Alice Cooper – “The God Father of Shock Rock”
Photo of Alice Cooper UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Alice Cooper Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Alice Cooper formed his first official band in the 60’s and released his first album in 1969. That would be the beginning of a long and very interesting career for Cooper. In his first band, Alice Cooper’s role was as lead vocalist. He also dabbled with the harmonica, but interestingly, none of the original bandmembers knew how to play any other instruments. Cooper and his act certainly have evolved over the years, to say the very least.
Over the course of his iconic career, Alice Cooper has tried his hand at several genres of musical styles. While he is best known for his brand of shock rock, he also experimented with art rock, hard rock, industrial rock, heavy metal, new wave and glam metal. As you can imagine, shock rock won out in the end!
It wasn’t long before Alice Cooper would become known as, “The Godfather of Shock Rock.”
Cooper’s days as a harmonica player were soon replaced by a distinctive and shocking style of rock music. He has always had a very distinctive voice. It is hard to mistake Alice Cooper’s raspy sound for anyone else.
Cooper’s first band was called, “The Earwigs,” which later changed to, “The Spiders.”
Alice Cooper’s brand of shock rock was something that materialized quite accidentally. As gruesome as it sounds, it all happened at the Toronto Peace Festival where he was performing along with other notable icons including John Lennon and The Doors. A fan had thrown a live chicken on stage while he was performing. Thinking that chickens could fly, he threw it back out into the crowd. When the chicken couldn’t fly, it hit the ground and spattered the crowd with blood. After word of the incident got around, the concept took on a life of its own.
Alice Cooper never disappointed his fans with his shocking, live on stage performances.
Singer, songwriter and actor are all included in Alice Cooper’s resume over the years. He is an American performer who didn’t necessarily concern himself with what mainstream America thought of his outlandish performances. The more shocking, the better. Shock rock was Cooper’s style and he was nothing if not true to it. Cooper, also, is never seen on stage without wearing his signature black makeup.
Cooper’s performances were intentionally shocking. Gruesome and disturbing live performances included snakes and deadly weapons including, guillotines, electric chairs and swords. Cooper could always be counted on for fake blood in many of his shows. On at least one occasion, he murdered a baby doll and in another, he bit the head off of a bat!
Alice Coopers live concerts were designed to be nothing less than outrageous, shocking and thrilling to his fans.
Throughout his Cooper also appeared in everything from live music concerts to horror movies. His first big breakthrough into the international music arena came in 1971 with his hit song, “I’m Eighteen.” Cooper’s band was at their peak in 1973 after having released 6 albums in just 4 short years.
The original Alice Cooper Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
Although Cooper has been notable for being a driving force in the genre of shock rock and for his epic career spanning over 55 years, he is just as notable for his starkly contrasting offstage personality. Below you will find some fun facts that you may not have known about the Superstar, Alice Cooper.
- Alice Cooper has an impressive 25 Gold Albums.
- Alice Cooper is known for his witty personality and is considered to be very sociable, in stark contrast to his stage presence.
- Alice Cooper is an avid golfer. He picked up the sport to help him battle his alcohol addiction.
- Alice Cooper is a restauranteur having owned a restaurant called, "Cooper’stown." Not surprisingly, one of the menu offerings was, nightmare nachos!
- Alice Cooper is a “PK.” That’s right… a preacher’s kid.
- Alice Cooper made an appearance on “The Muppet Show.”
- Alice Cooper’s name at birth was Vincent Damon Furnier. He had it legally changed to Alice Cooper in 1975.
- Alice Cooper collects cars and antique watches.
From the early 60’s until the present day, Alice Cooper has put himself on the proverbial music map. He has been one of those music icons that has contributed immensely to pop culture over many generations.
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