Nightmare album
Harry Nilsson. Their aim was to outdrink the other members!
Drink plagued Cooper's career for more than five years until 1983 when he finally became clean and sober. He took a year off to spend time with his family and to improve his golf skills. He also starred in the Spanish B-movie Monster Dog (1985).
The band embarked on a successful tour of Europe, and their follow-up album, Killer (released in November 1971) led toth
Cooper returned to music in 1986 with the album Constrictor. This spawned hits like Teenage Frankenstein, and over the next few years released a number of albums including Trash (1989), Hey Stoopid (1991), The Last Temptation
Temptation (1994), Brutal Planet (2000), Dragontown (2001), The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003), Dirty Diamonds
Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Diamonds (2005), and his most recent Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011). Many of these album releases have been followed by extensive tours of America, Europe and other parts of the world.
Throughout his career, Cooper has used the same distinctive, scary image along with his gruff singing voice, his jet black hair, black leather jacket and trousers, with his face made up with black grease paint around his eyes and mouth.
Alice Cooper on stage at the Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth, UK in 2010
Cooper has also appeared in a number of films. He played Marvin Sunk (singing Because) in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), Street Schizo
Vincent Furnier aged 10
Alice Cooper on stage in 2007
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
(above & below) Alice Cooper in
Schizo in Prince of Darkness (1987) and Samuel Leventhal in Horror in the Attic (2001). His most memorable appearance was when he played himself in the comedy Wayne's World (1992).
As Street Schizo in Prince of Darkness
Regarded as a cultural icon, Alice Cooper was givena
Walk of Fame star
Alice Cooper with his Walk of Fame star
given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and received a Rock Immortal award at the 2007 'Scream' Awards.
Awards. Other awards include the Living Legend award at the 2006 'Classic Rock' Roll of Honour event. In 2004, he received an honorary
Cooper with his Living Legend award
honorary degree from Grand Canyon University and in 2006 was given the key to the city of Alice, North Dakota. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
Cooper with the Key to the city of Alice
Cooper is an avid golfer and has often said that it was golf that helped him overcome his drink addiction. He has also appeared in many pro-am tournaments and since 1997 has hosted an annual golf competition, with the proceeds going to his charity the Solid Rock Foundation
Foundation, which he co-founded in 1995. His autobiography, published in 2007, also has a golf-related
title Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock 'n' Roller's 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict.
Two different editions of Cooper's autobiography
Alice Cooper is an avid golfer
Alice Cooper interviewed on BBC Breakfast
In 2010, Cooper appeared on the BBC's Breakfast when he was interviewed by Sian Williams
Williams and Bill Turnbull. He has also appeared in commercials for everything from office supplies (Staples) to televisions (Sony and Samsung), car dealers (Airpark) to car tyres (Bridgestone) and TV broadcasting (Sky) to hotels (Marriott).
Cooper & Ronnie Corbett Sky commercial
Alice Cooper Samsung commercial
Cooper lived with Cindy Lang from 1968 to 1976 and, after a brief relationship with actress Raquel Welch, married ballerina/choreographer Sheryl Goddard who performed in the Alice
Alice Cooper Show from 1975 until 1982. years
1982. They remain married after 36 years and have three children - two daughters Calico (b.1981) and Sonora Rose (b. 1993), and a son Dashiell (b. 1985). On his left wrist, Alice Cooper wears a silver bracelet which can only be removed with a key possessed solely by his wife!
Alice Cooper says, "On stage, I'm this figure, this actor, who does things that people aren't used to seeing, and I relish that reaction. But in real life I play golf, I shop, I walk around with no makeup on and my hair in a pony tail. I may not be the typical middle-aged Joe, but I'm closer to normal than you think."
Alice Cooper and wife Sheryl
Brian May & Alice Cooper (Sunflower Jam 2012)
(1992). He also has over seventy soundtrack credits, and has appeared as himself in many different TV productions.
to the successful singles Under My Wheels and Be My Lover in early 1972.