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Monday, 16 May 2011

Post 359 - Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons - Shape I'm In / So Young / Shape I'm In (Dub)

In late 1975 Ross Wilson, who was waiting out his Daddy Cool/Mighty Kong recording contract, had started producing other artists for a label he was involved in, Oz Records. He also decided to produce a version of Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run", as a one off Christmas single for Mushroom Records. Since contractually he couldn't perform the vocals himself, Ross asked musician around town Joe Camilleri to sing and play on the record, and front it. Camilleri was born in Malta, and in Maltese the traditional nickname for Joseph is 'Zep', so the name put on the single was Jo Jo Zep and his Little Helpers. To promote the single it seemed a good idea to put together a scratch band comprising some of the other people who had worked on the record. These included bass player John Power (ex-Foreday Riders), who had recently relocated from Sydney to Melbourne to join Company Caine for an album which Wilson was producing. However Company Caine, which featured guitarist Jeff Burstin and drummer John McInerney, soon fell apart. Wilson suggested that the three team up with Camilleri to perform as part of a Christmas show at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. The performance proved so successful that, with the addition of second guitarist Wayne Burt (ex-Rock Granite) and drummer Gary Young (ex-Daddy Cool) replacing McInerney, the band decided to take things a little more seriously. On stage they called themselves Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons. The band signed with Oz Records, releasing their first single, "Beating Around The Bush", in July 1976. The song was also one of two Jo Jo Zep tracks on the Ross Wilson soundtrack for the feature film Oz. In 1978 the Oz Record label folded and the band moved to Mushroom Records, and another new musical direction began. Here to download is their 8th single release in 1979 on Mushroom "Shape I'm In" b/w "So Young" (new version) / "Shape I'm In" (Dub version) (K7665). The two tracks on the B side are non LP tracks. The Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons story is an interesting one and we haven't remotly touched it here so to read more go to:

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