Monday, February 08, 2010

Music Monday ~ Alice Cooper

Clint Black or Alice Cooper, I asked myself. Both were born on 4 February, though in different years. Clint Black, likeable, clean-cut country singer; Alice Cooper master of horror-infused hard rock, records banned in the UK. They could hardly be more different. Toss of a coin indicated Alice Cooper for the blog.

Born Vincent Damon Furnier on 4 February 1948 in Detroit Michigan at 10:33 PM (Astrodatabank). Alice Cooper was originally his band's name, its origin the subject of a variety of show-biz legends. Fans started calling the lead singer "Alice", and as a consequence Furnier decided to take the name.

The band and its lead vocalist
"pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood, and huge boa constrictors, all coordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name for his androgynous on-stage personality. While the visuals were extremely important to the group's impact, the band's music was nearly as distinctive. Driven by raw, simple riffs and melodies that derived from '60s guitar pop as well as show tunes, it was rock & roll at its most basic and catchy, even when the band ventured into psychedelia and art rock. After the original group broke up and Furnier began a solo career as Alice Cooper, his actual music lost most of its theatrical flourishes, becoming straightforward heavy metal, yet his stage show retained all of the trademark props that made him the king of shock rock." (Biography)

Does Furnier's natal chart give away the secret of his success? Away from his stage persona he comes over as a pretty nice guy with a ready sense of humour. There's an interview with British TV presenter Clive James below. It quite won me over.

Libra rising, ably assisted by a quick-witted Aquarius Sun accounts for his personable charm off-stage. But I'm looking mainly for a clue as to why this son of a church minister was drawn to the type of stage show he chose to perform. His Sun is opposite Pluto, planet of all things dark and "nasty" - but so is my own and I'm not drawn to such excesses. There's more in Furnier's case. Pluto, the Arabic Part of Fortune and Saturn are conjoined.
Part of Fortune is explained at Cafe Astrology HERE. It is calculated mathematically using the degrees of the ascendant, Sun, and Moon.
Part of Fortune points to innate talents that set us on a path to worldly success.
First look to any planets or points that are tightly conjunct or opposite the Part of Fortune as significators of vocation, career, and natural talents--keys to success.
Second, determine the ruling planet of the sign of the Part of Fortune, and consider that planet as another significator.
Consider the sign and house placement of the Part of Fortune as qualities and areas of life where we possess natural and innate talents or abilities, and that can be considered keys to worldly success and prosperity.
Look to any planets or points posited in the same sign as the Part of Fortune, whether or not they are conjunct the point. These will also play a role in our profession.

Putting all that together, we have Pluto (darkness), Part of Fortune, and Saturn (business) in Leo, sign of show-biz, two of those in 10th house of career. It fits!

Moon is conjunct Jupiter planet of excess, and exactly opposite Uranus (planet of shock - the unexpected) this closely aligned combination has obviously played a part in Alice Cooper's stage persona, as has Neptune planet of creativity and imagination sitting right on his ascendant - the ascendant reflects the image of a person the world sees first.

I noticed, during my searches, that Alice Cooper has an astrological twin - a former US Republican senator, and TV news anchor, Rod Grams. He was born same day, same year as Alice Cooper, but in Princeton, Minnesota. The only obvious similarity is that they both came into the public spotlight, though for different reasons. I know exactly nothing about Rod Grams, but gather that both he and Alice Cooper lean politically rightward (Alice Cooper supported G.W. Bush and has been quoted as saying that Sarah Palin is "a breath of fresh air". It's best that I say no more on that score !

Interviewed by Clive James below, followed by School's Out -


Wisewebwoman said...

I was impressed with his quiet intelligence in an interview on NPR that I managed to catch while road tripping across the Great White North.
His stage persona and his private personality could not be more at odds.
Disappointed though in his political leanings.
Yes all signs point to Palin for 2012.
It is tragic.

anthonynorth said...

Alice Cooper was one of my favourites in the early 70s. Never groundbreaking musically, although it was catchy and fun. But they fit into the scheme perfectly in a cultural sense.
Hammer horror had paved the way for mainstream horror films, and the genre was exploding, beginning with Rosemary's Baby, and in the UK a similar band appeared in Black Sabbath. It was a kind of cultural transition before the great horror writers like King appeared.
Horror was becoming cool among the younger generation.

Shawn Carson said...

fun article twilight!
alice and i share the same B Day along with other noted intellectuals like Dan Quayle. alice has quite a dramatic horoscope with the MO / JU conj. forming part of a T Square with Venus and Uranus, and Neptune rising gives him a great stage persona.
Aquarians are an odd mixture of Saturn and Uranus and we see the Saturnine expression of conservative politics with Alice and other Aquarians like Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin and the aforementioned Dan Quayle. Alice is also a big hockey fan and is part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, i believe. I sometimes listen to his radio show in the evening which is broadcast from a studio in his home, i think. He plays some fun old rock n roll tunes and adds a lot to the experience by often relaying some personal anecdote about the artists whose songs he plays. Alice sometimes lobbies for his inclusion in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, which would seem to be a no-brainer.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Your impressions are exactly the same as my own ! :-)

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~ Hmmm - yes, I hadn't connected the link to Hammer Horror - probably because I can't abide horror movies and horror books in general.

There's something of an upsurge of that type of thing again with the success Twilight (no relation) series of movies and some TV series which I can't recall the title - it's vampires this time around though. I simply cannot understand why people enjoy these tales!

Twilight said...

Shawn Carson ~~~ Oh do you? Interesting! Yes, thanks for the additional insight - it's useful.

I think that Saturn's involvement with Aquarius isn't emphasised enough. Dick Cheney is another Sun Aquarian of the same ilk, and the Chief Justice, John Roberts shares my own birthday (different year)....two more very Saturnine characters there.

It's time the textbooks were updated!!

Cormac Zoso said...

yep, there are no cooler rockers than alice ... some as cool but none cooler and it is especially after he kicked his bad habits and that soft-spoken intelligence came out off-stage instead of alice being on and off stage ... he talks of alice in the third person which people might think is a problem but it's better than drinking, drugging, and being alice 24/7 i must say ...

and he is such a nice guy it seems ... and his influence on rock music is astounding ... just his 'war paint' makeup has become so standard in heavy metal, black/death metal, etc, not to mention other genres and niches in rock that he could be considered as influential as elvis, chuck berry, the beatles, etc ... his stage shows started out a bit tacky but it was the best that could be done at the time and he kept working at it, reinvesting in it and improving it until by the 80s it was a spectacular FX show and still is today

if you get a chance to see him, even if you're a so-so fan, don't miss it before he wanders off the planet for the great gig in the sky ... still has his great voice for both screamers and soft songs and knows how to works a crowd and please everyone there

Twilight said...

Cormac Zoso ~ Hi there! Thanks for your thoughts on Alice Cooper.
I doubt that he'd ever be performing within reasonable distance of where we live, but should he do so, then we'll take your advice. :-)