Randy Jackson (Zebra)

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Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson photo by Robert Geiger
Randy Jackson of Zebra
Background information
Born (1955-02-28) February 28, 1955 (age 59)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, acoustic rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Vocals
Years active 1975 - present
Labels Atlantic Records
Associated acts Zebra
Website RandyJackson.com

Randy Jackson is an American rock musician from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his role as frontman for the band Zebra. Randy Jackson was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He started playing piano and guitar at age 5. His earliest influences were Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, and Led Zeppelin.

In 1973, he joined “Shepards Bush” as lead guitarist. It was here that he met Felix Hanemann. Felix worked at Jazz City Studios in New Orleans owned by Engineer/Producer Cosimo Matassa (Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Lee Dorsey) Shepards Bush recorded a demo at the studio which was Randy’s 1st experience in a recording studio. [1]

Randy and Felix left “Shepards Bush” a year later. They soon met drummer Guy Gelso and formed “Zebra” in 1975.

It was at this point that Randy started singing lead vocals.

After playing the New Orleans area for 2 years Zebra moved to New York (Long Island) in 1977 and in 1982 signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

Their first album, “Zebra” produced by Jack Douglas (record producer)[2] (John Lennon, Aerosmith), went Gold and was the fastest selling debut album in the history of Atlantic Records. During the next couple of years Zebra played opener for Aerosmith, Journey, ZZ Top, Loverboy, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar and REO Speedwagon.

The group has produced 5 albums and 5 videos with combined sales of over 2,000,000.

In addition to working with Zebra, Jackson performs lead vocals for The Music of Led Zeppelin,[3]The Music of Pink Floyd[4] and The Music of The Doors;[5] tributes to the eponymous bands as backed by an orchestra. He also frequently plays live acoustic shows across the country.

In 1989 Randy got a call from drummer Kenny Aronoff to join him and tour playing guitar and keyboards with the original “Jefferson Airplane” (Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady) on their U.S. reunion tour! [6]

“Randy Jackson’s China Rain”, a project that featured songs co-written with Mark Slaughter and Jack Ponti was released in 1993 in the US, Europe and Japan.

In 1992, Randy started performing “Solo” live with the use of a MacIntosh SE 30 computer he programmed to perform the Drums, Bass and Keyboards and called it "The Midi Show". Randy also programmed the computer to run the Sound Mix and Lights during the show! He toured all over the South and the Northeast U.S. with the show.

From 1992 to 1996 Randy was involved with Lonestar Technologies (Long Island) in the hardware and software development of an Interactive Multimedia Musical Instrument called “The Key” which allows anyone to play music instantly. Jon Anderson of “Yes” used “The Key” to perform live and wrote many songs with the instrument during that time. [7]

Randy completed work on “Zebra IV” which was released on July 8, 2003. He produced and engineered the entire CD.[8]

The Sign were formed by Mark Mangold (Drive), Randy Jackson (Zebra), Terry Brock (Strangeways), Billy Greer (Kansas) and Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow & Black Sabbath). Their début album, released in 2000, was Signs Of Life.

Randy Jackson sang The National Anthem at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York on July 7, 2006.

On July 10, 2010 Zebra was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.[9] On October 18, 2012 Zebra was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

In 2010, Jackson participated in a tribute album titled Mister Bolin’s Late Night Revival, a compilation of 17 previously unreleased tracks written by guitarist Tommy Bolin prior to his death in 1976. The CD includes other artists such as HiFi Superstar, Doogie White, Eric Martin, Troy Luccketta, Jeff Pilson, Rachel Barton, Rex Carroll, Derek St. Holmes, Kimberley Dahme, and The 77’s. "A percentage of the proceeds from this project will benefit the Jackson Recovery Centers." The Center is located in Tommy Bolin's home town of Sioux City, Iowa and is not named for Randy Jackson.[10]

February 4, 2014, Empathy For The Walrus is released by Red River Records.[11]
Randy Jackson produced and engineered Empathy For The Walrus, Music of the Beatles, playing all instruments and singing all the parts.


"Empathy For The Walrus" Artist / Photographer - Julia Hollingsworth

Discography[edit]

Video albums and concert films[edit]

  • Zebra The DVD (2007)

References[edit]

External links[edit]