Alice Cooper’s Formula To Be A ‘Star’

Since his breakthrough in the music scene, Alice Cooper made a name for himself as the Godfather Of Shock Rock. With shows involving shocking elements like fake blood, guillotines, bizarre crops like creepy dolls and masks, pyrotechnics, and various others, Cooper pioneered theatrical and terrifying stage shows to appall the audiences. He is now active in the business for almost six decades — at 74 years old, but with an endless passion for rocking and rolling.

Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier as the son of an evangelist father in the Church of Jesus Christ and the grandson of an apostle. Between 11 and 12, Vincent was active in his paternal grandfather’s church. However, the Furnier family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after he struggled with childhood illnesses. Vincent then attended Cortez High School there and was already ambitious to be a rockstar then. As he wrote in his high school yearbook, the young Cooper wanted to be ‘a million record seller.’

During his high school years, Alice Cooper became interested in music. He performed several parodies of the Beatles’ songs, won Cortez High School’s annual Letterman’s talent show, and decided to pursue a professional music career with his high school friends. Their band, the Spiders, later became Nazz, and then finally, Alice Cooper. Cooper gained the ‘shock rock’ reputation in the following years and rapidly climbed the stairs to fame. Speaking to Words & Music in 1973, he revealed his unique formula to be a star.

In the interview, Alice Cooper talked about stars and how they become one. When the interviewer Dino Orlando asked him whether he was a glamorous star, the rocker replied, “I think [that] if you assume yourself to be a star, then you are a star.” Dino then asked him how he compared himself to movie stars. Cooper said, “Well, they’re glamorous today.” The interviewer then argued that movie stars like Paul Newman didn’t think in terms of glamour. The singer responded, “He’s not glamorous, but he’s an enormous star.”

Orlando made his point, revealing he believed Cooper created glamour. Upon hearing this, the shock rocker said, “Well, if you create an image, you can create glamour. I think I create an image. Bela Lugosi was glamorous because there was only one Bela Lugosi. There was nobody even near him. He was no competition. He was a star because he was unique. That’s what makes you a star. You have to be a very arrogant person to be a star. You don’t have to be that in with people. But when you’re in the general public, you have to be arrogant, I think.”

So, Alice Cooper believed that one became a star if one assumed themselves to be. However, the musician said there was a fine line between being glamorous and being a star. According to Cooper, an artist could create glamour if they could only create an image, and he was among those who made it. Moreover, he said one became a star if they had unique talents and were arrogant to the general public.