The makeup question

Alice Cooper co-founder and Hall Of Fame inductee Dennis Dunaway answers your questions!

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Dannorama
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The makeup question

Post by Dannorama » Sat May 28, 2022 2:51 pm

Hi Dennis. In your book, you describe how the spider eyes makeup came about. (Any self-respecting Cooper fan knows this story... In 1970, Dennis was struck by a theater poster from across the street in NYC, and suggested that Alice paint his eyes.) The result must have had a huge impact on the crowds back then. I've searched, but I've never found a clear answer to this question: How/when did the spider eyes evolve into the rounded eyes that we are all familiar with? Was there any rhyme or reason to this "new" look? Does it even have a name? Is there any meaning to the design, or was it just to make him more visible to the audience? Thanks again, Dennis. I hope you're doing well!

PS: On this page from this website, the first image featuring the "new" look is credited to a show at the Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City on December 16, 1971.
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Re: The makeup question

Post by Dreary » Sat May 28, 2022 6:34 pm

For the original Alice Cooper, everything was continually evolving. Each stage show, including clothing, props, and even type of execution, were styled to make each tour unique unto itself. This all happened at a fast pace.

Yes, I spotted the giant poster with the clown with the spidery eye makeup at the New York City Center, which is still an active venue and still looks the same as it did when I first saw it in the 60's. If you're ever in NYC, you can see it at 131 West 55th Street.

The evolution of the eye makeup was Alice's doing. It had to do with inventing a new look for that tour. It was more ominous but I think it was also because the application was easier than drawing the spidery version.

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Re: The makeup question

Post by Dannorama » Sun May 29, 2022 12:58 am

Dreary wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 6:34 pm
For the original Alice Cooper, everything was continually evolving. Each stage show, including clothing, props, and even type of execution, were styled to make each tour unique unto itself. This all happened at a fast pace.

Yes, I spotted the giant poster with the clown with the spidery eye makeup at the New York City Center, which is still an active venue and still looks the same as it did when I first saw it in the 60's. If you're ever in NYC, you can see it at 131 West 55th Street.

The evolution of the eye makeup was Alice's doing. It had to do with inventing a new look for that tour. It was more ominous but I think it was also because the application was easier than drawing the spidery version.
Effin awesome. Thanks so much for that insight Dennis Dunaway. It’s a treat to talk with you. Once again, my imagination ran away with itself. Sounds like the makeup thing was kind of organic.
Move aside, mere drop of water - let the ocean pass.

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Re: The makeup question

Post by steven_crayn » Sun May 29, 2022 4:51 am

Dannorama wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 2:51 pm
Hi Dennis. In your book, you describe how the spider eyes makeup came about. (Any self-respecting Cooper fan knows this story... In 1970, Dennis was struck by a theater poster from across the street in NYC, and suggested that Alice paint his eyes.) The result must have had a huge impact on the crowds back then. I've searched, but I've never found a clear answer to this question: How/when did the spider eyes evolve into the rounded eyes that we are all familiar with? Was there any rhyme or reason to this "new" look? Does it even have a name? Is there any meaning to the design, or was it just to make him more visible to the audience? Thanks again, Dennis. I hope you're doing well!

PS: On this page from this website, the first image featuring the "new" look is credited to a show at the Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City on December 16, 1971.
There are photos of Alice wearing the new clown eyes make up taken before then. Frank Pettis took shots at the warm up show for the Killer tour in Saginaw, Michigan on November 27th 1971. The Killer tour started on December 1st 1971.
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Re: The makeup question

Post by Dannorama » Mon May 30, 2022 12:08 am

steven_crayn wrote:
Sun May 29, 2022 4:51 am
Dannorama wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 2:51 pm
Hi Dennis. In your book, you describe how the spider eyes makeup came about. (Any self-respecting Cooper fan knows this story... In 1970, Dennis was struck by a theater poster from across the street in NYC, and suggested that Alice paint his eyes.) The result must have had a huge impact on the crowds back then. I've searched, but I've never found a clear answer to this question: How/when did the spider eyes evolve into the rounded eyes that we are all familiar with? Was there any rhyme or reason to this "new" look? Does it even have a name? Is there any meaning to the design, or was it just to make him more visible to the audience? Thanks again, Dennis. I hope you're doing well!

PS: On this page from this website, the first image featuring the "new" look is credited to a show at the Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City on December 16, 1971.
There are photos of Alice wearing the new clown eyes make up taken before then. Frank Pettis took shots at the warm up show for the Killer tour in Saginaw, Michigan on November 27th 1971. The Killer tour started on December 1st 1971.
Steven, your post was helpful. I searched online, but I couldn't find the Pettis pics you mentioned. Then, I remembered a great photo that was in the "Super Duper" Deluxe book. It is credited to Len DeLessio, taken between the NY Academy of Music shows. Here is a photo of the book. Upon further inspection, Si lists that show on the previously noted Killer Timeline page as being held on December 1, 1971, the "First show with Alice in the classic 'clown' make up." Steven, I'd never heard that term before you mentioned it. Si, I'm sorry that I overlooked your mention of it.
(To me, the look is way more sinister than clownish, but who am I?) It all adds up in the end. Thanks everyone!
Move aside, mere drop of water - let the ocean pass.

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Re: The makeup question

Post by steven_crayn » Mon May 30, 2022 9:12 pm

Dannorama wrote:
Mon May 30, 2022 12:08 am
steven_crayn wrote:
Sun May 29, 2022 4:51 am
Dannorama wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 2:51 pm
Hi Dennis. In your book, you describe how the spider eyes makeup came about. (Any self-respecting Cooper fan knows this story... In 1970, Dennis was struck by a theater poster from across the street in NYC, and suggested that Alice paint his eyes.) The result must have had a huge impact on the crowds back then. I've searched, but I've never found a clear answer to this question: How/when did the spider eyes evolve into the rounded eyes that we are all familiar with? Was there any rhyme or reason to this "new" look? Does it even have a name? Is there any meaning to the design, or was it just to make him more visible to the audience? Thanks again, Dennis. I hope you're doing well!

PS: On this page from this website, the first image featuring the "new" look is credited to a show at the Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City on December 16, 1971.
There are photos of Alice wearing the new clown eyes make up taken before then. Frank Pettis took shots at the warm up show for the Killer tour in Saginaw, Michigan on November 27th 1971. The Killer tour started on December 1st 1971.
Steven, your post was helpful. I searched online, but I couldn't find the Pettis pics you mentioned. Then, I remembered a great photo that was in the "Super Duper" Deluxe book. It is credited to Len DeLessio, taken between the NY Academy of Music shows. Here is a photo of the book. Upon further inspection, Si lists that show on the previously noted Killer Timeline page as being held on December 1, 1971, the "First show with Alice in the classic 'clown' make up." Steven, I'd never heard that term before you mentioned it. Si, I'm sorry that I overlooked your mention of it.
(To me, the look is way more sinister than clownish, but who am I?) It all adds up in the end. Thanks everyone!
For the most comprehensive Alice Cooper photographic history join my Facebook group

www.facebook.com/groups/alicecooperunofficial

If it’s just the original band your interested in, i also do a Facebook group just covering that

www.facebook.com/groups/originalalicecooper

I also run an Alice Cooper unofficial Facebook page that has some of the ones that i post on those Facebook groups

www.facebook.com/alicecooperunofficial
Lead guitar on Social Debris. Album on iTunes, Amazon & Spotify, title track featured on TV

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