“The Godfather of Shock Rock” Alice Cooper turns 73-years-old today. In celebration, let’s take a peek down memory lane.
Alice Cooper is multifaceted, excelling as both a heavy metal singer/songwriter and actor whose career spans over 50 years. Cooper attains the title of “The Godfather of Shock Rock” for his eccentric performances that include props like electric chairs, fake blood, reptiles, baby dolls, and swords.
Yeah, we think an electric chair on the stage of a show is shocking enough to get coined his title.
Alice Cooper was originally born under the name Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit, Michigan, to a preacher father. A typical recipe for a rebellious child.
However, in 1964, Furnier joined the band Alice Cooper, as the lead vocalist and played harmonica. In 1971, the group released their first big hit, “I’m Eighteen,” but by 1975, the band broke up, and Furnier adopted the name but on stage and legally.
Naturally, Alice Cooper debuted his first album, which is appropriately titled, Welcome to My Nightmare.
After experimenting in several musical styles, including hard rock, heavy metal, glam metal, and new wave, he has been described as the rockers who “first introduced horror imagery to rock and roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre.”
Alice Cooper has released 27 studio albums, 48 singles, 11 live albums, 21 compilation albums, 12 video releases, and the most shocking, an audiobook. The birthday boy has had six albums hit platinum status, while another three have achieved gold. Throughout his career, Alice Cooper has sold more than 50 million copies.
Alice Cooper Craziest Moments
Known best for his Ozzy Osbourne-type stage antics, we look back on some of his craziest stunts.
Alice Cooper brought a guillotine on stage and stunned the audience when he “chopped” his own head off. Obviously not really, but fans were still in horror for a moment.
Thankfully, Cooper has no known children because his parenting skills would be in question after this stunt. On stage of his tour for the 1973 album “Billion Dollar Babies,” Alice Cooper took a massive sword and started to impale baby dolls. He proceeded to wave them around in delight of his baby shish kebabs.
Finally, at a show at the Toronto Rock and Roll Festival in 1969, Canadians were not feeling as friendly as they have been stereotyped to be. When a chicken wandered onto the stage during Alice Cooper’s performance, he threw the flightless bird into the air toward the audience.
To the rockers’ surprise, the bird didn’t fly away but fell into the morbid crowd, who viciously tore it to pieces. When the papers started to print headlines about the incident, they said Alice Cooper killed the chicken onstage and bit its head off. His label manager, Frank Zappa, quickly phoned his client.
“I get the call from Zappa saying, ‘Did you kill the chicken onstage?'” he says. “I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Well, don’t tell anybody. Everybody loves it. You are the most notorious character of all time now.'”
Well, he isn’t the only rocker on PETA’s radar. Ozzy Osbourne has bitten the heads off numerous animals on stage.