Z.E.R.O. - A Brief History
Z.E.R.O. is the result of a series of seemingly unrelated events occurring over a period of time within the known Zappaverse. The easiest way to tell the story is with a list of time-line entries.
The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra is formed by Kevin Crosby in as a result of a joke regarding the performance of Frank Zappa's music on the ukulele.
After sending a recording of the first Z.E.R.O. gig to former Project/Object drummer and Pojama People bandleader, Glenn Leonard, Kevin is asked by Glenn to join Pojama People as a bassist.
Pojama People play a short tour in the Pacific Northwest and solidify plans to perform at Zappanale #24 in Bad Doberan in August.
While at Zappanale #24, before the Pojama People set, Kevin meets up with Andrew Greenaway for pizza and is given the task of reworking an unreleased song by Frank Zappa, called "Variant #1" for the upcoming "Rare Episodes" compilation CD on Cordelia Records in the U.K. Just before PjP is about to play, Andrew happens to introduce Kevin (who is looking for somebody to run his video camera) to Mick Zeuner. Pojama People go on to play their set (without Ike Willis - it's a long story), Mick films the show and returns the camera to Kevin along with a business card. PjP returns to the U.S.A., Kevin and Mick begin exchanging ideas and jokes via email.
Then in September, in a tragic turn of events, the band leader and drummer for Pojama People, Glenn Leonard dies of a heart attack, leaving everyone around him in a state of sadness and confusion. Pojama People essentially ceases all activity. In late October, Kevin and Rupert Kettle go into Egg Studio in Seattle, Washington and spend approx 8 hours recording and mixing "Variant #1" for Andrew Greenaway. The song grows into a bit of a concept piece and is eventually chosen as first song on the "Rare Episodes" disc.
Winter 2013 into Spring 2014...
The members of Pojama People try to adjust to the loss of Glenn. Kevin and Mick keep exchanging ideas and plans. The "Rare Episodes" compilation CD is released on Cordelia Records in the U.K. and the track by Z.E.R.O. is very well received. Kevin manages to convince Cordelia Records to release a full-length CD of Z.E.R.O.'s interpretations of Zappa's music.
Over the next several months, Kevin recruits a host of local talent, members of Pojama People, Mick, a few comedy-music luminaries (i.e. Prairie Prince of The Tubes) and records the first CD by the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra, "Money? What Money?".
The "Money? What Money?" tracks and cover art are sent off to Cordelia Records in the U.K.
Spring into Summer 2015...
Kevin and Rupert fly to England to crash the Festival Moo-ah just as the CD's arrived. Although Z.E.R.O. didn't really have a band or plan (or instruments) Rupert sat in with the Mick Zeuner and the String Trash Trio, and Kevin sat in with Ike Willis and Zappatika. Videos and audio are broadcast throughout Europe. The Zappaverse becomes aware of Z.E.R.O. The '$? What$?' CD's finally arrive in England and Washington State.
The "Money? What Money?" CD is quite well received in the Zappaverse and Z.E.R.O.'s reputation (such that it is) starts to slowly get known by the important few around the planet. At some point, iBOZ (the International Bureau of Z.E.R.O.) is born and a collection of photos of iBOZ members from around the globe wearing their Z.E.R.O. T-shirts starts to grow.
More gigs, the Z.E.R.O.Live_Unit expands and drummer Joe Trump is added to the fray. Work on the second Z.E.R.O. CD starts and negotiations to bring Pojama People (featuring Ike Willis) back to the stage after a 2-year hiatus due to the passing in 2013, of PjP band leader and drummer - Glenn Leonard, begin. Another milestone hit in August - Z.E.R.O. is selected to play at Zappanale #27 in Bad Doberan, Germany in 2016.
Kevin and Ike Willis start discussing the return of Pojama People to the stage with Z.E.R.O. and about the possibility of having Ike appear on the second Z.E.R.O. CD.
The Reindeer Ripped My Flesh Tour is born.
Z.E.R.O. has survived the 'Reindeer Ripped My Flesh' tour with Pojama People and Ike WIllis, the 2nd CD is in progress. (We have tracks from Tubes drummer, Prairie Prince ~AND~ some vocals and guitar from Ike Willis in the can!)
The 2nd Z.E.R.O. CD is almost finished. New Z.E.R.O. recordings of 'Who Are The Brain Police?' and 'Montana' are released as download-able singles. Featuring the talented contributions of... Juliana Brandon and 'The Wanz' from Macklemoore - Michael A Wansley on vocals, Rupert Kettle and Matt Fox on guitar, Andrew Greenaway on narration, Prairie Prince on drums, Kevin Crosby on bass, arranging and production.
Mick Zeuner flew into Seattle for a week to rehearse and plan for Zappanale #27. Circumstances work out that Todd Rundgren is in the area and Kevin has the opportunity to introduce Mick Zeuner to his fellow Z.E.R.O. drummer, Prairie Prince.
The band is ready for Zappanale #27 and excited to have the opportunity to travel to Bad Doberan this summer. Our official title for Zappanale is 'The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra ~ featuring Alli Bach'.
The musicians in the band will be
Kevin Crosby - ukulele, bass and balloon animals
Alli Bach - Vocals, percussion and tap dancing
Juliana Brandon - vocals, kazoo and human theremin
Ted Clifford - keyboards
Rupert Kettle - guitar, ukulele and pedal steel
Mick Zeuner - drums and translations
- Band URLs: <