Zebra came out of New Orleans in the late 1970s, destined to be the next big power trio in rock. Knowing they needed a major east coast market to break out of, the band traveled on a regular basis to New York City and Long Island, where they quickly built a loyal following in a number of rock clubs. When they first arrived in New York, it was clear to Zebra that their competition would be fierce. In Long Island, bands like Twisted Sister and the Good Rats were dominating the rock clubs and had a number of labels eager to sign them.
Being strong competitors, when guitarist Randy Jackson, drummer Guy Gelso, and bassist Felix Hanemann showed up, they quickly turned Zebra into a well oiled rock 'n' roll engine. The band (and Jackson, in particular) was obviously influenced by Led Zeppelin and made no attempt to hide their love for the famed British band, fashioning many songs with Page-like power riffs and falsetto vocals clearly inspired by Zep vocal master, Robert Plant. Still, even though Zebra had a sound similar to the mighty Zep, they had a solid group of original songs that were easily as good as any other songs by a power trio making music at that time.
Now essentially re-rooted in Long Island, Zebra soon started getting considerable label attention when they started filling up clubs night after night. Atlantic Records signed the band, and in 1982 brought in famed record producer, Jack Douglas (known for his work with Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and John Lennon's Double Fantasy album). The band went into the studio with Douglas and came out several weeks later with one of the strongest debut albums to come out by a hard rock power trio in the early 1980s, simply entitled Zebra. Featuring such memorable tracks as "La La Song," and "Who's Behind The Door," the band's record was briefly the fastest selling debut in the history of Atlantic Records. Next, Zebra hit the road for eight months, sharing the stage with Loverboy and Cheap Trick.
Not only did Zebra bring their music to thousands of enthusiastic fans, a steady stream of one-nighters made them one of the tightest bands in the land. After touring for almost a year behind their debut LP, the band was notified they only had a matter of weeks to finish writing and recording a sophomore release. They banged out an inferior follow-up called No Tellin' Lies, which was warmly received by their legion of fans but largely ignored by the press and radio. Not skipping a beat, the band toured for eight months with Loverboy, Foghat, Journey, Sammy Hagar, and Bryan Adams.
By the time they set off to record a third album, 3.V, their market was starting to wane. Jackson dabbled in a solo career shortly thereafter, and the band essentially stayed away from the limelight for nearly two decades, with the exception of releasing a few live albums during this time. In 2003, they released the studio album Zebra IV, and the band has continued to tour.
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