Dennis Dunaway

Dennis Dunaway (born December 9, 1946 in Cottage Grove, Oregon) is an American musician, best known as the original bass guitarist for Alice Cooper from 1969–1974. 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)
  • Bones from the Yard (2006)
With Alice Cooper
  • Pretties for You (1969)
  • Easy Action (1970)
  • Love It to Death (1971)
  • Killer (1971)
  • School’s Out (1972)
  • Billion Dollar Babies (1973)
  • Muscle of Love (1973)
  • 1969 Live at the Whisky A Go-Go (1994)
  • Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011)
With Billion Dollar Babies
  • Battle Axe (1977)
With Deadringer
  • Electrocution of the Heart (1989)
With Ant-Bee
  • Lunar Muzik (1997)
With Bouchard, Dunaway & Smith
  • Back From Hell (2001)
  • BDS Live in Paris (2003)
With 5th Avenue Vampires
  • Drawing Blood (2010)
With Blue Coupe
  • Tornado on the Tracks (2010)
  • Million Miles More (2013)
With Hollywood Vampires
  • Hollywood Vampires (2015)
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