Guitar Gallows Bio Information - Zoot Horn Rollo
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Zoot Horn Rollo (the stage name of Bill Harkleroad), is an American guitarist born in Hawthorne, California on January 8, 1949. He is best known his work with Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. In 2003 he was ranked #62 in a Rolling Stone Magazine list of "the 100 greatest guitarists of all time"
Born in Hawthorne, California, Harkleroad was trained as an accordianist as a child but switched to guitar in his teens. In nearby Lancaster, California he became involved in local bands. He joined up with future member of the Magic Band, Mark Boston in a band named B.C. & The Cavemen. Later the two played in the group Blues in a Bottle along with Jeff Cotton. Finally he joined the Magic Band in 1968 after the departure of Alex St Claire. After recording Trout Mask Replica and several further albums he left in 1974, with several other band members, to form Mallard. His book Lunar Notes describes some of the tensions that contributed to the split between Captain Beefheart and the other band members.
After the disbanding of Mallard, he had a limited involvement with the music community as a performer. He continued his involvement in another capacity, however, as a record store manager and guitar instructor in Eugene, Oregon.
On November 27, 2001 he released We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea. In 2008 John French (a.k.a. Drumbo) released an album City of Refuge in which Bill Harkleroad was featured playing guitar on all twelve tracks.
There is also a book released with much more information regarding the captain beefheart years. Harkleroad, Bill (1998). Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience. Interlink Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-21-7.
Lunar Notes (SAF Publishing, Ltd. September 1, 1998) by Bill Harkleroad and Billy James (aka Ant-Bee) is a book about the Captain Beefheart years.