Z-CARS

Top: Peter Patrick   Ray Harris        Bottom: Christopher Bacon   Bruno

There are some South Florida bands that  ZTOYZ would like to pay tribute to.  Without hesitation my favorite group was Z-CARS.  Maybe it was because I was young sneaking into clubs getting into the scene but seeing nothing that really impressed me until Z-CARS, (pronounced Zed-Cars).  It helped that I loved THE WHO a band that had a tremendous influence on Z-CARS.  But Z-CARS wasn’t just a carbon copy happy to emulate THE WHO.  Their singer Peter Patrick sounded nothing like Daltrey and they had their own style.  Ray Harris was an amazing bass player and may have been the coolest looking bass player I’ve ever seen.  He was just a natural in poise and style.  Christopher Bacon was probably the nearest thing to Pete Townsend that I’ve ever heard.  He had a great guitar sound and was one of the few guitar players that didn’t play with a bunch of pedals just a Les Paul and a Marshall.   Their drummer Bruno, who I would later play with, was without doubt the best drummer I’ve ever played with.  Technically he was amazing but way more than that his sense of timing and space was so in tune to a style all his own that what he offered as a drummer could never be taught.  It was God given.  Z-CARS were a great live band.  They recorded a record in ’82 ? with songs like “Safe’s No Fun”, “All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go”, and “Sellout” and “The Up And Coming”.  I was in complete awe of Z-CARS but overtime as our band developed, Z-CARS was never discovered by a record company and eventually broke up.  I was crushed when I heard that news.  For me they were always a joy to watch.  As we became contemporaries I became friends with Bruno.   While recording some demos I invited Bruno to record with us while we were between drummers.  I had hoped that he would join the band.  That didn’t work out but one of the songs he recorded on was selected to the MTV basement tapes.   When TOYZ got into some legal difficulties over the name, (too many groups named TOYZ) we decided to put a Z in front of our name to avoid further complications.  Since Z-CARS had a Z in front of their name I called Bruno to get his OK, he was totally cool and gave us the go ahead.  I always felt our Z carried the spirit of Z-CARS.  Bruno eventually teamed up with Ray Harris to form CATS ON HOLIDAY another great South Miami band.  I tried to keep in touch with Bruno but as ZTOYZ moved to New York we only spoke a few times afterwards.   I was devastated to learn of Bruno’s passing.  I had always hoped to hang out with him again.  Bruno had a very quick wit and he could be very funny but more importantly he knew what made music great.  His death still weighs heavy on me to this day.  There is not much on Z-CARS on the internet these days but you can get some of their music at: http://www.myspace.com/zcars1

Peter S

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