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Posts Tagged ‘Alice Cooper’

RIP, Jack Richardson (May 13, 2011) Canadian Record Producer

Posted by on May 13, 2011

Jack Richardson
July 23, 1929 – May 13, 2011

Jack Richardson was a respected Canadian record producer who was ultimately honored by having the Juno Awards’ Producer of the Year Award named  after him.  He was also an instructor at the most prestigious music schools in Canada.  While working for an ad agency in 1968, Richardson created a bottle-cap reimbursement campaign for the Canadian Coca-Cola company.   Those who purchased designated Cokes could collect the bottle caps and ultimately redeem them for a promotional album, A Wild Pair, which featured the Guess Who on one side and the Staccatos (later known as the Five Man Electrical Band) on the other.  The campaign was so successful that the album reportedly would have achieved gold status had it been an “official” release.   Richardson went on to produce several Guess Who albums and singles including their biggest hits, “These Eyes” and “American Woman.”   He also produced Bob Seger’s landmark album, Night Moves, as well has hit albums by the likes of Alice Cooper, Poco, Badfinger, and the Irish Rovers.  His son, Garth Richardson is an in-demand producer as well who has worked with Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and System Of A Down.  Jack Richardson was 81 when he passed away on May 13, 2011.

Thanks to Roch Parisien for the help

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RIP, Don Kirshner (January 17, 2011) Influential Producer, Publisher & Television Host

Posted by on January 17, 2011

Don Kirshner
April 17, 1934 -January 17, 2011

Don Kirshner was a music publisher, producer, songwriter-manager, and television host who rightfully earned the nickname, The Man With The Golden Ear.  His music career began during the ’50s when he and his partner, Al Nevins, launched Aldon Music, a publishing company that included such future superstar talent as Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Neil Sedaka.   Kirshner also owned three successful record labels during the early part of his career.  In the early ’60s, the creators of a new NBC television program enlisted Kirshner to provide songs for that show.  The influential sit-com followed the fictional adventures of an up-and-coming band as it bounced from one loony situation to another while performing catchy pop songs along the way.  The show was called The Monkees, and Kirshner brought songs like “I’m A Believer,” “Last Train To Clarksville,” and several others that would become hits that help define the era.  He later helped create an animated version of that same concept with The Archies. Then in 1973, Kirshner became a television star in his own right with the launch of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.  The late night show offered full live performances of songs by current rock stars, making it unique in a time where lip syncing on television was the norm.  For many rock music fans in a pre-MTV, pre-youtube era, it was THE only way to enjoy your favorite bands live.  Along with being executive producer, Kirshner introduced each act in a monotone manner that was later popularly parodied by Paul Shaffer on Saturday Night Live. The show’s premiere episode included the Rolling Stones and and the series continued at that pace hosting the likes of Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Rush, the Eagles, the Ramones, KISS, and Kansas.  It quickly became serious competition for other late night programs like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  The show ran until 1981.  Don Kirshner was 76 when he died of heart failure on January 17, 2011.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help

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Died On This Date (May 17, 2004) Alex Nelson / Lizzy Borden

Posted by on May 17, 2010

Alex Nelson
February 24, 1963 – May 17, 2004

alexnelson1Alex Nelson was a guitarist for Los Angeles shock metal band, Lizzy Borden during the mid ’80s.  He replaced original guitarist, Tony Matuzak.  He stayed with the band on and off through 2004.  Although generally associated with the hair bands of the day, Lizzy Borden had more in common with Alice Cooper and Judas Priest.  He was killed in a head on collision on May 17, 2004.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (April 2, 2009) Freddie Everett / Houston Blues Musician

Posted by on April 2, 2010

Freddie Everett
June 26, 1959 – April 2, 2009

freddieFreddie Everett was a Houston blues guitarist/singer-songwriter known throughout those parts as “The Texas Legend.”  A guitar virtuoso, some even called him the “Texas Hendrix.”  Throughout his relatively short career, Everett has shared the stage with Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Bo Diddley and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble.   He landed a recording contract with Sony Music, but had been diagnosed with MLS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and was never well enough to make the album.  Freddie Everett died as a result of the disease on April 2, 2009.

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Died On This Date (February 12, 2000) Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Posted by on February 12, 2010

Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins
July 18, 1929 – February 12, 2000

screamin-jay-hawkinsScreamin’ Jay Hawkins was a somewhat outrageous blues and rock ‘n roll singer and musician whose biggest hit, “I Put a Spell On You,” and spooky stage theatrics influenced the likes of Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath.  Even Bruce Springsteen has borrowed from Hawkins by coming out of a coffin to kick off his shows around Halloween.  After serving in WWII where he was reportedly captured and tortured, Hawkins came home to the U.S. where he became a middleweight boxing champ, and later, a recording artist.  In 1956, he released “I Put a Spell On You,” which went on to become a radio staple each year in October and has since been recorded or performed by the likes of  Creedance Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, Iggy Pop, Marylin Manson, and more recently, She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward).   In later years, Hawkins collaborated with Dread Zeppelin and the Fuzztones.  He’s also shared the stage with the Clash, the Rolling Stones and Fats Domino.  On February 12, 2000, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, age 70, died following surgery for an aneurysm.  It has been estimated that he left behind as many as 75 children to many different mothers.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (December 4, 2008) David Ezrin

Posted by on December 4, 2009

David Ezrin
December 3, 1966 – December 4, 2008


David Ezrin, the Canadian born son of famed record producer, Bob Ezrin, was a songwriter, keyboardist and label executive.  As a musician, he collaborated with Lita Ford, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper and Hanoi Rocks.  He was also the head of A&R at Soul Surfer Records, a label he co-founded.  His songs have been recorded by Vow Wow and Lita Ford.  David Ezrin was 42 when he passed away on December 4, 2008.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (December 3, 2008) Elmer Valentine / Co-founded The Whiskey a Go Go, The Roxy, The Rainbow Bar & Grill

Posted by on December 3, 2009

Elmer Valentine
June 16, 1923 – December 3, 2008

Photo by Art Streiber

Photo by Art Streiber

Elmer Valentine played a critical role in the growth of popular music in the Los Angeles area by co-founding the legendary Sunset Strip clubs, the Whiskey a Go Go and the Roxy.  Born and raised in Chicago where he worked on the police force, Valentine transplanted to the L.A. area in 1960.  In 1964, Valentine and three partners opened the Whiskey which would help define the west coast rock scene of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.  Acts like the Doors, the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield played some of their earliest gigs there during the ’60s, while the likes of Great White, Motley Crue and Guns ‘n Roses did the same during the ’80s.  And of course, there were countless others between and since.  In 1966, he and investers that included Lou Adler, opened the Roxy (and later, the infamous Rainbow Bar & Grill next door).  Like the Whiskey, the Roxy hosted its own share of legendary early shows.  That list includes Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Warren Zevon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Frank Zappa.  The Roxy’s small upstairs bar, On The Rox was also the site of some of rock music’s most notorious incidents.  In the mid ’70s, it played host to John Lennon’s infamous “lost weekend” gatherings with Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, and Alice Cooper.  And in March of 1982, it was reportedly the last place John Belushi over-indulged before calling it a night and dying of an overdose in his hotel room.  Elmer Valentine sold his share of the Whiskey during the ’90s, but held on to his share of the Roxy and Rainbow until he passed away at the age of 80.

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Died On This Date (November 5, 1972) Miss Christine Frka / The GTOs, Frank Zappa

Posted by on November 5, 2009

Miss Christine (Born Christine Frka)
1950 – November 5, 1972


Miss Christine was one of the infamous, GTO’s, a small collection of groupies that provided companionship for many of the world’s most famous rock stars while visiting Los Angeles during the ’60s and’70s.  They were so named by Frank Zappa who also bankrolled their short lived music career that consisted of a performance or two and one album, 1969’s Permanent Damage, that was produced by Zappa and Lowell George.  It is Frka who appears on the cover of Zappa’s Hot Rats album seen here.   Some of Frka’s more famous love interests were Alice Cooper and Todd Rundgren.  Christine Frka was 22 when she  died of a drug overdose on November 5, 1972.


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Died On This Date (October 19, 1997) Glen Buxton

Posted by on October 19, 2009

Glen Buxton
November 10, 1947 – October 19, 1997

Glen Buxton is best remembered as the founding guitarist of Alice Cooper’s original band.  Formed while they were still in high school, the band was initially called the Nazz, but since Todd Rundgren already had a band of the same name, they switched it to Alice Cooper, with the former Vincent Furnier taking the name as his own.  Buxton co-wrote several of Cooper’s hits, including “School’s Out,” “Elected,” and “I’m Eighteen,”  while playing lead guitar on seven Alice Cooper albums.  He drifted from Cooper in the ’80s, playing an occasional gig with local musicians.  Buxton died of pneumonia at the age of 49.

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