Ian & the Zodiacs had one of the longest histories of any band working in Liverpool, which makes their utter obscurity in that city even more of a puzzle, considering that they had a cool name and played R&B well enough to become stars in Germany. The band’s roots go back to the Zodiacs, a trad jazz (i.e. Dixieland) outfit formed in 1958 as a sextet that included future Fourmost drummer Dave Lovelady — they switched to rock & roll soon after.
The original Zodiacs stayed intact through the spring of 1960, when lead guitarist Pete Pimlett exited and Ian Edwards, late of the Deltones (who attended the same school as the Zodiacs) came aboard, along with Charlie Flynn, from Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes. The core lineup of Ian & the Zodiacs, as they were named in 1960, was Edwards on guitar and vocals, Pete Wallace on lead guitar, Charlie Flynn on bass and vocals, Cliff Roberts on drums, and Geoff Bethell at the piano. This was the lineup that held for much of the early ’60s, through 1964, when Bethell and Roberts left.
It was in 1964 that, after years of languishing in obscurity in Liverpool, the band went to Germany and became major stars — they were supposed to stay for a few weeks and didn’t really leave for three years. Their lineup was still a bit fluid, with ex-Lee Curtis All-Stars drummer Joe Walsh eventually settling in, until he left, and Wallace and Flynn exited for the Connoisseurs, to be replaced by Arthur Ashton (lead guitar), Freddie Smith (drums), and Tony Coates (bass). By that time, the group had cut three LPs (that’s one more than Gerry & the Pacemakers, who’d topped the charts in England, got to do) that were released exclusively in Germany on the Star Club label, which was part of Polygram, and two albums of Beatles covers issued under the name the Koppykats.
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Only four videos uploaded. It was not easy to find live videos of the band
Ian & The Zodiacs – Why can’t it be me
Ian & The Zodiacs – All of Me
Ian & The Zodiacs – Living Loving Wreck
Ian & The Zodiacs – Face in the Crowd
On the other hand, I got two LP’s (see above) with Ian & The Zodiacs released on the Star Club label that I have transferred to MP3 already, so I might drop one of them in the box widget later on if anyone is interested – Ted
Other Merseybeat and beat classics that might turn up at a later point in time are:
King Size Taylor & The Dominos, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, The Searchers, The Liverbirds, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Merseybeats, The Paramounts, Roadrunners, Johnny & The Hurricanes, Freddy & The Dreamers, Colin Anthony & His Beat Combo, The Applejacks, The Undertakers, The Roulettes, The Remo Four, The Pete Best Combo, The Fourmost, The Beatstalkers, The Big Three and The Nashville Teens
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