LIVE at The Cheetah?

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

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LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Coopenstein » Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:18 pm

Hello DD!

I was wondering about "Levity Ball" on PFY. I recall old rumours/discussions about it being recorded on a different location than The Cheetah, and even discussions about if it was recorded LIVE or not. So, what's the truth - is it a LIVE recording, and if so, when and where was it recorded? And, did it come from a complete concert that was recorded? (That still exist?)
Same with "Black Juju" from the Medicine Ball Caravan movie - was that really all that was filmed of Your show? Or do You think there might any outtake footage left in the Warner vaults...?

Thanks,
Chris
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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Dreary » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:41 pm

The version of "Levity Ball" that's on Pretties For You was recorded during a rehearsal at the Cheetah. We had a 2-track Concord reel to reel tape recorder but we couldn't afford tape so we would record over and over using the same tapes. That's why you can hear bleed through of Watusi during the quiet section of the song. We had previously recorded scenes from King Solomon's Mines from TV with the intention of working up a drum composition based on the one in the film.
We likely recorded other songs that day but we might have recorded over them. It was Michael's recorder so he was in charge of the tapes. He kept them for decades but I think he lost them at some point.

We did work up a stage idea based on the King Solomon's Mines soundtrack where the band would surround Neal's kit and play his drums simultaneously. But the original idea wasn't fully realized until Neal and I did it on his Platinum God album.

The footage of "Black Juju" was filmed specifically for the Great Medicine Ball Caravan movie. If there was any other footage of our set, it belonged to them not Warner.

What I think is the Holy Grail of footage would be the full song from Diary Of A Mad Housewife. The final edit of the actual film is a mere glimpse of the rip-roaring performance that we watched on a big screen during the film crew's daily rushes.

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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:01 am

Dreary wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:41 pm
The version of "Levity Ball" that's on Pretties For You was recorded during a rehearsal at the Cheetah. We had a 2-track Concord reel to reel tape recorder but we couldn't afford tape so we would record over and over using the same tapes. That's why you can hear bleed through of Watusi during the quiet section of the song. We had previously recorded scenes from King Solomon's Mines from TV with the intention of working up a drum composition based on the one in the film.
We likely recorded other songs that day but we might have recorded over them. It was Michael's recorder so he was in charge of the tapes. He kept them for decades but I think he lost them at some point.

We did work up a stage idea based on the King Solomon's Mines soundtrack where the band would surround Neal's kit and play his drums simultaneously. But the original idea wasn't fully realized until Neal and I did it on his Platinum God album.

The footage of "Black Juju" was filmed specifically for the Great Medicine Ball Caravan movie. If there was any other footage of our set, it belonged to them not Warner.

What I think is the Holy Grail of footage would be the full song from Diary Of A Mad Housewife. The final edit of the actual film is a mere glimpse of the rip-roaring performance that we watched on a big screen during the film crew's daily rushes.
Thanks Dr. D. I always wondered what & why there was bleed through on the "Levity Ball" track.
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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Remmy » Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:22 pm

Dreary wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:41 pm
The footage of "Black Juju" was filmed specifically for the Great Medicine Ball Caravan movie. If there was any other footage of our set, it belonged to them not Warner.

What I think is the Holy Grail of footage would be the full song from Diary Of A Mad Housewife. The final edit of the actual film is a mere glimpse of the rip-roaring performance that we watched on a big screen during the film crew's daily rushes.
How I wish I could see the Medicine Ball Caravan performance. I own the vynil of the soundtrack, unfortunately it is a fake live recording (edit of the album version with added audience at the end). I spent years chasing this record as I believed t was a real live song. What a deception ! I have never been able to find a good DVD version of this movie unfortunately...

Dennis, you're right the full sequence of the band in Diary Of A Mad Housewife would be THE thing, unfortunately if you have no idea how to get that, the fans are no real hope to see it one day.

At least now "Good to see you again alice Cooper" can be found, after so many years trying to find it without success.

Take care Dennis and thanks for your input in this forum. Reading you is always a nice time.

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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Si » Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:20 pm

Remmy wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:22 pm
How I wish I could see the Medicine Ball Caravan performance.
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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Ted Sallis » Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:36 pm

Dreary wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:41 pm
What I think is the Holy Grail of footage would be the full song from Diary Of A Mad Housewife. The final edit of the actual film is a mere glimpse of the rip-roaring performance that we watched on a big screen during the film crew's daily rushes.
Astute ACG Fans like myself are aware that not all of the footage of the Group performance was used in the movie but I for one didn't know that a large segment was excluded. Yes, that would be great to obtain and officially release, but there are of course the usual obstacles, i.e. does the entire footage survive, if so where is it, rights and compensation issues, etc.

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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Coopenstein » Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:47 pm

Dreary wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:41 pm
We did work up a stage idea based on the King Solomon's Mines soundtrack where the band would surround Neal's kit and play his drums simultaneously. But the original idea wasn't fully realized until Neal and I did it on his Platinum God album.

What I think is the Holy Grail of footage would be the full song from Diary Of A Mad Housewife. The final edit of the actual film is a mere glimpse of the rip-roaring performance that we watched on a big screen during the film crew's daily rushes.
I have a picture of that drum routine with the whole band around Neal's drum kit. It looks to be from an early LITD show. Nice to hear the origin of that.

Yeah the "Housewife" outtakes would be great!
Would love to see ANY unseen group footage. The earlier, the better.
I think the Virginia Graham Show 1971 would be exceptional to see. I understand You played "Dwight Frye" LIVE there? Only seen a picture of Alice being interviewed by Virginia. Any recollections around the taping of that show?

There has also been mentions in old magazines, of the band doing other television shows in 1971. I seem to recall Dick Cavett being mentioned, by I guess that would have surfaced long ago, if it ever happened?

Thanks a lot for Your replies and insight.
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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Dreary » Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:41 pm

At that time, with our image, our management team, Joe and Shep, pulled off the impossible by getting us on the Virginia Graham show.

The TV people had us sing along with an instrumental track from our studio recording. That wasn't our choice but, in those days, it beat relying on a TV show to have proper equipment and expertise to get a good sound for a rock band.

That worry was confirmed when we started pretending to play along with the track only to find the volume of the playback speakers was too low to hear over Neal's delicate drumming. We just never thought he would have to avoid any contact with the drums. And so it was a struggle to stay in time with the quiet track. And the live audience didn't seem to be receptive to what we were doing.

After the curtain closed, Neal let out a stream of explicative that rallied the TV crew to notify him that his vocal mic was hot and the audience could hear him.

During the commercial break, a furious Virginia Graham made it clear that she would make sure that it was the last time we would ever guest on any TV show.

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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by steven_crayn » Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:08 pm

Remmy wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:22 pm
How I wish I could see the Medicine Ball Caravan performance. I own the vynil of the soundtrack, unfortunately it is a fake live recording (edit of the album version with added audience at the end). I spent years chasing this record as I believed t was a real live song. What a deception ! I have never been able to find a good DVD version of this movie unfortunately...
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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Dreary » Sun Jan 30, 2022 9:08 pm

"Black Juju" was recorded live in the studio with everybody playing together and Alice singing. We nailed it in one take, except Michael said he played a dissonant note he played on the Farfisa organ going into the middle section that he didn't like. So we recorded another take and nailed that one too. Then, upon comparing the takes, we decided that we liked the dissonant note so we went with take one.

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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by SickThings » Sun Jan 30, 2022 11:35 pm

How cool!

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Re: LIVE at The Cheetah?

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Tue Feb 01, 2022 12:16 am

Dreary wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:41 pm
At that time, with our image, our management team, Joe and Shep, pulled off the impossible by getting us on the Virginia Graham show.

The TV people had us sing along with an instrumental track from our studio recording. That wasn't our choice but, in those days, it beat relying on a TV show to have proper equipment and expertise to get a good sound for a rock band.

That worry was confirmed when we started pretending to play along with the track only to find the volume of the playback speakers was too low to hear over Neal's delicate drumming. We just never thought he would have to avoid any contact with the drums. And so it was a struggle to stay in time with the quiet track. And the live audience didn't seem to be receptive to what we were doing.

After the curtain closed, Neal let out a stream of explicative that rallied the TV crew to notify him that his vocal mic was hot and the audience could hear him.

During the commercial break, a furious Virginia Graham made it clear that she would make sure that it was the last time we would ever guest on any TV show.
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