Following is a history of the band ZToyz through all its different incarnations.
John Suarez and Sol Bradman started the band and recruited Peter Spirer who was already a veteran of the club scene. Tom Stevens joined shortly thereafter. The band originally started out in Miami, FL, as Toyz in 1979. The Original lineup included:
John Suarez- Guitar, Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Tom Stevens Bass Sol Bradman- Drums
This lineup recorded a 45rpm single, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Love Affair” and “Learn To Survive”, produced by Phineas Dali
Toyz broke-up, but then reformed in 1982 with:
John Suarez- Guitar, Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Mark McGreevy- Bass Rodney De Freitas – Drums
In early 1982, Rodney De Freitas left the band and was replaced by Joey Carollo. Toyz subsequently added Hanz on Lead Vocals:
Hanz- Vocals John Suarez- Guitar, Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Mark McGreevy- Bass Joey Carollo – Drums
This lineup performed live on Local television station Channel 17 and started making noise playing clubs like 27 Birds and Rollos.
In early 1983, drummer Joey Carollo left the band and was replaced by Joby Bullock on Drums. Mark McGreevy was replaced by Ty Westerhoff on Bass:
Hanz- Vocals John Suarez- Guitar, Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Ty Westerhoff- Bass Joby Bullock- Drums
This lineup recorded songs at Sync Sound Studios in North Miami. During the recording sessions, Joby Bullock left the band for personal reasons. Before his departure, Joby played drums on four recordings: “Escaping My Ways”, “Rising Star”, “Bow Wow World”* and “Tour de Force”. Bruno Martinez, drummer from the bands Z-Cars and Cats on Holiday, recorded the final two songs of Toyz’ six song demo tape: “Miami Breakdown” and “Fooled Twice”. Bruno Martinez declined to join the band, and a series of auditions led Toyz to drummer Scott Levy in late 1983:
Hanz- Vocals John Suarez- Guitar, Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Ty Westerhoff- Bass Scott Levy- Drums
With this lineup Peter Spirer produced and directed two music videos for the songs “Miami Breakdown” written by Suarez and “Fooled Twice” written by Spirer/Hanz.
The video for “Miami Breakdown” was selected for the MTV basement tapes in 1984. The increased exposure forced the band to change their name to ZToyz for legal reasons.
ZToyz also recorded “Are You Ready?” and a jingle for Capt. Video that was played on AOR radio stations. Later that same year, ZToyz recorded a six-song demo with producer Tom Allom, who produced Judas Priest and Loverboy. Songs included “Doin’ Me Wrong”, “Let the Music Save You”, “Over You”, “It’s Not Me”, “Whore Dog”, and “Run Like Hell”.
ZTOYZ played a concert opening for Joan Jett on the patio of the University of Miami. In attendance was Richard Bron from Bronz records who also brought down Mitch Weissman who would later join the band. After the show Bronz records offered the band a record deal. However that same night founding member Suarez announced that he was leaving the band due to musical differences and personal reasons. He did so shortly thereafter in early 1985. He was replaced by guitarist Jimi Delisi:
Hanz- Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Jimi Delisi- Guitar and Background Vocals Ty Westerhoff- Bass and Background Vocals Scott Levy- Drums
This lineup was featured on a Channel 7 news piece.
Jimi Delisi and Ty Westerhoff left the band in mid-1985*. Ty Westerhoff was replaced by Mitch Weissman, who wrote songs for Kiss and performed on Broadway as Paul McCartney in the original cast of “Beatlemania”. The band decided not to replace Jimi Delisi:
Hanz- Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Mitch Weissman- Bass Scott Levy- Drums
This lineup recorded a 45 rpm single in late 1985 that contained “American Dream” and “The Lonely Ones” with producer Steve Gordon.
In early 1986, ZToyz left Miami and moved to New York, where they recorded a three-song demo that included “A Little Love On The Side”, “I Am the Night”, and “Undercover Lover”. The band was featured in Heavy Metal Magazine later that year.
In early 1987, Mitch Weissman left the band and was replaced by bassist Craig Kiell:
Hanz- Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Craig Kiell- Bass Scott Levy- Drums
The band recorded a three-song demo tape with producer Ric Browde (Poison, Faster Pussycat) and engineer Tim Bomba at Quad Radial Studios in Miami. In 1988, the band performed in the film “Loose Cannons” directed by Bob Clark. Shortly thereafter, ZToyz added guitarist Craig Khory (a.k.a. Kory) to the lineup:
Hanz, Vocals Peter Spirer- Guitar and Background Vocals Kory- Guitars Craig Kiell- Bass and Background Vocals Scott Levy- Drums
Later that year, the band received a publishing deal with Virgin Music and signed a management deal with Concrete Management. They also signed with personal manger Joe Ohrin. In late 1989, ZToyz received a record deal with Jim Mcarty’s new company Absolute Records, a subsidiary of Enigma Records. They recorded an album with Producer Mark Avnet in August 1990. The record contained the songs “Big Boy Greed”, “The Lonely Ones”, “Over You”, “Blood on Pavement”, “Angel with a Broken Wing”, “Down By Law”, “Till I Found You”, “Miles Away”, “How It Rains”, “Cindi”, “Wildin’ The Night”, “Travelin’ Man”, “Long Long Road”, “Amazing Grace”. Unfortunately, the album was never released when Absolute and Enigma went out of business in late 1990. ZToyz broke up in 1991.
After it was all over:
Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, a friend of the band covered “The Lonely Ones” on his 1992 solo album “Widowmaker”.
Suarez continues on as a songwriter, producer and performer. In the early ’90s Suarez worked with girl group Exposé producer and songwriter Lewis Martineé who signed Suarez to sing and write songs for the Miami band Trix. On VH1’s show “You Rock”Suarez performed on stage with Matchbox Twenty. Suarez has also worked with producer Greg Ladanyi (Fleetwood Mac, Don Henley, Jackson Browne). Now recording under the name Zane Suarez, his self produced album “Life Interrupts” mixed by Tony Brock who played drums for The Babys and Rod Stewart is available on CD Baby.
Jimi Delisi and Ty Westerhoff recorded with the pop heavy metal band Julliet. Sadly Ty Westhoff passed away of stomach cancer on May 5, 2005.
Peter Spirer plays with country rock band Sacred Cowboys, which includes actor W. Earl Brown of “Deadwood” and “There’s Something About Mary”. Sacred Cowboys played Stagecoach, and has had guest appearances with Billy Gibbons, Josh Grobin, Rex Brown from Pantera, Scott Ian of Anthrax and actor John Hawks. The band’s “Tell Me Your Secrets” was featured in the Kris Kristofferson and Val Kilmer film “Bloodworth”, available on iTunes. Peter also plays with rock/blues band Barnyard Cocks. Their four-song album “Classic” is available on iTunes.
Craig Kiell plays with Roadside Poets,and their self titled album is available on iTunes.
Hanz toured as a vocalist with Dee Snider’s “Van Helsing’s Curse”, and recorded a CD with the band 61/49.
Mitch Weissman is currently an independent contractor at Sam Ash Music and is also on tour playing bass and singing backup for The Turtles, Mickey Dolenz, Gary Puckett, the tour also includes the Grassroots and the Buckinghams.
Craig Kory is a Kid Rock impersonator in a Vegas Legends Show.