Cooper's legendary stage show involves live snakes, straight jackets, corpses, and other horror movie-styled props--not to mention fog machines and dramatic lighting, of course. Stage shows concluded with Cooper's "public execution" by various means, including electric chair, gallows, and guillotine.
His real name is Vincent Furnier. Alice Cooper was the name of the band, but the name became so associated with the lead singer that he took it. "Alice Cooper" is the name of a girl who was accused of being a witch in the 1600s, but Furnier didn't know that when he took the name. He tried to choose a sweet, innocent sounding name that would contrast against the shocking stage show. A rumor has persisted that Cooper got the name from a Ouija board.
Furnier thinks of Alice Cooper as a character, totally separate from himself, who views the world in a skewed, pessimistic way. Furnier adopts Alice's character both while writing songs and performing onstage.
Alice is an avid golfer. He has done commercials for Calloway clubs, making him the first rock star to endorse a golf product. He's pretty good, too. Darius Rucker, also a big golfer, said: "Alice Cooper is the most boring golfer I've ever played with. He's down the middle and on the green all day long." In the 70's Alice moved his base of operations to Los Angeles from New York in part because he could do more golfing in California.
He ran for governor of Arizona in 1988.
Cooper: "I can live my life and be Alice Cooper the golfer of the restaurateur or the philanthropist. If you want to see the other Alice, you have to go see the show." His 2007 autobiography is called Alice Cooper, Golf Monster
Alice appeared in the movie Wayne's World. Wayne and Garth go backstage to meet him, where he becomes the subject of their "We're not worthy" bit.
At a Toronto rock festival in 1969 while opening for John Lennon
and The Doors
, a fan threw a chicken on the stage. Cooper threw the chicken back into the audience, who tore it apart. The crowd loved it, and Cooper's shows became more theatrical to play up the image.
Cooper was the guest star on a Halloween episode of The Muppet Show - he claims Miss Piggy flirted with him. Alice also appeared on a episode of That '70s show. At the end he was playing Dungeons and Dragons with the radio host and some other characters from the show. (thanks, Brandon Perry - Union City, IN)
In 2001 the International Horror Guild gave him a living legend award.
He set a 24-mile cross-country running record in high school.
Cooper had a pet snake named Julius Squeezer that died after being bitten by a rat.
In the early '80s, he worked on a project with Joe Perry from Aerosmith. When Aerosmith
got back together in 1984, it was abandoned.
When he was a kid, his family was poor and there were very few presents. Now, Cooper goes crazy on Christmas, buying lots of gifts for his family.
He wrote sports and feature articles for his school under the pseudonym "Muscles McNasal." (thanks, Mark - Las Vegas, NV)
Cooper explained in the January, 2009 issue of Esquire
: "When I moved to L.A. with this little wimpy garage band, the first people we met were the Doors. Then we met Jimi Hendrix
, Janis Joplin
. All of the people who died of excess were our big brothers and sisters. So I said to myself: How do you become a legend and enjoy it? The answer is to create a character as legendary as those guys and leave that character on the stage."
In 1972, with sales slow for an upcoming show in London, Cooper's management arranged to have a large truck STALL in the middle of Piccadilly Square, baring a large picture of Alice in the buff, save his boa constrictor. It attracted quite a crowd, generated lots of publicity, and boosted ticket sales.
In an autobiography from the '70s Alice said that his first true sexual completion with a young lady took place in a homemade coffin that had a glass lid. (thanks, cindy - shorewood, IL, for above 2)
Cooper put up $28,000 for the restoration of the second "O" in the HOLLYWOOD sign in 1978. He dedicated it to the memory of Groucho Marx.
Cooper took the Rock Horror genre to new depths, but he was always very careful to keep religion out of it, so no implied Satanism with his snakes and blood. Said Cooper: "Religion is something I don't even want to mess with, because I am really afraid of the clouds opening up and my being struck by lightning."
In 1972, one of Alice's pet snakes, Chichita escaped down a toilet into the New York City sewer. To replace the 14-pound Chichita, Cooper bought a 45-pound constrictor and named her Yvonne. She toured with Cooper as a living costume.
In the 1970's, Cooper appeared in anti-drug public service announcements. Later, in 1986, he went on tour with Megadeth as his opening act. Observing Megadeth
's rampant drug and alcohol consumption, Cooper approached the band members and helped them reduce their intake. Cooper's also privately helped others who rocked a bit too hard over the years, and won the Stevie Ray Vaughn Award in 2008 for his selfless efforts.
Cooper is a born-again Christian, and believes in the devil enough to have genuine supernatural fear. He's never taken a satanist stance, and warns other bands against it.
Before adopting the name "Alice Cooper," Furnier's band was called "The Nazz." Upon learning that Todd Rundgren
had a band named Nazz, Furnier's Nazz changed their name to Alice Cooper.
Cooper owns a restaurant in Phoenix called Cooper'stown. The motto: "Where jocks and rock meet."
In 2000, Cooper boasted an unusual voicemail recording: Dan Castellanata performing the voice of Simpson's character Barney Gumble. Barney explains that Alice is currently out enjoying a night at Moe's Tavern. Leave a message [insert belch here].
In 1973, avant-garde artist Salvadore Dali turned Alice Cooper's likeness into the world's first 3D holographic sculpture.
During Alice Cooper's heyday, he was recording at a studio in Toronto, Canada, and he stayed across the street with a Mrs. Reeves. She had to leave her son "Kee" unattended at home for up to three hours each day while she worked. Alice offered to look after the boy across the street at the studio. "Kee" grew up to become the actor Keanu Reeves.