Over the years, Alice Cooper and the guys of KISS have had a close relationship, and it goes back to the years both were two of the biggest acts in the world. While KISS has become synonymous with their famous face makeup, Cooper had a role to play.
Over the years Alice Cooper has toured and played shows with Ace Frehley and is on tour with him right now. The relationship between the No More Mr. Nice Guy singer and the famous band has been close for many years. However, Cooper has a lot to do with the KISS legacy.
I mean, he told them where to get their makeup. Cooper revealed that and more when speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock.
“We knew them [KISS] back when they were….before KISS. We told them where to buy their makeup. [Laughs] People were going, ‘What do you think about this band that wears makeup?’ And I went, ‘Yeah I know who they are. They wear Kabuki makeup, and it’s not like mine and they’re not like us. They’re their own thing.'”
Imagine if KISS had bad makeup? Would the kabuki look last and would they have found their style? It is fun to think about what-ifs when information like this is released. Those early years when Gene Simmons and company were coming out of New York could have led to many different possibilities. At least aesthetically, Alice Cooper had a hand to play in that development.
The early 1970s were a pivotal time in rock n’ roll. With the 1960s in the rearview, culture and music were changing. New acts were popping up all over and subgenres were developing. Sounds were being developed locally, regionally, and nationally as the new decade came about. Acts like Alice Cooper ushered in theatrical rock.
Alice Cooper, KISS Bring Theatrical Performance to Rock
When Alice Cooper was gaining popularity in the early 1970s, rock n’ roll was going through a transformation. Theatrical performances, incorporating horror or fantasy into shows and songs and having a theme all became popular.
“When we first started the whole theatrics thing, I was hoping it was going to break the door down and say that theatrical bands could make hit records. We did that. Then KISS came and [David] Bowie came, and everybody that wanted to be theatrical could be theatrical and still make hit records. That was one of the few things that we did before anybody else.”
Those looks became iconic. Alice Cooper with his dark eye makeup, top hat, and cane. Then David Bowie and his famous facepaint. Of course, KISS and their entire getup. Each look helped to define a sub-category of music and each individual act’s history. What a legacy they each have left.