Alice Cooper (real name Vincent Damon Furnier) was born 4th February 1948 and is from Detroit, USA.
Alice Cooper the heavy metal band formed in the ‘70s, and now consists of Chuck Garric (bass guitar, vocals (2002–present), Ryan Roxie – guitar, vocals (1996–2006, 2012-present), Tommy Henriksen – guitar, vocals (2011–present), Orianthi – guitar, vocals (2011–present), Glen Sobel – drums, percussion (2011–present).
Before forming any bands Alice Cooper was offered several university places – before declining them all and pursuing music.
During the 1960s Furnier formed their first band called The Earwigs and performed on a talent show, even though no one could play any instruments. The band just mimed songs to The Beatles. After winning the talent contest, the band members went on to learn instruments and the band began to form an actual band. Re-naming themselves as The Spiders, the band was influenced by bands at the time such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
The Spiders began playing on the Phoenix circuit and first had success with "Don't Blow Your Mind" and by this point began to gain a wider fan-base, resulting in them travelling to LA for gigs.
Renaming themselves again in 1967 to The Nazz, the band released their next single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now". Their dummer at the time, John Speer was replaced with Neal Smith.
After the band moved to LA, The Nazz soon found out that there was another band with the same name and so Furnier had to decide on a new stage name and so Alice Cooper was born in 1968. The next thing to be decided was Alice Cooper’s image. One of Furnier’s favourite films was ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane’ starring Bette Davis and also the film ‘Barbarella’. In both films the actors wore heavy make-up.
The original Alice Cooper line-up was Furnier, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith.
Alice Cooper’s break-through came when, after a particularly bad show in Venice, California, they were spotted by music manager Shep Gordon. He believed he could transform the band’s misfortunes around and use their theatrics and stage make-up to their advantage.
After signing a three album deal, and bringing out their first album Pretties for You (1969) which failed to have any impact, the band was in serious need of a break – which came. In 1969 it was rumoured that Furnier had ripped off a chicken’s head and drank the blood and it received much need publicity.
Even after the chicken incident, their second album was still a flop and also not successful. Blaming their love of the “dark side”, Alice Cooper was increasingly seeking their break-through album which finally came in 1970 with Love It to Death reaching #35 on the US Billboard Chart.
During the ‘70s Alice Cooper developed their style and stage theatrics. With glam rock clothes and gothic style torture, Alice Cooper began to gain a big fan-base with the likes of David Bowie and Elton John taking a real interest in the shows.
In 1972 “Schools out” became Alice Cooper’s first massive commercial success on the UK and US Singles Chart (#1 and #7 respectively) and sold millions. Their next album Billion Dollar Babies a year later cemented the band’s place in history and over the next few years the band released Muscle of Love (1973), Welcome to My Nightmare (1975) and a further greatest hits album.
The effects of fame, money and the world of celebrity were beginning to affect Alice Cooper and by 1977 Alice Cooper put himself into rehab. Once out a year later, he used his experience on his The Strange Case of Alice Cooper tour.
During the 1980s Alice Cooper’s releases were not as well received but the band continued to us the themes of gothic horror, blood, violence in his shows and his music was picked up for the ‘80s horror film Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and later appeared in the horror film Prince of Darkness.
Throughout the ‘90s Alice Cooper appeared in further cameo film appearances in Wayne World and the infamous Nightmare On Elm Street film Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991). Alice Cooper also toured South America in his time off from making music.
By 2000s Alice Cooper had received the recognition by the music industry: gaining a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame and other accolades. His new album Brutal Planet (2000) “Dragontown” (2001) were leaning more towards heavy metal rock which were being adopted by newer metal bands.
Alice Cooper went to sing his first hit “Schools Out” on American Idol in 2010 and announced his Halloween Night of Fear III Tour in June 2012.