Vincent Furnier aka Alice Cooper was born on the 4th February 1948. Singer, song writer, actor and many say he is ‘The Godfather of Shock Rock’. Famous for his elaborate and sometimes controversial live shows Alice Cooper has entertained millions of people over several decades with his very own brand of music.
Two friends of mine got to meet the great man himself after one of his live shows in London of last year and they said as well as a great performer, he is a genuinely friendly, approachable, interesting and intelligent person. Was I jealous they got to meet him? Oh yes! Although they did get me a signed t-shirt from the man himself.
As it has been a while since I have done one of these ‘Rock Garden’ posts, I thought I would do one on Alice Cooper as he has plenty of usable material and all of the highest quality.
If you haven’t seen one of my ‘Rock Garden’ posts, all is explained here if you click on the links in this post but I’m sure you will soon get the of the madness of these posts.
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Poison Ivy is probably the most well known poisonous plants there is. Come in to contact with this little bugger and you will end up with a painful, itchy, blistery rash and in some cases, it can cause an anaphylactic shock. They can vary in appearance but all have three leaves and they are not strictly an Ivy. They can climb but also grow as a bush and when reading up about this tricky individual I found some phrases to help remind you to back off – “Leaves of three? Let it be!” and “One two three, don’t touch me! I think that is fair advice.
Alice Cooper – Poison
From the 1989 album ‘Trash’, Poison was released as a single late on in that year and it came with a great music video.
Love lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)
I love this plant and is one I have used many times. If you are looking for something a little different in your planting scheme, this cracking annual always delivers. They can grow to nearly one metre in height and their crimson purple tassels are crammed full of tiny flowers and they can be used for cut flowers. This tropical looking plant will flower throughout the summer and we’ll into the autumn.
Alice Cooper – Only women bleed
Only women bleed is one of Alices most well known songs that touches on the difficult subject of a woman in a abusive relationship and is about how women bleed from the heart, mind and soul. From the 1975 album ‘Welcome to my Nightmare’.
Petunia ‘Madness Midnight‘
It’s a Petunia, it’s purple and it has the word madness in its name and the only reason it is in the post, is so I could connect it to the following song. I’m not against Petunias but I can’t get over excited about them. They are flowering annuals that are sort of pretty, they are easy to grow and will flower throughout the summer – job done! Nuff said.
Alice Cooper – Ballad of Dwight Fry
From the 1971 album ‘Love it to death’ and is a tribute to the actor Dwight Frye who played the character Renfield in the original 1931 Dracula film.
Monster deliciousa (Delicious monster plant)
Its a Swiss Cheese plant and when I was growing up, it seemed that every household had one. Also known as the ‘Delicious monster plant’ it is native from South America but is often grown as a houseplant in this country. Found in many office’s around the country.
Alice Cooper – Feed my Frankenstein
From the 1991 ‘Hey Stoopid’ album. The song was featured in one of my all time favourite films ‘Wayne’s World’ and Alice Cooper also makes a brief cameo appearance as himself.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Alice’
A medium sized decidous hardy shrub that has beautiful white flowers from July to September turning pink as they age. This a beautiful Hydrangea and this along with many others Hydrangeas are firm favourites of mine, especially as many are spectacular in appearance and very easy to grow.
Alice Cooper – Under my Wheels
To my knowledge there isn’t a song called ‘Alice’ or ‘Cooper’ so the next two songs are probably his most well known songs but using plants to make up his name. ‘Under my wheels’ is from Alice’s 1971 album ‘Killer’.
Rosa ‘Cooper’s Burmese’
I love this rose and they had one of these at Trinity when I was there as the Head Gardener and I had taken loads of pictures of it over the years while I was there but could I find one for this post….no! So I had to nick one of the net. A vigorous climbing rambling rose that has beautiful white fragrant flowers in the early part of the summer and when the flowers are not doing their thing, it has wonderful glossy leaves to see it through.
Alice Cooper – Schools out
Everyone knows this song and it is a song I can certainly relate too. I hated school while I was there and I can still remember being told that you would look back those days and say ‘they were the best years of your life’. What utter bollocks! I’m 47 now and I still look back on my school days and say ‘fuck, I hated school!’. From the 1972 album of the same name.
Veronica ‘Sweet Lullaby’
Veronica ‘Sweet Lullaby’ is wonderful dwarf herbaceous perennial that is easy to grow and the bees love them. Soft pink flowers that make their appearance between between June and September, these compact plants love a sunny position and work well in a rock garden.
Alice Cooper – Lullaby
Supernatural fans will love this next video especially my wife, as she quite fancies the character Dean Winchester in the popular tv show. The song is from the 1994 album ‘The last temptation’.
Pieris ‘Forest Flame’
Another favourite of mine, these evergreen beauties grow in acidic soil or ericaceous compost. The young red leaves turn to a dark green as they age and the have beautiful ivory white bell shape flowers in April/May and can grow up to and over two metres in height. A little on the wimpy side and may need a little winter protection.
Alice Cooper – House of fire
‘House of fire’ is from the 1989 album ‘Trash’ and was co written with Joan Jett…..schwing!!
Dead or old dried seed and flower heads can still look good both in the house and in the garden. Even after plants are past their so called best, many still are used after they have done their summer jobs, in the house for decoration, scent and Christmas. Those that are left in the garden, add a little structure in the borders for the cold winter months with both seed and flower heads looking good in the winter sun especially after a frost and also gives a place for some insects to over winter.
Alice Cooper – I love the dead
The only song I could finish on really, as this is often used in his live shows where Alice has his head chopped off with a guillotine. Tongue in cheek song about loving the dead…. I’ll say no more on this one. From the 1973 album ‘Billion Dollar Babies’.
So there you have it, probably the only place on the internet where you get a mixture of wonderful plants and a collection of great music that have a name in common with each other.
Alice Cooper has delivered and continues to deliver some of the most memorable music and live shows ever seen and I really hope that one day I will get to see him live in concert.
Before I go, there is another thing that Alice Cooper has done that always brings a smile to my face. A little advert that he done with another great legend and from what I heard, it sparked up an unusual friendship.