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Alice Cooper

His Birthday

Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier (named after "Uncle Vince and Damon Runyon") on 4th February 1948 in Detroit, Michigan, USA..

The reason you see Alice's birthdate wrong alot of the time is because 'Rolling Stone' did a Rock n Roll Encyclopedia in which they decided to list Alice's birthday as December 25, 1945 and since Everyone knows that 'Rolling Stone' must know Everything, it is cited as his birthday alot of the time.
(Renfield, July 1995)

 

His Father

His father, Ether Moroni Furnier was a Minister although he'd had various jobs including working as a draftsman. He had two older brothers, Lonson and Vincent (Uncle Vince). He died in 1988.

Around 1960, Alice`s father rediscovered his faith. From 'Me Alice`:

"The Church was suddenly everything to us, a religion, a social life, a new family. My Father`s devotion was inspiring. It affected my Mother so deeply that within a month she stood up in church one day and asked to be baptised. My Father did the same thing a few weeks later, and after that our lives changed completely. A real conversion took place in all of us, my father the most dramatically. He stopped everything bad he was doing - cold turkey. He stopped it all, from booze to tobacco. He was incredibly strong and determined, and the entire family had renewed respect for him.

I was submerged even deeper into religion during the preperation for my father`s ordination. When other kids stayed home because the lessons were too deep, too obscure for a child to understand, my father would bring me. I went to doctrine meetings with him and other men who aspired to be ministers. I watched my dad transform himself, through God and the church, into a totally happy, self-sufficient human being. He was ordained in April 1961 when he was thirty-eight years old and I was thirteen."

How was Alice's relationship with his dad after the book ['Me, Alice'] with the introduction by his father was printed?
Great. They really got along like best friends.

"Enough's Enough" would seem to have indicate that they were not on the best of terms, or is the first-person voice in that song another "character" for AC?

The latter. As I have said, I don't think 'DaDa' is as autobiographical as some would like it to be. Actually, by the time Alice was writing 'DaDa', he had moved back to Phoenix so he was seeing his parents more than ever.
(Renfield)

His Mother

His mother, Ella, still lives in Arizona and yes, it WAS her in the Fisher commercial.

His Sister

He has one older sister, Nicola (b. 1946) who lives in California and is married to the guy who co-wrote "Dance Yourself To Death."

Early Life

Alice's family moved around a great deal during his early years:

Before he was a year old, the Furniers' had moved to Los Angeles and back to Detroit. At about age three (for Alice), they moved to Phoenix for a year or two. Then back to Detroit for three winters. At eight, back to L.A. and living in his Uncle Lonson's living room. Ether Furnier scores a job at the Jet Propulsion Lab. In May 1961, the family heads to Phoenix after the senior Furnier is ordained. Alice notes that he was thirteen and his father was 38 when his father was ordained, about a month prior to moving to Phoenix.
Close enough.
(Renfield, March 1996)

Alice did have a place at Lakeshore Towers around 1984 for awhile so there were lots of sightings. He headed back to Pheonix. once he had a taste of the Chicago winter.
(Renfield, June 1995)

From 'Me, Alice':

On the Fourth of July (1961?), only two months after we had moved to Phoenix, there was a huge celebration at a church member's home, and when I got home to my pillow, instead of f***ing it, I threw up two quarts of lasagna on it. My mother chalked it up to spicy cooking. Later on in the night my stomach hurt unbearably, and possessed with the fear that I would be carried to the doctor's office for an injection, I kept my mouth shut and suffered through the pain.
Two days later I was throwing up every hour, which I hid from my mother by sneaking into the bathroom in the back of the trailer and turning the water on full force to cover up the sounds of my retching. Eventually she got suspicious about the toilet flushing so much and I began to crawl outside the trailer where they couldn't hear me. Eventually I was in so much pain that I couldn't even stand to get outside. My mother found me in a pool of vomit on my bedroom floor and in a belated state of panic they rushed me to a hospital.
There had been a dead cow on the Indian reservation we had visited that Independence Day, and I had poked around the carcass with a stick, although everyone warned me to stay away from it. The doctors at the hospital were convinced that I had picked up typhoid from the cow, and they put me in the infectious isolation ward. Another two days went by as my white blood count soared, and for a week I had lost weight like sugar in a rainstorm. Almost ten days after I got sick they decided to slice me open and check inside.
I was full of peritonitis. My insides were literally riddled with it. I was rotting away. They tried to move my intestines aside to find my appendix, but my guts were too infected and not solid enough to touch. My appendix had burst a good week before, but it was too late to do anything about it now. They sewed me up again, stuck draining tubes in me, and told my parents I would die.
My father couldn't believe it. Why had God let him go to Phoenix to work with the Indians, step out on faith with no money, no job, and now take his son away from him? He thought it must be a trial, like Abraham.
The doctors pumped me full of morphine and even though I was in a deep dream world, constantly hallucinating, my parents sat by my bedside and read the Bible and comic books to me: "The sickness is not unto death but unto the glory of God." I looked like I was ready for Hitler's ovens. I dropped almost half my weight, weight that I was never to recover. I reached a low sixty-eight pounds. I didn't even want to jerk off with my pillow.
A call went out to church members around the country for help. In Los Angeles the church people who ordained my dad prayed and fasted for me. Letters and cards arrived at the hospital by the dozens while my parents waited for the end to come.
I can't offer any explanation as to why I lived except that it was a miracle. There is no doubt about it. It was a miracle that I pulled through - thanks to Jesus, and the church and the faith of everyone around me. Years later, whenever my father would tell this story to people, they'd laugh.
"Why would the Lord save the life of Alice Cooper?"
Recovery meant a year in bed Watching TV!

School

Alice went to Cortez High School (fall of 1962) in Arizona and studied Art (He had previously attended Squaw Peak Elementary and would go on to Glendale Community Collage as an Art major - "I painted dark pictures of unsmiling people, which was odd because outwardly I was a happy carefree person" (Me Alice). He excelled at running in school and was a member of the track team. He was so good that he reputably broke the 26 mile marathan record for Phoenix. The story goes that on completion of the race, he proptly fell over and broke his nose, an injury that explains his distinctive face.

"I was only ninety-eight pounds and had spent a year and a half hunched over in bed, which left a curvature of my spine and shoulders which could have put the hunchback of Notre Dame to shame."(Me Alice)

Did he actually finish and earn a degree?

Nope. He left to go to Hollywood and became a big rock star.
(Renfield, March 1996)

Alice worked on the School newspaper, the Cortez Tip Sheet, for which he also wrote a column called "Get Out Of My Hair" under the name Muscles McNasel. The column featured a picture of 'Muscles' taken by Tip Sheet Photograper Glen Buxton.

"Glen and I became friends basically because he was forbidden. Cortez was a school of goody-goody kids. There was no juvenile delinquency in our clean American Phoenix suburb and Glen was considered a tough kid. His swagger and unlit cigarette was as close as we got to what the principal, George Buckley, called "negative influences on the community." Buckley, who was a well-known community leader in Phoenix, a Mormon elder and member of the draft board, was obsessed with uncovering "negative influences on the community." My friendship with Glen soon tainted me. Glen was suspended from school a half a dozen times for long hair and smoking in the bathroom, and when Buckley saw me walking around the Cortez campus with him I was automatically put on his suspicious character list."

(Me Alice)

The Name

Alice legally changed his name in 1974. His name IS Alice Cooper!

Vincent Furnier starts going by Alice Cooper on April 12th 1968.
I believe this is correct. This is how I came to that conclusion. If I remember right, in the book "Me, Alice", Alice started calling himself Alice right after the traffic accident he and the band were in. There is a scan of that police report at
Michael Bruce's page showing that the accident occurred on Apr 12th '68.

(Kurt, 27th January 1998)

Marriage

He has been married to Sheryl since 20th March 1976 and has three children, Calico (b. 20th May 1981)(Calico means `Many Colours`), Dashiel (b. 1984) (named after author Dashial Hammett), and Sonora Rose (b.1993). All go by the name Cooper. Alice and Sheryl met while Sheryl was a dancer on the 'Welcome To My Nightmare' tour. She has appeared on stage with Alice many times, most often as 'Ethyl' for 'Only Women Bleed'. She was also one of the many dancers in the 'Sgt Pepper' movie.

Time - 29th March 1976:

MARRIED: Alice Cooper, 28, decadent rock's man with a woman's name, and Sheryl Goddard, 19, singer and dancer who appeared in Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare" show; in a civil ceremony in Acapulco, Mexico, March 20. It was a "seperate estates" marriage, which, in the event of divorce, bars each spouse from a share in the other's propety.

Cindy Laing

Sometimes there's a little confusion about Alice's marital history. He had a long time girlfriend in the late '60s and early '70s named Cindy Laing - but they were never married. She did, however, sue him for palimony (not alimony) when they broke up in '75. (The case was settled out of court in the early '80s.) Cindy got quite a bit of media attention at the time of the suit ('60 Minutes', 'Phil Donahue', etc). Hey, by the way. I believe that although the Lee Marvin alimony case was the FAMOUS one and actually went to court---as far as I know, Alice Cooper was the FIRST person ever to be served with an alimony suit. (No joke.)
(Renfield, March 1996)
I believe it was the first ever palimony case - it never went to court unlike the Lee Marvin case which in turn got all the attention. AC and Cindy settled out of court in 1982 for an undisclosed amount-although if you were the one who messengered the legal papers to the lawyer I guess you would know the amount. Hint, hint.
(Renfield, July 1995)

Cindy was originally suing AC for around 5 million dollars. It was settled out of court for an UNDISCLOSED amount of money in 1981. It was much less as most out of court settlements are.
(Renfield, June 1995)

I heard at the time that she sued him because he broke up with her after repeatedly asking her to marry him and being turned down. I think Alice said that she didn't want to get married but that's not why they split up. The basis for the suit was supposedly that the breakup damaged her career as a model. I'm sure there was more to it than this.

Right. That was Cindy's contention. But she had tons of opportunities to get modeling jobs-she certainly had the connections with who she knew (she once was on the front cover of Andy Warhol's "Interview" magazine c.1974)-but she chose not to work.
(Renfield, March 1996)

"Religion"

In the last few years, there have been many rumours that Alice has supposidly 'found religion' or is 'Born again'.

These rumors have been flying around a lot especially with the release of 'The Last Temptation' - which certainly has some theological tones to it. But then again, this is nothing new. Many of Alice's lyrics have dealt with this going all the way back to "Fields of Regret" and "Second Coming." He feels it's an interesting subject to write about as he doesn't want to do songs that are just about making out in the back seat of a car or the like.

As a lot of people know, Alice's dad was a minister and his father in law is a minister as well. Alice's mom is still active with the church. So, stories fly around. For instance, Alice may have driven his mom to some church function and the next thing you know, people are saying that he was born again. It's no different than the chicken killing story. Alice is not a Satanist but he's not a religion nut either.

(Renfield, January 1996)

NOTE: Do NOT ask questions on the Sickthing mailing list about Alice`s religion or religious views. Due to the fact that such questions ALWAYS end up in flamewars, they have been banned from the list and anyone posting such questions will be automatically banned from the list. Trust me when I say that this really is for the best. Alice`s religious views are his own business.

"The Indian Arts Store"

This was something Alice bought for his parents in the 70's. It was fire bombed around 1979, destroying many valuable pieces of art and some of Alice's own sales awards. The city closed it in the mid - 80's due to some zoning changes. The store has been said to have been called 'Kachina'(?).

"Make-Up"

Alice's make-up is copyrighted in some shape or manner. There was no specific reasoning for the design. It kind of developed out of a demented clown puppet thing I once heard him say.
(Renfield, October 1995)

Alice the Musician

Alice plays harmonica on "Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio" (Pretties For You), "I'm Eighteen" (Love It To Death), "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" (Killer), "Workin' Up A Sweat" (Muscle Of Love), "Dirty Dreams" (Hey Stoopid) and "Bad Place Alone" (The Last Temptation).

I think he played Harmonica a couple of times when 'Dirty Dreams' was done on the 'Hey Stoopid' tour.
(Renfield, October 1996)
On the 1997 tour, Alice played guitar in public for the first time. He played rhythm guitar on 'I'm Eighteen' during the US leg of the tour. He also did this on the live performance of the song on 'The Tonight Show' on 30th August 1997. Alice used one of Ryan Roxie's 'Roxie SS' guitars made by GMP in California.

Songwriting

He can play a little guitar and a little piano but never really uses them for songwriting (he may have a little in the 70s.) He comes up with alot of musical parts for his songs but usually "hums" (for lack of a better word) the parts to his songwriting partner. The lyrics come before, after and during the writing of a song. No set rules there.
(Renfield, August 1995)

How does Alice go about writing material?

Gets an idea, grabs a hunk of paper, and writes down the lyrics.

Does he have a regular writing pattern that he likes to follow?

No schedule. If he HAS to come up with a song, he can do it in a day.

Or does he just wait for the muse to strike him with divine inspiration?

Depends on what's going on.

Does Alice play any other instrument besides the harmonica?

He'll play a harmonica if there is one lying around. He can play the guitar and piano a little but rarely does.

Is Alice solely responsible for only the lyrics in his songs,or does he have a lot of musical ideas to contribute as well to the songs with his co-writers? If so,what instrument does he compose on?

He sometimes "hums" musical ideas. The lyrics are usually his but if someone already wrote lyrics of a song; he sometimes takes those and modifies them.

Does he ever ask you for your opinion when tossing around ideas?

He always lets me read them but I can't tell until he sings them.

How does he choose who he collaborates with and what is his SOP for co-writing his material?

There is no standard for that. Sometimes, it's just a tape sent in by someone and he never even meets the co-writer.

Are the arrangements that are played live all arranged by Alice or does the band, at that time,have a say so in the way that they are presented?

Mostly Alice but he is open to suggestions.

(Renfield, September 1996)

Mail

Don't try and write to Alice at any addresses you may hear of as being his home address! Write to Renfield and he'll deal with them or pass them on as appropriate.

Alice does get some fan mail that makes it to his private home address and everyone who lives there knows to throw it in the garbage as not to acknowledge that he lives there.
(Renfield, August 1996)

Trivia

The scar seen on Alice's torso in the 'Killer' calander is an appendix scar.

Alice's shoe size is 9. Now leave me alone.(the only reason I know his shoe size is cuz I have those 'Billion Dollar Babies' boots. - ouch, talk about rubbing it in!
(RenfieldAC, June 1995)

Even though Alice's Beverly Hills house had been in a fire, it had been repaired. Those old "Maps of Hollywood Stars' Homes" sometimes still list that house. In the late '80s, we saw the house. It had a sign outside that read: "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Go Back and Get a Refund!"
(Susie, August 1996)

For the record, Alice is really good at gambling. Good poker player, unbelievably lucky with slots.
(Renfield, January 1996)

Alice hates needles with a passion.
(Renfield, April 1997)

Alice is very into dental hygene after many years of self abuse. He flosses nightly with waxed (I had him using my favorite, dental tape -much thicker- for awhile but I think he reverted) and he even uses those threader things.
(Renfield, March 1996)

On Band Members:

It's a very casual relationship. There have only been a couple of guys over the years that didn't seem to quite fit in. The line-up of the main changes only because most of the guys wind-up going on to other gigs over the course of time. Being able to play poker is a big plus as Alice will sometimes have a poker party in his hotel room and that is usually the main activity on bus rides.
(Renfield, March 1998)

Hobbies

Alice has a classic Mustang, a Mercedes Benz, a fully equipped van and a Bentley. He is constantly trading, selling and buying cars. It's a bit of a hobby of his.
(Renfield, January 1996)

Alice used to collect autographs.

Did Alice really have Jack the Ripper's autograph?

Yup. It was some Prince dude that they figured was the culprit. It's really nicely framed with a dagger.
(Renfield, November 1995)

He has most of his gold and platinum albums and the various awards he's received. He also has a Wall Of Fame which is a huge display of photos of himself with famous people.
(Renfield, November 1997)

 

Sketch

Does Alice still paint?
Yes, on occassions. He's pretty darn good.

Have any of these paintings ever been auctioned or sold?
A few times he has done a sketch that has been auctioned off at various charity events.

Is there ever a chance that Alice would paint an album cover for one of his records?

Interesting notion. It's never come up (although, you do see his initials on the artwork for 'Flush The Fashion'. I hate to burst bubbles but although it was alice's concept and he did the original art for it, someone else did the final version.) He does do sketches sometimes for album cover ideas.
(Renfield, August 1996)


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