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Alice Cooper Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (31) | Personal Quotes (34)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 4 February 1948Detroit, Michigan, USA
Birth NameVincent Damon Furnier
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of a minister. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, at a young age and still lives in the state today. At age 17, he formed a rock band called the Earwigs, who changed their name to The Spiders and then The Nazz, before finally settling on Alice Cooper. The line-up included himself, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton and Neal Smith. Rumors (which the band did not necessarily make efforts to deny) to the contrary, the name was not chosen from a Ouija board reading nor was it named after a woman once burned at the stake for witchcraft -- it was picked because the random name had a twisted sense of originality and misleading innocence, complementing the band's bizarre and macabre stage theatrics and lyric themes.

The band got their first big break playing at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles one night in 1969 when Frank Zappa discovered them and signed them to his record label. After two albums-and relocating to Detroit -- they were signed by Warner Bros., hooked up with famous producer Robert Ezrin and came out with their third album, the breakthrough "Love It to Death" in 1971. Several albums followed, including "Killer", the highly successful "School's Out", "Billion Dollar Babies" and "Muscle of Love". The band made an appearance in the movie Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) and their own theatrically released documentary Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper (1974). Alice himself also starred in an episode of The Snoop Sisters: The Female Instinct (1972).

The original Alice Cooper band broke up in 1975, with the lead singer getting his name legally changed to Alice Cooper -- and performing under the name ever since -- while some of the other members formed a band called the Billion Dollar Babies. That same year saw the release of a Greatest Hits album, while Alice as a solo artist completed the album "Welcome to My Nightmare" and his incredibly theatrical tour. It was on this tour that he met his future wife Sheryl Cooper, who had been hired as a dancer.

Along with the album and tour came a television special, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare (1975), and both included dialog from horror movie legend Vincent Price. Alice made a number of other television and movie appearances in the second half of the decade, including The Muppet Show (1976), Mae West's final film Sextette (1978), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and several appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).

However, by the late 1970s, Alice's problems with alcohol became life-threatening, and he was checked into a clinic for rehabilitation. He told of his experiences on the semi-fictional album "From the Inside" (there was also a comic book of the same title), and explored different sounds in the early 1980s with four albums ("Flush the Fashion", "Special Forces", "Zipper Catches Skin", "DaDa"). After having a severe "falling off the wagon" to the point of almost dying, he sobered up once more -- this time for good -- and returned with the albums "Constrictor", "Raise Your Fist and Yell" and the 1989 album "Trash", which featured the hit song "Poison". The 1980s also saw Alice starring in the horror films Monster Dog (1984) and Prince of Darkness (1987), as well as having mostly new songs for the soundtracks to Roadie (1980), Class of 1984 (1982), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) and Shocker (1989).

However, it was the 1990s that brought Alice's most memorable movie appearance: playing himself in Wayne's World (1992). The phrase uttered by characters Wayne and Garth in his presence, "We're not worthy!", became one of the most popular movie catchphrases of the decade. Alice also played the father of Freddy Krueger in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), and himself on That '70s Show (1998) and Something Wilder (1994). The decade also saw the release of his "Hey Stoopid" and "The Last Temptation". Alice toured occasionally but took a break from releasing albums until 2000, when he released "Brutal Planet". He followed this up with "Dragon Town", "The Eyes of Alice Cooper" and "Dirty Diamonds", and continues to tour regularly, performing shows with the bizarrely dark and horror-themed theatrics that he's best known for.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill M. (hellywood@imjustabill.com), Classic Camp (lbcamp1@yahoo.com)

Spouse (1)

Sheryl Cooper (3 March 1976 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Wears black greasepaint around the eyes and usually sides of mouth. Pioneered the use of wild/macabre stage theatrics in rock concerts.
Jet black hair and bold blue eyes
Leather pants and leather jacket
Gruff singing voice

Trivia (31)

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 1970s.
Born at 10:33pm - EST.
Attended and graduated from Cortez High School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Lived with Cynthia Lang from 1968-1976. She sued for community property.
In 1998, he opened up his own restaurant right in downtown Phoenix called "Cooperstown". Also planning to open another one in Ohio in 2000.
Is an avid golfer, and has participated in several celebrity tournaments.
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.
Received an honorary Ph.D (Doctor of Performing Arts) degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona in May 2004.
When the giant letters of the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign had to be replaced with new letters in 1978, a fundraising 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 huge 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 television 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 United States.
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.
(August 26, 1996) Has appeared when the Phoenix Coyotes unveiled their new uniforms at the time at the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix, Arizona.
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.
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 (1986). He also appeared in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), 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 (2003).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 2, 2003.
He's the godfather of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine.
Is a huge fan of the animated situation comedy The Simpsons (1989).
Often appeared on the Phoenix children's television 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) (August 10, 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 Cooper for 34 years.
Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2011. The other inductees were Darlene Love, Neil Diamond, Leon Russell, Tom Waits and 'Dr. John'.

Personal Quotes (34)

I have never made fun of religion. Religion is something I don't even want to mess with, because I am really afraid of the clouds opening up and my being struck by lightning. Satanism is something else I don't mess with. I think that the heavy metal bands that do are playing with fire. I have never influenced people in a negative way, and I'm not about to start now.
The hippies wanted peace and love. We [the original Alice Cooper band] wanted Ferraris, blondes and switchblades.
[Regarding rock artists involved in the 2004 "Vote For Change" tour] When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick. If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.
To me that's treason. I call it treason against rock n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics. - criticizing the rock artists involved in the anti-Bush "Vote For Change" tour.
I didn't go to my senior prom, but I played it.
We'd found out that another band was called the Nazz. And I said, "We don't have anything to lose, let's do something that no one's going to relate to at all." I could have said "Jennifer Smith" or "Mary Truesdale", but it just happened that "Alice Cooper" came out. It was the very first name that came out too. There was something axe-murderish about "Alice Cooper". It reminded me of Lizzie Borden (Lizzie Andrew Borden). Alice Cooper - Lizzie Borden. That's got a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) feeling to it. It was like feminine, but it wasn't feminine. It had some sort of ring to it, something disturbing.
The late sixties and early seventies were kind of a breeding ground for exciting new sounds because easy listening and folk were kind of taking over the airwaves. I think it was a natural next step to take that blissful, easygoing sound and strangle the life out of it.
On stage, I'm this figure, this actor, who does things that people aren't used to seeing and I relish in that reaction. In real life, though, I play golf, I shop and I walk around with no makeup on and my hair in a ponytail. I may not be the typical middle-aged Joe, but I'm closer to normal than you think.
On Frank Zappa: Throughout my life, there are four people I've met who were truly original people. The other three were Groucho Marx, Jim Morrison and Pablo Picasso.
Why be boring? Have some fun. Rock shows should be like movies: I don't go to a movie hoping it'll change my life. When I saw 'Jaws III' (Jaws 3-D (1983)), it wasn't a great movie, but it was worth the seven bucks to see the shark eat the helicopter. It was a wonderful waste of time.
[on the infamous "Chicken Killer Alice" incident] Now everywhere I go the ASPCA is there, "Now no killing chickens." Okay I promise I won't kill any chickens. Go tell that to Col. Sanders. He kills 7 million chickens a day. If I had barbecued the chicken it probably would have been okay.
[About Marilyn Manson] He took a girl's name as his first and wears a hell of a lot of makeup. I wish I'd thought of doing that.
Girls started talking to me and I got hooked on the limelight. That's why I went into rock 'n' roll, for fame and sex.
Everybody relates to trash. Kids get trashed in school, trashed by the cops, trashed at home. We live in a high-pressure era. It's a dangerous world, and trash is what it's all about.
I didn't really care about meeting Rod Stewart or Sonny and Cher. I wanted to meet Groucho Marx, Fred Astaire, Errol Flynn. I wanted to meet the guys that had invented me, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, the real stars.
Oh, I love to lie. That's one of my favorite things in the world, coming up to somebody, especially press people, and telling them some enormous lie that couldn't possibly be true.
I would say 50 per cent of the things you hear about Alice Cooper is urban legend. The same thing with Michael Jackson and Marilyn Manson. It's all partly legend. But everything you've heard about Keith Moon is true - and you've only heard 10 per cent of it! Every day was an event with Keith.
The thing about Keith (Keith Moon) is that I've seen everybody play in this business, and he's still the best drummer I've seen in my life. And that eccentricity showed up in his drumming so that there was nobody like him - Ginger Baker didn't drum like Keith, John Mitchell didn't, Ringo (Ringo Starr) didn't. He was totally unique.
I like horror movies that are over-the-top gory, that's the essence of what I do. I like setting an audience up, giving them a good scare and a good laugh, but it's all based around the songs. Without the 14 top 40 hits, there'd be no cake to put the icing on.
Everyone likes to be scared a little bit.
I loved The Beatles because they wrote such simple songs, which is a really tough thing to do.
I've always thought if you can break the girl's heart by the second verse, it's a hit.
After I started having hits I saw lots of bands who'd been Alice Cooper-ised; KISS came out after us, even David Bowie before Alice Cooper was a mime and a folk singer. Then, when we broke down the barriers, we said you could do music and theatrics at the same time, which opened the door for acts like Marilyn Manson and Slipknot.
We don't use any animals in the shows now. Snakes catch pneumonia very easily. They become ill if you take them from a hot climate to a cold climate. I didn't want to put them through that any more. As long as a 15ft boa constrictor has been fed, they're like a kitten.
Put my head in a guillotine, fine, but put a needle near me and I'm passed out on the floor.
[2010] I'm 62 now and haven't had a drink for 30 years. Back when I was 30, I felt like I was 62 because of the drinking. It's like Benjamin Button. I finish a 90-minute show and feel great - it's the guys in my band in their forties who are panting.
Jesus spent half his time dealing with demons and throwing them out of people. I don't think you just float around when you die - there's judgment, you either go to heaven or hell.
I listen to those albums and I go, "What the hell was I thinking then?" It was a whole different time. There are three albums I don't remember doing. I don't remember doing Dada. I don't remember Special Forces, or Zipper Catches Skin. Those were three albums during my blackout period, and I listen back to them and I go, "Ha... there's some pretty cool stuff on there!".
The funny thing was that The Last Temptation really wasn't part of the trilogy. That was on its own. That was the first thing I wrote as a Christian. And then, it was six years before I wrote Brutal Planet. Brutal Planet was a whole different story. Brutal Planet was a story that was talking about, "What's the world like? Let's get a picture of the future 50 years from now, when all of the systems have failed, church, family, school, politics, every system has failed, and there's no God. Let's say that no one believes in God. Well, what have we got? Now we've got Brutal Planet this horrible place that nobody wants to be." That's what that album was about.
(2005, on quitting drinking) They tell you you're supposed to go to AA meetings, but I didn't go. Instead, I went directly to a bar and I ordered a Coca-Cola. Everybody around me was drinking alcohol and it never occurred to me to have some too. In the 23 years since, it's never been a temptation, and that's interesting because I have absolutely no will power. If I had a beer now, I wouldn't be able to stop and I'd be hiding five bottles of whiskey in my hotel room tonight. That's how volatile a hair trigger it is for me, so I sat in the bar and it was as if all my desire to drink had completely gone.
[on being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame] It's like graduating because what happens is the guys that you learned from are the ones that vote on you. The Jaggers, the McCartneys, the Pete Townshends, the Jeff Becks. And you never feel like you're ever in their league. It just doesn't matter how many records you've sold or how many tickets you've sold, you always look up to those guys as being your big brothers, and you're never going to be quite in their league, which is good. It's not an ego thing, it's a humbling thing.
[on continuing to perform at 65] When people say "Why are you still touring?", I go "Because that's what I do.".
[on his memorabilia] I have a warehouse in L.A. that probably even ghost hunters wouldn't go into late at night. I'm sure the stuff that's living in that warehouse has been through a lot. Guillotines, gallows, electric chairs. Everything you can think of is in that warehouse and there should be a movie about it. I wouldn't stay in there late at night by myself.
You can't out-shock CNN.

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