|Birth name||Michael Owen Bruce|
|Born||March 16, 1948|
|Genres||Rock, pop, folk, shock rock, hard rock, heavy metal|
|Instruments||Guitar, piano, keyboards|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Polydor, ERT, One Way Records, New Millennium Communications Ltd./Burning Airlines|
|Associated acts|| Alice Cooper |
Billion Dollar Babies
Michael Owen Bruce (born March 16, 1948) is an American rock musician, best known as a member of the rock band Alice Cooper.
Michael Owen Bruce was born to Alvin and Ruth (Owen) Bruce. The Bruce and Owen families had moved to Arizona from Kansas. The family ancestry includes Cherokee, Scottish, Irish, English and Norman French. Ruth's father, Clarence Glenn Owen, was a veteran of World War I and also a professional baseball player: "Blacky" Owen. "Al" was in the military during the 1940s and Ruth played piano on the radio and performed for many U.S.O. functions. After the military, "Al" worked for The Coca-Cola Company. Michael and his brothers, David and Paul, attended North High School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Bruce began his professional music career in the mid-1960s. Like so many young people of that time, he found inspiration in The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. After playing with The Trolls, Michael became part of Mick Mashbir's band The Wildflowers and started taking lessons. Mashbir went to Camelback High School, as did future Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith), and had a desert property where the band rehearsed and partied. This group recorded four songs: "A Man Like Myself", "On A Day Like Today", "More Than Me" and "Moving Along with the Sun". According to Bruce, Bear Family Records (a Germany-based independent record label that specializes in reissues) eventually acquired the masters of those songs.
Bruce was also a member of another short-lived group: Our Gang, which also featured Bill Spooner), a student at North High School and later a member of The Tubes. They made no known recordings.
In 1966, Michael replaced John Tatum in a Phoenix band called The Spiders, featuring Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, John Speer (replaced by Neal Smith), and Vince Furnier, all from area high schools. One of their top venues was the VIP Club in Phoenix. In 1967 they changed the band's name to The Nazz, but had to change it again in 1968 after a legal issue over Todd Rundgren's band, Nazz. The group's new name was Alice Cooper. They premiered the name at a performance in Santa Barbara, California, on March 16, 1968, Michael's 20th birthday.
Bruce was a founding member, rhythm guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist in the original Alice Cooper group(Michael Bruce/Glen Buxton/Dennis Dunaway/Vince Furnier aka Alice Cooper/Neal Smith). He co-wrote many of the group's hit songs, with some or all of the other members of the group. Michael often composed music and lyrics for songs; the lyrics might then be reworked by Furnier. Two examples of this process are "Halo of Flies" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy". There are several Bruce-only credited songs including "Caught In A Dream" and "Long Way To Go" from Love It To Death, and "Be My Lover" from Killer . Bruce also sang lead vocals on the majority of "Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio" on the group's first album Pretties For You and all of "Below Your Means" and "Beautiful Flyaway" on their second album Easy Action , prior to the band's breakthrough album Love It to Death , released in 1971 on the Warner Bros. label. Love It to Death was the first Alice Cooper album produced by Bob Ezrin. Their debut album Pretties For You , released in 1969, was produced by Frank Zappa and Ian Underwood; their second album Easy Action , released in 1970, was produced by David Briggs, who had worked often with Neil Young. It turned out Briggs was not a fan of the group Alice Cooper's music, and Warner Brothers chose that the album released was actually the rehearsal tapes of the group, preparing for the studio recording with Briggs. The Alice Cooper group released five more albums after Love It to Death, in 1971 to 1974 (four new original albums: Killer , School's Out , Billion Dollar Babies , Muscle of Love ; and the compilation album Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits containing previously-released songs, with no new recordings), before taking what was intended to be a one-year time off for the group to rest and relax from their years of non-stop touring, songwriting, and recording together. Three of the group members - Michael, Neal, and Vince/Alice - wanted to record their own solo albums, reflecting their individual musical tastes. Alice's Welcome to My Nightmare was the most successful of these three solo ventures.
A full-length feature film of the original group was also released to the American cinema in 1974: Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper . The concert footage was shot on the Billion Dollar Babies Tour in 1973 and included a fictional story about an angry director seeking revenge against the band, shot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles (a scene in the "Welcome to My Nightmare" concert film, where Alice smashes the neon headstone with a shovel, was also shot during this time). The live concert portion of the movie was filmed mostly in Texas (a good deal of which was shot at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas), between the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Houston. Also appearing in Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper were Bob Dolin, Mick Mashbir, and magician The Amazing Randi. Dolin performed on keyboards, Mashbir on guitar, and Randi as the dentist and Alice's executioner.
Around 1973–1974, Bruce began working on his own recordings with a group of musicians that included: Mick Mashbir (guitars and vocals), Bob Dolin (keyboards and vocals), Frank Crandall (bass and vocals), and Don Lindley (percussion and vocals). Mashbir and Dolin had performed as members of the touring band with the Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies" tour. This line-up recorded and produced four songs ("King of America", "As Rock Rolls On", "Oh, My Love" and "Nothing on Earth") that producer Jack Douglas mixed.
When Bruce decided to leave Connecticut in 1974 and move to Lake Tahoe, Crandall and Lindley did not follow. Bruce, Dolin and Mashbir were then faced with finding a new rhythm section. Drummers, such as William "Curly" Smith (of Jo Jo Gunne) and John Barbata (of The Turtles and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), came to play and record at Bruce's Nevada home. However, they never could find a steady bass player.
Bruce's album In My Own Way was recorded over the course of three months in 1975 with producers Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli of The Rascals. Many different musicians came to the Record Plant and participated in the sessions for the album: Gerry Beckley (America), Jackie Lomax (The Undertakers, The Lomax Alliance, and Badger), Ricky Fataar (The Flames, The Beach Boys, and The Rutles), Keith Moon (The Who), Brian Garofalo (session bassist), David Foster (Skylark and Airplay), Hunt Sales(Todd Rundgren, Paris, Iggy Pop, Tender Fury, and Tin Machine), Tony Sales (Todd Rundgren, Iggy Pop, and Tin Machine), Mylon LeFevre, Lynn Carey and many more. American fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo did a shoot for Bruce that yielded the cover of In My Own Way.
Billion Dollar Babies was the name of the band founded in 1976 by Michael Bruce, Mike Marconi, Dennis Dunaway, Bob Dolin and Neal Smith after they split from Alice Cooper in 1974. Bruce's solo album, In My Own Way, had been sold to Polydor in Germany. Polydor did a very limited test pressing and decided to shelve it without release. Originally, Billion Dollar Babies started out in the hope that Alice would return and Battle Axe would be the new record from the Alice Cooper group. That wasn't the outcome, and everyone decided to proceed without Alice. Time Magazine featured the group in a brief but hopeful write-up in 1977. There had been a fantastic and very theatrical stage show planned in which Bruce and Marconi would battle each other in the fashion of gladiators. In spite of the positive start, the band was embroiled in a legal suit over the use of the name. The stage show was far too costly and the tour was quite brief. Their only release was 1977's Battle Axe. Unfortunately, the Battle Axe record lost any momentum it had when it was recalled for mastering problems which caused the turntable needle to skip. Bruce, Dunaway and Smith had also invested a large sum of their own money in the project. Jack Douglas, who had worked on Muscle of Love with Jack Richardson, was hired to fix the mastering problem. With so many problems weighing them down, the group disbanded.
In January 1990, Michael met a man named Josiah who worked with troubled youth. They shared a common interest in music and became friends. Josiah and Bruce soon decided to form a band and call it The Josiah Bruce Band. The band also included Ronnie Bolsega (from Hammond, Indiana) on drums, Joel DuBois (from JFA)) on bass, and Mike Carpenter (AKA Psych) (from Down Boy and RAFR) on guitar. They performed live and recorded an album's worth of material but nothing was ever released. Eventuality, Michael left the band and Josiah re-formed the group with Phoenix based guitarist Rob Super as "The Josiah Band".
No More Mr Nice Guy : The Inside Story of the "Alice Cooper" Group by Michael Bruce and Billy James was released on October 1, 1996 (and updated and re-released in 2000). A relatively short book (159 pages), with some rare pictures from Bruce's personal collection, was published by SAF Publishing (a company in the United Kingdom). In 1996, Bruce had moved to Texas and saw his album, In My Own Way, released for the first time on compact disc by One Way Records. In 1998, while residing in Houston, Michael formed a band that performed locally and toured as The Michael Bruce Group. The members of the band were Michael Bruce (guitars, vocals and keyboards), David "Vito" Mastrovito (guitar and vocals), John Glenn (keyboards and vocals), Wilton Hudgens (bass and vocals) and Troy Powell (drums and vocals); Tom Turner (road manager and assistant). After the first leg of the 1998 tour, Mastrovito left the band; Glenn had opted out of touring from the beginning. The three piece line-up of the Michael Bruce Group (Bruce, Hudgens and Powell) performed in Clarion, Iowa at the first Glen Buxton Memorial (during their 1998 midwestern tour); Clarion is where Michael's former bandmate passed on and was laid to rest.
The band briefly relocated to the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois at the end of the summer of 1998. Bruce and Hudgens performed with Neal Smith (original Alice Cooper group drummer) at the first Chiller Theatre Convention in Washington, D.C. before returning to Texas at the end of the year. They reformed the band with Joe Garbo (drums and percussion) and Jeff Harris (sax, piano and vocals), in 2000. This version performed at Anne Rice's Coven Ball at the State Palace Theatre (New Orleans) in Louisiana and The 3rd Glen Buxton Memorial at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. Ingo Geirdal also guested on guitar with the group at the 3rd Glen Buxton Memorial.
After 2003, Bruce returned to his home state of Arizona and formed a new band. His reformed Michael Bruce Group featured Bruce (guitars and vocals), Bob Russell (guitars and vocals), Tommy Dominick (bass and keyboards) and Bob Allen (drums).
May 1, 2004 saw the debut of a new Michael Bruce Group in Tucson, Arizona. The line up was Bob Russell (guitar), Jeff Harris (sax, piano & vocals), Tommy Dominick (organ & keys), Mondo Thomas (bass), Robin Horn (son of jazz icon Paul Horn) (drums), and Bruce (guitars, keys, & vocals).
September 16, 2005 saw the release of a new Michael Bruce album authorized for Iceland in a limited edition of 200 copies in a deluxe digipak. The Second Coming of Michael Bruce – Alive & Re-Cooperated was Bruce's first official release in many years (although exclusive only to Iceland at this time) and featured 17 songs recorded in Iceland 2002-2003. The 74 minute long CD included new studio recordings as well as previously unheard live performances by Michael Bruce and his Icelandic band performing songs from throughout his career. All the recordings were professionally done on 24-track and mixed by Ingo & Silli Geirdal. The deluxe digipak featured artwork of Michael Bruce by Ingo, band photos and exclusive liner notes by Dennis Dunaway.
During 2010, Bruce was called on for participation in a new Alice Cooper record Welcome 2 My Nightmare (the sequel to the original Welcome to My Nightmare ). Bruce co-wrote the song "When Hell Comes Home" on the album. Welcome 2 My Nightmare also featured performances by Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter. Alice also invited Bruce, Hunter, Dunaway and Smith to perform with him that December at his annual Christmas Pudding fundraiser at The Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
In spring of 2011, Bruce (as a member of the original Alice Cooper group) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the "Performer" category.
In early 2016, Bruce's new band, Michael Bruce Force, played a show at Asylum Records celebrating Record Store Day on April 6, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona.
Bruce was featured on three songs on Alice Cooper's next release, the 2017 album Paranormal : the song "Rats", as well as two bonus tracks featuring original Alice Cooper band members: "Genuine American Girl" and "You and All of Your Friends".
Billion Dollar Babies is the sixth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973. The album became the best selling Alice Cooper record at the time of its release, hit number one on the album charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and went on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album has been retrospectively praised by such critics as Robert Christgau, Greg Prato of AllMusic, and Jason Thompson of PopMatters, but The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) gave the album only two and a half stars.
Neal Smith is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock group Alice Cooper from 1967 to 1974. He performed on the group's early albums Pretties for You and Easy Action, their breakout album Love It to Death and the subsequent successful albums Killer, School's Out, and Billion Dollar Babies. The last new studio album with the five original Alice Cooper group members participating in new music was Muscle of Love in 1973. The original group's Greatest Hits studio album was released in 1974. In 2018, a live performance album Live From The Astroturf, Alice Cooper recorded in 2015 was released, featuring four of the original group members performing eight of their hit songs, with long-time Alice Cooper solo band guitarist and friend Ryan Roxie interplaying lead guitar parts with original group rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, on behalf of original group lead guitarist Glen Buxton, who died in 1997 of pneumonia three weeks before his 50th birthday.
Glen Edward Buxton was an American musician and composer, best known as the lead guitarist for the rock band Alice Cooper. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Buxton number 90 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. In 2011, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the original Alice Cooper group.
Dennis Dunaway is an American musician, best known as the original bass guitarist for the rock band Alice Cooper . He co-wrote some of the band's most notable songs, including "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out".
Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits is the only greatest hits album by American rock band Alice Cooper, and their last release as a band. Released in 1974, it features hit songs from five of the band's seven studio albums. It does not include any material from their first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action.
Muscle of Love is the seventh and final studio album by rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973.
Lace and Whiskey is the third solo studio album by American singer Alice Cooper, released on April 29, 1977 by Warner Bros. Records.
Love It to Death is the third studio album by American rock group Alice Cooper, released in March 1971. It was the band's first commercially successful album and the first album that consolidated the band's aggressive hard-rocking sound. The album's best-known track, "I'm Eighteen", was released as a single to test the band's commercial viability before the album was recorded.
Pretties for You is the debut studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released on June 25, 1969 by Straight Records. At this time, the name "Alice Cooper" referred to the band and not its lead singer Vincent Furnier. The album has a psychedelic flavor to it; the group had yet to develop the more concise hard rock sound that they would become famous for. Most of the tracks feature unusual time signatures and arrangements, jarring syncopation, expressive dynamics, sound effects, and an eclectic range of music influences. A few songs, such as "Levity Ball", show the influence of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, with whom the band hung out during the British group's U.S. tour. Alice Cooper guitarist Glen Buxton stated he could listen to Barrett's guitar playing for hours on end.
Killer is the fourth studio album by the Alice Cooper band, released in November 1971. The album reached number 21 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and the two singles "Under My Wheels" and "Be My Lover" made the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper is a 1974 feature film starring Alice Cooper. The movie primarily features live concert footage of the Alice Cooper band on their record-breaking Billion Dollar Babies tour, filmed in Texas in April 1973, with some footage from other tour stops, including the Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon, intercut with 'comedy' scenes of a German film director chasing the "Cooper gang" for revenge after they abandoned his would-be masterpiece movie.
Brutally Live is a DVD of Alice Cooper's concert on 19 July 2000 at the Labatt's Hammersmith Apollo in London, England, released later in the same year. It was re-released in 2003 on DVD accompanied with an audio CD of an edited version of the DVD's soundtrack.
The Strange Case of Alice Cooper is a live concert video released in September 1979, of Alice Cooper performing with his backing band The Ultra Latex Band. The concert was filmed on April 9, 1979 during Cooper's 'Madhouse Rock' Tour in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Sports Arena, in support of the album From The Inside.
"Billion Dollar Babies" is a popular 1973 single by the rock group Alice Cooper, the title track taken from the album Billion Dollar Babies. It was released in July 1973, months after the album had been released. The track is a duet between Alice Cooper and Donovan, who provides the falsetto vocals. BMI lists the composers of "Billion Dollar Babies" as Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce and Reggie Vinson. Some sources list the composers as Cooper, Bruce, drummer Neal Smith, and "R. Reggie", the latter being an allusion to Vinson's nickname "Rockin' Reggie Vinson".
"Elected" is a single by rock band Alice Cooper, released as the first Hot 100 hit on their sixth studio album Billion Dollar Babies (1972). The single reached #26 during election week on the charts in the United States, #4 on the charts in the United Kingdom and #3 in Austria. It inspired one of the first MTV style story line promo videos ever made for a song.
"No More Mr. Nice Guy" is a song by American rock band Alice Cooper, taken from the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies. The single reached No. 25 on the US charts and No. 10 on the UK charts, and helped Billion Dollar Babies to reach No. 1 in both the UK and the US. The song was written by Michael Bruce and Alice Cooper.
"Halo of Flies" is a 1973 single by rock band Alice Cooper taken from their 1971 album Killer. The single was only released in the Netherlands, two years after the song appeared on the album. The song was, according to Cooper's liner notes in the compilation The Definitive Alice Cooper, an attempt by the band to prove that they could perform King Crimson-like progressive rock suites, and was supposedly about a spy organization.
"Reflected" is the first single by the rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1969 from their debut album Pretties for You.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare is the nineteenth solo album by Alice Cooper, released in September 2011. Peaking at No. 22 in the Billboard 200 it is Cooper's highest-charting album in the US since 1989's Trash. The album is a sequel to his 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare.
Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith (drums). Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and has had a solo career under that name since the band became inactive in 1975. The band was notorious for their elaborate, theatrical shock rock stage shows. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.