Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Glen Buxton ~ A Biography

Glen Buxton on Findagrave

Birth: Nov. 10, 1947
Summit County
Ohio, USA

Death: Oct. 19, 1997
Mason City
Cerro Gordo County
Iowa, USA

Musician, Lead Guitarist, Songwriter. It was at Cortez High School in Arizona that Glen met the group of guys that would form his future career. With a love of track and the school newspaper "The Tipster" in common, Vincent Furnier, Dennis Dunaway, John Spear, Michael Bruce and Glen would make up lyrics to popular songs of the time. After participating in a talent show at school in which they billed themselves the Earwigs they went on to form The Spiders, The Nazz and finally Alice Cooper. John Spear was replaced by Neal Smith. Glen was actually the only member of the band who could read music, he had begun taking guitar lessons at the age of twelve. The other band members learned a lot about music from him. Glen came up with killer guitar riffs that heralded the arrival of the bands great anthems, "I'm Eighteen," "School's Out" and "Elected." In 1971 the band was signed by Warner Brothers Records and released "Love It To Death. Hit albums "Killer," "School's Out," "Billion Dollar Babies" and "Muscle Of Love" followed. The band became well known for their shocking stage show. The "Billion Dollar Babies" tour was a huge success and became the biggest rock production to that date. Bob Greene wrote a book, Billion Dollar Babies, about this tour. This continues to be almost the only inside documented account of the experiences Glen and the band had during this time in their career. In 1974, lead singer, Vincent Furnier, decided to leave the band and legally took the name Alice Cooper. The remaining bandmates, minus Glen, went on to release an album which they called themselves Billion Dollar Babies. The album failed to realize the success of the former group and no further albums were released. The next years were not always easy for Glen. He did have a drug and alcohol abuse problem that he was eventually able to overcome. His following bands Shrapnel and Virgin were not commercially successful although fans enjoyed seeing him on stage. After his bands broke up he was a factory worker and worked for Goodyear. In the last few months of his life he seemed headed for more musical success. After Michael Bruce released a book, "No More Mr. Nice Guy," in which Glen was portrayed in a negative light, Glen showed his forgiving nature by reuniting with his old band mates Michael Bruce and Neal Smith in Houston for an autograph show and a live performance. He attended a concert of his old friend Alice Cooper and they had a nice visit after not talking for many years. The fans certainly supported his efforts during the last few months of his life. He filmed an interview show called "Just Testing" that was due to be broadcast by PBS. He interviewed Steve Vai, "Weird Al" Yankovic and others. After his death a group of fans known as the "Sickthings" grouped together to give Glen a fitting memorial. Fan Paul Brenton formed the idea of the Glen Buxton Memorial Weekend. The first event was held in Clarion, Iowa, August 7-9, 1998 and Glen's monument, a gift from his fans, was unveiled on August 8, 1998. (bio by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson) 

Cause of death: Pneumonia

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