Zon (band)

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Zon
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Progressive rock
Years active 1977–1981
Labels CBS, Falcon
Associated acts Moxy TRIUMPH, STYX, SAGA
Members Denton Young, Howard Helm, Brian Miller, Kim Hunt, Jim Samson

Zon was a progressive rock band formed in Toronto, Canada in 1977. The band consisted of vocalist Denton Young, guitarist Brian Miller, bassist Jim Samson, drummer Kim Hunt, and keyboard player Howard Helm. The band released three albums.

History[edit]

Don V. Lorusso produced the band's first album, Astral Projector, released in 1978, and a run of copies were released on blue vinyl.[1] The album garnered the band a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year[2] nomination. The opened concerts for The Tubes at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens, and for Styx and Foreigner at CNE Stadium.

Back Down to Earth, released in 1979, was produced by Lorusso and the late Vancouver keyboard player Dale Jacobs. The band played in Toronto as headliners with up to 17,800 attendees. A reporter for The Globe and Mail,[who?] who had only stayed to see the opening act, wrote a scathing review. The negative review was the headline of the national entertainment page. CBS demanded compensation for the impact on Zon's popularity but neither they nor the band ever recovered.

Zon was dropped from CBS after a thorough corporate housecleaning of the A&R Department despite Zon already having their contract signed for a third album.

After a legal battle they did manage one more album for Falcon Records called I'm Worried About The Boys, produced by then former CBS A&R executive Bob Gallo. The record featured a cover version of the Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane.

As part of the 1980 album tour Zon did an opening slot for Alice Cooper at CNE Stadium. When Cooper failed to appear minutes before showtime, Denton Young was given the onerous task of telling the audience. A riot ensued and police had to be called out. The band broke up shortly after, despite the 1981 single For You reaching No. 2 on CKOC (higher than any of the previous singles on CBS Records).

Post-Zon[edit]

Young has featured on Rik Emmett's solo work since the disbanding of Zon, whilst Hunt joined the bands Hanover, Urgent, and Moxy. Samson also joined Moxy and Miller worked at the Toronto guitar store 12th Fret.

Helm joined Michael Fury, a Canadian band that later mutated into Refugee.[3] In 1988, Helm accepted a job as touring keyboardist for Mick Ronson and Ian Hunter, subsequently spending four years touring the world. He co-wrote many of the World Championship Wrestling theme songs with Jimmy Hart. Helm is currently writing for the TBS (TV network) in Atlanta and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. He continues to play keyboards as a session musician for bands such as Seven Mary Three.

At the moment, Helm and his former Zon bandmates are contemplating a new studio album to coincide with the re-issues of that band's back catalogue on CD.

Guitarist Brian Miller died in Toronto on September 28, 2015 at the age of 60 after a bout with cancer. [4]

Singles[edit]

  • 1978 Melody
  • 1978 On The Road
  • 1978 Talkin About[5]
  • 1979 Back Down To Earth
  • 1980 Sweet Jane / Takin' The Easy Way Out
  • 1981 For You / Just The Other Side [CAN No. 49][6]
  • 1981 Better Get Up

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zon (2) – Astral Projector". Discogs. Discogs. 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Juno Award Winners and nominations". junoawards.ca. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ Staff (2012). "Artist: Michael Fury". jam!SHOWBIZ. Canoe Inc. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.torontomoon.ca/rip-brian-miller-guitar-tech-and-zon-guitarist/
  5. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/dje44189
  6. ^ Canadian Music Fast Facts: Canadian pop music history Page 37 by Mark Kearney, Randy Ray, (London, ON: Sparky Productions, 1991) (ISBN 0-9695149-0-5)

External links[edit]