Released unofficially this short live album shows Alice Cooper at the beginning of their career playing a show in L.A.'s famous Whisky A Go Go club. Now scarce, as it has been out of print for some years, this Rhino Records release contains, according to the raving hype on the longbox, a "previously unreleased, legendary showcase performance from 1969 by Alice with his original band" although it was actually recorded in 1968. The band had not yet recorded "Pretties For You" and seven of these songs later showed up there, and the other one, "Nobody Likes Me," didn't show up officially anywhere, other than as a flexi with the 'Killer' Programme, until the boxset was released. Originally released in the early 1990s on CD and vinyl, it was reissued on vinyl in 2015 with the addition of a sticker on the front claiming "first time on vinyl", which it wasn't.
- Alice Cooper - Vocals
- Neal Smith - Drums and Vocals
- Dennis Dunaway - Bass and Vocals
- Glen Buxton - Lead Guitar
- Michael Bruce - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Organ
Album Notes - (Detailed release information)
Very few recordings exist of the band during this period and this is the earliest, released in 1990 by Zappa's ex-partner Herb Cohen without the bands permission. In all likelyhood the show was actually recorded on July 23rd 1968 when Alice Cooper opened for Zappa's band 'the Mothers Of Invention' at The Whiskey. Why? Firstly, Zappa's PA Pauline Butcher diary entry for July 11th suggests the band auditioned for Zappa on the 12th. Zappa himself has stated that he wanted to see them live before signing them, and lastly Zappa, famous for recording almost everything he could, definitly recorded The Mothers performance from this show. It would make sense he would record his new signing opening as well, to listen back to later.
Legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres wrote about this performance in her book "I'm With the Band" (a groupie classic). Alice and the boyz allegedly emptied the Whisky in twenty minutes or less. She's better known to some people as Miss Pamela of the GTO's.
This CD was originally released on a revitalized Bizarre/Straight label (through Rhino) which hadn't been active since the early 70s at the latest. In 1969 this was Frank Zappa's personal label, distributed by Warner Bros. Besides "Pretties For You" and "Easy Action" Bizzarre/Straight also released some of the best material of Captain Beefheart, the Mothers, and the GTO's. While the release wasn't authorised the band, according to Brian Nelson they "at least had the courtesy and professionalism to submit the artwork to Alice for approval." However Alive Enterprises wasn't happy about the release:
"Alice Cooper Recordings: Alive Enterprises Inc. was sued in Los Angeles Superior Court over the rights to recordings of the Alice Cooper rock group at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in 1969. Herbert Cohen, who does business as Bizarre Records, filed the suit, which claims that he won sole rights to the recordings in an earlier case. Cohen and Enigma Records planned to release the recordings, but Alive, which has the rights of individuals in the group, claims that it owns the exclusive rights. The suit seeks court orders barring Alive from interfering with Cohen's use of the recordings. (Filed June 19, 1990. Case No. BC003812)"
The album was only originally available for a relatively short period of time. Whether that was releated to the court case or not I have no information. It was reissued in 2015, but by then all sorts of early recordings and radio broadcasts were being issued by every band you could imagine, seemingly using a loophole in the law allowing their release.