Zebra’s guitarist Timo Laine sent me the photos above and told me about the group.
Zebra members were:
Timo Laine: lead guitar
Noe Cruz: bass
Bruce Bordon: vocals
Jerry Beasley: drums
Bob Silvert: keyboards
Zebra was together for about 5 years. Everywhere we played there would be a line around the building to get in. We were loved by the dance crowd, and the club owners kept us busy.
Zebra opened for the Rolling Stones and the Byrds in the late ’60s in Fresno. We also played with B.B. King, Ballin’jack, Zephyr, Ike and Tina Turner and many other name acts, but I don’t remember them all. We were a full time club band, 5 nights a week.
Our main clubs were Pier 11 (Newport Beach), Finnegan’s Rainbow (Newport Beach), The Interlude (Santa Cruz), Odyssey Theatre (Phoenix, AZ), Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Ichabods (Fullerton), Saint George and the Dragon (Tustin), and the Forum in Fresno.
We met Tony Cary at the Forum, where he first saw the act. He kept coming in every night and buying us drinks. Finally he said he was a record producer, and wanted to produce Zebra. Tony had a lot of industry contacts, and radio station friends like the Drake-Chenault radio station owners.
He moved the band to the Marriott in Studio City, and started recording the act at Pat Boone’s Lion and the Lamb Studio. We were almost finished recording the album when we got a telegram that Tony had died. We were told he had overdosed. This was a huge loss for us.
The album was never mixed or mastered, except the single “Helter Skelter” and “Wasted”, that was done first. I don’t know whatever happened to the masters.
After his death, I was offered a recording contract to record an album I wrote called Space Rangers with Neil Merryweather. It was recorded in Capital Records studio, and released by Mercury Records out of Chicago. After Space Rangers, I signed to A&M Records and released Symphonic Slam.
I had a new release this year, and another in 2011. I’m currently working on a new production: Jimmy Haslip (Yellow Jackets, Alan Holdsworth, Robin Ford) will be on bass, Mark Stevens on drums, me on guitars and guitar synths. Talks are in the works that Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) may do the keys.
My later albums are on timolainemusic.com
Timo Laine: No, we were before they came out.