Sophia Deboick on a bizarre chapter in rock history to which countless other acts, from David Bowie onwards, owe a debt of gratitude
As a solo act Cooper is known as a golf-playing born-again Christian, a preacher’s son who played the part of a chicken-killing, snake-wielding vaudevillian ‘shock rocker’. But Vincent Furnier only became ‘Alice Cooper’ by degrees, and his solo career has overshadowed the influential work of the band, which the name originally referred to. As Alice Cooper, Furnier, bass player Dennis Dunaway, drummer Neal Smith and guitarists Michael Bruce and Glen Buxton, made a decisive break with the peace and love rhetoric of the hippies, and their flamboyance, legendary stage show and theatrical exploration of the dark themes of madness and murder were formative for glam rock, punk and heavy metal.
The cultural cachet of the band in their heyday is indicated by a strange episode which brought together American rock and European art – the creation of Salvador Dalí’s 1973 artwork First Cylindric Chromo-Hologram Portrait of Alice Cooper’s Brain. The piece brought together two artists whose best work would come to be obscured by their pursuit of the outrageous and the sensational, but was emblematic of a time when the marriage of art and rock was being widely explored…
The New European, 30 June 2017, p. 36.