Covid has postponed the first Zoot tour in 50 years a number of times now but founding member and guitarist Rick Springfield says he can’t wait to get it happening.
Rick tells Noise11.com, “Everyone is excited to do it, everyone is ready to do it Rick (Brewer) and Beeb (Birtles) and me and Russ too. We are ready to go”.
Zoot singer Darryl Cotton passed away nine years ago today (27 July 2012). Taking his place for the tour is Australian rock legend Russell Morris. They have even been working on new music. Russell says, “We have sketches of songs and that all went under the back burner when Rick and I got dragged away on this dark horse that ran away with us which is ‘Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz’. It took us completely away and now we’ll probably drift back and start completing songs. It’s not like there is any giant rush to have them completed because it won’t be until next year”.
One song, ‘That was Then’ was completed and released to fans who bought tickets to the tour. “That was for fans who already said they wanted to come to the show,” Rick says. “They had already bought tickets. We dropped the song on them. I like the song. It is basically about Darryl (Cotton) and going back to that time when we were all fearless and looking forward to our great futures. I always felt really safe around Darryl. From my perspective that’s how I felt about him and Russ has played with him too. It has come from a very real and loving perspective”.
When Zoot formed in the 1960s Australia had a small music industry. Everyone knew everyone. On the first Zoot album ‘Just Zoot’ Brian Cadd wrote two songs for the Zoot record but there was some rivalry between The Zoot and The Masters Apprentices. “My memory of the scene was that it was very small back then,” Rick says. “We were all very close. There was a bit on animosity between The Masters Apprentices and The Zoot. We were young guys. I just remember getting together in hotel rooms. We were just a bunch of guys and everybody wanted to help everybody else”.
Russell recalls the tension between the two lead singer and felt it first hand when he invited Masters’ singer Jim Keays to join his and Darryl’s band in the 2000. “It wasn’t that easy,” Russell says. “When Ronnie (Burns) decided he wasn’t going to be with us anymore I approached Jim (Keays) and told Darryl ‘I’d like Jim’. I played golf with Jim every Tuesday and Darryl said ‘Over my dead body, I’m not working with Jim Keays’. He said “we’ll do it as the two of us’ and I said ‘no, people are used to seeing three of us. They will feel like they were being watered down’. Richard Rushton and myself really had to talk Darryl around. When Jim finally joined Darryl realized it was a good choice because Jim added an edge to the whole thing. It was great”.
Rick recalls, “Jim was always a punk. I’ve seen videos of the shows. Darryl and Jim are into singing each others songs. When we were kids that would never have happened.”
In October Rick Springfield and Russell Morris (as The Morris Springfield Project) will release ‘Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz’, a concept album based on the Spanish ‘Day of the Dead’ celebrations where once a year the living welcome back their family and friends who have passed.
‘Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz’ will be released on Robert Rigby’s Ambition Records. Orders for the album have now started through Songland Records, https://songland.com.au/contact-us/
The Zoot tour is now scheduled for October 2022.
ZOOT – OCTOBER 2022 DATES:
Friday 7 Oct 2022 Brisbane
Saturday 8 Oct 2022 Sydney
Wednesday 12 Oct 2022 Perth
Friday 14 Oct 2022 Adelaide
Saturday 15 Oct 2022 Melbourne
Find tickets here https://davidroywilliams.com/tours/zoot/
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