Pre Alice Cooper Era

Before Alice Cooper came The Nazz, before The Nazz came The Spiders and before The Spiders came The Earwigs.

 

The Earwigs were formed by best buddies Dennis Dunaway and Vincent 'Vince' Furnier at Cortez High School, Phoenix, in 1964.  Joined by classmates Glen Buxton, John Tatum and John Speer, they performed very primative gigs (playing mainly Beatles songs, hence the name Earwigs).  In fact, Glen aside, the band had to pretend to play their instruments and were even known to hire cheering crowds to encourage them.

 

Vince was on vocals (and harmonica), Dennis on bass guitar, Glen on lead guitar and Tatum and Speer on rhythm guitar and drums respectively.  The more they practiced, the better they got, and before long they were a 100% authentic live act with a cult local following.

 

They soon become known as The Spiders, with regular gigs played in the Phoenix area.  In 1966, Michael Bruce replaced John Tatum and in 1967 Neal Smith replaced John Speer, resulting in the classic Alice Cooper Group line up.  In-between, and with the band trying to break into the all-important Los Angeles music scene, a further name change occured to The Nazz.

 

Upon realising that another band in LA shared a similar name (Todd Rundgren's 'Nazz'), a 3rd and final name change occured, Alice Cooper!  

 

The origins of, and associations with, the Alice Cooper name have been subject to variations over the years, but it was originally and quite simply a thought-provoking, curveball, group name that would ultimately set 5 would-be stars on the pathway to music immortality.   

Why Don't You Love Me 7" Vinyl Single

2011, Bear Family Records, M112A

The original Alice Cooper single is The Spiders' 1965 release of Why Don't You Love Me, featuring Hitch Hike on Side B (both covers of songs by The Blackwells and Marvin Gaye respectively).

 

Released under the Mascot label, it is thought that about 500 of these records were pressed with many given away for free at Spiders concerts.  They are now almost impossible to find with most of them probably not even existing anymore.  But you never know, there could still be some out there!

 

Thankfully, a faithful replica by USA's Bear Family Records was produced in 2011, enabling fans to get their hands on a copy of the most distanst descendant of Alice Cooper collectable memorabilia.  

Why Don't You Love Me 7" Vinyl Single

1998, Sundazed Music, SEP 141

Another opportunity to own the material contained on the original single is this unofficial 1998 USA vinyl release by Sundazed Music.  This comes in a nice card sleeve featurng an image of the Spiders line-up of 1965.  On the back is an interesting biography on the band and the original single release. 

 

In addition to the original versions of Why Don't You Love Me and Hitch Hike on Side A, you are also rewarded with previously unreleased versions of Don't Blow Your Mind and an instrumental version of Why Don't You Love Me on Side B.

Why Don't You Love Me 7" Vinyl Single

1998, Sundazed Music, SEP 141

This further version of the above release by Sundazed Music is exactly the same but features a great translucent yellow disc instead.

 

This was a most generous gift from hardcore Alice Cooper Group fan Chris Daniels, who has also been kind enough to give me some other 7" singles including 3 copies of Eighteen and a promotional copy of the first ever Alice Cooper Group single, Reflected.  Thank you Chris!

 

Chris has rightly pointed out that this particular edition is special, as it looks very similar to the iconic transulcent pink, Good Records Edition, of the Live From The Astroturf single.

Why Don't You Love Me 7" Vinyl Single

1998, Sundazed Music, SEP 141

This further version of the above release by Sundazed Music is exactly the same but features a traditional black disc instead.

Wonder Who's Loving Her Now? 7" Vinyl Single

2011, Very Record, S-001

The only Nazz single to see the light of day was the 1967 7" release of Wonder Who's Loving Her Now?, featuring Lay Down And Die, Goodbye on Side B.  As with all other pre Alice Cooper era releases, this is increadibly hard to come by with most fans therefore turning to any available re-issues.

 

Thankfully, such a re-issue of this single was featured in the excellent 2011 Old School Box Set with the original material pressed on a chunky disc.