And now class, it’s time for this week’s lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks. This week we focus on the early days of Alice. Alice Cooper, born Vincent Furnier in Detroit, the son of a preacher. He says he wrote a lot of his lyrics based upon the reactions to him by his mother’s church group.
After high school, he and his band first called themselves the Earwigs, then the Spiders. By 1967 they renamed themselves The Nazz until they learned that was already the name of Todd Rundgren’s band. So they went with Alice Cooper because the name sounded innocuous and wholesome in contrast to their image and stage act.
One night after an unsuccessful gig at The Cheetah Club in Venice California where they emptied the entire room in about 10 minutes, a music manager named Shep Gordon approached them and said he knew of a guy who was looking to sign bizarre music acts to his new record label – Straight Records. That guy was Frank Zappa. For the audition, Zappa told them to come to his house at 7 o’clock. Well, the band mistakenly assumed he meant 7 o’clock in the morning. Being woken up by a band willing to play that brand of psychedelic rock at seven in the morning impressed Zappa enough to sign them to a three-record deal.
And that is this week’s lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks.