Alice Cooper - What ever happened to "The Godfather of Shock Rock"

Alice CooperAlice Cooper was known as  "The the God Father of Shock Rock". His stage show featured guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa contrictors and baby dolls. The 1971 album "Love It To Death" brought the group international fame and they reached their commercial peak in 1973 with "Billion Dollar Babies".

As this is being written on October 7, 2013, Alice is appearing in Moscow. He'll be in  Estonia on Wednesday and back home to start a USA tour in Red Bank, N.J.  on Oct. 15th. Vincent Damon Furnier (Alice) was born in Detroit in 1948, the son of  a preacher and after the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona he organized a musical group who mimed Beatle songs because they didn't know how to play any instruments.

Furnier learned how to play the harmonica, found a drummer, a rhythm guitar player and formed a group calling  themselves The Nazz.  In 1968 they learned that Todd Rundgren had a band by that name and Furnier also new that few bands were exploiting the showmanship of the stage.  He knew that rock had to have a villain, but one with a sense of humor. They soon became Alice Cooper.

There was a story in The Wall Street Journal a few months ago where Marc Myers reported on a conversation he had with Alice who admited they wanted a name that would be the opposite of how they looked  "something that would irritate every mother in America,"  he said. "So we came up with a name that sounded like some sweet little old lady who made cookies. My look with the eyeliner was modeled after Bette Davis in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Alice Cooper in 2013

Alice Cooper in 2013

In March of 2011 Coper was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". He showed up wearing a (presumably fake) blood-spattered shirt and a live giant albino boa snake wrapped around his neck.He 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 the guys knew each other before the band ended up going that far."The actual ownership of the Alice Cooper name is an example of the value of a single copyright or trademark. Since "Alice Cooper" was  originally the name of the band, and not the lead singer, it was owned by the band. Cooper pays yearly royalities to all the original members of the group for the right to use the name commercially.

Cooper gave up drugs and alcohol and now plays golf. He says, "I went from one addiction to another."




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