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"American Football" Fans Speak Out - Randy Jackson of ZEBRA

ZEBRA emerged strongly in 1983 with a mighty self-titled debut album back when the NFL only fielded 28 teams. With a Zeppelinesque sound and a Rush configuration the band won over many fans worldwide on the strength of their videos that were in heavy rotation on MTV. Their frontman and guitar player RANDY JACKSON has roots in two football markets - Louisiana and New York. But, his first love was the Baltimore Colts - go figure! Now, comes word from the man himself that the first Zebra album will be re-released on vinyl next year with expanded offerings and an extra disc of live cuts and rarities.

Randy Jackson of ZEBRA in New York City circa 2009.

GG: What type of American Football fan are you?

RJ: I was a Baltimore Colts fan when I was young. Johnny Unitas was my first football hero. I grew up in New Orleans and we didn't have a team at that time. I saw the "missed" Green Bay field goal in the 1965 NFL playoff game. I never forgot that. A real life changer for me about the game, life and justice.

GG: What is the most amazing memory you have from watching football or attending a game live in person?

RJ: Opening Day. First New Orleans Saints game ever. John Gilliam returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams. Magic !!

GG: Have you ever supported any of the alternative leagues or different versions of the game that have emerged through the years?

RJ: I remember the AFL well ! The Oakland Raiders / Kansas City Chief games were always outstanding. I think those two teams had a LOT to do with the eventual merger of the NFL and the AFL.

GG: It has always seemed to me that tackle football lagged behind the other sports in establishing a global presence. Have you followed the game at all beyond the borders of the U.S.A.?

RJ: Not really. I am not even aware of any sport close in comparison to American football outside of the US. Maybe "Australian Rules" Rugby.

GG: You have just driven the ball down field and cross the goal in dramatic fashion to win your League Championship as time ticks off the clock. What are you going to do now?

RJ: I played quarterback when I was a kid but we won our games easily. Never had a real test like that !

GG: Speaking of quarterback, I believe that two songs in your catalog "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind the Door" are the quarterback and running back that you can look back on as the ones who really got the game going and ball rolling for you - so to speak. First, do you agree? Second, what other tracks do you consider to be your MVPs???

RJ: "Take Your Fingers From My Hair" is always a favorite and "Time" from the 3.V album.

GG: Some teams are defined by offense and agility. Others by defense and brutality as they defend their turf. Looking at the famed trio that still comprises the lineup of Zebra - what are some of the qualities that have helped you remain in the game to this day?

RJ: I think that we are all on similar pages politically and early on we learned to not expect each other to change our habits to any great degree. We have been pretty consistent over the years. At this point we are family.

GG: If you had to compare the legacy of Zebra to any NFL franchise - who would you choose and why?

RJ: That one is too tough for me to answer. There are way too many variables and not enough actual comparisons. The problem with comparing music with sports is that I personally don't look at music as a competition where as in sports there is a usually a clearly defined winner and loser.

GG: Athletes - especially warriors in the National Football League - need to train and workout in order to remain at the top of their game. What type of regimen do you maintain in order to keep your world class guitar skills in tact?

RJ: I like to warm up my voice before each show and I perform or practice as much as possible. A muscle needs to be used to stay in shape and that goes for voice as well as fingers for me.

GG: What's new in the world of Randy Jackson and Zebra? Anything the fans should be on the lookout for?

RJ: We are working on doing a live performance online soon. We are also getting ready to release the 1st Zebra album on Vinyl again along with an extra disc of demos and live cuts early next year.

GG: Are you looking forward to the return of the game?

RJ: I'm looking forward to a return of sanity. My opinion is that we need a vaccine for Covid 19 first. Everything else needs to be put on the back burner till then.

Does it get any better than "Who's Behind the Door?"


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