Dennis Dunaway (born December 9, 1946 in Cottage Grove, Oregon) is an American musician, best known as the original bass guitarist for Alice Cooper (1962–1975, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017). He co-wrote some of the band's most notable songs, including "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out".
Dunaway used a Gibson EB-0 short scale bass, modified with a Fender Precision Bass split pickup in the treble position, that he spray painted green and called "the frog". He can be seen with it on the back cover of the Love it to Death album. Dunaway used this bass exclusively in the making of the original Alice Cooper group's first three albums. It currently is on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dunaway would later switch to a Fender Jazz bass.
'Billion Dollar Babies' was the name of the band founded by Michael Bruce, Mike Marconi, Dennis Dunaway, Bob Dolin, and Neal Smith after they split from Alice Cooper in 1974. This band was embroiled in a legal suit over the usage of the name. They only released one album, 1977's Battle Axe, before disbanding.
Dennis is married to Cindy Dunaway, Alice Cooper's original costume designer who helped create the Shock Rock fashion style. Cindy is the sister of original Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith. Their oldest daughter, Renée Dunaway, is also a musician and fronts the band Jetsetter, while their youngest daughter Chelsea Dunaway, is a singer/songwriter, makeup artist and jewelry designer. Renee and Chelsea are members of the musical comedy trio Jestrock.
Dennis performs on Alice Cooper's Welcome 2 My Nightmare. On July 1, 2010 when talking about the newly retitled album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, Alice said in a Radio Metal interview: "We’ll put some of the original people on it and add some new people, I’m very happy with working with Bob (Ezrin) again.” Other names mentioned were: Slash, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, Steven Hunter and Dick Wagner. Dunaway and Smith wrote two songs and perform, along with Michael Bruce, on three tracks on the album, released in September, 2011. That same year, Dunaway and his former Alice Cooper band mates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in the "Performer Category".
Dennis currently plays live with his bands, Blue Coupe and 5th Avenue Vampires. Blue Coupe's most recent single "You (Like Vampires)", written by John Elwood Cook, can be heard on ITunes or Pledgemusic. Dennis released his memoirs "Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!" (Thomas Dunne Books) in June 2015. The book has been penned with Rolling Stone writer, Chris Hodenfield.
Solo (billed as Dennis Dunaway Project)
With Alice Cooper
With Billion Dollar Babies
With Bouchard, Dunaway & Smith
With 5th Avenue Vampires
With Blue Coupe
With Hollywood Vampires
A group called Alice Cooper comprising Vincent Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar and keyboards, Dennis Dunaway on bass, and Neal Smith on drums would get heir start in 1969 but would struggle until 1971 to enter the lexicon of rock and roll. And for the record Vincent would be the singers real name, for a number of years he would be surprised when people would call him Alice simply because that was the name of the band. It wasn't until 1975, when he assumed control of the band as the only original member, that he would take the name for himself.