20 Dec 2022
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LIVE at Yella Rock 1991
Desk Tape recording to be released on January 1st, 2023
The ZARSOFF Brothers recording is the 31st release of the Australian Road Crew Association’s (ARCA) Desk Tape Series.
Zarsoff Brothers are the 30th act to throw support behind Support Act’s Roadies Fund through the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA)’s awesome Desk Tape Series.
The Series was created by ARCA to raise funds to provide financial, health, counselling and well-being services for roadies and crew in crisis.
The recordings are usually made by a production member – in this case broadcast engineer Phil ‘Drac’ Dracoulis – and released on ARCA’s Black Box Records through MGM Distribution and on all major streaming services.
Thanx to Mark Gibson and Bob King for the photos, Nprint for the artwork, Phil Dracoulis for the mastering, and especially the ZARSOFF Brothers for their support of roadies and crew in crisis and the laughs they bring all of us. Awesome.
Zarsoff Lineup Through The Years:
- Izzy Foreal – Peter Knox – vocals, bass, kazoo
- Arfur Zarsoff – Peter Northcott – guitar
- Bernie Zarsoff – Greg Deane – keys, kazoo
- Buster Zarsoff – Peter Kekel –keys
- Terry Zarsoff – Tony Verhoeven – drums
- Smokey Zarsoff – guitar
- Shaggy Zarsoff – Gary Dale – guitar, mandolin, vocals
- Shaggy Zarsoff II – Sam See (guitar)
- Bologne Zarsoff – drums
- Bluey Zarsoff – Tony Grose – guitar, sax
- Rory Zarsoff – Danny Haynes – guitar
- Lefty Zarsoff – Daryl McKenzie – drums
- Rocky Zarsoff – Warwick Kennington – drums
- Rudi Zarsoff – Dave Wray – sax
- Zippy Zarsoff – Bruce Allen (saxophone)
Crew On Tape:
- Phil “Drac” Dracoulis – sound recording
- Grahame “Yogi” Harrison – technical support
- Mark “Gibbo” Gibson – front of house
- 1 Dog’s Boogie Blues
- 2 She’s Talkin’
- 3 My Big Ten Inch
- 4 Work It Out
- 5 Little Red Riding Hood
- 6 Nose Pickin’ Boogie
- 7 People Are Strange
- 8 Why Get Up
- 9 I Was Framed
- 10 Love Potion Number Nine
- 11 Gloria
- 12 The Blues
- 13 Nervous
- 14 Summer In The City
- 15 Clever Bastards
- 16 Do The Clam
- 17 Do You Wanna Dance
- 18 Is She Really Goin’ Out With Him
The ZARSOFF Brothers LIVE at Yella Rock 1991 live tape and all the ARCA Desk Tape Series recordings are available through Black Box Records – ARCA (australianroadcrew.com.au) and the following:
https://ffm.to/zarsoffbrothers-live (paste into browser if it fail to work)
- Apple Music / iTunes
- Black Box Records
- YouTube Music
The Zarsoffs were a great music band with lowbrow toilet humour and highlights like the Dance Of The Flaming Arsehole. They continued to break attendance records at venues after forming in 1979 in Sydney.
Bassist/ singer Peter Knox, keyboard player Greg Deane and drummer Tony Verhoeven met in singer Robin Lee Sinclair’s backing band. They changed their names to Izzy Foreal, Bernie Zarsoff and Terry Zarsoff.
Terry recalled it came together in Cairns, Far North Queensland, where they were booked for a six week residency at a disco called Caesar’s Palace, “located beside a dilapidated, deserted and condemned hotel, so it should come as no surprise to learn this is where the band stayed.”
They had a dozen vaguely disco songs in their set, “but with three hours to fill, we were struggling and the first week was horrendous.” But they threw themselves into writing songs and rehearsing, and they soon had the danceheads queuing up.
Izzy Foreal meticulously kept diaries of every gig they did. In one year they played 360 gigs. Releases included the Bumsweat And Other Popular Filth and Nose Pickin’ Boogie EPs and albums such as Rude Awakening.
“What we are about”, Izzy once explained, “is being the catalyst for a good time, with an irreverent approach to the whole idea of rock & roll as an industry.
“To the punters, we are just a bunch of looneys who happen to be able to play music, and who would be just as comfortable beside them at the bar.”
They went through numerous line-ups, with each member having to take on the Zarsoff name. The official story was that they were the children of a Russian minstrel. Russia’s president saw them at a show and considered them so ugly they were such an embarrassment to all Russians he banished them to Australia.
Road crews too had to adopt the Zarsoff name. But the band had a routine in their shows where they would call their sound tech Tim Novak and lighting tech Terry Good. You merged their names and got No Good.
“I loved their music, they were very good musicians,” Dracoulis relates. “If I was in the same town as they, working with another band, I’d go out of my way to see them.
“I suspect they were probably music students at one point. They knew the songs backwards. They’d just wing it without a set list, they’d work off a crowd. They were always worth going to see, and have a laugh because they were very funny.”
Phil Dracoulis got the chance to work with them at Yella Rock, an invite-only festival for three whole days of bikes, booze, chemicals and music on a secluded property halfway along the Putty Rd to Singleton. It was recorded for audio and video.
Acts included Dave Tice & The Headhunters (whose set was previously released as part of the Desk Tape Series), the late Phil Emmanuel and a series of hard rock tribute bands as The Last Stand Cold Chisel Show.
The Zarsoffs went on last at 10.30pm. Phil Dracoulis remembers the crowd rushed to front of the stage when they came on.
The songs range from the boogie of “Dogshit Boogie Blues” and “Nervous” to the up-tempo guitar rock of “Work It Out” and “Love Potion #9” to the country rock of “She’s Talkin’” to the more self explanatory “My Big Ten Inch” and the surf rock “Do The Clam” which introduces Elvis The Pelvis, Eunice The Penis and Britt The Clit.
They put their own touch on the covers. “Little Red Riding Hood” has lines about “what big tits you have” which weren’t on the 1960s original. On “Do You Wanna Dance” they add “Wanna dance? No? I guess a fuck’s out of the question.”
Politically incorrect? Yes! Misogynistic? Yes! Puerile schoolboy toilet humour? Yes!
Yet the crowd —women and men –roared its approval and took it in the spirit it was intended. The humour was never aggressive. As a result there were very few, if any, fights at their shows.
Cops called because of venue over-crowding and noise complaints, would stay on and chuckle over the onstage antics.
While Izzy was boisterous, crude, offensive and drunk-rowdy, Knox was quiet, kind, gentle, highly intelligent and neither drank nor smoked. At university he studied English Literature and poetry, completed a Master of Arts with Honours, wrote and published The Errant Apostrophe, and penned science fiction short stories for magazines.
He encouraged his daughters Soz and Xanthe to be creative and open-minded, took them to the latest sci-fi movies and once bought a telescope so they could watch Halley’s Comet.
Soz would go on to become an aerospace engineer and, and Xanthe herself writes sci-fi stories and has won short story competitions. After his death, his family had his ashes registered with US space travel agency Celestis to be part of the first mission to send human remains into deep space.
Also making the trip are the ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Canadian actor James Doohan who played Scotty in the series.
Xanthe recounts how Peter Knox was conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War. “Being a pacifist and with Buddhism as a personal philosophy – he meditated every day and chanted mantras— there was no way he would have picked up a gun.
“So he changed his name to Peter Wilson and dodged the draft. He couldn’t vote until the 1990s.” Knox kept changing jobs, including charity organisations for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities, and at an animal shelter.
“Part of the job in the shelter was to tag the animals – white for new, blue for ‘after a week’, and red to denote they had to be put down. “He got sacked after two weeks because none of the animals were being red-tagged!”
After a mild heart attack in the 2000s, Knox kept himself fit, running 5 to 10kms a day in the bush. But on June 21, 2014, he suffered another heart attack, this time a fatal one.
At the funeral, they played his music, adorned the coffin with chalk paint and messages, and played the Zarsoff’s song ‘Mickey Mouse’ as he was being carried out.
ARCA would like to thank the following sponsors of The Desk Tape Series:-
Sponsor Industry Roles
- Showtech Rigging
- CMI P.A and Production
- Clearlight Lighting
- DSE Trucks Transport
- Scully Outdoors Outdoor Production
- Gigpower Crewing and Staging
- Lock and Load Crewing
- Chameleon Touring Production and Lighting
- JPJ P.A and Lighting
- Novatech P.A and Lighting
- Phaseshift Lighting
- Show FX Australia Pyrotechnics
- Event Personnel Australia Crewing
- Norwest P.A and Lighting Production
- Nprint Artwork
Ian Peel and Adrian Anderson
ARCA Co-founders and Directors.
Note from founders:-
“ARCA and The Desk Tape Series is a small way we can help our mates get some self-worth and recognition for their contribution to the Aussie music industry and help if they are in crisis. It is a great honour for us to be able to present these memories to all.”
All Hail Roadies and Crew
“Looking after OUR OWN with FEELING and a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE”
All enquiries contact :
Adrian Anderson 0409 789 440
Ian Peel 0415 667 221
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