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Zoot Horn Rollo

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Bill Harkleroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo) was guitarist for Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. After recording “some of the most unusual music ever committed to vinyl,” he left in 1973 with several other band members to form Mallard. His book, Lunar Notes, describes some of the tensions between Captain Beefheart and band members, which contributed to the split.

He was born in Palmdale, California. Trained as an accordionist during childhood, he switched to guitar in his teen years. 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 of them also played in Blues In A Bottle along with Jeff Cotton. Finally, he joined the Magic Band in 1968, after the departure of Alex St Claire. 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 tutor in Eugene, Oregon, where he would teach future Hunches guitarist Chris Gunn to play.

On November 27, 2001 he released We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea. In 2003, he ranked number 62 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time

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