1967 ‘’Coming into Los Angelese’’
Click on Pictures to enlarge
January 21, 1967 – ”The VIP/Phoenix”, 7th Street and Indian School. This was the same night as The Monkees concert at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.
January, 1967 – Some local fans recall the Spiders performing in a former church in Phoenix/Glendale area as well as playing at Saguaro High School. No publicity/dates for either show found
February 4, 1967 – The VIP Tucson
From Tucson Newspaper: “the VIP in Tucson tonight will feature the Spyders (sic), Phoenix group, for a dollar admission at the club, 5915 E. Speedway. Yours truly will be there to compare Tucson’s teen night life with that of the Valley and find out what’s happening on Speedway* these evenings.”
Thank you – Patrick Brzezinski
*Speedway is a major street in Tucson. The site of the former Tucson VIP appears to be a car sales lot.
February 11, 1967 – “The VIP in Phoenix” 7th Street and Indian School in Phoenix, AZ. Thank you – Patrick Brzezinsk
Arizona Republic newspaper article:
February 18, 1967 – VIP/Phoenix. A strong likelihood that the band continued playing for Jack Curtis’ VIP on 6th Street.
February 25, 1967 – The VIP in Phoenix (w/The Bo Street Runners) “contempo sounds”
March 4, 1967, A show at the VIP in Tucson.
March 11, 1967 Agricultural Building at the State Fair Grounds, Phoenix, AZ (w/ The Turtles, Bittersweets and the Young Men)
Late 1966 – Early 1967: Band played shows at the Fort Huachuca Army Base that is southeast of Tucson and at the Sierra Vista Teen Club, a little bit east of the army base.
Spring 1967 Dick Christian (band manager) heads to LA with posters and singles. [Me, Alice] says ‘’he didn`t get very far but as they got their first LA show he might have managed something.
March 16, 1967 VIP Club, Tucson, AZ
They played the VIP in Tucson, and Glen was ill. Skip Ladd was called to deputize for the show.
‘’One night down at the V.I.P. club in Tucson Glen Buxton got sick and couldn’t play, they needed someone right away so their manager called my manager and flew me into Tucson. Mike Allen was roadie for them at the time and he drove my equipment down in a van. The van beat the jet to Tucson! Cause you have to get to the airport early then wait around. Mike Allen had everything set up before I even walked in the V.I.P.! I knew a lot of their material but there were some foggy areas with breaks, but Dennis Dunaway would shout chord changes and breaks to my back, too cool! I played a song called Orange Blossom Special & Alice would stand just off to my left and vibe to me to play ever faster the kids loved it! Alice said I played it like “a derailed freight train from Hell! ” I received a Western Union Telegram while on stage from my girlfriend Mad Wagner in Phoenix, her father had just died and she wanted me to come back to talk her through the night. Alice reminded me that I was playing an Orange guitar that night, think it was like a Gretch Nashville with the black pad in back, well Mike Bruce’s guitar was the same model and color so we looked like we should be playing together too. Glen told me, “I’ll never know how close I was to becoming a Cooper, our manager was just going to the phone and stopped. Buxton & I used to hang out together, go see the Rolling Stones at ASU or Rick Derringer at some club in Tempe. Later I made a light show and used it for his local group Virgin.’’
(Skip Ladd, Band Friend, February 1998)
March 18, 1967 Tuscon, AZ at Canyon Del Oro High School, in the cafeteria.
Band travels to LA- Spring of 1967
March 25, 1967 Concord Armory, Concord, CA w/Sir Douglas Quintet. Thank you Si of SickthingsUK.
This was likely a different Spiders band – out of SF
March 26, 1967 Festival, Elysium Park, Los Angeles, CA (Easter Sunday?)
The band meet “Sgt. Garcia’’….they stayed at his home in LA.
Band attended and possibly played this open air concert. Picture is professed to be taken at the park. Their name does NOT appear on posters.
‘’In LA the Spiders started getting more grungy and casual (like the Rolling Stones). It really wasn’t until they went to Los Angeles that they started getting freaky.’’ (Brian Nelson, March 1996)
Neal Smith On The Early Days and Movements:
“You have to remember that I came to California to stay with my buddies, ‘The Nazz’ until I could find a band to join in LA. The first house that I lived in with the guys, was in Santa Monica, late summer of 1967. Then in September, the guys asked me to join the band. The next move we made, was to Topanga Canyon in the spring of 1968. The Topanga Canyon house is where we changed the name of the band to ‘Alice Cooper’, and met Shep Gordon and Joe Greenberg. Then we moved to “Hollywood Hills”. This home was owned by actor John Phillip Law, who I saw at the ‘Chiller Show’ last year in NJ. And the last place that we lived in LA was for only two weeks, thank God! I will never forget the address it was 2001 Ivar Street. It was the worst location. I had a 2nd floor apartment, outside of my window was a view of oncoming traffic coming right at you and then curving away on the Hollywood Freeway. There was no way a human being could ever sleep in that place. Then sometime in 1969 we left LA for good.”
(Neal Smith, GBM Mailing List Interview, 14/11/99)
Michael Bruce On The Early Days and Movements:
“I believe the first house was ( I don`t know the guys name ) but it was the guy we met in Griffith Park, and for $160.00 we sleep where ever we could, moved all his stuff, rehearsed, and stayed there for a couple months. Then it was back to Phoenix to regroup. Then we stayed at Doke Roberts, the guy that Dick was seeing, who was Tony Curtis` private secretary. All the neighbors were gay and took real good care of us. I believe the house was on Doheny (Weatherly actually – near Doheny) off of Santa Monica Blvd. and Sunset. Next it was off to Topanga Canyon were we met Joe and Shep. I believe we moved to Beethoven Drive were we did our shows at Cheetah club and Sheri Cottle, I may have these two places confused, it’s all a blur. I think it was Observation Drive and the John Philip Law house then. It was off to Michigan and the farm I like to call `Refrigerator Heaven`. Hope this adds to the confusion.”
.(Michael Bruce, November 1999)
March 28, 1967 Gazzarri`s, 9039 Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, CA
Band would occasionally drive back to Phoenix and play shows to make money – and eat!
March 27, 1967 – The Spiders feature in an advert for the Arizona Music Center in the Arizona Republic.
April 7, 1967 : at the Phoenix VIP
AZ Republic article: “Hitbound contest held last night. Got to be a groove with the freaky Spiders who look like refugees from the L.A. love-in. Coming sometime in May – the Hollies. Next Friday night the Grass Roots from L.A. 4133 N. 7th St.”
Thank You – Patrick Brzezinski
May 1967 Gallup, NM – Unknown High School Prom
May 1967 Albuquerque, NM – Unknown High school dance/prom.
Around this time, band changed name to ‘Nazz’
The Yardbirds had a song called “The Nazz Are Blue.” It comes from that. The Yardbirds may have gotten it from a Lord Buckley reference. I’d say it’s safe to say that Todd Rundgren got the Nazz band name the same way AC did. As far as I know, Todd’s Nazz did not have a hit at the time but were getting known by that name so the guys figured it would be smart to change the name to Alice Cooper to be on the safe side before it was too late.
(Brian Nelson, July 1995)
One early song was called ‘Everything is Orange’ which “…was a song about getting high, according to Michael Bruce. They used to play it when they were the Nazz. He doesn’t remember what it turned out to be or if it was used on “Easy Action” or “Pretties for You”. There was another song called “Travel Agent”, and another called “Mr. Machine” (which turned into “Woman Machine”) that they used to play back then, and also, “Animal Pajamas”, which turns up on “Ladies Man” as “Science Fiction”.
(MB via Jeff Jatras, November 1997)
1967 – According to Dick Christian the Nazz did a show in Winslow, AZ where the (spinning) Electro Lucent Mind Machine was present. (see below)
DENNIS DUNAWAY – “These are very rare photos of the Electro Lucent Mind Machine. The photo flash spoils the black light effect. The spinning wheel was mesmerizing. We used Visine eye drops liquid, which only shows up under a black light, to draw skeletons and secret messages on our clothing.” Circa 1967 The Nazz.
1967 – Wonder Who`s Loving Her Now /Lay Down And Die Goodbye single
1967 – Los Angeles, CA Hullabaloo Club (two nights). Picture below from 1967
Band meet Merry Cornwall, booker for the Cheetah Club after the second night, the band was broke, left to go home to Phoenix the next day.
1967 – At the third show at the Hullabaloo show where Dick Christian meets Bob Roberts. Roberts offers them his front room to stay in. [Me Alice] states they stayed for three months. Bob Roberts’ house on Weatherly off of Santa Monica Blvd. and Sunset. Not far from the Whisky-A-Go-Go.
June 1967 – Week long residency at Gazzarri’s – on Sunset Strip. See March 28. Handbill below.
July 1967 – Nazz shows with The Who, The Young Rascals, McCoys and Ian Whitcomb (press release calls this a “tour during the month of July”)
Above, L-R: Glen, John, Michael, Dennis, Vince
Sometime in late summer 1967 – The band audition for Merry Cornwall. She offers to get them a place to stay and for the meantime they could stay in a 2 room apartment near the Hollywood Freeway. They lasted three days here before the police threw them out as Merry hadn’t paid the rent for two months.
The band move into the Chambers Bros house, in Watts, with ‘Long Gone Miles’ for a month. Janice and parents visited once – mainly to take Glen out for dinner. She said “Long Gone Miles” had a radio show he would broadcast from his room….only those in the house (and neighbors?) could hear it. The band would also live in a house on Beethoven in Venice, less than a mile from the Cheetah.
* Dennis tells a story of the band auditioning at Mercury Recording Studios in Hollywood, somewhere around this time, (Dennis’ book – pg 71) and being offered a deal on the condition they fire Alice. Glen told his sister Janice the same story.
August 22 – 27, 1967 Cheetah Club, 1 Navy Street, Venice Beach, LA. Supporting Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Could this be the first Cheetah show?
Aug 27, 1967 Cheetah Club, LA, CA supporting The Doors.
(The band move into house on Venice Beach. 4025 Beethoven Street.)
Sept 1-2, 1967 – Cheetah Club – w/ Buffalo Springfield
The Cheetah Club was formally known as the Aragon Ballroom – made notable by Lawrence Welk and his TV show.
September 23, 1967 Phoenix. State Fair Grounds for radio sponsored show. (w/Bobby Vee)
Oct 27-29, 1967 Los Angeles, CA The Cheetah w\Mandela. (poster below) The Nazz became the house band.
EARLY November, 1967 – The band was living in a house on Beethoven St. The relatively unknown (in the USA) band, PINK FLOYD, meet the Nazz and stayed briefly with them (one or two days?). In his book, Dennis mentions that Syd Barrett was still with the band, but appeared to be mentally “out of it”. Pink Floyd may have stayed with the Nazz for a few days (at the house on Beethoven) around November 5th. It was also around this date that John Speer left the band.
Pink Floyd was present when the Nazz played a gig (or maybe a rehearsal – as they were already the club band at the Cheetah) at Gazzari’s on Sunset Strip. All this would have been around November 5, when Pink Floyd had a one night show at the Cheetah.
Late Summer/Fall 1967 – Neal Smith has already arrived in LA (in April), aiming to joining a band. He moves in with the Nazz in Santa Monica.
Nov 26, 1967 – Whisky A Go Go, Sunset Strip in LA. Opened for Procol Harum. 1966 pictures below.
Nov. 17-19, 1967 – The Cheetah, LA (opened for Clearlight ) Still the Nazz at this point.
Below is a tab where you can watch a video that shows the inside of the Whisky A Go Go in 1967. Music ‘provide’ by a local band ‘The Group’.
Dec 1967 – Neal Smith replaces John Speer, who left the band in November.
At the GBMW in Clarion, Iowa, John Speer said that he did not leave the band voluntarily at all, but he would not say any more than that.
“I believe in that it was Glen that really wanted Neal in the band. Neal auditioned against one other drummer. I think Alice thought Neal was a bit stuck up but knocked everyone out with his playing by walking in and doing a simple military styled drumming. ”
(Brian Nelson, October 1997)
NAZZ – Furnier, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith
Around this time Vince dyes his hair blond. With the arrival of Neal Smith and Glen’s blond hair – the use of the word ”Blonds” in future band names will be considered.
Dec 1967 – Possibility that band supported Janis Joplin at the Whiskey. She played Dec 14-16 and there are claims that they supported her at some stage. This is a possibility.
Dec 20-24, 1967 -Cheetah, LA (w/ Chambers Bros. The Nazz (listed as special attraction), Buffalo Springfield, Seeds.
1967: A Michael Bruce Letter says: “We played Fri, Sat, + Sun. at the Flying Jib” in Redondo Beach, CA. Unknown date
Just around the time the band changed their name from Spiders to Nazz, they did a photo shoot in Encanto Park in Phoenix. These are some of the photos taken. (Taken several months before Neal Smith joined the band in LA)