Entertainment

05.30.14

Exclusive: The True Story Behind Alice Cooper’s ‘Chicken Incident’ and the Birth of ‘Shock Rock’

This exclusive clip from Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, Mike Myers’ documentary on the famous music manager, reveals what really went down when Alice Cooper hurled a live chicken into the crowd in ‘69 and gave birth to “shock rock.”  

Mike Myers and Alice Cooper. When you hear those two names, the first thing that comes to mind is the comedy classic Wayne’s World, wherein public access hosts—and bona fide groupies—Wayne Campbell (Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) are gifted backstage passes to an Alice Cooper concert and, much to their surprise, find a very well-mannered intellectual beneath the gobs of black makeup.

“Well, I’m a regular here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans… it’s pronounced mill-e-wah-que which is Algonquin for ‘the good land.’”

In the documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, in theaters June 6, Myers explores Gordon’s rich music-managing career, as well as their close friendship that goes back to 1991 when Myers reached out to him to use a Cooper song in Wayne’s World.

The film also explores the most infamous incident in Cooper’s career: the “chicken incident.” At the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in Sept. 1969, a chicken mysteriously materialized onstage and wandered into a pile of pillow feathers. So Cooper, thinking the chicken could fly, threw the farm animal into the crowd. The voracious fans tore it to pieces and “shock rock” was born.

This exclusive clip from Supermensch reveals what really happened with that pesky lil’ chicken:

Video screenshot