Rock Eyez


Interview with Randy Jackson
(Vocals, Guitar - Zebra)

Randy Jackson - Zebra


Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 9th, 2005


Hello Randy and thank you for taking the time to talk with us at Let’s go back to your younger years first. What was the first concert you attended?
The Beatles in 1964, I grew up in New Orleans and my parents got tickets for the show for us.

What was the first album you bought?
Probably “Huckleberry Hound” (from the cartoon) my first Rock album was “Meet The Beatles.” My parents owned a “Les Paul and Mary Ford” album which I liked a lot.

Did you collect anything as a young man?
Mardi Gras Doubloons.

What kind of kid were you in school?
I was a good boy!!

What was the first guitar you owned?
An acoustic “Stella” 6 string.

When working on a song do you use acoustic guitar or electric?
Acoustic 90% of the time.

Were you in any bands before Shepherd's Bush?
Just some cover bands in Junior High and High School. We didn’t play too many gigs.

How has your music changed from Shepherd's Bush to Zebra?
Shepherd’s Bush was Felix’s band. All the songs were written by him (or his partner Eldridge). The songs were lighter than ZebraFelix played a Rickenbacher 6 string if that helps describe it for you...

Your self titled debut album had so many great songs. What was your favorite track on that album?
“Who’s Behind The Door?”

Even with the latest Zebra CD “IV” seems like your trying to capture the vibe from the first album. Do you think that is possible? Even I know there are some great songs on this CD ex: “Who Am I,” “So I Dance” and “Why.”
Zebra “IV ” is overall heavier than the 1 st Album but the 3 songs you mention are more like the 1st record.

Is there any conflict between Felix, Guy, and yourself?
After 30 years, we have learned to live with whatever differences we have had.

Whether you’re performing solo or with Zebra, do you thrive more on the live performances or the studio environment?
The studio makes me crazy because I get a bit too critical at times. I don’t take the live performances nearly as seriously so it is a lot more enjoyable.

Can we expect anymore live material from Zebra? Because the energy comes through very well on live recordings. Example: “Zebra Live.”
We have a DVD coming out this July with a lot of new live performances on it.

Are you working on a new Zebra CD? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
We’re doing a reworking of a lot of tunes from the 1st three CDs that will be out on Reality Records. No release date is set right now.

Which direction are you moving in, more acoustic, or more electric?
I perform acoustic all the time and I would like to do an acoustic CD soon.

A lot of teens are picking up guitars lately. Funny how most of them are listening to what mom and dad listened to twenty-or-so years ago. What is Zebra doing to reach out to the new wave of possible fans and rock-wannabes?
We let their parents take care of that.

What are your favorite Zebra compositions?
“Why,” “Time,” “Who’s Behind The Door,” and “Your Mind’s Open.”

Has any of your recordings used open tunings? If so, how was the guitar tuned?
G-G-D-G-B-D for most of the open tuning songs.

Do you prefer twelve-stringed acoustic over six-stringed or is it just a case of different moods require different tones?
I prefer 12-string because of the bigger sound.

What is your favorite guitar you own?
Right now, it is a Les Paul standard with the “Transperformance” auto tuning system built into it. The “Transperformance” is amazing and it will store and recall thousands of tunings by just pressing a button.

Do you enjoy listening to any blues players? If so, which one has had more of an influence on you?
Jimmy Page.

Does Zebra have a rider on tour and what does it consist of?
Coffee, water, vegetable tray, energy Drinks, Cokes, beer, sandwich platter. Nothing really exotic.

What was your favorite band touring with?
I had a great time on all the tours. The headliners were always great to us but I think we spent more time hanging out with Cheap Trick than any of the others. I just saw them out at the CES show in Las Vegas this past January and they sounded better than ever.

What was your most memorable moment with Zebra?
I think it might be hearing “Who’s Behind the Door” on the radio at 7:00 am while I was on my way home from a gig in New York BEFORE we had a record deal.

Can you tell us what was one of the wildest things that happened on stage?
When we first started gigging, we were playing in a small town in Louisiana north of Mandeville. A BIG fight broke out in the club and it ended up on stage with all the equipment getting knocked over or off the stage. A real mess. That was the end of that show.

Below are some of our favorite tunes by Zebra. Can you tell us your feeling or anything special about any of these songs?

“The La-La Song” – “Yes” inspired

“Who's Behind the Door” – Big questions about life

“The Ocean” (A Led Zeppelin Cover) – I remember where I was the first time I heard it. It was that good.

“Said Before” – Lyrics were an afterthought.

“One More Chance” – I think this was the first time I wrote a song where all the parts worked together the first time. It came really quickly.

“Tell Me What You Want” – I wrote it in 1978 at 6:30 am after a gig at “Speaks” (New York).

Are there plans for more shows in the future?
We’re always performing and you can find the schedule at

I am going to mention a few words. Tell us what comes to mind.

Zebra - Three

Music - Beethoven

Touring - Road Crew

Contract - Gig

Fans - Good

A Day off - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The above interview consists of questions by Brian Rademacher of and Zebra admirer Anthony Barbosa.


Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson
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