SickthingsUK: Joe Greenberg

Gentlemen Aterdark

Often wrongly left out of the bands story, Joe Greenberg was Alice Cooper's co-manager, along with Shep Gordon, until 1974. Joe was there when he and Shep first heard about the band from Cindy Smith, and remained through the early difficult years before 'I'm Eighteen' became a hit. He can still be seen at Alice's New York shows on occasion.

From Dennis Dunaway's 'Snakes, Guiltines, Electric Chairs':

"Joe was very New York City street smart. We had never really known anybody like him. He could talk anybody into anything—or at least die trying. Without feeling guilty at all, he'd call up some record company execs and give them a big pile o' bullshit. It would just be a cold call, too. He'd manage to get someone on the line, and then lay a high-octane spiel on them, convincing them that they'd better get busy and listen to this band that was creating such a sensation. In the midst of these calls, he’d look at us, arch his eyebrows in mock disgust, cover up the receiver, and make all kinds of remarks about the schlemiels on the other end. He respected them, but he just wanted to make us laugh. He'd do this through a hundred phone calls.

Joe's sensibility was more practical [then Shep's]. He could walk into any room or venue and tell you exactly how many people it would hold. He'd also make sure we had a guy with a counter recording how many paying customers came in the door. He and Shep got very good at hounding club owners for proper payment—before we went onstage.

Joe and Shep were greenhorns, but ready to join the carnival. Maybe if they'd been old hands at the game, they would have tried to mold us into something more acceptable. As it was, they were totally open to our craziness. They saw the outrage and repulsion we created. But they also saw we were building a base of some very committed fans. Shep believed that if we could just tap that energy we could rule the world. Joe often verbalized the commitment they shared with us: "Whatever it takes, man. Whatever it takes."

Joe's son Adam Hunter is an up and coming comedian who's appeared on 'The Tonight Show' and 'Last Comic Standing' among other shows and regularly tours the US comedy circuit. Find out more at adamhunter.com.