To get an accurate portrait of Earl Zinger and gain a complete perspective on this mysterious musician, I would first recommend reading reading an except from the work of Dr. Arnold Brakenbridge, Emeritus Professor of Musicology.

According to Brakenbridge, Zinger started in his career in the late-40’s working with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and later worked with and influenced such legends as Bob Marley, King Tubby, Lee Perry, and more. During his “middle” years he worked on vocal arrangements for Earth,Wind, and Fire, played with Sugar Otis, became mates with Gil Scot-Heron, worked with Afrika Bambatta, The Meters, and made a huge impact during his work with Eric B & Rakim and contributions to A Tribe Called Quests Low End Theory. Later in the 80’s and 90’s he took his drug knowledge from his beat days to Ibiza, hung out and introduced the Happy Mondays to Paul Oakenfold and that is really just a some of the selected highlights. His current album Put Your Phazers On Stun, Throw Your Health Food Skyward, is a collection of all his styles he has mastered over his long career and some dashing tales he lived along this long and distinguished musical career.

Contrary to Brackenbridge’s discoveries at Berkeley, others seem to think that Earl Zinger is really Rob Gallagher of Galliano, Two Banks of Four, Gilles Peterson M.C. etc. So before we fry you with facts, here is a recent interview with Earl Zinger from his secret Red Egyptian bunker in north London.

So how did your Earl Zinger persona come about?

I don’t know how it did come about actually. Earl Zinger has been there for many years -in the midst of time- but he’s been around for a long time. In fact I now think Rob is a figment of the imagination of Earl Zinger then the other way around. It definitely feels like that at the moment anyway.

Why didn’t do an album as The Rob Gallagher Five or something like that?

Yes the various personalities of!

The Zinger bio is a riot.

Well the story goes is that Arnold Brackenbridge was in trouble at Berkley and was found having sexual liaisons with one of his students and needed some money so the only way he could make any money was by exposing Earl Zinger. See he was the only one that really knew about the Zinger story so that’s what he did. However, him and Zinger haven’t spoken for many years. He shown a light in the shadows where no light should of really been shown!

The album covers so many genres and really seems to be a lot different then any of the Galliano or Two Banks of Four material.

Yeah but it’s only if you think music being kind of as distinct parts I suppose. I think people specialize in parts maybe for mixing purposes and doing sets but when I go out am I usually with Gilles (Peterson) anyways and he plays right across the board. If I’m MCing with him, he’ll play kind of one mad Latin tune into some drum’n’bass and everything else. It’s pretty natural for it to all come out natural and mashed up and in the mixture anyway. I like to mix and blend...

Yeah there is a lot more humor on this project as well...

Yeah well you go out with a bag and you squeeze people till something good come out and you take it home with you. You find a bit of bass under a chair and some lyrics somewhere else, throw it into the computer and there you go. I’m trying to pioneer the bushel sound.

The what?

You ever heard of covering your light under a bushel? Yeah well I specialize in the bushels. I try and get as many bushels under the light as possible. I’m a pioneer in the bushel- I specialize in self-regression. I hide the light but sometimes it pokes out. So you know if people like it they must really like it.

So with all these genres your covering, what’s next? Will there be any new ground uncovered in the future? Has everything been done?

No not at all. London is probably the worse place to say that ever. I mean we rode the garage now and we’re getting into the next phase. Broken garage (laughs) jungle hybrids. But you know what I quite enjoy with the Zinger stuff is that it just kind of like specializing in second hand cars. None of them are really polished and they’re a bit rusty. But you kind of get them out there and make sure there is enough petrol in there and send them off. So it’s not so much about genres or anything else. It’s just about getting the tune enough oxygen to get to the end but not a lot more then that.

Yeah, I was checking out the album and was thinking I just love this Sound of Music vs. Neil Diamond on one track..

Yeah I do a good Neil Diamond impression actually! Have you heard “Can’t Get You Out of My Head?” It’s on my Red Egyptian label as well by Lenny Kostanza who is reportedly Frank Sinatra’s plumber from New Jersey in the 50’s and after his first hit he did a version of a 1956 Capital demo called “Can’t Get You Out of My Bed” and now he’s having a bit of success under a slightly different name. I’ve got the original on Red Egyptian now. It’s just come out. See we have the Red Egyptian bunker deep in northeast London and we have things going on like the Secret Waltz club that goes on Sunday nights for club victims that have been on a vast amount of uppers over the weekend-they come and waltz around- kind of the opium vibe you can’t get find in New York or London. Then there is Lenny Kostanza, the Earl Zinger stuff, and the latest release that I just finished is Angelo Hectic doing “For All the Girls I’ve Loved.”

Wow, are you involved in those projects?

oh..um...well I like to oversee them. I was there in the Red Egyptian choir room- directing the various stars of northeast London where they can all be found walking during obscure times of the night bringing inspiration from the streets.

I know you did some Earl Zinger singles early on. Do you think this is going to become your primary focus? Are you still going to continue with Two Banks of Four?

I’m doing that as well at the moment. So there is another one of those coming, then there is the Earl Zinger stuff and there the Red Egyptian compilation of various artisans coming out. There is also a bunch of artists wanting to do things under other names, various DJ’s and people so I’m messing with some different names.

So what’s the story behind the Ibiza tunes?

You know what that is more then anything. That is me listening to people and they’ve given me their stories. Some of that was written in Miami actually. The bit about “rub the bank, looking hostile, trying to put a Vics inhaler up my nostril.” There was a party in downtown Miami, I can’t remember who was Djing but he came at me with a Vics inhaler- a sort of raving essential. He was trying to stick it- actually that was on Escape to Ibiza but it happened in Miami. The world of dance-floors are sort of blend together sooner or later. Wether it’s Ibiza of Miami, the dance-floor logistics stay the same. Soon I don’t think there is going to be that much of a difference between the two anyway although there is never as many english.

Are you going to perform this material live?

I am actually. I’m doing stuff next month with Charlie Dark, Mr. Dark from Attica Blues. He’s going to be Djing and I’ll do my stuff so we’ll see how that goes. In September they want to do more of a band thing so we’re going to look and see how it goes really- just have a laugh- do some dates supporting Coup in Germany and various things like that. Just cut a load of instrumentals on acetates and away we go armed and ready!

Are you going to be doing any videos?

In July actually there is going to be a video for “Escape From Ibiza.”

You have to do a video for “Saturday Morning Rush.”

Yeah I could just take one of those old super eight cameras and just run around with it. You know, I should of done that. Maybe Red Egyptian will go into video production! There is another geezer I know that did a poem about sunday morning football and it’s all about that culture which unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and we’re going to try and do a little video for that during the World Cup. Yes, I’ve got to get into films. I’ve got a meeting with Brad next week, Brad Pitt wants to do something on Red Egyptian. He can star is “Saturday Morning Rush!” Him and his six-pack. In Zingerland it can all come together!

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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