January 1968 – Band probably did one or two shows at the Cheetah Club in LA
January 5-7 1968 – The Mad Hatter, Scottsdale, AZ (w/ Twentieth Century Zoo, The Fold)
‘Scottsdale Progress’ article on 5th January about the opening of the club.
An eye witness claims The Nazz were getting $750.
Other local Phoenix-area clubs/venues that may have hosted the band during this period: Snoopy’s, Encanto Park, Phillipos, Tucson VIP Club, Beau Brummell’s Club, JD’s (The Riverbottom), The Flying Jib, and Bortz Brother’s Studio.
—-Beau Brummell’s Club: Jack Curtis opened this club in Dec `67: “Teen Gazette” article from Saturday, Nov. 18, 1967, “the opening of Jack Curtis’ new teen club Beau Brummell’s was scheduled “for the end of this month.” It was formerly the Wax Museum” (Later it would be the short lived Alice Cooper Club)
Early in 1968 – Alice accidentally shoots Neal in the ankle. Neal avoids draft.
March 1968 – The band return to LA (on the Thursday night before Good Friday) having spent two months scraping together the money to return. Neal`s ankle is still in a cast. Alice had started wearing dresses over his jeans as they fitted him better on stage.(Me Alice)
March 16, 1968 – Santa Barbara, CA, Earl Warren Fairgrounds. The posters promoting the show were printed prior to the name change and still had the name as Nazz. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Blue Cheer also played. Nazz listed near the bottom of poster. They had changed name to Alice Cooper, after the poster was printed. FIRST SHOW AS ALICE COOPER BAND
“I actually have excellent documentation of when they became “Alice Cooper.” I have a concert poster for a show in Santa Barbara, CA for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The opening act is listed as The Nazz. However, between the time the poster was printed and the time the concert began, the Nazz had decided to become Alice Cooper and were introduced for the first time at that show as such. I don’t have the poster in front of me and as psycho as I am, cannot recall the exact date.”
(Brian Nelson, July 1995)
March 1968 – Cheetah, LA. Several dates at the Cheetah in LA.
Christian,Carnel and Allen still working with band
Early press flyers apparently describe the musicians as ‘Glen Buxton- ‘A Black Knight’, ‘Michael Bruce- ‘A Street Poet’, Dennis Dunaway- ‘Artist Of The Courts’ and Neal Smith as ‘A Warrior King’
April 3, 1968 – The Cheetah
April, 1968 – Band moves to home in Topanga Canyon….
Michael Bruce Letter: “We are going to play at the Cheetah Wednesday and then leave after that and go to Phoenix. A promoter in Phx (Jack Curtis) has given us charge of his club. I don’t know if I told you that we changed the name of the group. Alice Cooper is the name. Vince has changed his name to Alice Cooper and ratted his hair up. The club in Phx is called Alice Cooper, after us, we run the club and give orders.”
April 5, 1968 – Alice Cooper Club opens (certainly first week of April). The Club was called the Beau Brummell’s before the name change by owner Jack Curtis.
There is a “Teen Gazette” article dated Saturday, April 6, 1968, that is headlined “New Club ‘Alice Cooper’ Meets Valley Teens”. “Alice Cooper loves you! You’ll love Alice Cooper. “The Valley’s newest teen night club opened last night with Alice Cooper, formerly the Nazz, namesake of the club. Tonight, the second night of the club’s grand opening weekend features Alice Cooper, Thirst, and Art Willy. “Alice Cooper’s entire interior color scheme is done in Alice’s favorite color — pink. (Alice the group, that is.)
“The building, located at 5555 E. Van Buren, was completely redecorated, including wood paneling on the walls and pink crepe-like material draped from the ceiling of the lobby.
“With this combination, Alice Cooper is a sure winner.” [As far as can be determined, the club opened the weekend of April 5, 1968. The next weekend there was a ‘record hop’ with 4 DJs, but AC band we absent….and that was the end of the Alice Cooper Club.]
ABOVE: Possible location of Alice Cooper Club. The building served as many things over the years…including a stint as a Wax Museum. (Yes! A wax museum in Phoenix, AZ!)
April 12, 1968 – Los Angeles – band is involved in a traffic accident. No serious injuries.
Michael Bruce Letter(AC Headed Stationary):
“Did you get my letter telling you that we were going to play in Albuquerque (New Mexico)? We are going to be there on May 24 and maybe the 25th. Did you hear about our accident? We should be getting our new truck in about a week. This Sunday we are playing at the old Hullabaloo, which is now the Kaleidoscope on the Sunset Strip.”
End of April, 1968 — Kaleidoscope, Sunset Strip, LA(Michael Bruce Letter – A Sunday-possibly April 21st, or 28th or, maybe, even May 5th) 6230 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood. THERE IS NO LISTING OF THE BAND OPENING FOR ANY ‘NAME’ ACTS AT THIS VENUE. HOWEVER, THE KALEIDOSCOPE DID HAVE NIGHTS WHEN JUST LOCAL BANDS PLAYED.
ABOVE: The Kaleidoscope on Sunset in Los Angeles. At the time of this picture (1969) it was called the Aquarius. Originally the Earl Carroll Theater, the building went through a variety of names including Moulin Rouge and the Hullabaloo. The Kaleidoscope version lasted only six months during 1968.
May 1st 1968 – Los Angeles, CA The Cheetah (as Alice Cooper)
The location where the Cheetah and pier use to be. The building, which dated back to 1922, was destroyed by fire on May 26, 1970. Included is a picture of Lawrence Welk viewing the burnt remains.
May 23, 1968 – Phoenix Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, AZ (w/ Iron Butterfly)
May 24,1968 – Albuquerque, NM (MB letter – states *maybe* 25th as well)
Spring 1968 – Alice meets Miss Christine(a Zappa connection?) at Canter`s Deli. GTO’s took the band under their wing, getting them to look more freakish in appearance.
GTO’s (Girls Together Outrageously)
Right hand picture: Miss Christine, Miss Cynderella, Miss Mercy, Miss Sandra, Miss Sparky, Miss Pamela and Miss Lucy.
*Summer 1968 – Shep Gordon and Joe Greenberg enter Cindy Smith’s boutique (Inside Outside) on Santa Monica Blvd (which she ran with Linda Lease) and finds out about the band from Cindy. According to Joe, “The day I met Cindy she told me that her brother was in a band looking for a Manager. I Immediately told her that Shep and I were the West Coast Managers of “The Left Banke”. Cindy took that information to the Band and the meeting was set!” Three days later Shep and Joey Greenberg meet the band at the Landmark Hotel. Shep says “the next time you get a job, we want to see you”.
The two Google Map photos below, show the approx. area where the “Inside Outside” (run by Cindy and Linda) was located back in 1968. The buildings have been re-done and even Cindy and Linda are not 100% certain where the boutique was located, exactly. However, it was on the north side of Santa Monica Blvd in the area of Larabee St and Palm Street. (‘Thank you’ to both Cindy and Linda for the info).
June 1, 1968 – Lake Berryessa Bowl. Grand Opening Weekend. W/ The Loading Zone. Located west of Sacramento, near Lake Berryessa.
OK – going off topic here. Lake Berryessa is a large lake north of SanFrancisco and west of Sacramento. Not far from here, the northern California ‘Zodiac Killer’ killed his third victim, a little over a year after the show mentioned above. The venue was built, in part by San Fran DJ and concert promoter Bill Quarry who put on shows in a lot of California spots using some big name groups like the Yardbirds, Them, and Byrds with a lot of local San Francisco bands on the cards. I’d like to find the exact location of this venue. I have not found any pictures of it, then or now, due to a lack of an exact location.
June/July 1968 – Alice says that they auditioned in the basement before Zappa saw them.
[Me Alice:] “I asked if he would come hear us at the Cheetah, but he put me off saying he was too busy, but I didn’t take no for an answer. As the party went on and he got drunker, I got more insistent. Finally he said, “All right. Come by in the morning and I’ll listen. I suppose he meant we should bring a tape, or maybe he forgot the next day was Sunday. Miss Christine let us into his house at the break of dawn, and we set up our equipment and lights in his basement and started playing. Zappa came rushing downstairs, naked, holding his ears. “All right, all right,” he shouted, his cock swinging back and forth as he shook his head, “I’ll sign you! I’ll sign you! Just stop playing!”
Zappa wasn’t kidding. Just like that, out of the clear blue sky, he told us to come to his office on Monday and talk to his business manager, Herbie Cohen. Cohen offered us a six-thousand-dollar advance for our first three record albums to be released on Zappa’s newly formed Straight-Bizarre label distributed by Warner Brothers”
Zappa wanted to sign the band but they stalled for two weeks until Shep and Joey could see them at the Lenny Bruce gig????
June 24, 1968 – Whisky A Go Go (with Ten Years After). 8901 Sunset Blvd at Clark, West Hollywood, CA. A quote from Rock Prosopography 102…..
“Ten Years After was on their first of 28 (count ‘em) American tours. Alice Cooper, a band at this time and not a person, had relocated from Phoenix the previous year. Although they had a core of fans, their noisy hard rock and outrageous antics on stage made them notorious in Los Angeles and largely unpopular.”
June 27, 1968 – Los Angeles, Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field, LA – is not to be confused with the more famous baseball stadium in Chicago. This one was also used for baseball and is seen in many movies. First day of a four-day festival called Phantasmagoria: A Community Effort. Frank Zappa was the MC for that first day. The gig is confirmed by a poster and ads before the show and two reviews after the fact. Alice Cooper is mentioned only in the ads, not in reviews
1968 – Band stayed for awhile at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood. (Both photos by Craig Folkes)
Below: Two more photos of the band at the Landmark. By Craig Folkes.
July 14, 1968 – At the Cheetah, Los Angeles [Bastille Day Bash] (w/ Butterfield Blues Band, Chicago Transit Authority, Pacific Gas & Electric.)
LA Free Press review of the Bastille Day Bash:
[Bands were playing inside the Cheetah, as well as on the pier this day.]
“Inside the Cheetah, which has been stripped of most of that obnoxious sheet metal which made one feel like the inside of a garbage can (Bob Gibson just kept enough to help the strobe lights along), a series of groups also played. Black Pearl, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, the BFD Blues Band (is it this group which accidentally took the PG & E Fender amplifier?), and a show stopping group called ‘Alice Cooper.'”
“People have been asking: When is it going to happen again? Well, we can’t give definite dates yet but John Carpenter is already at work lining up groups for another Free Press sponsored free party at the Cheetah to be held in August close to Lenny Bruce’s birthday. It’s going to be called Brucemas!!”
Shep says he first saw Alice Cooper at ‘Brucemas’. He may have seen them before that????
Possibly first time Zappa saw them live as well(from MB book).
July 1968 – The Doors album “Waiting for the Sun” is released. The sweater Jim Morrison is wearing in the album cover photos, belongs to Glen. They were out late, partying, when Morrison remembered that he had a photo shoot in the morning. Needing a clean shirt, Glen gave him a sweater to wear. Morrison wearing sweater in album cover.
July 22 or 23, 1968– Whisky-A-Go-Go, Hollywood, CA (w/ Frank Zappa and MOI)
Aug 2, 1968. Band was scheduled to play the Lucky Lady Club in Phoenix on this date but cancelled when they got the chance to open the ‘1ST ANNUAL NEWPORT POP FESTIVAL’ (see below)
Aug 3, 1968 – 1ST ANNUAL NEWPORT POP FESTIVAL, ORANGE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS, Costa Mesa, CA (w/ Janis Joplin, The Animals, The Byrds, The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Steppenwolf, Canned Heat, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Things to Come, Country Joe and the Fish, Illinois Speed Press, Sonny & Cher, Tiny Tim, the Byrds, Iron Butterfly, Eric Burdon & the Animals)(AC opened the festival)
Band was a late add to the show, so their name was not on the poster. Review of their performance: “Avant-garde psychedelia” opened the show at 10 am Saturday with Alice Cooper, which is not the name of a single singer, but of a male quintet of Tiny Tim types.
A story manager Joe Greenberg tells about this show: “We were not supposed to be on (open) that show because the promoter, Tom Nieto, passed and refused to give us a spot on the bill. The day it opened I drove the band to the gate and when the Guard asked who we were, I (very) nervously told him ” we were the Joseph Cotton Blues Band.” – He opened the gates, let us in, the amps were loaded and set on the stage, the band played 4 or 5 songs before Promoter saw us, motioned to throw them off and the band “hastily” left the Stage.”
– Michael Bruce Letter(AC Stationary)
“Yesterday we opened the Newport festival. We were the first group of about 30 groups that day. We talked to Frank Zappa last week at Sunset Sound and heard the tapes of the Whisky show. He said we`ll be going into the studio at the end of Aug. and into Sept. Our album will break with the whole Bizarre prod. big push.” Dated Aug 4, 68
August 9, 1968 – Levity Ball at Fairground Exposition Hall, Phoenix, AZ (w/ Killing Floor, Red, White and Blues Band feat. Mick Mashbir). Lights by Loren Thompson BAND MAY NOT HAVE PLAYED. Skip Ladd comment: “Here was my invitation to the annual Levity Ball, but the band never played for it. “
THE CHEETAH AND BRUCEMAS STORY….
Aug 18, 1968 – Brucemas at the Cheetah, Venice Beach, Los Angeles (w/ Kaleidoscope (canceled), Dino Valente (canceled), The Sherwood Fields, Bluesberry Jam & The Gypsy Wizard(managed by Shep), Black Pearl, Chicago Transit Authority, Illinois Speed Press, Murray Roman is MC.
The Aug 3, 1968 issue of the LA Free Press has an advert for the show(the paper was the promoter), but it doesn’t say who will be playing. There is then a review in the Aug 23rd `68 issue and although it doesn`t mention Alice Cooper specifically I think there`s enough mentions of the show by the band members and Shep over the last 30 years that it`s unlikely they didn`t play it.
Where Shep saw the band for the first time? Probably saw them before.
Gig takes place on the old Cheetah Ballroom pier with audience on the beach below. Estimated 30,000 turned up for the show.
Michael Bruce and the ‘’clearing out of the Cheetah” after two songs……….
MB : ”It seems that in the later years of my career a lot is commenting on how inaccurate that story is. (Laughs) That’s two stories that kind of got melded together. What happened was, we opened for The Doors (at the Cheetah, but on a different date), got a standing ovation and The Doors’ manager wouldn’t let us go back on for an encore. Now think about that, that’s incredible. This was the second album that they had out, ‘Strange Days,’ and you could’ve knocked me over with a feather.”
”The other part of the story is, yes we cleared the room, Frank Zappa put on a benefit for Lenny Bruce at the P.O.P. Pier, where the Cheetah club is, in the daytime, and they had all kinds of bands there. It was the L.A. groove you know, “Kick back, catch some rays, smoke a doobie,” then here comes The Alice Cooper Group on… I don’t think so. (Laughs) A lot of people left. That’s that story. They’re two different things.
We must’ve kicked some serious butt, because The Doors’ fans loved us, they gave us a standing ovation, and intimidated the manager enough that he wouldn’t let us play. I don’t think Shep was there, I think Shep was at the Lenny Bruce thing, perhaps he was, but combined they make a better story. (Laughs) I guess the handwriting was on the wall there, a foreshadowing of the future.”
Aug 1968 – [Me Alice] says they STILL haven`t signed the Zappa contract but are due to do it the following week.
Michael Bruce Letter(AC Stationary):
“You`ll never guess what has happened. We signed a management contract with Alice Enterprises, they manage The Left Bank. There(sic) two, young, really cool guys from back east. You`ll never believe this. We have signed with Frank Zappa, to Bizarre Productions o Warner Bros. Records. We are going on tour all over the west coast on the Left Bank tour. Later we will go back east. This is the break we`ve waited years for.
We will be playing in Phx the weekend of the 29th”
[Alice Cooper was now signed to Zappa’s Straight label. The millions of albums that Cooper sold for Warner Brothers in the seventies justified the label’s indulgence of letting Zappa sign every weirdo in LA.]
Sept 17, 1968 – Barnes Fieldhouse, Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, AZ. Barnes Fieldhouse still stands on this active military base. It serves as a Fitness Facility and houses two pools.
Sept-Oct 1968 – Somewhere in this period, Glen and his parents (as well as the parents of other members of the band) signed a management contract with Shep and Joe. (Sept 16?) And then they sign with Zappa (Cohen)
– Shep and the band move into John Philip Law`s house in the Hollywood Hills on Observation Drive. See section on Glen’s Abodes for photo of house. Cindy found the house on a tip from a band that had been living there and was leaving.
Oct 11, 1968 – Philadelphia (w/MC5, reportedly only 100 people in audience). John Sinclair – manager of the MC5 – mentions this concert in his story about his about his arrest and trial in Oakland County, Mi, stemming from an altercation with police at an MC5 concert.
Possible show on: Oct 23 or 28, 1968-University of California at Irvine – Crawford Hall (w/MOI)
Nov 1, 1968 – Torrance, CA (The Bank )- w/Three Dog Night
*Alice Cooper—at the time, the name of the band, not lead singer Vince Furnier—had only changed their name from The Nazz in March 1968. By November, they were affiliated with Frank Zappa, but their debut album on Zappa’s Straight Records would not be released until the next year. Witness recalls that the Alice Cooper group lined up at the entrance to The Bank and shook hands with each arriving patron, as if they were on the receiving line at a wedding.
Nov 2 – 3, 1968 – Torrance, CA (The Bank) – w/ Mint Tattoo, Pollution
November 1968 – Denver, CO unknown Army Base
[Me Alice] says that this was the first booking Shep and Joey got the band and they were billed as Alice Cooper and the Hollywood Blondes.]
Winter 1968 – Buffalo S.U.N.Y. Ballroom. The band was scheduled to play SUNY, Buffalo in late 68 and twice in 1969. Can’t confirm any of them. ?
Fictitious: Nov 8, 1968 – Fullerton, CA California State (w/ Frank Zappa) While this concert poster has been around for a long time, it is possible that the artist, Rick Griffin, made up this concert to allow him to enter an art contest. The show actually took place in March of 1969.
Michael Bruce Letter:
“We are all just about finished with the album. (Pretties for You) It’s will be a double fold-out with about 12 songs available in January. It is really strange to know that our record is going to be out. Bizarre expects to sell 100,000 on first release….we are playing at the Shrine on Dec. 5 & 6 with the mothers then three nights at the Whiskey. We’ll probably be playing in Albuquerque sometime after Jan.”
Dec 6 and 7, 1968 – Los Angeles, CA Shrine Exposition Hall (w/ Zappa and MOI, Wild Man Fisher, GTO’s, and Ethiopia)
A news/promo report states: “The band was introduced by Zappa(to the press) at a Bizarre Records concert in early December on the Shrine Auditorium in L.A.”
Late ’68 or early ’69 – J.D.’s (sometimes called ”JD’s at the Riverbottom”) Scottsdale, AZ – The Riverbottom Room was the downstairs basement in J.Ds that housed the rock bands, while the upstairs had mainly country acts until mid ’68 when the booking policy changed to allow larger pop/rock acts to play upstairs. The club is closely associated with country singer Waylon Jennings (he did not own it).
Janice Buxton: “….I have that picture of Glen with the pink guitar. My dad took the picture when the boys came back from LA one time and played at JD’s.”
The bottom 2 photos were taken in late 1968 or more likely early 1969. Glen has his pink guitar here.
(JD’s is long gone – a furniture store now sits on the site at Scottsdale Rd, south of Curry Rd.)