All aspiring rock bands should be aware that giving your group a human name may one day cause identity issues for your lead singer. Debbie Harry, whatever her hair color is now, will always be known as Blondie; same with Marilyn Manson, and what about poor Hootie?
Nobody knows this truism better than Vincent Damon Furnier, who as a young lad in the 1960s didn't know what he was in for when he named his psychedelic band "Alice Cooper."
But Alice Cooper morphed from the name of a band into a person one September night in Toronto when a chicken wandered onto the stage.
The band's singer threw the chicken into the crowd and, depending on which legend you believe, the bird was then either ripped asunder by wheelchair-bound audience members or its head had already been bitten off and its blood sucked dry by the lead singer.
True or not, Alice Cooper was now not a name of a Pink Floyd wannabe band but a man. Or rather more than a man, he was now the "Godfather of Shock Rock." Donning blood, makeup, and not-so-family-friendly stage accessories like guillotines and an electric chair, Alice Cooper is to credit and blame for every evildoer with face paint and a guitar that came after -- from Kiss to Insane Clown Posse.
Owning the 1970s, he created sinister rock staples, from "No More Mr. Nice Guy" to "Welcome to My Nightmare," and the theme for every adolescent each June with "School's Out." Through the past several years, Cooper has presented himself to the media as a clean-and-sober born-again Christian who lives to play golf. But when he hits the stage, the top hat comes on, the eyes are blackened, and the dark side of rock 'n' roll comes alive, and his name is Alice Cooper.
Alice Cooper. 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 18, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $30 to $50 plus fees. Call 866-502-7529, or visit seminolehardrockhollywood.com.