The Alice Cooper Band
Before there was Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson or KISS, there was Alice Cooper, the original self-proclaimed “rock villain.”
Born Vincent Furnier, Cooper and his mighty band of the same name – lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bass player Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith – pioneered the dark spectacle of heavy metal with their huge blues-rock sound and extravagant stage show.
Drawing from horror movies and vaudeville, Cooper brought a new level of visual theatrics to arenas with guillotines, electric chairs, boa constrictors and fake blood; their 1973 tour broke box office records previously held by the Rolling Stones, and raised the bar for major rock tours.
What made it stick were some of the catchiest, most reckless hard-rock songs of all time: “Eighteen,” “School's Out,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”
Along with the New York Dolls and David Bowie, Alice Cooper was a starting point for the glam rock of the 1970s; it's impossible to imagine the hair metal of the 1980s without them. You can hear and see the band's influence in bands from the Sex Pistols to Guns n’ Roses.
The original lineup split in the mid-Seventies, and singer Cooper would continue on with an evolving lineup; in the meantime, the pure shock value of America's first shock rockers has faded, but their legacy is safe.
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
ABC’s In Concert – 1972