Originally Published: August 1969
Author: Eve Rizzo
Now this group you have to see to believe! Frank Zappa saw them and believed in the group enough to produce their first album, "Pretties For You" recently released by Bizarre Records. Surrounding Alice are Glen Buxton, lead guitar; Dennis Dunaway, bass guitar; Michael Bruce, rhythm guitar, and Neal Smith on drums. The boys formed a group while in high school in Phoenix, Arizona.
Asked about audience rapport, Alice said, "It depends on what you give an audience. Every audience is a positive or negative one, depending on what you give them when you first go on stage. It's like a reflection - if you want to see it in the audience you have to produce it and they'll pick up on it and then it becomes like communication. The things up on stage is contagious. If you smile a lot, or if you see someone who's really happy up on stage or if you see someone who's apathetic, you're the same way. So it's up to the performer."
Alice added that they like the college audiences because they accept groups better. "I like younger audiences - they react with more freedom. They don't just go to hear you, they really do a physical thing."
These boys do wear their hair longer than any other group, from what I've observed, but their friendliness and rugged simplicity make you forget their aggrandizing efforts, by use of eye-makeup and elaborate fashions, not generally used by the male species.
I first saw them at a Press Party held at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, where the place was literally packed with fans, old and new. Their sound can best be described as exciting.. fast.. loud - their set includes a variety of numbers - no single show is like another. Each performance is a surprise, due to their unpredictable use of costumes and scenery. Their costumes are absolutely gorgeous - all created by Neal's sister - Homer Fudgecake!
As they complete a national promotional tour following the release of their album, with a European tour also on their agenda, I asked them what pleased them most about what they are doing; "Freedom! The life-style completely devoid of any time, except when we have to be certain places like now. There's no day or night . . just performances and getting the reaction. It's like an art experiment to see what you can do to make people react, and what you can present in a certain way. Most of us were art majors in college for two years and the same philosophies hold true in art and music."
"Alice Cooper's specialties have no boundries . . . whatever comes up, comes up . . . and we'll do it!"