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Zebra

Rock | 2012

Founded in 1975 in New Orleans, Zebra is a three-man band that consists of Randy Jackson, who is lead vocalist, songwriter, and lead guitarist (his guitar playing and vocal stylings are reminiscent of Led Zepelin’s Page/Plant); Guy Gelso, who plays drums/percussion and does backing vocals; and Felix Hanemann, who ties it all together on bass, keyboards, and backing vocals. After gaining a reputation for being a hard-rocking cover band in the New Orleans bar scene, the band was told they should check out the thriving Long Island rock club scene, where bands like Twisted Sister and the Good Rats were cranking out significant rock ’n roll. In 1976, Zebra played its first Long Island gig on New Year’s Eve at The 1890s, a club in the town of Baldwin. For several years, Zebra split gigs between Long Island—where they all eventually moved—and southern Louisiana. The band recorded two demo tapes, and as they shopped them to record labels, radio stations in both New York (WBAB-FM) and New Orleans (WRNO-FM) gave Zebra a boost by playing songs from the demo—in particular, “Who’s Behind the Door?” which became a frequent request. In late 1982, Jason Flom signed Zebra to a five-record deal with Atlantic. The self-titled debut, Zebra, was released in March 1983 and became the fastest-selling debut record in Atlantic Records history, selling 75,000 copies in the first week.

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