Brian 'Renfield' Nelson

The Alice Cooper Archives were basically the private collection of Brian 'Renfield' Nelson (Feb. 18th 1960-June 12th 2009), Alice's personal assistant. Everything you may have heard about it is probably true. Ren has the Leopard skin boots from the 'Billion Dollar Babies' Tour, the gold jacket that he wore when they were the Spiders, his leather bondage outfit from the 'Madhouse Rock' tour, Alice's birth certificate, passports, and contracts amongst literally thousands of items. The Alice display that was at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was mostly taken from Ren's collection.

Many people automatically assumed that Ren got all these cool things from Alice and, of course, in part this is true. However it should be understood that Ren already had a huge collection and an encyclopedic knowledge of Alice BEFORE he even met him. It is because of this that he got the job in the first place.

June 14th 2009

"It is with extreme sadness that we need to inform the community of Alice Cooper fans of the passing of Brian "Renfield" Nelson, Alice's long-time archivist and personal assistant.  It was a sudden, completely unexpected, and untimely passing.   We would appreciate it if you would keep him in your thoughts, appreciate his many contributions to Alice's life and career over the years, and respect Brian's privacy and the privacy of Alice and his extended family (at home and on tour) at this time." 
[Official Announcement. June 14th 2009)

Thank you for everything you did for us Brian. You are missed.

Renfield on Renfield:

The 'Special Forces' tour was my first tour. My first AC concert I went to was the 'Billion Dollar Babies' show, New Year's Eve in Buffalo-the last show the original band did in the US (chronicled in Bob Greene's book), I saw the 'Welcome To My Nightmare' show, I saw the '77 show about 4 times, 'Madhouse Rocks' about 4 times, 'Flush The Fashion' show about 5 times and then have seen every single show starting from 'Special Forces' to present-and I even get in for free!
(Brian Nelson, June 1995)

I was just a dumb kid in Buffalo, NY (now I'm a dumb guy in L.A.) who in 1972 became obsessed with Alice Cooper and insanely addicted to collecting Alice memorabilia - EVERYTHING. Any how, when I got a bit older, I started going to various cities whenever I could to see AC shows. Once I was in Chicago in '77 and by a stroke of luck and a lot of begging, I got my first backstage pass. Had a bunch of brief encounters with Alice at shows and tours afterward (after that first pass-it was pretty easy for me). After awhile he started recognising me and remembering what my deal was (I used to carry around business cards with my name claiming I was the "World's Biggest Alice Cooper Fan" - it was a good attention getter).

Cutting to the chase-at one point-after the 'Flush' tour [Nov. 1980] - I managed to get Alice on the phone. He needed a personal assistant type (he had just gotten rid of someone) and figured if I was going to go to all these shows anyway-I might as well go along with them. It is kind of incredulous cuz he didn't really know me. Anyway, He flew me out to LA - put me up at his house and the rest is history. I'm still a fan (obviously) and I have never stopped collecting.
(Renfield, June 1995)

I understand you were the impaled camera man on 'Constrictor' tour, were you used for any other capacities.

A few things here and there, although I prefer to keep behind the scenes. Strangely enough, I seem to get used for my body parts more often than anything. Those are my legs on the back of 'Constrictor' (I never understood that back cover-anyone else?) and my hand hits the nail with the hammer in the 'Bed of Nails' video, my hand shoots the gun and comes out of the TV static in the 'Hey Stoopid' video and I was occasionally the doctor getting strangled by Alice during 'Dwight Fry' (including recently in South America [and the '97 European tour]). Gosh, I'm famous!
(Renfield, September 1995)

Renfield, was that you getting stabbed with the mike stand?

Only on 'The Nightmare Returns' video.
(Renfield, January 1996)

Renfield, were you a part of the backstage crowd in the Alice section of Wayne's World?

You can see me for about 1 second standing behind Alice. I'm dressed in black and grabbing a brunette who is sitting at the bar.
(Renfield, April 1996)

Do you have any other cameo appearances related to Alice?

A few. Mostly my hand though. I'm kinda Alice's hand stand-in. There's a shot in the 'Bed of Nails' video where you see Alice's gloved hand hitting a nail with a hammer-that's me as well as the hand coming through the TV set in the 'Hey Stoopid' video. And of course my sexy legs on the back of 'Constrictor'. There was a little promo film made for 'Zipper Catches Skin' (the one in the bathroom) that I'm in for 1 second. The doctor in the South American shows [and subsequent tours]. Stuff like that.
(Renfield, May 1996)