Patrons of Arlene’s Grocery, the Lower East Side nightclub, have long known Paul and David Zablidowsky and their good friend Joey Cassata as ZO2, a shaggy-haired, heavy-metal trio whose set usually precedes the Monday night karaoke party. They might also know that in 2004 the band realized a dream when it was tapped for a 40-date tour, opening for Kiss and Poison.
But even the most ardent ZO2 fans may not realize that to make ends meet — even after that big break with Kiss — the three musicians moonlighted on Saturday mornings as a sought-after children’s birthday party act called the Z Brothers. Had there been T-shirts for their dayside tour crisscrossing the metropolitan New York region, they would have listed dates playing for the children of Robert De Niro, Michael J. Fox, Chazz Palminteri and Al Roker, the “Today” weatherman.
With their Jekyll-and-Hyde repertory — Wiggles by day, Judas Priest by night — it was probably inevitable that television would come calling. And on Aug. 24 at 11:30 p.m., IFC will unveil “Z Rock,” a 10-part comedy series based heavily on the real-life adventures of ZO2 and the Z Brothers.
In the show the band members play fictionalized versions of themselves, exaggerating their actual experiences — including a pitched rivalry with other New York-based children’s musicians — pursuing the recording contract that long eluded them.
“Television is what radio used to be,” said David Zablidowsky, 26, who plays bass and who, like his older brother, Paul, is known professionally only by his first name and last initial. “If you’re anybody, you’re on television now. That really is the way to get your music out there.”
Viewers inclined to watch the series with their young children, beware: IFC likes to refer to itself as “always uncut,” and “Z Rock” is no exception. It features plenty of topless groupies and simulated sexual acts, between, among others, the band members and some of the young mothers seen doing the hokeypokey at the daytime shows. Which raises a question: Just how true to life were some of those scenes?
“There were always hot moms,” Mr. Cassata, 30, the band’s drummer, said wistfully over a recent lunch of steamed broccoli and seared tuna, alongside his bandmates at a theater district restaurant.
Paulie Z, 28, interjected: “They were all wealthy, good-looking and in shape. I don’t speak for anyone in the band but myself, because I don’t know what skeletons are in their closets. But I definitely took advantage of some of the nannies.”
Like the dialogue in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “This Is Spinal Tap,” much of that in “Z Rock” is improvised, though with the players working off highly detailed outlines. For the three band members, who had never previously acted, the approach proved a blessing. Most of the situations in which their characters are placed by the show’s writers and producers — who include Mark Farrell, a former producer of “Curb” — are adapted from tales the band told in hours spent sitting around a table.
“They created a world that was familiar to the guys,” said Lynn Lendway, who manages the real-life ZO2 with her husband, Bob Held. “Then they said, ‘Speak the way you speak.’ ”
For a supporting cast the producers surrounded the musicians with stand-up comedians and improv players, including Lynne Koplitz (who plays the band’s dedicated if addled manager, Dina); Greg Giraldo (as a powerful record producer, who delivers an endlessly profane reprimand to Paulie Z after the band is late for his son’s birthday party); and Jay Oakerson (as a club manager who repeatedly propositions Paulie, who is straight).
Among the many musicians playing fictionalized versions of themselves in cameos are John Popper of Blues Traveler (who agrees to sign the Z Brothers, not ZO2, to a recording contract, but only after Dina sleeps with him); Dee Snider of Twisted Sister; and Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors. Joan Rivers plays Joan Rivers, but reimagined as Dina’s aunt.
Where fiction and reality diverge most sharply in the series, Mr. Cassata said, is in the TV band’s propensity for being “very self-sabotaging.”
“It seems on the show like we’re reckless, but we’re not in real life,” he said. “We never put the ZO2 career in jeopardy. That stuff is definitely artistic license.”
The show is but the latest milestone in the rocky seven-year history of ZO2.
The band’s roots are in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the Zablidowsky brothers were raised by their mother, Doris, who worked in a hospital cafeteria, and their father, Marty, the manager of an electronics warehouse. Marty was also a guitarist who played in a rock trio, called Z, that included his brother.
“I honestly didn’t know any kids’ songs,” Paul said, “because we grew up listening to Black Sabbath.”
Among the brothers’ earliest memories were making cardboard cutouts of guitars and records. At some point in elementary school, their mother took the boys to a Sam Ash music store to buy their first guitars.
While in high school, the two brothers began writing their own music, which they infused with elements drawn from a variety of influences, including Def Leppard, Grand Funk Railroad, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’ Roses and, more than anything, Kiss. The brothers’ first break came in 2001, when David answered an open call for a bass player in a blues act. While he didn’t win the job, he wound up getting much more: Mr. Held, the producer who conducted the audition, encouraged him to front his own band.
Eventually the brothers approached Mr. Cassata, whom Paul had played with in a cover band; in short order Mr. Held agreed to produce an album. It was called “Tuesdays and Thursdays,” and was financed entirely by the band’s earnings from its children’s-party business.
Mr. Held, who knew Paul Stanley of Kiss, eventually got the album to him; Kiss liked it so much that ZO2 was invited to tour with it in the summer of 2004.
The band drew standing ovations from Kiss’s audiences, but the months that followed served as a reality check. No one else in the music business came calling, so Mr. Cassata returned to his job as a medical-records assistant at a hospital, and Paul returned to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where he had first drawn notice as a performer for children, and to the birthday-party circuit. The following winter, David, who had found some success as a bass player, went on tour with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a sprawling rock group known for, among other things, reworking holiday songs.
Still, it was the band’s birthday-party work that helped get it to the small screen. A parent in the audience at several parties in 2005 was Brian Stern, an agent in the television division at the William Morris Agency.
He later caught ZO2 in a show at the B. B. King Blues Club in Times Square; before long Mr. Held was pitching him versions of what would eventually become “Z Rock.” In approving the series, Debbie DeMontreux, a senior vice president of IFC, said she could relate to it, at least to the kid-musician part. (The mother of a preschooler, she has attended her share of birthday parties.)
With their series about to begin, and with a second album (“Ain’t It Beautiful”) out on Riker Hill, a label created by the band’s management, ZO2 is readying a fall tour of clubs and small theaters. But the band won’t be playing any furnished basements or living rooms.
“Fortunately, we don’t need to anymore,” Mr. Cassata said. “It was a means to an end.”
Article Courtesy of the New York Times
Think of every song you air guitared to in school (but in the privacy of your own bedroom of course), every power ballad that you sang at the top of your lungs, but would never publicly admit that you liked and pile them into a 9-CD, 2 DVD, 152 track box set. Hard and Heavy features the hardest and
heaviest hits (along with a few guilty pleasures) from the best and most over the top rockers from the 70¹s and 80¹s including Poison, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Heart and Kiss. The set also includes four EXCLUSIVE, never-before-seen, acoustic performances by Poison front man Bret Michaels.
Sound good? I think so too! You can submit your name to win a copy at the link below!
Only 3 dates so far, but more could be on the way……..
US TOUR DATES
“This tour just keeps getting bigger and the band has never been better! Until we sort out the next leg, we don’t want to stop, so we’re doing a few US shows for our enjoyment, as much as the fans. We are having the time of our lives on the Alive 35 tour and over half a million KISS fans obviously share the feeling! Why stop?”
August 4 – Sturgis, South Dakota
August 30 – Lake Tahoe, Nevada
August 31 – Kelseyville, California
STURGIS, SOUTH DAKOTA
WORLDWIDE SOLD-OUT 35TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR TO HEADLINE STURGIS ROCK’N THE RALLY LINEUP AT 68th ANNUAL STURGIS BIKE WEEK!
In what is destined to become “the night that rocked Sturgis,” legendary superstars KISS will perform at Glencoe Nation’s Rock’n the Rally on August 4th. Recognized as one of the biggest and best bike rallies in the world, Sturgis Bike Week celebrates its 68th year this August 4-10, 2008. With capacity of 100,000, Glencoe Amphitheater is the largest outdoor music venue in the nation.
Tickets to the KISS performance on Aug. 4 in Sturgis, S.D. are available at http://www.startickets.com or 1-800-345-9213. Glencoe camping information and additional lineup announcements may be found at Rock’n the Rally’s website: http://www.rockntherally.com .
Harveys Lake Tahoe and Another Planet Entertainment are pleased to present legendary rockers KISS, at the Harveys Outdoor Arena.
Best known for their outrageous live performances, wild costumes and theatrical stage antics, KISS has also produced a long list of hits over a career spanning more than 30 years. Their 1975 release Alive! turned the band into super-stars with the world-wide hit, “Rock and Roll All Nite.”
Date: Saturday, August 30th, 2008
Venue: Harveys Outdoor Arena
Online Reservations: Tickets on-sale Friday, June 13 at 10 a.m. (PDT)
Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa on Beautiful Clear Lake…proudly presents…KISS!!!
X.S. Labor Day Weekend Grand Finale – Sunday, August 31st…Outdoors, Under the Stars… “Takin’ it to the Streets” Motorcycle Road Rally and Poker Run around Clear Lake, followed by a full concert by the legendary KISS! Fireworks after the Show!
Tickets on sale to the General Public Sunday, May 25th at 9am. KISS ARMY members will have access to an exclusive ticket presale this Wednesday on KISSONLINE (details Tuesday).
Call 800-660-LAKE direct to Konocti Harbor for Tickets & Room Reservations or get tickets at any tickets.com locations, or on line at www.tickets.com .
Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa
8727 Soda Bay Road
Kelseyville, California 95451
For more information on the Resort, visit their website at http://www.konoctiharbor.com/ .
Remember Mandy Lion from WWIII? He has a new video out. This is a cover of the Prince song, Kiss.
As reported by Bravewords.com.
The clip is taken from KISSology Volume Three – which features the full Dodger Stadium show. VH1 Classic Records will release “KISSology: Volume Three 1992-2000” the third installment of the definitive collection on DVD Tuesday, December 18, 2007.
“This is the biggest…the baddest…the most incredible of them all…
The third installment of the multi-platinum, hugely successful KISSology Series. KISS is back with their biggest statement to date – nearly ten hours of KISS live on stage.
KISSology VOL. 3 also features – MTV’s Unplugged performance, including songs that didn’t make it into the broadcast or CD version! Plus, a behind the scenes documentary shot during rehearsals and back stage – Never before seen!
And we teased this on KISSology VOL. 1 – the much heralded Queens, NY Coventry Show from December, 1973 – the band’s first ever concert filmed in make up in its entirety!
KISSology VOL. 3 1992-2000 has been super-expanded to four DVD’s – nearly ten hours of KISS live and on stage! Includes over 100 live performances, commentary from Paul, Gene, Bruce Kulick & Tommy Thayer as well as a 20 page full color booklet!
Five concerts included : Detroit – 1992, Detroit – 1996, Los Angeles – 1998, New Jersey – 2000 And Queens, Ny – 1973.
The Count Down To KISSology 3 Continues!”
KISSNews.de is also reporting that more photos from the KISSology Vol. 3 DVD box set can be found here.
Tobias Sammet is back on track with AVANTASIA! After five years of Silence, the EDGUY mastermind decided to reanimate his very own project AVANTASIA and record a follow up to the highly appraised Metal Opera, that Tobi released in 2001 (Part 1) and 2002 (Part 2). For many people, this Metal Opera was the inofficial but worthy successor to Helloweens “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” Pt. 1 and Pt. 2.
His new project, the album “The Scarecrow” is maybe the most ambitious that Tobi ever touched. Just read the list of participants and your knees will tremble: Eric Singer from KISS on drums and vocals, Guest Vocals by Amanda Somverville, Jorn Lande, Alice Cooper, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley and Guest Guitar parts by Rudolf Schenker. A legendary combination!
As an appetizer, two EPs are on their way, before the album will crush the metal world in early 2008. “Lost In Space” is the title track of both EPs, but otherwise the content is completely different and exclusive. Except for one song and title track, none of them will appear on the “The Scarecrow”! Value for money – for sure!
“Lost In Space” is without doubt among the catchiest tunes, that you will get to hear in 2007! A good time rock´n´roll song with a chorus as huge as two continets. Impressive – after the first spin, you will never ever get this song out of your head. And thats good!
With this new era of AVANTASIA, Tobi offers everything from Hard Rock, Stadium Rock, Rock´n´Roll, New Rock to Melodic metal and even Speed Metal – stuff to dream too, stuff to bang your head too.
AVANTASIA will prevail! No doubt about it.
I love it when new Metal Acts surprise me in 2007, especially when they have a sound that is rooted in 80′s hard rock and metal. The Order actually isn’t new, this is actually their 2nd full length release.
The Order are a four piece band out of Switzerland. They have a sound that blends a little bit of Dokken, with a dash of KISS, and yet rock hard enough to create something different and new.
Take one listen to Gianni Pontillo’s vocals in the video below, for the song Satisfaction, and see if you can hear a little bit of Paul Stanley in his sound.
Nonetheless, Metal Casino rocks from beginning to end. There are plenty of great cuts on this record including “Mama”, “I love Rock ‘N’ Roll”, “Satisfaction”, and the excellent ballad “My Last Goodbye”. Fans of 80′s Hard Rock Bands like Dokken, XYZ, KISS and Krokus are going to love this disc.
The Order joins what seems to be a growing list of great Swiss Hard Rock bands releasing quality new tunes in the last couple of years. This disc is definitely a contender for one of the Top 10 Hard Rock Records of 2007!.
Check out The Order at their myspace page here, then go buy the record! This disc is now available through most retailers through Locomotive Records!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Welcome To The Metal Casino
2. Mama, I Love Rock N Roll
4. Bridges Burning
5. My Last Goodbye
6. In The Heat Of The Lonely Night
7. Let The Good Times Roll
8. Down With The Rain
10. Broken Days
11. Little Wings
The Order is:
Gianni Pontillo – Lead and Backing Vocals
Bruno Spring – Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Andrej Abplanalp – Bass and Backing Vocals
Mauro Casciero – Drums and Percussion
If you are a KISS fan of any kind, this CD needs no introduction, you probably own this on multiple formats. For those of you that don’t, keep reading!
KISS Alive may be the most successful live hard rock disc of all time. This Album has sold over 4 million copies since its initial release. Rolling Stone Magazine has this disc listed as one of their Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
While I don’t agree with all of Rolling Stone’s choices, this is one that is a worthy selection.
Is KISS the greatest band of all time? Probably not. Is this the best live CD of all time? It is pretty damn close if it isn’t. The sound quality of this disc, is amazing, especially since it was recorded in ’75. I can listen to this 80 minute set repeatedly without getting bored.
This is truly a once in a lifetime live set, and I think the live energy of the KISS live performance is captured very well here.
If you are a hard rock fan, you owe it to yourself to pick up this excellent 2 disc set!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Watchin’ You
2. 100,000 Years
3. Black Diamond
4. Rock Bottom
5. Cold Gin
6. Rock And Roll All Nite
7. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
This disc reached platinum level status and peaked at 18th on the U.S. charts.
Being released around the same time that I went into college, you would think I have would have fond memories of this disc, but in 2007, I rarely play this anymore.
To me, the opening track, Crazy, Crazy Nights was kind of lame. This song was a little bit too bubblegum to me. It was a pretty big hit in the UK but not as big in the U.S. A lot of people like this song, but I can’t get into this one.
I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You is a much better song. It sounds more like classic KISS and features some excellent guitar playing by Bruce Kulick.
Bang Bang You is a solid rock anthem that never reached the hit level status that it deserved.
Bruce Kulick plays like a wildman on No, No, No. This is a heavier track than the previous three, and totally kicks ass.
Hell or High Water also sounds like classic KISS. It is a harder edged anthem that I would love to hear KISS play live. More great guitar work by Kulick on this song. Great stuff!
Paul Stanley’s vocals shine on My Way. This is more of a pop rock keyboard driven effort. Although Kulick does have an awesome solo on this track, it doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other songs on Crazy Nights.
When the Walls Come Down is a pretty good upbeat rocker. There isn’t a whole lot to the lyrics on this song aside from “When the Walls Come Down”, but it is still a solid track.
Reason to Live is the lone power ballad on Crazy Nights, and it is a damn good one at that. Paul Stanley’s vocals are excellent here.
Paul Stanley hands the mic over to Gene Simmons for Good Girl Gone Bad. It is a pretty good song and keeps the flow going well on Crazy Nights.
Turn on Night is the more of a pop oriented track.. This song was co written by Paul Stanley and Dianne Warren. This is not one of my favorite songs on Crazy Nights. It feels like filler to me.
Thief in the Night was originally written and recorded by Wendy O. Williams, WOW album back in 1984. The same disc that was produced by Gene Simmons. The KISS version sounds better but this song isn’t anything special.
This enjoyed listening to this CD far more than I expected. I think I must have confused it with Hot in the Shade, which I didn’t care for at all. I am glad to have been reintroduced to this disc in 2007. I will be keeping this one in my playlist for the indefinite future. Thanks to Steve over at Heavy Metal Addiction for picking this disc this week. If you don’t own this one, you need to give this one another look!
Rating: Out of 10
Check out what the Metal Madness Knights are saying about KISS Crazy Nights at the links below: Heavy Metal Time Machine, Heavy Metal Addiction, and Pulses, Verses and other Flotsam! We hope you enjoyed March Metal Madness as much as we did. Let us know what you thought of it, and as always….keep it Heavy!!
- Crazy, Crazy Nights
- I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
- Bang Bang You
- No, No, No
- Hell or High Water
- My Way
- When the Walls Come Down
- Reason To Live
- Good Girl Gone Bad
- Turn on the Night
- Thief in the Night
I always used to blame my love for hard rock and heavy metal music on my sister. She would come home from high school and play Judas Priest’s Green Manaleshi, next thing I knew, I would race home from school to watch MTV’s hard rock show that was on at 3 P.M. every day. From that point, I was hooked forever.
The other day, I was in my local record shop ( I don’t think I can ever stop calling them records) and was flipping through the used CD’s and stumbled on Dressed to Kill. I saw 30 years of my life flash before me in an instance. The neighbors that I grew up had an LP of Dressed to Kill back around the time when I was a mere 7 years ago. I remember us playing that record over and over again. I remeber the LP cover like it was yesterday, but had forgotten all about those days of playing the record until seeing this cover again. Strangely enough, I didn’t pick up a copy of this until now.
It is amazing to me how some music is so timeless. In 2007, Dressed to Kill still sounds great. The song writing was simple, and the songs were all pretty short. This disc clocks in shy of 30 minutes for 10 songs. For being a such a short listen, it is still a damn good one.
The song I remember best on this disc is She. We must have played that song a thousand times. It has a killer groove and is one of my favorites. I have heard Rock and Roll All Night more times that I can remember and didn’t realize that it came from this disc. No one can deny that this is the biggest rock anthem of all time. I also recall playing Room Service to death, so much so, that I can almost sing the lyrics. Its interesting what stays in your subconcious.
Another song that we played the hell of on this disc is C’mon and Love Me. This is another great KISS classic.
The acoustic intro Rock Bottom is cool as hell. This is another killer song on this disc.
If you haven’t picked this up yet, you are really missing out on an excellent hard rock classic. After listening to this disc a couple of times, you can easily pick up how KISS influenced so many of the bands that became staples in our music collections in the years to come.
Rating: Out of 10
- Room Service
- Two Timer
- Ladies In Waiting
- Get Away
- Rock Bottom
- C’mon and Love Me
- Anything For My Baby
- Love Her All I Can
- Rock And Roll All Night