Z TOYZ at Downtown…

This show of Z Toyz was just before our record deal.   From what I remember this show was a last minute booking and we didn’t get to promote it properly, but it still shows us in all our glory.

I guess I wasn’t the only one who was talented with a camera.  My brother David shot this and did a remarkable job given the limitations of the VHS format at the time.   He had this tape for years but it wasn’t until recently that he showed it to me.   I didn’t even remember him filming.  Luckily I was able to thank him for doing such a great job.  The sound is over modulated, VHS couldn’t handle much but it’s a good idea of what we were like live.  The band consisted of Hanz- Vocals, Peter Spirer- Guitar, Kory-Guitar- Craig Keill-Bass and Scott Levy- Drums.  Thanks David.

Peter S

Z TOYZ: THE LONELY ONES

Option 2

Following is the link to the record that was never released.  It was supposed to be Absolute/Enigma but they ran out of money and we were left with the tapes. But now you can find all those great songs on iTunes. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-lonely-ones/id539125019

The band featured Hanz Walters-Vocals, Peter Spirer-Guitars, Kory-Guitars, Craig Kiell -Bass, and Scott Levy-Drums.

Peter S

KORY and SPIRER in VEGAS

Craig and Peter

Kory and Peter Spirer

When Peter Spirer reached out to Craig Kory, AKA “Kory,” he reminded Peter that it had been over twenty years since they had last seen each other.  So when Peter came to Vegas they met up and reminisced about the “good ole days.” 

The two decided to spend the night eating White Castle burgers, like they had back in the day before playing at the legendary Queens L’amours.  Drinking dollars beers in a casino on the Las Vegas strip and keeping Kory’s mother up way past her bedtime they swapped plenty of amusing stories that will eventually make their way onto this blog.  Spirer was attending the National Association of Broadcasters conference.  Kory lives in Vegas as a Kid Rock impersonator.  Both felt the reunion was way over due.  Pictured above is the two of them before a show opening up for Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult.

Peter S

In Memoriam

Recently Z Toyz lost three people that were part of our extended Z Toyz family.  Though all three were vastly different people they all loved Z Toyz music and all had a great sense of humor.

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Danna Spirer Webb and David Spirer

Guitarist Peter Spirer’s brother passed away on February 11, 2015.  An avid supporter of the band, David was charismatic and charming.  Peter always said, “David didn’t have to be in a rock band to have women fall all over him”.   David video taped a classic Z Toyz show at the NYC club Downtown which will soon be posted.   We will miss his energy and his love of nature and the sea.

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Ralph Clemente, Peter Spirer and Daniel Springen            On the set of “Just Another Day”

Ralph Clemente passed away on April 8 2015.  Ralph was a professor at the University of Miami where Peter went to school. He signed off on Peter’s film project, the first music video created at the University of Miami.  The video “Miami Breakdown”, went on to win the semi-finals of the MTV Basement Tapes.  Peter and Ralph remained close friends and as Peter transitioned into the film world, he eventually made two narrative features, (Dunsmore and Just Another Day), with Ralph and his wonderful film program at Valencia College in Orlando.

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Al Levy and Scott Levy

Al Levy passed away on April 10, 2015.  Scott’s father Al Levy was a huge supporter of the band.  Not only did he help the band financially when needed but along with his wife Renee, attended many Z Toyz shows.  When not rehearsing, Al and Scott loved to fish and boat together.  Al and Scott had a special relationship that was as close as any father and son.   Scott had the good fortune of working with his father in the flooring business until his father passed away.  Z Toyz wants to thank Al for all his years of support.

Peter S

Fourth of July at Dee Snider’s Home.

Fourth of July? Just got this from my Z Toyz brother Scott Levy. Dee Snider is pictured in the middle. Dee was a fan of our band. We talked about working together. Hanz sang backup with him for his stage show. Can’t remember what its called you’ll have to ask Hanz. I love Dee but he did take my song “The Lonely Ones” and put it on his Widowmaker album as their first single without authorization. At the time I was pissed about it. Looking back now I’m glad he did it and there are no hard feelings. I think this photo was taken at a party for the fourth of July that he had while living on Long Island. Dee had a bunch of brothers who loved fireworks. There were so many explosions that it felt like Vietnam. Way out of control. I think he said he spent about six grand on fireworks!

Peter S

The Kids

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Joey and Johnny of the Kids

My Johnny Depp stories…

Johnny was in a rival band called the Kids, a really good rock group that had a great vibe.  Johnny was their main guitar player and I loved his sound.  He had this red telecaster that I thought was really cool.  A “girl” friend of our band who knew him told me that he was selling his guitar.  I asked her for his number and that’s the first time I spoke to him over the phone.  I could tell speaking to him that he was getting cold feet about selling the guitar so it never went anywhere and we didn’t speak for quite some time afterwards.  Our band always resented the Kids because in truth they were a little more pop and did more dance covers than we did.  So we built up this kind of resentment to them.  Also they beat us in a battle of the bands contest hosted by radio station WSHE at the Agora Ballroom that I think we should have won.  However fast forward a year or so and we are doing a week at the Agora and we are backstage.  Johnny comes in with the girl that introduced us via telephone. I had seen the Kids play a few times and liked the band but couldn’t admit it to my band mates who had their own bag of jealousy toward the Kids.  Johnny comes in to the dressing room, I can feel our band coping an attitude but Johnny sticks out his hand and says, “You guys are really great, I only wish we were doing what you guys are doing”.  Talk about breaking the ice.  I instantly liked Johnny a lot.  The next time we spoke was in front of the Tree House Lounge in Hallandale.  The Kids kind of owned that spot.  Suarez and I were sitting on the hood of a car shooting the breeze when these drunk rednecks show up and ripped into Johnny who was seated between us.   At the time Johnny was sporting a fifties style pompadour, very new wave.  These assholes were letting him have it.  Calling he fagot and all sorts of stuff.  They gave Suarez and I a pass, probably because we looked like rockers but it was uncomfortable to say the least.  After they left which seemed like hours I asked Johnny why he took that shit from those guys.  He could have easily have gotten one of the bouncers who would have had fun kicking the shit out of those guys.  Bouncers didn’t like the idea of people bulling their bands particularly at The Tree House.  But Johnny to his credit said, “its no big deal”.  I thought, wow, talk about turning the other cheek!   Another story I have is that while going to the University of Miami I was studying classical guitar with a professor by the name of Glenn “something”.  Sorry Glenn, I can’t remember your last name.  Glenn liked rock-n-roll and would sometimes see ZTOYZ play and played with us every now and then.  So one day I mentioned that the Kids would be playing at lunchtime at the UM.  I wasn’t able to check out the band but Glenn was.  The next time he saw me he raved about this guitar player.  Now the Kids had two guitar players.   The lead singer who played guitar player was also very good.  Glenn was raving about him thinking he had the qualities to become a star.   I agreed but then realized he wasn’t talking about Depp.  I stopped him in his tracks and said, hey man, Johnny Depp is incredible, with his looks like that, that guy could be a movie star.  Glenn told me I was crazy and that the other guitar player Joey was the talented one.  The last time I had a conversation with Johnny was years ago at the Button South that used to be the Agora Ballroom.  Johnny had just starred in Nightmare on Elm Street.  I had seen it and couldn’t believe he had managed to get such a big role in a Hollywood movie.  But that night in the Agora he was pessimistic.  He told me that he was working on a Vietnam film that was running out of money and the Director was going to every studio trying to raise funds.  He thought whatever opportunities he had, were now coming to a dead end and that it was basically over for him.   About a year and half later I’m watching this amazing new war film called Platoon.  That was the movie he was talking about.  He had a juicy supporting role.  Just his luck, soon after he landed 21 Jump Street and though mutual friends have said hello from time to time I’ve not seen him since.  All I can say is that the few times I’ve hung with him he’s turned out to be one of the coolest people I’ve met.

Peter S