Alice Cooper

How did the band Alice Cooper come up with the name? They started out together as The Earwigs and later changed to The Nazz, but they felt they needed something a little more scandalous to breakthrough to the big time. Scandal is obviously not so good for professional golfers, but it can work wonders for rock bands.

There were rumors the band selected the name Alice Cooper after consulting a ouija board that suggested the lead singer was a reincarnated witch. It was only revealed in later years that the band came up with the name because they liked the idea of creating an image of, as Cooper said, “a cute and sweet little girl with a hatchet behind her back.”

The lead singer’s name at the time was still Vincent Furnier, but fans saw him differently. He notes that a lot of people assumed his name was Alice Cooper and would refer to him as such. The band wanted to play up the role of their controversial origins and felt that they could do more to develop the lead singer’s persona. Commenting on the Barbarella-inspired look, Cooper said, “When I saw Anita Pallenberg playing the Great Tyrant in that movie in 1968, wearing long black leather gloves with switchblades coming out of them, I thought, ‘That’s what Alice should look like.’”

The problem was that the band had already copyrighted the name Alice Cooper and as a result, Cooper is reported to pay yearly royalties to the original band members in order to use it commercially.

It must be worth it because Alice Cooper (the person) has been noted to say that changing his name was one of his most brilliant career moves. Another testament to the value of having the right name for the person.

Updated by Marly · Permalink

3 Responses to Alice Cooper

  1. I remember hearing that rumor about the band consulting the Ouija board to determine their fate. Completely added to the whole mystique and image of their band. Never was an Alice Cooper fan but it sounds like the man (and the band) had some pretty savvy business sense.

    • It’s interesting to learn how much work goes into picking the right name. I’m sure it’s even harder now days…they probably have to make sure the domain name is available too!

    • Oh, and one more thing – it’s certainly better than the Earwigs!


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