By DONNA BALANCIA
Alice Cooper was the guest on Jonesy’s Jukebox and recalled the first time his band played under the name Alice Cooper, at The Cheetah Club in Venice, California, and they cleared the room.
“We were already glam, we were a hard rock Detroit Glam band, which is weird because the two things went against each other,” Cooper recalled during a live taping of the Jonesy’s Jukebox radio show at The Viper Room Friday. “If we call ourselves ‘Alice Cooper,’ they’re expecting a blonde folk singer and they get us. Nobody had seen horror rock at that time.”
Cooper, whose real name is Vincent Damon Furnier, recalled to KLOS host Steve Jones that that night was the first time Zappa found out about the band. Zappa decided to work with them, even though the band was last in the lineup that night in 1968.
“The first time we played as Alice Cooper it was at The Cheetah Club and it was Lenny Bruce’s birthday party,” Cooper recalled. “It was The Doors, and all these great bands in their prime. And we went on last. There were 6,000 people on acid and all of a sudden lights come up and we all looked like The Joker and this was in 1968. It was like ‘Springtime for Hitler.’”
“We cleared that room in two songs,” Cooper recalled. “This was really scary. We put everybody on a bad trip. And Frank Zappa heard about that and said ‘I want them, anybody who could clear a room that quick has got something.’ And Shep (Gordon) was there and he said ‘yes.’”
He recalled the days of living at The Landmark Hotel and said it was Jimmy Hendrix who introduced Alice Cooper to the longtime manager Shep Gordon.
“We’ve been together 51 years and we still don’t have a contract,” Cooper said of Gordon. “I trust him and he trusts me.”
Alice Cooper plays The Hollywood Bowl on May 31.
Alice Cooper in 1971: