How did Alice Cooper get his name?
Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier. He was named after his uncle, Vincent Collier Furnier, and the writer Damon Runyon.
In 1964, 16-year-old Furnier was eager to participate in the local annual Letterman's talent show, so he gathered four fellow cross-country teammates to form a group for the show: Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, John Tatum and John Speer. They named themselves the Earwigs.
They soon renamed themselves The Spiders, featuring Furnier on vocals, Buxton on lead guitar, Tatum on rhythm guitar, Dunaway on bass guitar, and Speer on drums. By 1967, the band had begun to make regular road trips to Los Angeles to play shows. They soon renamed themselves Nazz and released the single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now", backed with future Alice Cooper track "Lay Down and Die, Goodbye". By the end of the year, the band had relocated to Los Angeles.
In 1968, the band learned that Todd Rundgren also had a band called Nazz, and found themselves in need of another stage name. The band adopts a new name: "Alice Cooper"
The legend is that the name "Alice Cooper" came from a session with a Ouija board, largely chosen because it sounded innocuous and wholesome, in humorous contrast to the band's image and music. However, in an interview with Mark Radcliffe on the Radcliffe and Maconie show on BBC Radio 2 on 30 November 2009, Alice described the incident with the ouija board as an urban legend: "We literally got that whole story about the witch thing the way you guys got it. It was like just pure urban legend. I heard about the witch thing probably the same day you did, but it was a great story." "Alice Cooper" was a character on Mayberry R.F.D. (played by Alice Ghostley) at the time, probably coincidentally. Eventually Furnier adopted this stage name as his own. Furnier, now known as Alice Cooper, later stated that the name change was one of his most important and successful career moves.