Legendary rocker Alice Cooper was inducted into the 2011 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last night (Monday, March 14) at New York City's Waldorf Astoria. Cooper came to the event wearing bloody clothes and draping a yellow boa constrictor over his shoulders.
Cooper was inducted by recent touring partner Rob Zombie, who said during his introduction, "Alice Cooper invented the rock show. Before Alice Cooper, there was no rock show. They're more than a band. They were more like a murderous gang of drag queens — in a good way."
Cooper and the original Alice Cooper band played "Eighteen", "Under My Wheels" and "School's Out", after which Alice gave his acceptance speech, "We've always been a hard-rock band," he said. "We just wanted to decorate it a little bit differently." He also saluted guitarist Glen Buxton, who died of complications from pneumonia in 1997, calling him "the heart and soul of the band, as black and dark as it may be."
Interview clips with Zombie and Cooper's band from last night's induction ceremony can be viewed below.
Cooper told The Pulse Of Radio that the days of blowing an audience's mind with stage theatrics have really changed over the decades. "I don't think you can shock an audience anymore, really," he said. "I mean, CNN's more shocking than anything Marilyn Manson or I can do, because (laughs),they used to hang me onstage, now you see people really getting hung on TV. So the idea is just to bombard the audience with vaudeville-type of burlesque comedy — but make sure the music is the basis of everything. I mean, you can't put icing on the cake without the cake. So a 10-hour rehearsal is nine hour on the music, and one hour on the theatrics."
Cooper joked that the band's bad boy persona could account for another type of Rock Hall honor. "I kept thinking about the first band kicked out of the Hall Of Fame (laughter)," he said. "And I thought, 'Geez, that could be us (laughter).' I don't know what you have to do to be kicked out (laughs) but it could very well happen."
Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. The Foundation's nominating committee selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of about 1,000 rock experts. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes, and more than 50 percent of the vote, are inducted.