|Portland Zoo Recent Events|
|The Zoo became the house band for the Charix Coffeehouse in the basement of the Unitarian Universalist Church in downtown Portland, Oregon. You might think of the band as the bait to bring "troubled youth" within outreach range... Or you might think of the band as the bait to bring church members within drug dealers' range ... (pssst! Acid? Speed? Lids?)|
This is an article from 12/1/67 issue of the Vanguard, the Portland State
College newspaper. All the people pictured are identified except for
those in the largest picture; it shows Peter singing, Sharyle playing
guitar, and Fred Corbett's left hand fretting his Hofner "Beatle Bass."
They had to crop Fred out of the picture because he was wearing his
The article says:
|Well, speak of the devil! There are those pants now... Photo courtesy of the Corbett Collection|
|This is from an article in the 12/17/70 issue of the Willamette Bridge, a local underground paper.|
The Zoo played the Bullfrog 1 Rock Festival in Oregon City and would have played Bullfrog 2 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds if it hadn't been shut down on a technicality by the Columbia County District Attorney. (See the partial band list here.)
With the Fairgrounds unavailable for the festival, many of the would-be festival-goers descended on the St. Helens town square instead and had a pseudo-festival there. It was all very friendly and upbeat and the Zoo joined in and played there.
The St. Helen's newspaper, the Sentinel-Mist Chronicle, followed the events of Bullfrog 2 and 3; Click here to see a collection of articles.
This is probably the Zoo's most famous poster|
-- drawn by Kelly of Mouse Studios (San Francisco) and contested by lawyers of Disney Studios!
It's flattering that we still get fan mail
such as this lucid memory of an event from forty years ago...
|Another one of many colorful animal-themed Portland Zoo posters, this one from 1968 is for a dance at the Pythian Hall on Yamhill in downtown Portland, Ore.|
Here's a poster for a dance at the Pythian Hall early in the summer of 1967...
Fortunately for us, Jim Brownell was listening to KGAR when an ad for the dance came on:
"FREAK OUT TONIGHT AT THE PYTHIAN HALL! . . ."
and he recorded it, and then, 42 years later, shared it with us.
Get a load of the demented zoo keeper in this one...|
Roxy had just changed its name to (or perhaps it was from) Roxy Music.
The Portland Zoo was just the kind of band that the folks at Zap Comix could
Here's a stock flyer, all ready for the local information to be drawn in...
left to right: Denny Jackson, Bass · Sharyle Patton, Guitar · Pat Coffey, Drums · Peter Langston, Guitar
|The band takes a little break from rabble rousing in Lair Hill Park. We were protesting something that park commissioner Ivancie was doing... closing down the parks, maybe? So we threw him a party!|
* (If the date above and the poster don't seem to match, refresh your browser and the poster will probably catch up.)
This is Peter with his favorite electric guitar, a specially customized
and hot-rodded 1952 Gibson Les Paul with trapeze tailpiece
that he bought from Stew Dodge of the U.S. Cadenza band.
It was stolen along with all the band's equipment
but was not recovered when we tracked
the rest of the equipment to San Francisco.
It seems the guitar had already been sold and shipped to someone in Vermont...
You can tell Peter was so "into" this solo that he didn't notice a caterpillar crawling onto his lip!
|One of a series of buttons drawn by Dutch artist Henk Pander for the Band. Each button represented one of us (this one is obviously Peter -- note his anatomically-correct hair-do). We gave these out at concerts and dances to highlight the important role of the audience in the band's music, thereby making everyone an honorary member of the Portland Zoo Electric Band.|
|If you can decipher this ornate type face you'll see that this dance was being put on by one of California's most notorious police departments. It's a long story how we ended up playing a dance for the Weed Police and winning $50 in a bet with a motorcycle patrolman...|
A list of the musicians that were performing members of the
Portland Zoo Electric Band would include, in roughly chronological
Tom McFarland - guitar|
Sharyle Patton - guitar, keyboards
Lynn Parkinson - Bass
Larry Whitney - drums
Isreal Stone - harmonica
Peter Langston - guitar, mandolin, keyboards, electronics
T. Dwarf - harmonica
Fred Corbett - bass
Denny Jackson - bass
Pat Coffey - drums
Scott White - bass
Mario Bolivar - drums
Ted Thompson - bass
Jack Ely - bass
Sharyle and Peter were responsible for the bulk of the vocals, but everybody sang, at one time or another.|
I'm sure there are names missing from this list... If you know them please let us know!
|We're keeping an eye out for other bits and pieces left behind by the band.|
If you have any Portland Zoo|
please let Peter know via e-mail.
The Zoo recorded two songs in the studio, but they were never released --
"Alligator Man" by Floyd Chance & Jimmy Newman and "Lie Down" by Peter.
We have the acetate test pressings of those two recordings and
we also have some reel-to-reel tapes from performances.|
NEWS FLASH: as of 6/7/08:
We've assembled a CD's worth of classic PZEB live performances from those reel-to-reel tapes!
The fidelity is not the highest, but the sound, the energy, and the irreverent creativity is still there...
To get a copy, send $18.00 ($15 + $3.00) to:
9228 1st Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
and ask for:
"CAT-115CD -- The Portland Zoo Electric Band, 'Purity - Accuracy'"
Don't forget to include your postal address!
|And while we're at it...||Want to wear something with our name on it?|