Rock Band Zebra Shows Off
Zep-Influenced Stripes in New York
A SoundPress.net Archive Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

(Don't miss our radio interview with Randy Jackson
on Episode #121 [mp3] of the SoundPress.net Radio Show )

Founded in 1975, Zebra - Randy Jackson (guitar & vocals), Felix Hanemann (bass, keys & vocals) and Guy Gelso (drums & vocals) - first gained acclaim as a Led Zeppelin cover band until they scored a record deal in 1983 with Atlantic Records. They stood out from the pack of early 80's bands on the strength of their debut album which produced the popular songs "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind The Door". Fast forward thirty five years and Zebra's concerts remain a rite of passage for their fervent fans and new adherents alike.

Zebra Rocks New York City
Zebra - and a herd of their fans - flocked to Times Square.

The hard rock power pop trio appeared at B.B. Kings in New York City on December 27, 2009 to perform a strong set of their own music along with an encore of Zep staples. The B.B. King Blues Club & Grill was bustling with an enthusiastic crowd and a few fans could be seen sporting zebra patterned apparel. The show in New York has become a tradition of sorts for the Long Island-based threesome and the trio responded with an energized set of originals that spanned their career.

Zebra frontman Randy Jackson gave several shout outs to New York throughout the night as the band played fast-paced tunes from their records running from 1983 through 2003. The first half of the set was concise and songs such as the opener "As I Said Before" and "No Tellin' Lies" found Zebra blending catchy harmonies with crunchy hard rock guitars and rhythms.

Zebra Rocks New York City
Randy Jackson on guitar and vocals on stage in New York City.

The second half of their originals set included more extensive solos with Felix Hanemann seamlessly switching from bass to keys as needed. Randy was in good voice all night and maintained consistent form through the high ranges. He was also a study in exacting vocal delivery. Guy Gelso was fast and furious on the kit - especially during his own moment in the spotlight in the form of an extended and exciting drum solo.

Zebra closed their first set strong with the hits. The "The La La Song" was lively and included sizzling solos. "Tell Me What You Want" was edgy and engaging and "Take Your Fingers From My Hair" ran the gamut from melodic to almost manic. After a short break, Zebra returned for the Zeppelin set. The trio aptly executed the Zeppelin covers starting with a rousing version of "The Rover" followed by "Over The Hills and Far Away". Jackson was impressive handling both the challenging guitar leads and vocals.

"Rock and Roll" was potent and preceded the set closer "Kashmir". The trio played a convincing version of the colorful and complex Led Zeppelin classic. Afterwards, Guy Gelso and his Zep cover band Hindenburg continued jamming through a few more numbers. Zebra showed it's Zep inspired stripes at B.B Kings by playing a zippy set of Zebra's signature originals and paying tribute to a band that helped shape their musical course. Zebra is currently working on a new record with hopes of a summer 2010 release.

Zebra Rocks New York City
The respected rhythm section of Guy Gelso (l) and Felix Hanemann (r) power the beast known as Zebra.

ZEBRA SET:
• As I Said Before
• Free
• My Life Has Changed
• Drive Me Crazy
• Wait Until The Summer's Gone
• Arabian Nights
• No Tellin' Lies
• The La La Song
• Makin' You The Fool
• Don't Walk Away
• Tell Me What You Want
• Why
• Time
• Who's Behind The Door
• One More Chance
• Take Your Fingers From My Hair

ZEBRA ZEP SET:
• The Rover
• Over The Hills and Far Away
• Celebration Day
• What Is and What Should Never Be
• Immigrant Song
• Rock and Roll
• Kashmir

Surprise HINDENBURG Set:
• Bring It On Home
• Wanton Song
• Lemon Song

Zebra Rocks New York City
Zebra and the ZEP set encore is a popular musical attraction.

Related Links: For more information on ZEBRA and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- TheDoor.com | bbkingblues.com

(Originally Published on December 28, 2009)

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