|Date of Birth
||4 February 1948
|Place of Birth
||Detroit, Michigan, USA
Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier, in Detroit, Michigan, and was the son of a minister. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona at a young age and still lives in the state today. At 17, he formed a rock band called the Earwigs, who changed their name to The Spiders and then The Nazz, before finally settling on Alice Cooper. The line-up included himself, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, and Neil Smith. Contrary to popular rumors (which the band did not necessarily make efforts to deny), the band name was not chosen from a Ouija board reading nor after a woman once burned at the stake for witchcraft, but rather just because the random name had a twisted sense of originality and misleading innocence, complementing their bizarre and macabre stage theatrics and lyric themes.
The band got their first big break playing at the Whiskey-a-GoGo in L.A. one night when Frank Zappa discovered them and signed them to his record label in 1969. After two albums and relocating to Detroit, they were signed by Warner Bros., hooked up with the famous producer Robert Ezrin, and came out with their third album, the break-through "Love It to Death" in 1971. Several albums followed, including "Killer", the highly successful "School's Out" and "Billion Dollar Babies", and "Muscle of Love". The band made an appearance in the movie Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) and their own theatrically released documentary Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper (1974). Alice himself also starred in an episode of The Snoop Sisters (1972) (TV).
The original Alice Cooper band broke up in 1975, with the singer known as Alice getting his name legally changed to Alice Cooper and since then performing under the name, while some of the other members formed a band called the Billion Dollar Babies. That same year saw the release of a Greatest Hits album while Alice as a solo artist completed the "Welcome to My Nightmare" album and incredibly theatrical tour. It was on this tour that he would meet his future wife Sheryl Cooper, who had been hired as a dancer.
Associated with the album and tour was the TV special, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare (1975) (TV), and both included dialog from horror movie legend Vincent Price. Alice made a number of other TV and movie appearances in the second half of the decade, including "The Muppet Show" (1976), the last Mae West film Sextette (1978), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), and several appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962).
But by the late 1970s Alice's problems with alcoholism became life-threatening, and he was checked into a clinic for rehabilitation. Alice told of his experiences on the semi-fictional album "From The Inside" (there was also a comic book of the same title), and explored different sounds in the early 80s with four albums ("Flush The Fashion", "Special Forces", "Zipper Catches Skin", "DaDa"). After severely falling off the wagon to the point of almost dying, but sobering up once more (this time for good), Alice returned with the albums "Constrictor", "Raise Your Fist and Yell", and the 1989 album "Trash" which featured the hit song "Poison". The 1980s also saw Alice starring in the horror flicks Leviatán (1984) (also known as "Monster Dog") and Prince of Darkness (1987), as well as having mostly new songs for the soundtracks to Roadie (1980), Class of 1984 (1982), _Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)_ and Shocker (1989).
It was the 1990s, however, that brought Alice's most memorable movie appearance: playing himself in Wayne's World (1992). The phrase uttered by characters Wayne and Garth in his presence, "We're not worthy!", made its way to being one of the most popular movie catch-phrases of the decade. Alice also played the father of Freddy Krueger in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), and himself on "That '70s Show" (1998) and "Something Wilder" (1994). The decade also saw the release of the Alice Cooper albums "Hey Stoopid", and "The Last Temptation". Alice continued to occasionally tour but took a break from releasing albums until the year 2000 with the release of "Brutal Planet". Alice followed these up with the albums "Dragon Town", "The Eyes of Alice Cooper", and the up-coming 2005 release "Dirty Diamonds", and continues to tour regularly, performing shows with the bizarrely dark and horror-themed theatrics that he's best known for.