John Robert Cocker, known as Joe Cocker, was an English singer. He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, distinctive versions of popular songs of varying genres. Cocker's recording of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" reached number one in the UK in 1968, he performed the song live at Woodstock in 1969 and performed the same year at the Isle of Wight Festival, at the Party at the Palace concert in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. His version became the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years, his 1974 cover of "You Are So Beautiful" reached number five in the US. Cocker was the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his US number one "Up Where We Belong", a duet with Jennifer Warnes. In 1993, Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.
Cocker was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list. Cocker was born on 20 May 1944 at 38 Tasker Road, Sheffield, he was the youngest son of a civil servant, Harold Cocker, Madge Cocker, née Lee. According to differing family stories, Cocker received his nickname of Joe either from playing a childhood game called "Cowboy Joe", or from a local window cleaner named Joe. Cocker's main musical influences growing up were Lonnie Donegan. Cocker's first experience singing in public was at age 12 when his elder brother Victor invited him on stage to sing during a gig of his skiffle group. In 1960, along with three friends, Cocker formed the Cavaliers. For the group's first performance at a youth club, they were required to pay the price of admission before entering; the Cavaliers broke up after a year and Cocker left school to become an apprentice gasfitter working for the East Midlands Gas Board British Gas, while pursuing a career in music. Cocker was not related to fellow Sheffield-born musician Jarvis Cocker, despite a rumour to this effect.
In 1961, under the stage name Vance Arnold, Cocker continued his career with a new group, Vance Arnold and the Avengers. The name was a combination of Vince Everett, Elvis Presley's character in Jailhouse Rock, country singer Eddy Arnold; the group played in the pubs of Sheffield, performing covers of Chuck Berry and Ray Charles songs. Cocker developed an interest in blues music and sought out recordings by John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins and Howlin' Wolf. In 1963, they booked their first significant gig when they supported the Rolling Stones at Sheffield City Hall. In 1964, Cocker signed a recording contract as a solo act with Decca and released his first single, a cover of the Beatles' "I'll Cry Instead". Despite extensive promotion from Decca lauding his youth and working-class roots, the record was a flop and his recording contract with Decca lapsed at the end of 1964. After Cocker recorded the single, he dropped his stage name and formed a new group, Joe Cocker's Blues Band.
There is only one known recording of Joe Cocker's Blues Band on an EP given out by The Sheffield College during Rag Week and called Rag Goes Mad at the Mojo. In 1966, after a year-long hiatus from music, Cocker teamed up with Chris Stainton, whom he had met several years before, to form the Grease Band; the Grease Band was named after Cocker read an interview with jazz keyboardist Jimmy Smith, where Smith positively described another musician as "having a lot of grease." Like the Avengers, Cocker's group played in pubs in and around Sheffield. The Grease Band came to the attention of Denny Cordell, the producer of Procol Harum, the Moody Blues and Georgie Fame. Cocker recorded the single "Marjorine" without the Grease Band for Cordell in a London studio, he moved to London with Chris Stainton, the Grease Band was dissolved. Cordell set Cocker up with a residency at the Marquee Club in London, a "new" Grease Band was formed with Stainton and keyboardist Tommy Eyre. After minor success in the United States with the single "Marjorine", Cocker found commercial success with a rearrangement of "With a Little Help from My Friends," another Beatles cover, many years was used as the opening theme for The Wonder Years.
The recording features lead guitar from Jimmy Page, drumming by B. J. Wilson, backing vocals from Sue and Sunny, Tommy Eyre on organ; the single made the Top Ten on the UK Singles Chart, remaining there for thirteen weeks and reaching number one, on 9 November 1968. It reached number 68 on the US charts. Upon hearing about Cocker's death in 2014, Paul McCartney said the following about Cocker's version of the Beatles 1967 song: He was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot and, like many people, I loved his singing. I was pleased when he decided to cover "With a Little Help from My Friends" and I remember him and Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Savile Row and playing me what they'd recorded and it was just mind-blowing turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful to him for doing that; the new touring line-up of Cocker's Grease Band featured Henry McCullough on lead guitar, who would go on to play with McCartney's Wings. After touring the UK with the Who in autumn 1968 and Gene Pitney and Marmalade in early winter 1969, the Grease Band embarked on their first tour of the United States in spring 1969.
Cocker's album With a Little Help from My Fri
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s, they incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, in years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements. Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960 with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass.
The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings expanding their domestic success after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962; as their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed "Beatlemania", the band acquired the nickname "the Fab Four", with Epstein and other members of the band's entourage sometimes given the informal title of "fifth Beatle". By early 1964, the Beatles were international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market, breaking numerous sales records, they soon made their motion-picture debut with A Hard Day's Night. From 1965 onwards, they produced innovative recordings, including the albums Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's The Beatles and Abbey Road. In 1968, they founded Apple Corps, a multi-armed multimedia corporation that continues to oversee projects related to the band's legacy.
After the group's break-up in 1970, all four members enjoyed success as solo artists. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980. McCartney and Starr remain musically active; the Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million records worldwide. They are the best-selling music artists in the US, with certified sales of over 178 million units, have had more number-one albums on the British charts, have sold more singles in the UK, than any other act; the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all-time most successful artists; the band have received an Academy Award and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the twentieth century's 100 most influential people. In March 1957, John Lennon aged sixteen, formed a skiffle group with several friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool.
They called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to the Quarrymen after discovering that a respected local group was using the other name. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined them as a rhythm guitarist shortly after he and Lennon met that July. In February 1958, McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the band; the fifteen-year-old auditioned for Lennon, impressing him with his playing, but Lennon thought Harrison was too young for the band. After a month of Harrison's persistence, during a second meeting, he performed the lead guitar part of the instrumental song "Raunchy" on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus, they enlisted him as their lead guitarist. By January 1959, Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, he began his studies at the Liverpool College of Art; the three guitarists, billing themselves at least three times as Johnny and the Moondogs, were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer. Lennon's art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who had just sold one of his paintings and was persuaded to purchase a bass guitar, joined in January 1960, it was he who suggested changing the band's name to Beatals, as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
They used this name until May, when they became the Silver Beetles, before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July, they had refashioned themselves as the Silver Beatles, by the middle of August shortened the name to The Beatles. Allan Williams, the Beatles' unofficial manager, arranged a residency for them in Hamburg, but lacking a full-time drummer they auditioned and hired Pete Best in mid-August 1960; the band, now a five-piece, left four days contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider for what would be a 31⁄2-month residency. Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn writes: "They pulled into Hamburg at dusk on 17 August, the time when the red-light area comes to life... flashing neon lights screamed out the various entertainment on offer, while scantily clad women sat unabashed in shop windows waiting for business opportunities." Koschmider had converted a couple of strip clubs in the district into music venues, he placed the Beatles at the Indra Club.
Van der Graaf Generator
Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed, are still musically active with a line-up of Hammill, organist Hugh Banton and drummer Guy Evans; the band formed at the University of Manchester, but settled in London where they signed with Charisma. They went through a number of incarnations in their early years, including a brief split in 1969; when they reformed, they found minor commercial success with The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other, after the follow-up album, H to He, Who Am the Only One, stabilised around a line-up of Hammill, Banton and saxophonist David Jackson. The quartet subsequently achieved significant success in Italy with the release of Pawn Hearts in 1971. After several exhausting tours of Italy, the band split in 1972.
They reformed in 1975, releasing Godbluff and touring Italy again, before a major line-up change and a slight rename to Van der Graaf. The band split in 1978. After many years apart, the band united at a gig at the Royal Festival Hall and a short tour in 2005. Since the band has continued as a trio of Hammill and Evans, who record and tour in between Hammill's concurrent solo career; the group's albums have tended to be both lyrically and musically darker in atmosphere than many of their progressive rock peers, guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, preferring to use Banton's classically influenced organ, until his departure, Jackson's multiple saxophones. While Hammill is the primary songwriter for the band, its members have contributed to his solo albums, he is keen to stress that the band collectively arranges all its material. Hammill's lyrics covered themes of mortality, due to his love of science fiction writers such as Robert A. Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, along with his self-confessed warped and obsessive nature.
His voice has been a distinctive component of the band throughout its career. It has been described as "a male Nico" and would on be cited as an influence by Goth bands in the 1980s. Though the group have been commercially unsuccessful outside of early 1970s Italy, they have inspired several musicians, including John Lydon and Julian Cope; the band formed in 1967 at the University of Manchester, after Chris Judge Smith, who had played in several British rhythm and blues groups whilst a pupil in Oundle School, returned from a trip to San Francisco and, inspired by the bands he had seen, put together a list of possible band names to form a new group. After an unsatisfactory audition they had both attended in response to an advert to form a band, he met fellow student Peter Hammill, playing some of his original songs. Hammill had begun writing songs and poetry at the age of 12 while at prep school, progressed to playing in bands while a pupil at Beaumont College, he was briefly employed as a computer programmer, during which time he subsequently claimed to have written much of the band's early material, before enrolling at Manchester.
Smith was so impressed with the quality of Hammill's original material that the two agreed to form a band together. The band name chosen from Smith's list was based on a Van de Graaff generator, a mechanical device that produces static electricity with lightning-like flashes – the misspellings are accidental. Smith recalls the reason for this may have been that Van de Graaff died in 1967, reported in the media. Among the bands that played the university, including Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, they were impressed by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, recruited an organist, Nick Pearne, to match the format of Arthur Brown's band. Along with two female dancers, the initial line-up was Hammill on guitar and vocals, Smith on drums, wind instruments and vocals, Pearne on organ. According to Smith, the band played as a two-piece, with Smith using a typewriter as a percussion instrument; the band managed to persuade fellow student Caleb Bradley to manage them, by the start of 1968, the band had managed to record a demo tape influenced by blues and jazz, sending it to Lou Reizner the U.
K. head of Mercury Records, who offered the trio of Hammill and Pearne a recording contract in May. At this point, the band had to make a decision whether to stay on at university, or quit their courses and move to London to turn professional. Pearne was not keen to abandon his studies. On arrival in London and Smith met up with trainee BBC engineer and classically trained organist Hugh Banton, a brother of one of their friends back in Manchester; that year, they met Tony Stratton-Smith, who agreed to sign a management contract with them in December. Through him, the band acquired a bass guitar player, Keith Ellis, with drummer Guy Evans joining not too long afterwards; this line-up performed on BBC Radio 1's Top Gear radio show in November, recorded a series of demos for Mercury, before releasing a single on Polydor Records in January 1969. Melody Maker said the single was "one of the best records of the week", but the single was withdrawn under pressure from Mercury, since it violated the contract band members Hammil
The Kinks are an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s; the band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat, were part of the British Invasion of the United States until their touring ban in 1965. Their third single, the Ray Davies-penned "You Really Got Me", became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 in the United States, their music was influenced by a wide range of genres, including rhythm and blues, British music hall and country. They gained a reputation for reflecting English culture and lifestyle, fuelled by Ray Davies' observational writing style, are considered one of the most influential groups of the period. Early works included albums such as Face to Face, Something Else, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Lola Versus Powerman, Muswell Hillbillies, along with their accompanying singles.
After a fallow period in the mid-1970s, the band experienced a revival during the late 1970s and early 1980s with their albums Sleepwalker, Low Budget, Give the People What They Want and State of Confusion. In addition, groups such as Van Halen, the Jam, the Knack, the Pretenders and the Fall covered their songs, helping to boost the Kinks' record sales. In the 1990s, Britpop acts such as Blur and Oasis cited the band as a major influence. Ray Davies and Dave Davies remained members throughout the band's 32-year run. Longest-serving member Mick Avory was replaced by Bob Henrit of Argent, in 1984. Original bass guitarist Pete Quaife was replaced by John Dalton in 1969, Dalton was in turn replaced by Jim Rodford in 1978. Session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins accompanied the band in the studio for many of their recordings in the mid-to-late 1960s. In 1969 the band became an official five-piece when keyboardist John Gosling joined them, being replaced by Ian Gibbons in 1979, who remained in the band until they broke up in 1996.
In 2018, Ray Davies and Dave Davies said. The Kinks have had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, The Kinks have had five Top 10 albums. Four of their albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and the band have sold over 50 million records worldwide. Among numerous honours, they received the Ivor Novello Award for "Outstanding Service to British Music". In 1990, the original four members of The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005; as of mid-2018 Ray Davies and Dave Davies have said they are working to reform the Kinks. The Davies brothers were born in suburban North London on Huntingdon Road, East Finchley, the youngest, only boys, among their family's eight children, their parents and Annie Davies, moved the family to 6 Denmark Terrace, Fortis Green, in the neighbouring suburb of Muswell Hill. At home they were immersed in a world of varied musical styles, from the music hall of their parents' generation to the jazz and early rock and roll that their older sisters enjoyed.
Both Ray and his brother Dave, younger by three years, learned to play guitar, they played skiffle and rock and roll together. The brothers attended William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School, where they formed a band, the Ray Davies Quartet with Ray's friend and classmate Pete Quaife and Quaife's friend John Start, their debut at a school dance was well received, which encouraged the group to play at local pubs and bars. The band went through a series of lead vocalists, including Rod Stewart, another student at William Grimshaw, who performed with the group at least once in early 1962, he formed his own group, Rod Stewart and the Moonrakers, which became a local rival to the Ray Davies Quartet. In late 1962, Ray Davies left home to study at Hornsey College of Art, he pursued interests in subjects such as film, sketching and music, including jazz and blues. When Blues Incorporated played at the college in December, he asked advice from Alexis Korner, who recommended Giorgio Gomelsky, the former Yardbirds manager, who put Davies in touch with the Soho-based Dave Hunt Band, a professional group of musicians who played jazz and R&B.
A few days after the Ray Davies Quartet supported Cyril Stapleton at the Lyceum Ballroom on New Year's Eve, while still remaining in the Quartet, joined the Dave Hunt Band which included Charlie Watts on drums. In February 1963, Davies left Dave Hunt to join the Hamilton King Band, which had Peter Bardens as pianist. At the end of the spring term he left Hornsey College with a view to study film at the Central School of Art and Design, around this time the Quartet changed their name to the Ramrods. Davies has referred to a show the fledgling Kinks played at Hornsey Town Hall on Valentine's Day 1963 as their first important gig. In June, the Hamilton King Band broke up, though the Ramrods kept going, performing under several other names, including the Pete Quaife Band, the Bo-Weevils, before settling on the Ravens; the fledgling group hired two managers, G
A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance, not released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging. Recordings may be copied and traded among fans of the artist without financial exchange, but some bootleggers have sold recordings for profit, sometimes by adding professional-quality sound engineering and packaging to the raw material. Bootlegs consist of either unreleased studio recordings, live performances or interviews with an unpredictable level of quality; the concept of releasing unauthorised performances had been established before the 20th century, but reached new levels of popularity with Bob Dylan's Great White Wonder, a compilation of studio outtakes and demos released in 1969 using low-priority pressing plants. The following year, the Rolling Stones' Live'r Than You'll Ever Be, an audience recording of a late 1969 show, received a positive review in Rolling Stone. Subsequent bootlegs became more sophisticated in packaging the Trademark of Quality label with William Stout's cover artwork.
Compact disc bootlegs first appeared in the 1980s, internet distribution became popular in the 1990s. Changing technologies have affected the recording and varying profitability of the underground industry; the copyrights for the song and the right to authorise recordings reside with the artist, according to several international copyright treaties. The recording and sale of bootlegs continues to thrive, however as artists and record companies attempt to provide released alternatives to satisfy the demand; the word "bootleg" originates from the practice of smuggling illicit items in the legs of tall boots the smuggling of alcohol during the American Prohibition era. The word, over time, has come to refer to any illicit product; this term has become an umbrella term for illicit, unofficial, or unlicensed recordings, including vinyl LPs, silver CDs, or any other commercially sold media or material. The alternate term ROIO or VOI arose among Pink Floyd collectors, to clarify the recording source and copyright status was hard to determine.
Although unofficial and unlicensed recordings had existed before the 1960s, the first rock bootlegs came in plain sleeves with the title rubber stamped on it. However, they developed into more sophisticated packaging, in order to distinguish the manufacturer from inferior competitors. With today's packaging and desktop publishing technology the layman can create "official" looking CDs. With the advent of the cassette and CD-R, some bootlegs are traded with no attempt to be manufactured professionally; this is more evident with the ability to share bootlegs via the Internet. Bootlegs should not be confused with counterfeit or unlicensed recordings, which are unauthorised duplicates of released recordings attempting to resemble the official product as close as possible; some record companies have considered that any record issued outside of their control, for which they do not receive payment, to be a counterfeit, which includes bootlegs. However, some bootleggers are keen to stress that the markets for bootleg and counterfeit recordings are different, a typical consumer for a bootleg will have bought most or all of that artist's official releases anyway.
The most common type is the live bootleg, or audience recording, created with sound recording equipment smuggled into a live concert. Many artists and live venues prohibit this form of recording, but from the 1970s onwards the increased availability of portable technology made such bootlegging easier, the general quality of these recordings has improved over time as consumer equipment becomes sophisticated. A number of bootlegs originated with FM radio broadcasts of live or recorded live performances. Other bootlegs may be soundboard recordings taken directly from a multi-track mixing console used to feed the public address system at a live performance. Artists may record their own shows for private review, but engineers may surreptitiously take a copy of this, which ends up being shared; as a soundboard recording is intended to supplement the natural acoustics of a gig, a bootleg may have an inappropriate mix of instruments, unless the gig is so large that everything needs to be amplified and sent to the desk.
Some bootlegs consist of private or professional studio recordings distributed without the artist's involvement, including demos, works-in-progress or discarded material. These might be made from private recordings not meant to be shared, or from master recordings stolen or copied from an artist's home, a recording studio or the offices of a record label, or they may be copied from promotional material issued to music publishers or radio stations, but not for commercial release. A theme of early rock bootlegs was to copy deleted records, such as old singles and B-sides, onto a single LP, as a cheaper alternative to obtaining all the original recordings. Speaking, these were unlicensed recordings, but because the work required to clear all the copyrights and publishing of every track for an official release was considered to be prohibitively expensive, the bootlegs became popular; some bootlegs, did lead to official releases. The Who's Zoo bootleg, collecting early singles of The Who, inspired the official album Odds And Sods, which beat the bootleggers by issuing unreleased material, while various compilations of mid-1960s bands inspired the Nuggets series of albums.
According to enthusiast and author Clinton Heylin, the concept of a bootleg record can be traced back to
Alice Cooper is an American singer and actor whose career spans over fifty years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock", he has drawn from horror films and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people. Originating in Phoenix, Arizona, in the late 1960s after he moved to Detroit, Michigan, "Alice Cooper" was a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, Neal Smith on drums; the original Alice Cooper band released its first album in 1969. They broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit song "I'm Eighteen" from their third studio album Love It to Death; the band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album Billion Dollar Babies.
In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame. Furnier adopted the band's name as his own name in the 1970s and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. Expanding from his Detroit rock roots, Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, industrial rock. Cooper is known for his sociable and witty personality offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer", he is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, has been described as the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper. Cooper was born in Detroit, the son of Ether Moroni Furnier and his wife Ella Mae, née McCart.
His father was an Evangelist in The Church of Jesus Christ headquartered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. He has English, Huguenot French, Irish and Sioux ancestry, he was named after his uncle, Vincent Collier Furnier, the writer Damon Runyon. His paternal grandfather, Thurman Sylvester Furnier, was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ and President from 1963-1965. Cooper was active in his church at the ages of 11 and 12. While growing up in Detroit, Cooper attended Washington Elementary School Nankin Mills Jr. High. Following a series of childhood illnesses, he moved with his family to Phoenix, where he attended Cortez High School. In his high school yearbook, his ambition was to be "A million record seller." In 1964, 16-year-old Furnier was eager to participate in the local annual Cortez High School Letterman's talent show, so he gathered four fellow cross-country teammates to form a group for the show: Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, John Tatum and John Speer. They named themselves the Earwigs.
They dressed up in costumes and wigs to resemble the Beatles, performed several parodies of Beatles songs, with the lyrics modified to refer to the track team: in their rendition of "Please Please Me", for example, the line "Last night I said these words to my girl" was replaced with "Last night I ran four laps for my coach". Of the group, only Buxton knew how to play an instrument—the guitar—so Buxton played guitar while the rest mimed on their instruments; the group won the talent show. As a result of their positive experience, the group decided to try to turn into a real band, they acquired musical instruments from a local pawn shop, proceeded to learn how to play them, with Buxton doing most of the teaching, as well as much of the early songwriting. They soon renamed themselves the Spiders, featuring Furnier on vocals, Buxton on lead guitar, Tatum on rhythm guitar, Dunaway on bass guitar, Speer on drums. Musically, the group was inspired by artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, the Doors, the Yardbirds.
For the next year the band performed around the Phoenix area with a huge black spider's web as their backdrop, the group's first stage prop. In 1965, the Spiders recorded their first single, "Why Don't You Love Me", with Furnier learning the harmonica for the song; the single's B-side track was the Marvin Gaye Tamla Records hit "Hitch Hike". The single was released by local record label Mascot Records, owned by Jack Curtis, a concert promoter who owned the Stage 7 teen club, which became the VIP Club where the Spiders were the house band. In 1966, the Spiders graduated from Cortez High School, after North High School football player Michael Bruce replaced John Tatum on rhythm guitar, the band released their second single, "Don't Blow Your Mind", an original composition which became a local No. 1 hit, backed by "No Price Tag". The single was recorded at Copper State Recording Studio and issued by local micro-imprint Santa Cruz Records. By 1967, the band had begun to make regular road trips to Los Angeles to play shows.
They soon renamed themselves Nazz and released the single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now", backed with future Alice Cooper track "Lay Down and Die, Goodbye". Around this time, drummer John Speer was replaced by Neal Smith. By the end of the year, the band had relocated to Los Angeles. In 1968, the band learned that Todd Rundgren had a band called Nazz, found themselves in need of another stage name. Furnier believed that the group needed a gimmick