Alice Cooper Debunks A Decades-Long Myth

It was a bit confusing to hear someone utter the name Alice Cooper in the early ’70s because the question regarding who Alice might be had no answer. Well, she was no solo act, and she wasn’t a lady, to begin with. And to make matters even weirder, the band who claimed to be ‘Alice Cooper’ didn’t have the single tingle of innocence the name carried along.

So, how did, then Vincent Furnier, now Alice Cooper, and his pals come up with the name in the first place? Well, the new book, written by Gary Graff, ‘Alice Cooper at 75,’ has just hit the shelves and online bookstores, and the singer decided to debunk a common and, perhaps, the most famous myth regarding how the band’s name originated.

As the legend goes, upon struggling to find a unique name for their band, Alice [then Vince] and his buddies paid a visit to then-manager Dick Phillips, whose mother was said to be a medium. The band then decided to have a little fun with an Ouija board, and when Vincent asked the spirits who he’d been in his past life, the board famously spelled out the name ‘Alice Cooper.’

Such a remarkable story, right? Well, we hate to break it to you, but this paranormal tale didn’t have any truth. Cooper discussed the not-so-magical way of coming up with the name in the book. The rocker revealed, “I just kind of said, ‘Alice Cooper.’ It just came out of my mouth. That was it. It had a quality to it—a little deranged, a little wholesome, a little spooky maybe .”

From the moment he came up with the name, the frontman knew that it would shock the audience and, undoubtedly, confuse anyone who wondered who Alice might be. He added, “And… I felt like it would make people go, ‘Wait… what?! Alice Cooper? They’re all guys. Who’s Alice Cooper?’”

However, this exclusive book excerpt wasn’t the only time he mentioned the name’s origins. In his memoir, ‘Alice Cooper: Golf Addict,’ the musician also elaborated on this origin story, discussing how Lizzie Borden, whom you might be familiar with the infamous ax-murders she’s alleged to commit centuries ago, inspired him.

The singer recalled what the name Alice Cooper sounded like, conjuring up terrifying imagery in his mind, “There was something about it. I conjured up an image of a little girl with a lollipop in one hand and a butcher knife in the other. Lizzie Borden. Alice Cooper. They had a similar ring.”

He continued, “A guy, not a girl. A group, not a solo act. A villain, not a hero or an idol. A woman killer. Weird. Eerie. Twisted. Ambiguous. It all came together — and nobody was doing anything remotely similar. On top of it all, everyone in the band was straight.”

Yet, the rocker had no plans to become ‘Alice Cooper.’ He wrote, “I was Vince. But when we became Alice Cooper, everyone was like, ‘You’re Alice… Hey, Alice!’ ‘Oh… You mean me?’ It just stuck, and pretty soon, I was Alice.” The mythical origin story with the Ouija board also allowed them to stand out, as he noted, “It gave us a myth, a great story. People loved it even better than the truth.”

Thus, the name Alice Cooper didn’t originate from a session with a medium, and the spirits, undoubtedly, didn’t come up with the name Alice. It was Vincent Furnier who came up with the name, whose creativity would help the band stand out in the competitive rock scene of the ’70s.