In conjunction with the rescheduling of their forthcoming concert dates, ZOOT are very excited to announce their first new single in over 50 years.
That Was Then was written by Beeb Birtles, Rick Springfield and Russell Morris and features all three, plus drummer Rick Brewer. Even the sadly departed Darryl Cotton makes a posthumous appearance in the intro to the song.
Beeb Birtles gives us some insight into the genesis of the song: “That Was Then” is a song that takes us back to the heydays of ZOOT, as well as Russell Morris’s solo career. When the idea for writing a new ZOOT song was presented to Rick Springfield, Russell Morris and myself, I sent a chord progression that I’d been playing to Rick in Los Angeles. Rick ran with it and came up with a fantastic melody and chorus. Then it was sent to Russell in Australia who wrote the bridge for the song. So, it is truly a collaboration between all of us, and it turned out to be a really great new ZOOT song! Check it out!”
Rick Springfield adds, “Beeb’s acoustic track started me just vocally riffing around it and I realized after I’d come up with some lyrics and the chorus that this song was about Darryl and our (relatively) carefree days as young Zooties touring with Russell. Everyone knew each other and we were all friends. We had our disagreements but when we got on stage we were united. I’d look over at Dazza and Beeb and Malc and feel like it was us against them. I miss being young Ricky Springthorpe living at my parent’s house in Melbourne and thinking I had all the time in the world. Life moves on and we are here 50 years later with a song to celebrate Zoot and Russ’s early days when we were young and fearless.”
Russell Morris was thrilled to once again be able to team up with the guys from Zoot after so many years, “It was such a great joy working with my long-time friends. It was a little daunting, having to stand in Darryl Cotton’s formidable shoes, but “That Was Then” is one of the lovely things I have had the pleasure of doing in the music business.”
With travel to Australia unlikely to be possible for Rick and Beeb, and the band cognisant of the need to put safety first, ZOOT have made the difficult decision to postpone their reformation concerts until 2022.
All tickets held by patrons remain valid and seating allocations will be as per original tickets.
In a truly magnanimous decision by the band, and as a thank-you to fans for their patience, the new ZOOT single That Was Then will be made available for all concert ticketholders as a free download. Links will be provided by ticketing companies in change of date notification emails.
ZOOT took Australia by storm in the late 60’s with a string of hits, including One Times, Two Times, Three Times, Four, Monty and Me, The Freak, and their blistering cover of The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. Crowned Australia’s Best Group in Go-Set in 1969, the band broke up in 1971 with all members going on to stellar careers. Beeb Birtles was a founding member of Little River Band, Rick Springfield became a solo star in the US, and Rick Brewer joined The Ferrets. Darryl Cotton had a successful solo career in Australia before joining up with old pals Russell Morris, and Jim Keays in Cotton, Keays and Morris. Darryl passed away on 27 July 2012.
“This whole tour is about honouring Darryl Cotton and ZOOT,” Rick Springfield reveals. Russell Morris says the tour will be a labour of love. “I am not trying to be Darryl,” Russell points out, “but as I worked with Darryl for so long, he is a part of me. I know how much he cared about ZOOT, so I will give it my very best.”
The reunion represents ZOOT’s first Australian shows in over 50 years and follows the release of the ZOOT anthology, Archaeology as well as vinyl reissues of Just Zoot, and Zoot Out.
The ZOOT band will also feature a special guest – LRB founding member Roger McLachlan on bass.
“Who would have thought we’d still be performing ZOOT songs 50 years after the release of Just Zoot,” smiles Beeb, who started ZOOT in Adelaide with Darryl Cotton. “Nevertheless, here we are with ZOOT in 2021, and with some amazing shows coming in 2022!”
Tickets on sale now http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/zoot/