Zebra (American band)

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Randy Jackson of Zebra
Randy Jackson of Zebra
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Years active1975–present
LabelsAtlantic, Mayhem Records

Zebra is a hard rock band founded in 1975 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It features Randy Jackson (guitar and vocals), Felix Hanemann (bass, keyboards and vocals) and Guy Gelso (drums and vocals).


In the early 1970s, Jackson and Hanemann played together in a group called Shepherd's Bush, but in 1974 they left Shepherd's Bush and founded a new band with Gelso on drums.[1] The group initially was a cover band, playing Led Zeppelin and other technically proficient rock groups such as Yes, Jethro Tull, and Pink Floyd.[2] In 1975, the group adopted the name Zebra after seeing a cover of the magazine Vogue featuring a woman riding a zebra.[1] Initially based in New Orleans, they increasingly played more often on Long Island, and eventually all three members moved there to pursue success.[3] They had introduced their original material into their cover sets years before they were signed to Atlantic Records, including "The La La Song", "Free" and "Bears" (originally entitled "The Bears are Hibernating").

Zebra had been noticed by local colleges and even had some of their early original performances recorded by Long Island FM radio station WBAB, culminating in the inclusion of one of their songs on a release of "WBAB Homegrown Album", which commemorated local acts and performances culled from the station's on-air "Homegrown Hour" program.

Zebra's mainstream debut on Atlantic Records was in 1983 with their eponymous album, produced by Jack Douglas and featuring the singles "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind The Door?" The band continued to tour throughout the 1980s, but took a temporary break in the early 1990s after being dropped by Atlantic Records. Randy Jackson formed his solo band Randy Jackson's China Rain, and released its only album in the year 1991. Zebra finally reunited in 1994 and released Zebra IV in 2003, their first album of all-new material since 1986. A DVD of live performances, mostly from a show at the House of Blues in New Orleans, was released in the summer of 2007.

On July 10, 2010, during their 35th-anniversary performance at New Orleans' Mahalia Jackson Theater, Zebra was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.[4] On October 8, 2012, Zebra was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.[5] In March 2013, Zebra performed on Cruise to the Edge, a concert cruise featuring notable progressive rock bands including Yes, Steve Hackett, U.K., Carl Palmer Band, Ambrosia, Saga, Nektar, Glass Hammer, and IOEarth.

Although Zebra has not released any studio material since 2003's Zebra IV, the band continues to perform live, mostly in the Gulf Coast and East Coast of the United States, including New Orleans and New York City. In February 2017, Jackson reported to Shreveport Times that the band was working on a new album: "I have new material and hopefully we’ll get to work on a new record in the next couple of months."[6] As of March 2022, there has been no news of the project.

Band members[edit]

  • Randy Jackson – Lead vocals, guitars, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer, mellotron, piano (1975–present)
  • Felix Hanemann – Bass, strings, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals (1975–present)
  • Guy Gelso – Drums, percussion, vocals (1975–present)


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Best of Zebra: In Black and White (1998)


Year Title Chart Positions Album
US Hot 100 US Mainstream Rock
1983 "Who's Behind the Door" 61 10 Zebra
"Tell Me What You Want" 107 29
1984 "Bears" 15 No Tellin' Lies

Video albums and concert films[edit]

  • Zebra Videos And More VHS (1999)
  • Zebra the DVD (2007) Produced by Peter Kuperschmid directed by Scot Jay

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Notes Ref(s)
2010 Louisiana Music Hall of Fame Inductee; Mahalia Jackson Theater 35th Anniversary Concert [4]
2012 Long Island Music Hall of Fame Inductee [5]


  1. ^ a b Randy Jackson biography at Allmusic
  2. ^ Zebra's Randy Jackson will be right at home singing Led Zeppelin with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. NOLA.com, May 2012.
  3. ^ Tell Me What You Want: Long Island Legends Zebra Earn Their Rock n Roll Stripes. Long Island Observer, January 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "LMHOF Inductee". louisianamusichalloffame.org. Archived from the original on September 15, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Rock Legends Cruise IX". rocklegendscruise.com. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  6. ^ Simms, Kelley. "Zebra's Randy Jackson goes acoustic solo". shreveporttimes.com. USA Today Network. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Zebra charts, Allmusic

External links[edit]