Good ‘ol Rock and Roll: Remembering ZEBRA
They debuted when rock music needed them the most – Zebra filled a void left by Led Zeppelin while at the same time staying away from the hair-band phenomenon of the early 80’s. Over 20 years later, Zebra remains true to a musical vision that has kept them among New Orleans most cherished rock and roll commodities.
In the mid-1970’s before the term “garage band” had even been invented, Zebra was sweating it out in small clubs in and around New Orleans, winning over local crowds with a hybrid of styles that resembled Led Zeppelin, Rush and maybe a little bit of Yes tossed in for good measure. With their self-titled debut, Zebra quickly became a staple of FM radio thanks to the hit singles “Tell Me What You Want” and “Who’s Behind the Door.”
The economical production of producer Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, Cheap Trick) along with the soaring falsetto of lead singer Randy Jackson made for a memorable debut that topped the AOR charts. It takes a lot less time to fall off the mountain then to climb it, and such was the case with Zebra. With a Gold Record debut under their belts, Jackson and his cohorts Felix Hanemann (bass/keyboards) and Guy Gelso (drums) went back in the studio to produce their follow-up. The critically panned “No Tellin’ Lies”, while still popular with hardcore fans, failed to duplicate the success of their freshman effort. Zebra’s third offering entitled 3.V signaled the end of their contract with Atlantic records and put Zebra back on the club circuit where they should have stayed in the first place.
Zebra has continued touring over the years and proudly wears the mantle of “the best live rock band in Louisiana”. Two great live CD sets and a core audience that continues to sell out appearances led to “Zebra IV” which was released in late 2003. A live performance on DVD may be released in late 2006.
Far from being Led Zeppelin wanna-be’s, Zebra maintains its incredible regional popularity while continuing to produce classic rock and roll.