Zolar X

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Zolar X
Zolarxtimelesscvr.jpg
Background information
Origin California, United States
Genres punk rock, glam rock, outsider music, space rock, psychedelic rock, protopunk
Years active 1973 – 1981, 2004 – present
Labels Alternative Tentacles
Associated acts The Spys, Spacers, The Earthlings, Aurora Pushups
Website Zolar X Fan Site
Zolar X myspace
Zolar X Facebook
Zolar X Official Website
Members Ygarr Ygarrist
Zory Zenith
Romm Eclipse
Raidia Visual-X
Moto Bass Unit
Eon Flash
Ufoian Ufar
Zany Zatovian
Jett Starsystems
Qazar Quantor

Zolar X is an American glam rock band, founded in 1973.

Zolar X became known, on the LA club scene, for dressing and acting like space-aliens. They spoke an alien language of their own invention. They are referred to as "Los Angeles' first glam rock band" in the 1998 book Glam by Barney Hoskyns.

In the 1970s, Zolar X's image was matched by their performances, stage sets, and music. They were the house band at Rodney's English Disco, which was recently immortalized in George Hickenlooper's 2004 documentary Mayor Of The Sunset Strip. Zolar X played gigs with Iggy Pop, Michael Des Barres, Jobriath Boone, and the New York Dolls.

History[edit]

Coming to Earth: 1973 - 1975[edit]

Zolar X enjoyed regional success as a live act, and national exposure via Lenny Kaye's Rock Scene Magazine, but commercial success eluded them. Zolar X recorded, but were unable to get signed. In 1982 they released one independent record, Timeless a collection of demos, on Pyramid Records.

Zolar X's founder was vocalist, composer, and pianist Stephen Della Bosca, who later renamed himself "Ygarr Ygarrist", upon forming Zolar X. Ygarrist played in San Francisco bands The Hedge, and Bosca, before moving to Los Angeles in 1972, with Bruce Courtois (Zany Zatovian).

Ygarrist and Zatovian met singer Zory Zenith at Rodney's English Disco. Zenith was the former drummer of LA rock band Shady Lady. Zenith not only sang, in Zolar X, but performed intricate mime routines onstage. The lineup was completed by drummer Craig Rhinehart (Eon Flash), a former member of San Francisco hard rock band Legs Diamond.

Zolar X's week long stint at The Troubadour with Jobriath was televised locally in Los Angeles. Zolar X were interviewed on one of the very first episodes of Tom Snyder's The Tomorrow Show in '74, along with Rodney Bingenheimer, Sable Starr and Chuck E. Starr.

In 1974 Zolar X recorded a 2 song demo, Space Age Love b/w Energize Me, at Crystal Studios. They pressed approximately 10 vinyl singles of these tracks, which were given to various record companies. Ygarrist's sister kept one of them, which was used to press a limited edition '45 of this rare artifact in 2005.

1976-1977[edit]

Zatovian and Flash's departure in 1975 resulted in Ygarrist recruiting bass player Ufoian Ufar (Tom Lee) and drummer Romm Eclipse (Ron Eiseman). Zory left to pursue religious studies. Ygarr, Ufoian, and Romm briefly played out and recorded as The Spacers. Zory soon rejoined and Zolar X recorded with famed producer/engineer Jim Dickenson at Memphis' Ardent Studios. Romm left, and Eon rejoined in 1977.

The Downfall: 1978-1981[edit]

While Zolar X were on hiatus, Ygarr formed a LA punk band "The Spys" with Rock Bottom. The two would write a collection of new songs in one night, which they released as the single Rich Girl b/w No Good, Deathtrap. Around this time, Ygarr began to spiral into excessive drug/alcohol abuse. Zolar X regrouped in 1979, but Zory Zenith was promptly fired for having an affair with their manager's girlfriend, and dancing on top of the manager's limousine. Zolar X recorded as a 3 piece, with Ygarr handling all the lead vocals. Zory was quickly asked to rejoin, and in 1980, Zolar X recorded one last time at Army St. Studios in San Francisco.

Return of Zolar X: 2004 - now[edit]

Longtime fan Jello Biafra released a deluxe edition of Timeless in late 2004. Zolar X reformed in 2005. Zolar X have been critically re-evaluated, with praise from the worldwide press(1). Zolar X articles appeared in the UK's top selling rock magazine MOJO,Blender, Spin Magazine and the New Yorker Magazine. Timeless and demos of newly recorded Zolar X material have received frequent airplay on Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols radio show Jonesy's Jukebox, Feb 10th 2004 - Jan 14th 2009, as well as on Rodney Bingenheimer's KROQ-FM radio show.

The band reunited in 2005, and played for the first time since 1981. Zory Zenith was unable to participate because he received a 10 year sentence in Oregon for repeated instances of domestic violence. Ygarr and Eon Flash were joined by new bass player Jett Starsystems, formerly Jeff Porter, a former DJ at Rodney's English Disco, and founding member of Voodoo Church. Zolar X still play with metallic amp casings, silver platforms and backdrops, antennae headgear, and ever-changing outfits faithful to the 70's glam era.

Zolar X showcased at the world renowned SXSW (South By Southwest) Music Festival in March 2006. They were introduced by Jello Biafra, and Canadian TV personality Nardwuar. Shortly after SXSW, Zolar X appeared on Canadian TV show MuchMusic, subject of a full length feature, interviewed by Nardwuar. On April 30, 2006, at The Avalon in Hollywood, Zolar X received a "lifetime achievement award" at the first annual LARPY (live action role playing) AWARDS, for their dedication to role playing, both on-stage and off. Presenters included José Canseco, and Deborah Gibson.

They toured nationally in the United States in 2005-2006. In June 2007, Zolar X self-released a limited edition [500 only] CD compilation entitled "ZAP! You're Zolarized", which previews 4 songs from the upcoming Alternative Tentacles release, and contains unreleased vintage Zolar X music, as well as soundtrack music from the upcoming Zolar X documentary. In October 2007, X Marks the Spot (CD/LP) was released. Zolar X were featured on a 2007 episode of The Next Great American Band reality show, in which a judge proceeded to insult them.

Zolar X is the subject of an unreleased documentary titled Starmen On Sunset. The film was directed by Chuck Nolan, and was produced/edited by Rhaine Della Bosca.

Discography[edit]

  • Timeless [clear vinyl LP] (1982) Pyramid Records
  • Timeless [CD/LP] (2004) Alternative Tentacles
  • Space Age Love '74/Energize Me '74 [45] (2006) Deliar Spacer Core (500 only)
  • ZAP! You're Zolarized! [CD] (2007) Deliar Spacer Core (500 only)
  • X Marks The Spot (2007) [CD/LP] Alternative Tentacles
  • Life Signs from the Stars (2012) [CD-R] Deliar Spacer Corporation (100 only)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

1. Mojo Magazine, NOV. 2004; Spin Magazine, JAN/FEB 2010