Zoot Horn Rollo

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Zoot Horn Rollo
With Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band Leeds University May 1973 Photo: Alastair Thompson
With Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
Leeds University May 1973
Photo: Alastair Thompson
Background information
Birth nameBill Harkleroad
Also known asZoot Horn Rollo
Born (1949-01-08) January 8, 1949 (age 74)
Palmdale, California
United States
GenresExperimental rock, rock, blues
Occupation(s)Musician, instructor, producer
Instrument(s)Guitar, mandolin, accordion
Years active1968–present
LabelsStraight, Reprise, Proper

Bill Harkleroad (born January 8, 1949), known professionally as Zoot Horn Rollo,[1] is an American guitarist. He is best known for his work with Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. In 2003, he was ranked No. 62 in a Rolling Stone magazine list of "the 100 greatest guitarists of all time".[2]


Born in Hawthorne, California, Harkleroad was trained as an accordionist as a child but changed to guitar in his teens. In nearby Lancaster, California, he became involved in local bands. With a future member of the Magic Band, Mark Boston, he joined a band named B.C. & The Cavemen. The two later played in the group Blues in a Bottle along with the future Magic Band guitarist Jeff Cotton. He joined the Magic Band in 1968 after the departure of Alex St. Clair. After recording Trout Mask Replica and several further albums, he left in 1974, with several other band members, to form Mallard. His book, Lunar Notes, describes some of the tensions that contributed to the split between Captain Beefheart and the other band members.

After the break up of Mallard, Harkleroad had a limited involvement with the music community as a performer. He continued his involvement in another capacity, however, as a record store manager and guitar instructor in Eugene, Oregon.

On November 27, 2001, he released We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea. In 2008, John French (a.k.a. Drumbo) released an album City of Refuge on which Harkleroad played guitar on all twelve tracks. In 2013, Harkleroad contributed lead guitar to a psychobilly track on the Eugene-based band Cherry Poppin' Daddies' album White Teeth, Black Thoughts.


With Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

With Mallard

  • 1975 Mallard
  • 1976 In a Different Climate


  • 2001 We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea
  • 2014 Masks


  • Harkleroad, Bill (1998). Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience. Interlink Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-21-7.


  1. ^ "Zoot Horn Rollo, horoscope for birth date 8 January 1949, born in Long Beach, with Astrodatabank biography - Astro-Databank". Astro.com. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  2. ^ "62: Zoot Horn Rollo". The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 28, 2010.

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