With their upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Alice Cooper, is acknowledged as one of the most influential bands in rock history. At inception forty years ago, the group shocked the world so fundamentally that it seems to have taken a preternaturally long time for their incredible talent to be recognized.
In 1970, Alice Cooper flipped hippie ideals on their head and astonished the world, "driving a stake through the heart of the Love Generation," as the group's namesake put it.
It's arguable that without Alice Cooper, there might never have been KISS, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Motley Crue, Slipknot or Rob Zombie... maybe not even David Bowie, or at least not Ziggy Stardust. Heavy Metal took the imagery, punk took the tunes, rock and pop took the showmanship and fans the world over fell in love with the macabre sense of humor. Amazingly, those fans have included legends as diverse as Peter Sellers, Groucho Marx, Salvador Dali and Bob Dylan who proclaimed Alice as an "overlooked songwriter."
These days, artists as diverse as Metallica and Lady GaGa proclaim Alice Cooper's enduring influence on them.
True originals, Alice Cooper invented the concept of the rock concert as theatre with truly trailblazing stagecraft and showmanship in the early 1970's, with Alice himself continuing as a solo artist since 1975, remaining one of rock's global megastars with well over 50 million record sales to prove it.
The surviving band members (guitarist Glen Buxton died in 1997) upon hearing the induction news provided the following comments:
"This proves that Glen, Neal, Alice, Michael and I (and all of our fans) weren't so crazy after all. I'm absolutely thrilled because, let's face it, this great honor is about as good as it gets." Dennis Dunaway
"Sometimes, as we were blazing a new theatrical trail in rock, there were moments in the career of our band that overwhelmingly exceeded even our monstrous expectations. Being inducted into "The Rockn' Roll Hall Of Fame, Class Of 2011,"with my four best friends Michael, the late Glen Buxton, Alice and Dennis, is one of those incredible moments for our one-of-a-kind rock band." Neal Smith
"Take one part Yardbirds, one part West Side Story, starring Bela Lugosi and Bette Davis, and you have Hellzapoppin! and then POOF !! -- and you have Alice Cooper. Now if you can digest that, and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame can digest that, we will happily be the Hall's arch villains. We are grateful from the bottom of our black little hearts." Alice Cooper
"The band that couldn't shoot straight strikes again, from having all our hits to being in so many Top 100 all-time polls -- be careful what you wish for because with hard work and perseverance and a good group of people like Neal, Dennis, Alice and Glen, you just might get it. It's just a shame that Glen couldn't be here with us to share in it, but we do also share this with (producer) Bob Ezrin and (manager) Shep Gordon, without whom..." Michael Bruce