Say Zuzu

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Say ZuZu
Origin Newmarket, New Hampshire, United States
Genres Alt-country
Roots rock
Years active 1992–2003
Labels Milltown Records
Associated acts Jon Nolan
Cliff Murphy and the Massachusetts Trust Company
Website [1]
Members Jon Nolan
Cliff Murphey
John Pistey
Tim Nylander
Reno Burnett
Past members James Nolan
Steve Ruhm
Mark Wentworth

Say Zuzu is a roots rock band originally based in Newmarket, New Hampshire. The group was formed in 1992 by brothers Jon and James Nolan, and their longtime friend Cliff Murphy. Though they achieved little commercial success in the United States, the band developed a strong following in Italy where they toured for several years.


Say Zuzu "got its start on the Seacoast as a group of boys playing guitars in the bedroom of a little red Cape Cod house in Durham in 1988."[1] Those three boys were Jon and James Nolan and Cliff Murphy. The band originally chose the name Zuzu's Petals, after a scene from the movie It's a Wonderful Life; however, after discovering that several other bands out there had already chosen that name, they decided on "Say Zuzu," which references an old 1930s Nabisco ad.

The band released their first album, Highway Signs and Driving Songs, in 1995 without the help of a record label. The album was a roots rock fusion of country, rock, and folk. Despite its critical success, the album did little for the band in the United States. In 1997, however, it ended up in the hands of Paolo Caru, an influential rock critic in Italy, who became an instant fan. Caru's influence shot the band to relative success in Italy and they quickly began an international tour.[2] The band's next album, Take These Turns, was released in 1997 and became a very successful followup to Highway Signs and Driving Songs.

In 1998, Say Zuzu released their most critically acclaimed album, Bull. The release of Bull signaled a more mature Say Zuzu than the band that had come on the scene in 1995, and earned them several nods from record companies as well as more commercial success in the US. The next year, the band released a live album entitled Live.

After much touring, bassist James Nolan decided it was in his best interest to leave the band in pursuit of a graduate degree in international relations. He and drummer Steve Ruhm left the band in 2001 under good terms. The band forged on, and hired Jon Pistey and Tim Nylander to play bass and drums respectively. In 2002, they released their final album, Every Mile. The band toured behind the album and decided to retire.[1]

Cliff Murphy now lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, two daughters, and a son.

Jon Nolan remains on the seacoast of New Hampshire where he continues to play music locally. He has released two solo albums, When the Summers Lasted Long in 2005 and Everything Has Changed in 2013.


Original lineup[edit]



External links[edit]