Alice Cooper - vocals; Josef Chrowski - keyboards, vocals; Whitey Glan - drums; Steve Hunter - guitar, vocals; Prakash John - bass, vocals; Dick Wagner - guitar, vocals
The tour from which this concert was recorded (originally in July 1975, for the King Biscuit Flower Hour) is when Vincent Furnier officially became known as Alice Cooper and the band previously going by that moniker was disbanded. Alice Cooper was the name of a 17th century witch that had come to Furnier during a game of Ouji board. After nearly five years in the international spotlight as the king of shock rock, Cooper had decided it was time to strike out on his own, but unlike most lead singers who are eager to shed the image they had with their initial bands, Cooper made a seamless transition, changing only the musicians.
His leap to solo success closely paralleled that of Janis Joplin. After finding both critical and commercial success with Big Brother & the Holding Company, she shed the band that had been called "mediocre musicians, at best," and surrounded herself with seasoned pros. The difference was Cooper, unlike Joplin, was not much of a singer, but a spectacular vaudevillian showman. The change allowed Cooper to not only delve into other musical styles (his success with the ballad "Only Women Bleed" is an example of that), but also allowed him to focus completely on the theatrics of his live show without worrying about the quality of the music.
With Cooper, saying he hired seasoned pros is an understatement. Sticking with long time producer Bob Ezrin (who had done all the commercially viable Cooper band LPs), Alice took his advice and hijacked the entire backing band of former Velvet Underground front man, Lou Reed. Ezrin had assembled the band (which included former Ursa Major guitarist/singer Dick Wagner), to back Reed on his commercial breakthrough live album, Rock 'n' Roll Animal.
With Cooper the band became his musical backing group for his first solo album, Welcome To My Nightmare, and its accompanying network TV special and live tour. Fortunately, Welcome To My Nightmare was a strong work, and the band brought a welcomed breath of fresh musical air to not only the new tracks, but to Cooper classics such as "I'm Eighteen," "Billion Dollar Babies," and the now high school classic mantra, "School's Out."