Alice Cooper recalls ruffling a few feathers with dead chicken-gate

Alice Cooper's reputation was poisoned by chicken death credit:Bang Showbiz
Alice Cooper's reputation was poisoned by chicken death credit:Bang Showbiz

Alice Cooper has recalled his audience killing a living chicken at a peace and love festival in 1969.

The shock rock veteran, 76, threw the farm animal into the crowd at Toronto's Rock and Roll Revival Festival because he thought it would simply fly away, but unfortunately that wasn't the case, and it led to a bloody death at the 20,000-capacity Varsity Stadium, at the University of Toronto.

Recalling the incident that ruffled a few feathers on A and E's 'Biography: Alice Cooper' episode, which aired at the weekend, Alice recalled: "You have to remember I'm from Detroit.

"I had never been on a farm in my life. It had wings, it had feathers, it should fly. I picked up the chicken, and I flung it into the audience figuring it would fly away and somebody would take it and take it home and call it Alice Cooper."

He was then faced with the realisation that chickens don't fly as well as other birds.

Alice continued: "I threw it out there, and it fell straight down into the audience.

"The audience tears it to pieces. It was the peace and love festival. They tear it to pieces and throw it back up on the stage. So there's blood everywhere. Feathers and blood."

Just so happens the late Beatles icon, John Lennon, and his wife Yoko Ono, 91, were in attendance, and they allegedly "loved" the chicken fiasco.

Alice said: "They thought it was art 'cause it's chaos."

His label boss, the late Frank Zappa, phoned him the next day and asked: "Did you kill a chicken onstage last night?"

Alice remembered: "I said, 'There was a chicken. I didn't kill it though.'

"He goes, 'Don't tell anybody. They love it.' He says, 'It's everywhere in the press!' I immediately went, 'Perfect.' The chicken story then became huge. Who is this monster who would do this at a rock show?"

Alice - who is famous for performing with snakes around his neck - was faced with a protest by animal rights activist when they arrived in New York for their next show, and there was even a horrid rumour that he set a "German Shepherd on fire."

The 'Poison' hitmaker said: "My reputation was just insane.

"I didn't have to do anything. They were inventing their own Alice Cooper myth. People were just discovering Alice Cooper, and I was just discovering him, so we were all doing it at the same time."