Entertaining Sydney band based around smutty cabaret-theatre comedy. Played a mix of r&b, blues and rock with some school boy type humour (ie nose picking, flatulence). Obviously light-hearted but the music was substantial.
from Who’s who of Australian Rock.
“What we are about”, says Izzy, “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. We have no intention of deconstructing that image, not even for [name removed because of possibility of legal action].”
Izzy admits the band’s onstage skullduggery may be part of the problem with bookers such as [name removed because of possibility of legal action] , though “They need to see that we’ve grown up a bit. Sure, we’ll never be Top 30 pinups, and we’ll always be mainly an adults-only product – but we still pull heads at rock venues, and the days of the infamous “Dance of the Flaming Arsehole” are in the past.”
Three members of The Zarsoff Bros (Izzy, Bernie and Terry) were playing as The Robin Lee Sinclair Band in 1979, backing a singer (Robin Lee Sinclair)doing disco versions of every kind of song that moved. The band was very popular in the club circuit, but Izzy started to yearn for an outlet for his comedy material. The three future Zarsoffs started doing some low key gigs away from Robin Lee Sinclair, as The Likker Act. When Robin found out, he demanded exclusive loyalty. Izzy, Bernie and Terry got pissed at the Royal Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay one afternoon, and went to visit Robin. Izzy Told him where to stick his exclusive loyalty, and the 1979 version of The Zarsoff Bros was born.
After a few gigs, the boys decided they needed a fourth member. There was a Bluey who rehearsed a lot with the band and did maybe one gig, but he proved to be too serious a musician and wasn’t too fond of the bizarre onstage antics of the other members. He soon departed and the real Bluey Zarsoff joined, just before the band headed to Cairns for a six week stint at Caesars Palace. In fact, this Bluey only did one gig before Cairns, at The Bondi Tram, then feel headfirst into the mayhem.
This was the 1979 version of The Zarsoff Bros because, unknown to Izzy Foreal, there was a band with this name who recorded a single some time in the early 1970s. This band consisted of members from popular bands of the time, who got together to release a record under the name The Zarsoff Bros. This band never performed live as far as is known, and the whole thing was meant to be a one-off joke.
The Zarsoff name, of course, has been around as a joke for ages. Many of Izzy’s road crew members had Zarsoff names in previous bands. In fact, Dave Ovenden, drummer with The 69ERS when Izzy was known as Peter Knox and that band’s bass player, used to often call out over the microphone: A message for Mister Bluey Zarsoff, please refrain from leaving skid marks in the car park.
Anyway, it was the 1979 Zarsoff Bros who went on to carve themselves a reputation as a rude, crude, offensive, irreverent and extremely funny band throughout the 1980s. The 1979 line up came to an end when Izzy went to Tweed Heads to play bass with The Bullamakankas. After about eight months and one Bullamakankas album, he returned to Sydney and formed the next version of The Zarsoff Bros. This version featured Rocky on drums, Smokey on lead guitar, Izzy on bass and Bernie on keyboards. Bluey returned after a few months, and Rudi joined on saxophone not long after. This classic line up carved its way through the Sydney live scene for some time, creating the legend that still lives on in many drug addled minds.
Frontman and bassist Izzy Foreal put the band to sleep some time in the early 1990s. He was asked to put a lineup together for “The Boys Are Back In Town” tours towards the end of the 1990s, which he did using various combinations of past band members. The vibe was so good that the version of the band in the photo above decided to write an album of new material and continue the mayhem. So, The Legendary Zarsoff Bros were back on the road with a new second guitarist, recording a new album and touring to promote it. Stay tuned to this site for updates on live shows, album release dates and other Zarsoffian insanity.
- Izzy Foreal – Vocals and Bass
- Smokey Zarsoff – Guitar
- Shaggy Zarsoff – Guitar, Mandolin and Vocals
- Bologne Zarsoff – Drums
- Bernie Zarsoff – Keys
- Bluey Zarsoff – Guitar and Sax
- Rory Zarsoff – Guitar
- Lefty Zarsoff – Drums
- Rocky Zarsoff – Drums
- Rudi Zarsoff – Sax
- Terry Zarsoff
- EP – Bumsweat and Other Popular Filth (Pirana Bros. label, 1981)
- EP – Nose Picking Boogie (Pirana Bros, 1981)
- Single – Handy Man/Workin’ It Out (Pirana Bros, 1983)
- Album – Rude Awakening – 1984
- Album – Mixed Business – 2007
|29/01/83||Somersby||Narara Music Festival 1983|
|16/04/83||Coogee||Selinas – Coogee Bay Hotel|
|21/04/83||Melbourne, Vic||Club Chevron|
|22/04/83||Rosebud, VIC||Rosebud Hotel|
|23/04/83||Melbourne, Vic||Croxton Hotel|
|24/04/83||Melbourne, Vic||Prospect Hill Hotel|
|+ New Toys|
|+ Inner Release|
|07/10/83||Greenfield Park||Greenfield Tavern|
|+ Vince Sorenti + La Bouche|
|24/05/85||Balmain, NSW||Balmain Leagues Club|
|11/10/85||Leumeah||Campbelltown Leagues Club|
|23/05/86||St Mary’s||St Mary’s Leagues Club|
|20/09/86||Auburn, NSW||Stags – Auburn RSL|
|07/11/86||Dee Why, NSW||The Venue|
|supporting John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers|
|04/03/88||Chester Hill||Chester Hill Hotel|