The Zombies: Still The 'Time Of The Season' - KMSP-TV

The Zombies: Still The 'Time Of The Season'

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Their music has been cited as an influence for decades...from Courtney Love to Billy Joel to the Arctic Monkeys. The Zombies are in Southern California this week and stopped by Good Day LA Monday morning to talk about the tour, their latest CD, and their music. Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent talked about how they were formed the band and how laid back they were in the process.

Rod Argent: "On the first rehearsal, I was supposed to be the lead singer and Colin was the rhythm guitarist...he sat down and started playing an old Ricky Nelson song on his guitar and I said 'you sound great, you've got to be the lead singer'. I said 'I'll tell you what, I'll play piano and you can be the lead singer' and that was sorted within 20 minutes before we started."

Colin Blunstone: "I was completely the opposite. I wanted to stand in the back and be hidden and just play the rhythm guitar and suddenly I'm pushed up front."

They also explained how the British Invasion could not have hit at a better time for their career.

Rod: "In the UK, The Beatles had huge hits from 1962 onward. In the US, it was more 1964. Our timing, I have to say, was impeccable in the sense that The Beatles hit the American shores and opened the floodgates and we just trollyed in behind. We were the first band after The Beatles to have a number one with a self written song."

The duo also told Steve and Maria how they're amazed that their music has stood the test of time.

Rod: "When we play shows, it's quite extraordinary because obviously all ages come to our shows but there's always a young component as well...when we play 'She's Not There' or 'Time of the Season' and we play it to some people, some people who are in their early 20's and they're singing back the words to us."

What about the fact that one of their albums is ranked 80 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time?

Rod: "When 'Odessey and Oracle' became a bit of a cult album, and it still is, we still get name checks from young indie bands coming up saying it's their favorite album, all that sort of thing...but when we first listened seriously to 'Odessey and Oracle' after about 30 years I have to say I can't hear it."

Colin: "I think that's how you always feel in a band...it's just us."

Fun facts about 'The Zombies'

  • The group formed in 1962 in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, and gained their initial reputation playing the Old Verulamians Rugby Club in that city. The band was formed while the members were at school.
  • Their choice of names was out of desperation, and the Zombies won out over Chatterley and the Gamekeepers, according to Blunstone and White.
  • Like many other British Invasion groups, the Zombies were sent to the United States to tour behind their new hit single. Among their early U.S. gigs were Murray the K's Christmas shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre, where the band played seven performances a day. On January 12, 1965, the band made its first in-person appearance on U.S. television, on the first episode of NBC's Hullabaloo. They played "She's Not There" (and their latest single "Tell Her No") to a screaming, hysterical audience full of teenage girls.
  • After the follow-up single to "She's Not There", "Leave Me Be", was stiffed in the UK (and was not issued as a single in the US, although it was on the B side of "Tell Her No"), Rod Argent's "Tell Her No" became another big seller in the United States in 1965, peaking at No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. "Tell Her No", however, failed to make the Top 40 in the UK. Subsequent recordings such as "She's Coming Home", "Whenever You're Ready", "Is This the Dream", "Indication" and "Gotta Get a Hold of Myself" failed to achieve the success of the previous two singles (although the Zombies had continued success in Scandinavia and the Philippines). A song by The Zombies released only as a B-side (to "Whenever You're Ready") in the US and the UK in 1965, "I Love You" subsequently became a sizable hit for the group People! in the United States in 1968.
  • To mark the 40th anniversary of Odessey & Oracle, the four surviving original members of The Zombies participated in a three-night series of concerts at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire Theatre between 7 and 9 March 2008. Blunstone and Argent's respective websites had advertised that the 8 March concert was recorded for a CD and/or DVD release later in 2008, and the CD was officially posted by Amazon.com to be pre-sold for a release of 1 July 2008. Both CD and DVD were officially released in the UK and several countries around the world.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Two of the four shows The Zombies are performing here have already sold out. Tickets are still available tomorrow night when they play The Observatory In Santa Ana. Friday night, they'll be at "The Satellite" in Silverlake.

Check out The Zombies Official Website

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