Vincent Damon Furnier MP

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Alice Cooper's Geni Profile

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Nicknames: "Alice Cooper"
Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Allen Park, MI, USA
Occupation: Rock singer, songwriter and musician
Managed by: Richard Arthur Norton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Vincent Damon Furnier

Shock rock pioneer Alice Cooper's on-stage antics caused outrage across the world. He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal. Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.

He was born Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948, in Allen Park, Michigan, the son of Ella Mae (née McCart) and Ether Moroni Furnier, a lay preacher in the Church of Jesus Christ (also known as the Bickertonite Church). He has French Huguenot, Sioux Native American, English, Scottish and Irish ancestry, and was named after one of his uncles (Vincent Collier Furnier) and the writer Damon Runyon. His paternal grandfather, Thurman Sylvester Furnier, was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ based in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, and Vincent Furnier was very active in the Church of Jesus Christ at the ages of 11 and 12.

Cooper formed his group early and as a teenager he, along with Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and John Spear, formed a garage rock band.

The group moved to LA and recruited a new member, Neal Smith. Calling themselves the Spiders, they were slammed by the critics as "the worst band in LA". Frank Zappa, however, liked their angry, upfront and dark music, and signed them up.

In 1969 they changed their name to Alice Cooper (the name of the witch doctor who spoke to Furnier via an ouija board) and released ‘Pretties For You’ and ‘Easy Action’.

In 1971 they were signed by Warner Bros., and their next album, ‘Love It to Death’, launched them into the best selling charts.

Then followed a whole string of hit albums including ‘Killer’ (1972), ‘School’s Out’(1972), ‘Billion Dollar Babies’(1973) and ‘Muscle of Love’(1974).

Alice Cooper liked to tour, but caused controversy wherever they went. His theatrical antics such as the ‘murder’ of infant dolls with blood everywhere, and his extreme look, caused outrage, but created a huge fan base.

In 1974, Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier) parted from Alice Cooper (the band). Furnier kept the name Alice Cooper and the band went on to record with the name ‘Billion Dollar Babies’.

Cooper made another hit album in 1975, ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’, but he soon diversified and made a number of TV guest appearances in hit shows.

Cooper’s music hit a downturn in the early 1980s, with albums such as ‘Special Forces’ and ‘Zipper Catches Skin’ flopping.

However, by 1989, his new album, ‘Trash’, Cooper's first release for Epic Records, was a hit. It started a tradition of extensive collaboration with other prominent artists. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith accompanied Cooper on "Hell Is Living Without You," a ballad cowritten by Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora. "Poison," the smash single from the album, featured the backing vocals of Bon Jovi.

Hey Stoopid! (1991) boasted a stellar studio lineup that included metal elder statesman Ozzy Osbourne as a vocalist, and Slash from Guns and Roses, who played guitar on the title track. Guitar aces Joe Satriani and Steve Vai lent dueling guitars to "Feed My Frankenstein," and Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars contributed licks to "Die For You." Hard Force magazine called Hey Stoopid! "the best [album] since Welcome to My Nightmare, a vicious guitar record."

Further promotion for Hey Stoopid! came in the form of a cameo role in director Penelope Spheeris's blockbuster film Wayne's World, in which Cooper performed the song "Feed My Frankenstein." Because—or in spite—of his over-the-top image, Cooper's fans have related to Alice. Cooper has endured because he has consistently played the type of villain or monster that audiences can't help but cheer.

After a three year hiatus, Cooper returned with The Last Temptation in 1994, an album that Barry Weber of All Music Guide praised as a true comeback. "Far surpassing anything Cooper [has] recorded in almost 20 years, The Last Temptation is unquestionably some of his best work." On the album Cooper explored themes of sin, temptation, and redemption, bringing a serious air to his theatrical side. He followed with A Fist Full of Alice in 1997, his first live album since The Alice Cooper Show in 1977. The album included guest appearances from Guns N' Roses' guitarist Slash and singer-guitarist Sammy Hagar. The year, however, ended on a sad note when guitarist Glen Buxton, a founding member of the Alice Cooper Group, died of complications from pneumonia on October 18, 1997.

Cooper released Brutal Planet on the small Spitfire label in 2000 and Dragontown the following year. He also launched the Dragontown tour, a tour that included a controversial show featuring violent stage theatrics. Cooper released Eyes of Alice in 2003 and followed with Dirty Diamonds in 2005 on New West, featuring "Woman of Mass Distraction" and "Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)."

Besides recording and touring, Cooper currently owns Alice Cooper'stown sports bars in Cleveland and Phoenix, eateries that feature such oddities as the Ryne Sandburger and Megadeth Meatloaf. Cooper has also coached Little League, and during the 1990s he founded an organization to assist needy children. In 2004 Cooper received an honorary doctorate from Grand Canyon University, and in 2005 he launched his own syndicated radio show, Nights With Alice Cooper. Over time, Cooper has maintained his sense of humor. Commenting on politics, he was quoted by Michael Crowley in the New Republic as saying, "If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are." When asked by Sports Illustrated whether he could outlast the Rolling Stones, Cooper replied: "At this point I'm in better shape than all of them put together."

RESOURCES/REFERENCES

-------------------- Named after Uncle Vince and Damon Runyon. Damon was a writer.

Cursed with Eczema and infantile Asthma. His father also had Asthma.

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Alice Cooper's Timeline

1948
February 4, 1948
Allen Park, MI, USA
1976
March 20, 1976
Age 28
Acapulco, GRO, Mexico
????
- present
N. Phoenix, Arizona, United States
????
- present
Washington Elelmentary
????
- present
Westland, Michigan, United States