Globe Gazette

Originally Published: December 1986

Shock-rock pioneer dies in Mason City at age 49

Glen Buxton, who had lived at Clarion for several years, was a founding member of Alice Cooper

Author: John Skipper

MASON CITY-Glen E. Buxton, lead guitarist for the famed '70s shock-rock band Alice Cooper, died early Sunday morning at North Iowa Mercy Health Center. Buxton, 49, had lived the last few years at Clarion. He died of natural causes, according to Dr. Steven Goetz, Cerro Gordo County medical examiner, who conducted an autopsy at the family's request Sunday afternoon.

Buxton's brother, Ken, of Glendale, Ariz., said his brother had been suffering from pneumonia, and was taken to the hospital late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. "We got a call early in the morning that his heart had stopped but that they had revived him. Later, we got a call that he had passed away, he said. Buxton played lead guitar for Alice Cooper, a five member band that formed in Phoenix in the mid-1960s and had its greatest fame in the early 1970s. It featured simulated executions, the chopping up of baby dolls and leader Vincent Furnier draping a live boa constrictor around himself.

Guitar School magazine, in a 1995 article, referred to Buxton as being among guitarists who were "the most irreverent of their time." In 1974, after the release of their album entitled "Muscle of Love," the band split up and Furnier took the name Alice Cooper for himself. Buxton had recurring health problems and all but retired from the music industry except for a brief time in 1985 when he formed a band called Virgin which he played primarily in the Phoenix area, where his parents, brother and sister still live.

"Glen never liked Phoenix," his brother said. "In about 1988 or 1989, a friend of his who had a farm in Clarion said he needed some temporary help and asked Glen if he would come. Glen went up there and never came back."

He was not particularly close to his family in Arizona, Ken Buxton said. "I talked to him last Thanksgiving and I think the last time I saw him was about four years ago He was closer to my mother than any of the rest of us. He and I just didn't have a whole lot in common," he said.

The family will be coming to Iowa for the funeral services which are tentatively being planned for Friday, Ken Buxton said. The Willim Funeral Home in Clarion is in charge of arrangements.