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“When Bob Ezrin got a hold of us, he said, ‘When a Doors record comes on, you know it’s Jim Morrison singing, and you know it’s Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek and John Densmore playing. They have a signature sound. People love you guys, but for all anyone knows, you could be the Electric Prunes. What we’re going to do is work on your vocals, so that when people hear this music, they know it’s Alice Cooper.’
“We were a stubborn group of guys who didn’t want to listen to anybody, including Frank Zappa. Bob Ezrin jeopardized his job to produce us, and we, for the first time – don’t ask me how or why – believed in him, even tough he had never produced before.
“He came in and we played I’m Eighteen, and he said, ‘Too smart. It needs to be dumber.’ So we’d go back and work on it, and he’d again say, ‘No, still too smart. Dumb it down.’ Finally, we got down to just ‘dun-dun-da-da-da-da-duhnn!’ It was so powerful and in your face.
“Originally, he thought the song was called I’m Edgy, and I thought that might make a better title. He said, ‘I’m Eighteen – every kid in the world will relate to that.’ But he was insistent on us dumbing it down. We did question that approach at first, because we wanted to be The Yardbirds. But there was something about his attitude that endeared him to us.
“He’d say, ‘That bass part? I’m gonna put a cello under there.’ We looked at each other and said, ‘Not on our record you’re not.’ I thought he wanted to make it like Yesterday or something. He said, ‘Let me just play it for you.’ He put cello and piano on it, and you couldn’t tell what it was, but it sounded rich and cool and not normal. He was solidifying the bass and guitar parts with other instruments, and it really made the song pop. That right there made us go, ‘How did he do it? He’s right!’ From then on in, we trusted him with everything.”