It was 1972. The flamboyant rock star Alice Cooper, not quite a household name at that point in England, was booked to play London’s Wembley Stadium. Shortly before the concert date, only a couple hundred of the 7,000 available tickets had been sold.
Facing an epic failure, the redoubtable rock music promoter Shep Gordon emblazoned the side of a truck with a huge picture of Alice Cooper, naked except for a boa constrictor covering his genitals. As recounted in the recent documentary Supermensch, Gorden then instructed the driver of the truck to break down in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. Traffic was backed up for blocks. The press turned out to see what was going on. And so did the photographers.