When it comes to facts about Alice Cooper there are a lot of things to be said about the Godfather of Shock Rock.
He is undoubtedly one of the most unique artists on the music scene in the last 50 years, and the upcoming Alice Cooper facts will prove this theory right.
However, before going into the Alice Cooper facts let’s quickly introduce the rockstar to the newer fans who may not be familiar with his life story. It will be short, I promise, but if you are not interested and just want to read the facts then click here.
Alice Cooper – Short Biography
Alice Cooper is an American singer-songwriter who occasionally stars in unconventional movies. And here’s a mini fact about Alice Cooper right off the bat – his real name is Vincent Damon Furnier.
Vincent was born on February 4, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan where he spent his childhood before moving to Phoenix, Arizona with his family in his teenage years.
Cooper’s musical career began during his high school years in Phoenix when he and a few mates formed a band called The Spiders and Nazz. At first, they weren’t that serious about it but quickly started getting attention and positive feedback from the crowd.
Because of this, the bandmates moved to Los Angeles, California after finishing their studies to pursue fame and success, which they managed to attain. They toured and performed together for nearly a decade before disbanding in 1975 and everyone going their way.
After the disbandment, Vincent embarked on a solo career joined by a new group of musicians. Everything began in 1975 with the release of the concept album ‘Welcome to My Nightmare‘ which was a massive success. Cooper’s illustrious solo career spans over five decades and he has released over 20 studio albums.
When it comes to his private life, Alice Cooper has been married to his wife Sheryl Goddard since 1976. They have three kids together.
That was fairly short, wasn’t it? Now let’s move on to the Alice Cooper facts.
10 Facts About Alice Cooper
1. He “Adopted” the Band’s Name
Yes, you read that right.
Alice Cooper was actually the name of the band he and his high school friends formed in the mid-1960s. It’s the same group that went under the name The Spiders and Nazz and later just The Spiders as mentioned in the previous section.
But since they needed a more gimmicky name to stand out in the industry, they changed it to Alice Cooper. The new name remained unchanged until the group’s disbandment in 1975.
After the breakup, Mr. Furnier wanted to carry the band’s name. However, due to legal issues over the name’s ownership, he couldn’t form a new group under the same title.
Solution? Change your name to Alice Cooper. Yes, Vincent Furnier changed his name legally to Alice Cooper just to continue performing under it.
2. Made Parodies of Beatles Songs
If you read the short biography section, you probably remember the part where I said Cooper and his friends weren’t serious at first about making music, but that changed due to the positive feedback from the audience.
Well, this is the moment that changed their lives.
Namely, Vincent Furnier and his close friends Glen, Dennis, and John entered the annual talent show their high school organized. Their talent? To perform parodies of Beatles songs without knowing how to play on any instrument or sing. The audience loved it so much that they won the contest.
This reaction made them seriously consider getting into music and began learning how to play instruments, write songs, and sing.
3. Pet Snake
Considering his thematic horror-based live performances that feature electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, etc, this might as well be one of the least surprising Alice Cooper facts.
The snake you could see Cooper wrapping around his neck during live performances was his pet. He took the snake with him everywhere and even paid for first-class tickets so it can fly next to him (in a pet travel carrier) because he didn’t want it to be alone in a cage below the aircraft’s fuselage.
4. The Moniker Godfather of Shock Rock Came to Life as an Accident
During a live performance at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival in September 1969, a chicken found its way onto the main stage where they kept a feather pillow that they opened during the show.
Not expecting to see a chicken while opening the pillow, Cooper panicked and threw it in the crowd expecting which then didn’t end up well for the animal.
This became the frontpage story in many newspapers and the tale of him “decapitating the chicken’s head” spread like a wildfire. While that wasn’t true, the band didn’t deny the rumors to increase their popularity because the “shock value” attracts people.
5. He’s a Devoted Christian
While this Alice Cooper fact may come as a surprise to many due to his eccentric look and onstage shenanigans, but he’s a devoted Christian.
One thing I didn’t mention on purpose in the biography section is that Furnier was raised in a Christian household and his dad and grandfather were pastors. He even did missionary work as a kid with his father.
However, after forming his band and starting making music he strayed away from the Christian life and only came back to it after struggling with alcohol addiction and experiencing many difficulties in life.
For those interested, here’s Alice Cooper talking about his beliefs.
6. Big Sports Fan, Especially Loves Golf
The high school friends Alice Cooper formed his first band with were actually his cross-country teammates. As an athletic guy, he also followed other sports such as baseball, football, and basketball. He dreamed of playing for the Detroit Tigers as a kid, while as an adult he even coached a Little League baseball team where his son played.
However, the one sport that is closest to Cooper’s heart is golf. Why? Because it helped him to overcome his alcohol addiction. He also regularly participates in golf competitions.
Alice Cooper used to run a restaurant in downtown Phoenix for nearly 20 years. He opened Cooper’sTown in 1998 but sadly it went out of business in 2017.
The motto of the restaurant was ‘Where Jocks and Rock Meet’ and it featured a 22-inch long sandwich called ‘Big Unit’.
8. Hates Politics
A lot of people hate politics, for a good reason, of course. But rarely who take it to the extreme as Alice Cooper.
In the past, Cooper has stated that he’s non-political to the point when someone starts talking about politics he just leaves the room and does something else.
Cooper also heavily criticizes musicians who “abuse their power” to influence their fans on political stances and claims that its treason to rock and roll.
9. Helped Dave Mustaine & Megadeth to Overcome Addiction
After battling with alcohol addiction himself in the early 1980s, Cooper was on a mission to help struggling musicians and fellow addicts overcome their issues.
One of the most notable bands Furnier helped to face and overcome their demons was Megadeth.
The heavy metal band was the opening act for Alice Cooper on his US tour in 1986. During their touring days, Alice noticed the substance abuse of the Megadeth members and offered them help which they accepted. He then shared his experience with addiction and advised them how to overcome it.
He became especially close with the band leader Dave Mustaine who thanks him to this day and calls Cooper his “Godfather”.
10. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee
To be honest, it would have been more shocking if Alice Cooper wasn’t part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but still, a fact is a fact.
Furnier was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 by another shock rock icon Rob Zombie. Interestingly, however, the induction was for the original Alice Cooper band Furnier and his friends formed in their high school years, something which Vincent was delighted to see.