About Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier , Glen Buxton , Michael Bruce , Dennis Dunaway , and Neal Smith . Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and has had a solo career under that name since the band became inactive in 1975. The band was notorious for their elaborate, theatrical shock rock stage shows. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After several years of little success, the Alice Cooper band rose to fame in 1971 with the hit single "I'm Eighteen" and the album Love It to Death. Success continued with the popular single "School's Out" and the album of the same name in 1972. The band peaked in popularity in 1973 with their next album Billion Dollar Babies and its tour, which broke box-office records previously held by The Rolling Stones.
The band consisted of former members of the garage rock band the Spiders, formed in Phoenix in 1964 with three of the eventual five Alice Cooper members , who were classmates in high school. Michael Bruce and Neal Smith joined in 1966 and 1967, respectively. They created everything as a group and wrote virtually the lion's share of what was to become the classic Alice Cooper canon.
The band officially relocated to Los Angeles in 1967, having traveled there frequently for shows, and were briefly renamed Nazz. In 1968, the band learned that Todd Rundgren also had a band called Nazz, and found themselves in need of another name. The legend is that the name "Alice Cooper" came from a session with a Ouija board and was the name of a 17th century witch. However, Furnier described the incident with the ouija board as "just pure urban legend...but it was a great story." Furnier stated the name was chosen simply as a gimmick, because it sounded innocuous and wholesome, in humorous contrast to the band's image and music.
After a 1968 gig at the Cheetah club in Venice, California, where most of the club's patrons left after hearing the band play just ten minutes, they were approached by music manager Shep Gordon, who saw the band's negative impact that night as a force that could be turned in a more productive direction. Shep arranged an audition for the band with renowned musical artist and record producer Frank Zappa, who was looking to sign bizarre music acts to his new record label, Straight Records. Zappa told them to come to his house "at 7 o'clock" for an audition. The band mistakenly assumed he meant 7 o'clock in the morning. Being woken up by a band willing to play that particular brand of music at seven in the morning impressed Zappa enough for him to sign them to a three-album deal. "Frank was the only one who stuck out his neck for us, for me," recalled Alice himself. "He was the one who said, 'Here's a band that everybody in the business is laughing at – I like 'em.' … He was the outcast in L.A. and so were we." The first three Alice Cooper albums were released on Zappa's Straight label.
Another Zappa-signed act, the all-female GTOs, were encouraged to dress up the Alice Cooper band members in women's clothing and heavy makeup, and played a major role in developing the band's early onstage look.
The band was the subject of media criticism after Furnier threw a live chicken into the audience during the 1969 Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival Festival. The audience ripped the chicken to shreds. In 1970, the band appeared on a Warner Bros sampler album, Zapped, featuring acts produced by Zappa.
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