Alice Cooper and The Movie “The Producers”

Alice Cooper co-founder and Hall Of Fame inductee Dennis Dunaway answers your questions!

Moderators: Si, SickThings, Shoesalesman, Dreary

Post Reply
livinluvin72
Trash
Trash
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:29 am

Alice Cooper and The Movie “The Producers”

Post by livinluvin72 » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:06 am

I’m reading in Shep Gordon’s bio, “They Call Me Supermensch”, that Shep told Herb Cohen, Frank Zappa’s manager, that he wanted to get Jack Richardson to produce the Alice Cooper band’s third album and put out a hit single.
He said Cohen was dead set against it. He said “We don’t want a commercial hit.” Cohen felt Straight Records was about being edgy and having a hit record was not in keeping with being “Edgy”.
Shep felt this made absolutely no sense. Wasn’t this supposed to be about making records that sell?
Shep had a theory that Herb’s reluctance to have a hit had nothing to do with preserving an edgy image. He thought it might be a strategy right of the movie “The Producers” where having the band fail would be more financially rewarding to Zappa and Cohen than having you guys succeed.
Shep later found out that Warner’s advanced Straight Records $150,000 for every new artist they signed. Zappa makes an Alice Cooper album for $10,000 and pockets the other $140,000.
If the record sold, Zappa and Cohen would have to pay royalties to the band out of the $140,000. Of course, they wanted no part of that.
Do you have an opinion as to what was going on with Zappa and Cohen and how much they wanted you guys to succeed or fail?

User avatar
Dreary
Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:46 am

Re: Alice Cooper and The Movie “The Producers”

Post by Dreary » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:42 am

livinluvin72 wrote:
Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:06 am
I’m reading in Shep Gordon’s bio, “They Call Me Supermensch”, that Shep told Herb Cohen, Frank Zappa’s manager, that he wanted to get Jack Richardson to produce the Alice Cooper band’s third album and put out a hit single.
He said Cohen was dead set against it. He said “We don’t want a commercial hit.” Cohen felt Straight Records was about being edgy and having a hit record was not in keeping with being “Edgy”.
Shep felt this made absolutely no sense. Wasn’t this supposed to be about making records that sell?
Shep had a theory that Herb’s reluctance to have a hit had nothing to do with preserving an edgy image. He thought it might be a strategy right of the movie “The Producers” where having the band fail would be more financially rewarding to Zappa and Cohen than having you guys succeed.
Shep later found out that Warner’s advanced Straight Records $150,000 for every new artist they signed. Zappa makes an Alice Cooper album for $10,000 and pockets the other $140,000.
If the record sold, Zappa and Cohen would have to pay royalties to the band out of the $140,000. Of course, they wanted no part of that.
Do you have an opinion as to what was going on with Zappa and Cohen and how much they wanted you guys to succeed or fail?
I find it hard to believe that Pretties For You cost $10,000 to make (maybe, but I doubt it). I also can't imagine why WB would pay Zappa, an artist that, at that time, had never even tried to get a hit single. Plus Frank criticized the record companies every chance he got. All of the Mother's of Invention spoke condescendingly about the music industry and were proud of being non-commercial in every way. And with concert promoters being so chart driven, the Mothers didn't make anywhere near as much as bands that had hits, but they still stuck to their integrity. They were artists without compromise, and if any of the non-commercial bands on their label got a hit, it would scream hypocritical.

Post Reply