Originally Published: 1975
Author: Peter Gelzims
Who is Vincent Furnier and why did he turn into Alice Cooper?
Vincent, a minister's son from Tuscon, Arizona, left home to make his way in the world as a rock n' roll singer. Like most aspiring, but never-to-be-heard-from rock stars, Mr. Furnier was hustling one night stands in clubs around Chicago and Detroit.
He'd be there still if he hadn't been shrewd enough to see rock's appetite for the bizarre. The Who were making a fortune with their "theater" of instrument smashing: Frank Zappa was gelling on nicely with his eccentricities; and Jagger made delinquency chic with his pouting overtures to Satan.
But Vincent Furnier knew that rock had no real devil. And Vinnie had a vision of a rock star to shock the teeney boppers right out of their loose change - a ghoulish cross between Clarabelle and Vincent Prire. Alice Cooper was rock's outrageous answer to the Friday night, triple bill horror show at your local drive-in.
In the realm of horror celebrities. Alice Cooper is about as frightening at Annette Funicello. But he is definitely gross. Cooper Is the epitome of adolescent nastlness. His doll decapitations, wrestling matches with snakes along with a concert finale that had him dangling at the end of a rope, is the stuff "shock rock" was founded on.
Cooper tickled those shadowy yearnings of the adolescent libido and came up with a slightly depraved, electric vaudeville review.
Last Spring Alice took his "masterpiece," "Welcome To My Nightmare," out on the concert trail. It played to a sellout Boston Garden crowd last April, toured the rest of the country and went abroad before finishing with an auspicious BANG!!! Alice fell off the stage in Australia and nearly broke his hip.
Before he did, Alice had the good sense to film this Jack-O-Lantern musical melange on stage in London, last September. "Welcome To My Nightmare" is a cob webbed encyclopedia to Alice Cooper. Alice in Schlockland, Mr. Teeny Bopper whose bedroom turns into a forest of goblins, a smattering of depravity, a touch of song and dance glitter and of course a generous hunk of bubble gum.
He goes from being strangled giant Black Widow, pummeled by a cyclops, to hoofing out a soft-shoe in white tails along with a chorus line of skeletons, before getting back into his letterman's sweater and screaming out such teenage love calls as "School's Out" and "Department of Youth."