Examiner

Originally Published: August 04, 2009

A - L - I - C - E spells entertainment

Author: Justin Cox

Since 99-7 KY changed formats over a year ago, “Nights with Alice Cooper” can't be found on any Kansas City radio stations, which is too bad since Cooper is one of the great ambassadors of classic rock.

One of the best things about the program was listening to the contrast between his rational radio demeanor with his deranged stage persona.

For those of you who miss the sound of his voice, the original shock rocker will be performing Friday at the Ameristar Casino.

Here are some things you might not know about the man that combined music and mayhem.

A – Arizona – Alice Cooper, the band, formed in Phoenix, Ariz. Since 2004, Cooper has been hosting his syndicated radio program from KDKB in Phoenix. It is a showcase for classic rock, playing everything from top ten singles (Bruce Springstein’s “Born In The USA”) to the less radio played (Bad Company’s “Run With The Pack”) to rarely heard covers (Ozzy Osbourne performing Status Quo’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men”).

L – Love it to Death – The third album from Alice Cooper released in 1971. It was the first album produced by Bob Ezrin, influential in shaping the Alice Cooper-sound, after Frank Zappa produced their first two albums. It was the band’s first successful record reaching number 35 on the Billboard charts.

I – “I’m Eighteen” – Alice Cooper’s first big hit. The single off Love It To Death reached number 21 on the charts. This song represents the changing landscape from the politically charged music of the 1960s to the pure entertainment, music without a message. “I’m eighteen and I don’t know what I want,” sums it up.

C – The chicken incident – At the Toronto Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival in 1969, a chicken was thrown on stage during the show. Mistaking the chicken for a flyer, Cooper flung the bird back into the crowd where it was torn apart. This made national news and it is the incident that established Alice Cooper’s reputation for years to come.

E – Earwigs and executions – The Earwigs was the first incarnation of Alice Cooper, the band, in the mid-1960s. Years later, Alice Cooper became known for their on-stage theatrics. One of the routines was to execute the villainous lead singer by a variety of methods including electric chair, hanging, and guillotine.

Cooper – Alice Cooper was the name of the band to begin with, not a person. At first, lead singer Vincent Furnier, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith were Alice Cooper. After the band split, Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper in 1975.

(Originally appeared online on the Examiner website, on 4th August 2009.)