Alice Cooper played to distant family members and fans in face paint and tattoos at the York Fair on Thursday.
By ERIN McCRACKEN
Daily Record/Sunday News
Conditions were perfect for a few executions Thursday night.
The weather was dark and dreary. The crowd was rowdy.
Screams filled the air as Alice Cooper stepped onto the York Fair Grandstand stage just after 7:45 p.m.
He granted his second cousin John Manning's wish by opening with one of his most famous hits, "School's Out."
Manning, of Glen Rock, and his sister Garnet Dickey, of Seven Valleys, stood in the sixth row.
The siblings' grandmother, Garnet Furnier, was the sister of Cooper's grandfather, Thurman Furnier.
Neither Manning nor Dickey have met Cooper, whose given name is Vincent Furnier. But both were eager to see his latest freak rock creation, the "Theatre of Death Tour."
"My aunts called (Cooper) Little Vinny," said Dickey, who is named after her grandmother.
Dickey said she was going to try to give Cooper a letter explaining their relation if he signed autographs. Their cousin was once invited backstage at a Cooper show, but Manning and Dickey were content with their track seats.
"We're planning on a good time," Manning said.
Cooper didn't disappoint. He brought fog machines, strobe lights, a guillotine and a giant hypodermic needle.
Hangmen and a redheaded nurse stalked around the stage as Cooper played hits including "I'm Eighteen," "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Welcome To My Nightmare."
He also brought a bad attitude. He tried to strangle the nurse with her white stocking, mocked the other musicians and threw "Dirty Diamonds" into the crowd with his teeth.
Fans couldn't get enough. But the hangmen weren't pleased. Cooper was put to death at least three times -- with the guillotine, the needle and a noose.
In the middle of the concert, Cooper switched out of his insane asylum garb and ascended a curtained staircase to assert himself as rock 'n' roll royalty.
His loyal subjects, including Ken Dutrow of Red Lion, cheered.
Thursday marked Dutrow's 13th Cooper show. Before the set, he showed off the "COOP" tattoo scrawled across his stomach.
"I've always been told that I look like (Cooper)," he said. He also sported a leather vest and black eye makeup.
Pete Kuhn, 36, and his son Harley, 14, painted designs on their eyes with black grease paint before the show.
"People are looking at us like we have three heads," Kuhn joked.
He said he's loved Cooper since the '70s. He took Harley to his first show when he was 5 years old.
"When he came out on stage, I froze because I was so excited," Harley said about his first Cooper experience.
Not everyone was excited that Cooper was in town. A man with a sign that called Cooper a devil worshipper protested the show outside the fair gates.
But for the Kuhns and thousands of other fans, Cooper killed it Thursday night.