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.
And now class it’s time for this week’s lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks.
This week we getto the Heart of the matter as in the band Heart. Fronted by Ann and Nancy Wilson, the band has soldmore than 30 million records in its four-decade run and Heart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. This week’s lesson focuses on the origin of two of their songs.
It seems in 1977 Heart broke its contract with Mushroom Records where they were working on the
album Magazine and they signed with Portrait Records and got to work on Little Queenie. Heart and the
two companies got into a nasty legal battle which gave birth to the song “Heartless”.
Also in 1977, Mushroom Records ran a full-page ad in Rolling Stone Magazine showing the bare-
shouldered Wilson sisters posing much like they did on the Dreamboat Annie album cover with a
suggestive caption that said, “It was only our first time.” When a reporter suggested backstage after a
live performance that the sisters were sex partners, the infuriated Ann returned to her hotel room and
began writing the lyrics to “Barricuda”.
And that is this week’s “Crazy On You” lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks.
And now class, time for this week’s lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks. If you’ve seen the movie Woodstock or listened to the Woodstock album then you have seen or heard The Who’s performance the highlights of which were Tommy and Summertime Blues. But something happened during their performance that never made the movie or the album.
As they were doing their performance on that Sunday morning, Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman was sitting on the stage with concert organizer Michael Lang. Hoffman had been working in the medical tent since the opening of the festival. He was also high on LSD. Hoffman had become increasingly determined to call attention to the plight of a guy named John Sinclair who had been given a 10-year prison sentence for passing two marijuana cigarettes to an undercover narcotics officer. So Hoffman jumped on stage during a brief break in the Who’s performance, grabbed the microphone and shouted quote, “I think this is a pile of (you know what) while John Sinclair rots in prison!” Peter Townsend yelled at him “F-off. F-off my f-ing stage and struck Hoffman with his guitar. Hoffman jumped off the stage and disappeared into the crowd.
And that is this week’s See Me Feel Me lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks.
And now class, it’s time for this week’s lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks.
We were all sad to learn of Monday’s passing of Doors co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek. He was 74 when he died of bile duct cancer in Rosenheim, Germany.
Had it not been for basketball and a guy named Yogi, we may have never heard of Ray Manzarek. Manzarek grew up on the South Side of Chicago. His first love was basketball but he only wanted to play power forward or center. So when his high school coach insisted he either play guard or not at all, he quit the team. Manzarek later said if it was not for that ultimatum, he might have never been with the Doors.
Manzarek and Jim Morrison met at UCLA’s film school where Morrison showed Manzarek a few songs he had written and he sang for him a rough version of “Moonlight Drive.” Manzarek liked the songs and the Doors became reality.
So how did drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger arrive on the scene? Manzarek met them at a Transcendental Meditation lecture. Said Densmore, “There wouldn’t be any Doors without Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.”
And that gentlemen is this week’s “People Are Strange” lesson from Z’s School of Hard Rocks.
105.7 WAPL, Wisconsin's Rock Station, is a 100,000 watt radio station serving Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, and the surrounding communities in the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin.
105.7 WAPL is also your FM home for Green Bay Packers football. Listen all season for complete Packers Radio Network game coverage from Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren.
The Rockin' Apple has spent over thirty years entertaining listeners through the music of artists like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Motley Crue, and countless others - along with concerts, contests and the humor of the veteran morning duo of Rick and Len.
In 2008, WAPL won the prestigious Marconi Award for national Rock Station of the Year. WAPL has also been awarded Rolling Stone Magazine Reader's Choice Station five times (1990, 92, 93, 94, and 95). In 1999, the station won Radio and Records Small Market Rock Station of the Year, and in 2004 and 2006 won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.