“Living and Touring with Alice Cooper (and Other Stories): Mysterious Tales from the Early Years” by Michael Allen has been released worldwide. This 406-page memoir, which has achieved Amazon Bestseller status as the #1 bestseller and #1 new release in the “Heavy Metal” category, and the #1 bestseller and #1 new release in the “Rock” category, delves into the author’s personal experiences working with the Alice Cooper group from their early days in Arizona as The Spiders through their tumultuous rise to fame as the defining face of “shock rock.”
Joining the fledgling group as a college freshman in the mid-sixties, Mike “Amp Boy” Allen became Alice Cooper’s first roadie. As the misfit young band earned their stripes, traveling from gig to gig and developing the style that would bring them massive success, Mike and the others face setbacks, chance encounters, and the rollercoaster of the rock and roll lifestyle.
With behind-the-scenes action, tender moments of family and friendship, and 100 photos of the band’s career from 1965 to 1970, the author brings readers into the untold tales of Alice Cooper’s early years. He shows the reality behind the show, which is often stranger than notorious concerts, from celebrity meetings and potentially career-ending catastrophe to mundane moments of scrappy determination.
An intimate look at early years of a legendary rock group directly from a person who lived it, Michael Allen’s memoir ranges from hilarious to terrifying, with action-packed stories of success and desperate moments of uncertainty. This book pulls back the curtains on the origins of Alice Cooper and the role “Amp Boy” played in the band’s incredible career.
“Mike ‘Amp Boy’ Allen has lots of stories that Alice Cooper fans haven’t heard. Mike’s writing style is personable and full of laughs. I highly recommend it. Follow his page for the big build-up.” – Dennis Dunaway, Author, Artist, and founding member of Alice Cooper
“This phenomenon was years in the making. From the sweltering desert of Arizona, this group of high school friends dreamed of being performers and set about on their path. Mike ‘Amp Boy’ Allen was a working member of this group. Mike was there to see a Beatles parody group, ‘The Earwigs’ begin to hone their musical chops to advance from high school parties to local clubs and to venture out to California to play clubs like the Cheetah and the Whisky A Go Go… loading in and out with the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Doors.
Mike had first hand observations as doubts set in, band members changed and the band changed its name to ‘Alice Cooper’ and the legendary phenomenon was launched.
Climb in the group’s van, find your spot among the bodies, amps, gear, and props, and enjoy Mike Allen’s firsthand account of the early days of this rock n roll phenomenon… the legendary ‘Alice Cooper’ group.” – Paul Brenton, Music Historian
“Mike Allen offers a fascinating insight into the life of a group of college friends as they took their first steps on the road to becoming legends. He was there at every stage, humping the amps, driving the vans and living and breathing the life of a rock band struggling to survive the chaotic world of 60s rock’n’roll.” – Si Halley, SickthingsUK (http://www.sickthings.co.uk)
“Michael Allen’s descriptions are the dream job for any rock fan; a firsthand account of traveling with a world famous band from the beginning, it is our generation’s version of running away with the circus.” – Mercedes Kent, Radio Host: The Silver Screen with Mercedes Kent
“The history of rock is often most interesting when told by its little hands. In other words, the people who were really there, who saw it all, but whose names have been lost to those of the musicians and producers, engraved in the marble of the record sleeves. Like Michael Bruce before him, Dennis Dunaway has produced a highly commendable autobiography of the band that made them famous. ‘Living and Touring with Alice Cooper and Other Stories’ (Manhattan Book Group), by roadie Michael Allen, adds a few grains of salt to the saga’s beginnings. Prompted to collect his memories by fans, Allen is a modest fellow who has long doubted they could be of any interest. In truth, his book is a delight, favoring facts over gossip, while reminding us that, alongside the music, the rock we love has always been one hell of a human adventure.” – Rock & Folk magazine, France
Living and Touring with Alice Cooper (ISBN: 9781958729908) can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The hardcover retails for $32.95 and the eBook retails for $5.99. Signed copies can be purchased at www.Peregrinebookcompany.com. Review copies and interviews are available upon request.
From the back cover:
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work for a rock and roll band?
It’s the era of Peace and Love. The mid-sixties. Mike Allen is a typical college freshman hanging out in the Student Union with Glen, Vince, and Dennis. When the teenage musicians make him an offer to be their first roadie, he’s interested. He had the one thing they lacked in their quest for fame: a vehicle to haul them and their equipment.
This is the story of Alice Cooper, the band that almost never was. Five teenaged musicians began their journey from cover band to super group, becoming Alice Cooper. Their shared experiences molded them into a family. The Alice Cooper group and Mike Allen, aka Amp Boy, the nickname Vince gave him, lived and traveled together on the sometimes punishing, often exhilarating journey.
Some of the adventures inside:
A catastrophic accident nearly ends it all. There was a band meeting: “What do we do now?” was the question. Alice said, “We don’t know how to do anything else!” They had to find a solution.
On a warm spring night in the Arizona desert, Neal Smith suffers a gunshot to his foot. He confessed to the police that he shot himself. But was that the way it happened?
At their Topanga Canyon home, the band delved into the occult, holding a séance that made an impression on everyone who witnessed it. Especially Jim Morrison of The Doors and Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper. What happened that insane night will never be forgotten.
Alice Cooper at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival put on the most extreme visual show in the rock and roll world. The group achieved notorious worldwide attention all because of a chicken and a flare gun. Did Alice bite the head off the chicken and drink its blood? Was the chicken torn apart by the crowd and the remains thrown on stage? Was the stadium set afire by a flare gun? What’s the true story?
Cindy, sister of drummer Neal Smith, becomes their costume designer and house mother, tagging along for the adventure as her love story with Dennis begins. And Amp Boy faithfully supports the group while clumsily pursuing the girl of his dreams.
Hand to mouth existence, road accidents, and theft shake their resolve. Pulling together through it all, they had wild and fun experiences, hanging out with Jim Morrison, David Crosby, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and other famous and soon to be famous rock stars. They find love, have too-frequent police encounters, and discover the theatrical talents that would define them and shock the world.
These are stories of friendship and family, hardship and near disaster, failure and success, laughter and pain, the mundane to the ridiculous – living the rock and roll life while traveling hell bent on the road to the top.
Included are close to 100 photographs, nearly 80 unpublished, from the early years of the group as they evolved from The Earwigs, The Spiders, The Nazz, and finally to Alice Cooper.
About the author:
Michael Allen was nearly born in a duck blind and grew up all over the country, landing in Arizona when his U.S. Marine dad retired. He quit college to join a rock and roll band as their first-ever roadie. The band became Alice Cooper.
Michael is a card-carrying DIY’er, an ardent fixer-upper, and a thrift store and yard sale aficionado, having remodeled, decorated, and furnished six homes with his finds. When not occupied with those projects, he was an anesthesia provider for thirty years.
He splits his time between his two homes in Arizona with his wife Ellen.
About Manhattan Book Group:
Manhattan Book Group (“MBG”), located on Broadway in New York City, is a registered trade name of Mindstir Media LLC. MBG is widely known as a premier hybrid book publisher. We have combined the best of traditional publishing with the best of self-publishing to provide authors with the “best of both worlds” in a sense. To learn more about MBG, visit https://www.manhattanbookgroup.com/
Company Name: Manhattan Book Group
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