In mid -1974, just after moving to LA, I started doing some work at Cherokee Studios, where Flo & Eddie had done some recording. When F&E were ready to tour in late 1974, they called the studio, and I was recommended. We toured and recorded constantly for about three years, making the “Illegal, Immoral and Fattening” and “Moving Targets” records. Flo and Eddie shows were known for alot of great hit songs from their career as “Turtles”, cool stuff from the Flo & Eddie albums, some stuff from the Zappa years, and their usually profane and hysterical tirades about the excesses of pop stars and the music business in general. I mean, this was funny stuff, and usually attracted big names to the shows, particularly the shows in towns like LA and NYC. That’s how I first met Alice, onstage with Keith Moon at the Troubadour in LA singing ‘Happy Together’ (Turtles Hit) and ‘Wooly Bully’.
Mark and Howard (F&E), as the main “Turtles”, had their first #1 single at the age of 16, followed by many more Top Ten hits and they developed a particular perspective on the music scene that combined a love of the music and the musicians, with laser-eyed observations on the sometimes ridiculous excesses surrounding the circus. I couldn’t help but absorb some of this perspective.
For a young musician from Gurnee, Illinois (where?), recording and touring with Flo & Eddie upon first moving to LA was enlightening, illuminating, eye-opening and a lot of other -ing words. In short…great sport…a fine graduate course on the music business and its denizens. On Christmas Eve 1974, at LA’s Troubadour, Linda Ronstadt, James Tayler, Joni Mitchell, Peter Asher and others all came onstage and sang Christmas carols. The next night is when Alice Cooper and Keith Moon came up and did “Happy Together” and “Wooly Bully”. In NYC , Lou Reed came up and we did “Walk on the Wild Side”. Later in Australia, our tours intersected, and Mark and I spent some additional time with Lou…interesting fellow. Time and conversations spent with all these folks was pretty cool.
And while Mark and Howard weren’t as big as Flo & Eddie as they were as Turtles, we got on huge tours. We went out in ’75 with Jefferson Starship, whose “Red Octopus” album went to #1 five different times, and in ’76 we were out with the Doobie Brothers, whose “Takin’ It to The Streets” was also #1. In between we did a tour with Steven Stills, and gigs with Fleetwood Mac, among others.
I can remember doing a show in San Francisco with Steven Stills, where the rumor going around was that Neil Young was going to appear with Steven onstage and sing some songs for the first time since CSN&Y had broken up. So I found myself hiding behind the guitar rig with Grace Slick and Craig Krampf as the reunion took place. These tours, and the albums with Flo & Eddie, still stick in my memory. – Erik Scott