Alice Cooper

Alice CooperThough the Father of Shock Rock is more sideshow than satanic these days -- and spends his off-time golfing with Pat Boone -- Vincent Furnier's mega-mascara'd alter ego is on the loose again. Though ostensibly touring in support of a new record, Brutal Planet (Spitfire), Cooper undoubtedly will serve up a heavy-metal dosage of heyday tunes like "I Love the Dead," "Under My Wheels," "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and the high school anthems "School's Out" and "Eighteen." Most contemporary shockers credit Coop -- not KISS -- with introducing theatrics to the rock stage, so expect some variation on his trademark guillotine/electric-chair/snake-kissin' routines. Since his fleeting comeback in 1989 with "Poison," which dissolved into yet another overconsumption story with Cooper drinking himself silly (thank you, Behind the Music), the original metalhead has put out only the occasional record. And while none have hit, they're not embarrassments, either. Not that it matters. The 52-year-old performer has lent his Alice persona to comic books, video games, amusement park rides and even a sports/rock bar in Phoenix. Guess those same folks who condemned Cooper in the '70s as a satanic influence can now bring their grandkids to chow down on Billion Dollar Baby Buffalo Wings. Just be sure to ask where that meat came from.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero