The Real Story Behind Alice Cooper Biting The Head Off A Live Chicken Incident
There’s no doubt that Alice Cooper is one of the most influential musicians in rock history when it comes to horror imagery. He’s famous for his stagecraft and showmanship, which he has preserved throughout his career that spans over nearly six decades. Furthermore, Cooper is often referred to as ‘The Godfather of Shock Rock‘ by numerous respectable music critics thanks to his raspy voice and extravagant stage performances.
The ‘School’s Out’ singer didn’t earn this title without a reason since his live shows often include numerous props such as electric chairs, fake blood, reptiles, baby dolls, and much more horror-related stage acts. These are the exact reasons why some fans and media tend to believe any crazy on-stage story regarding Alice Cooper without questioning it first.
While it’s a widely known fact that the rocker isn’t a conventional performer on stage, there were times when he was falsely accused of doing unbelievable things on stage, including when he made the headlines for biting a chicken’s head off on stage. Although other musicians did similar things, such as when Ozzy Osbourne bit the head of a bat on stage, there weren’t many artists back then who killed an actual animal on stage.
Did Alice Cooper Bite The Head Of A Chicken During A Show?
According to many resources back then, Alice Cooper’s newly formed band got the opportunity to perform in the 1969 Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival festival. In the middle of their show, a member of the audience threw a chicken on stage, and Cooper bit the poor animal’s head and drank his blood right there.
As the rocker himself expressed multiple times, this is not the actual story. What really happened is that after a person threw the chicken on stage, he thought it was a bird that could fly since he had never been to a farm, being somebody from Detroit. As a reaction, Cooper threw the chicken back at the audience, thinking it would fly off.
The chicken obviously didn’t fly, and throwing it to an already raging crowd wasn’t exactly the best idea since the audience instantly tore the chicken apart and started to throw its pieces back on stage. The following day, the newspapers headlined the incident as if Alice Cooper bit the chicken’s head off on stage and drank his blood in front of his fans while the reality was far different.
The real story from Cooper himself:
“Somebody threw a chicken on stage. This was in Toronto and I’m from Detroit. I’ve never been on a farm in my life and I said, ‘It’s a chicken, it’s got wings, it’ll fly.’ So I threw it back to the audience, I thought it was gonna fly away. It went right at the audience and they tore it to pieces and threw the parts back on stage.
The next thing I knew, it was ‘Alice Cooper bites the head of a chicken and drinks the blood.’ That’s what the papers said the next day. I got a call from Frank Zappa and he says, ‘Did you do that?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Don’t tell anybody that. They love it.'”
You can watch the moments when Alice Cooper made things clear below.