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Zoot Money


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Zoot Money was one of British rock ‘n’ roll’s homebound heroes — admired, respected and sought after by his colleagues, and able to fill halls nightly in England, he never managed to sell lots of records, even in England. Born in Bournemouth in 1942 with the name George Bruno Money, he grew up in an Italian-immigrant (but, on his father’s side, English-descended) family. He was musically inclined from an early age and his first instrument, taken up at school, was the French horn — he also sang in the choir as a boy. During the mid-1950’s, he discovered rhythm-and-blues and its younger offshoot, rock ‘n’ roll, which quickly consumed his interest in music — he switched to the keyboard under the inspiration of Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, and by the beginning of the 1960’s was developing a distinctive technique on the Hammond organ. He’d also picked up the nickname by which he’d be known for most of his career after attending a concert by Zoot Sims. He passed through the line-ups of a few groups as a keyboard player, including the Don Robb Band — where one of his bandmates was a guitarist going by the name of Andy Somers (aka Summers) — and the Wes Minster Five, a jazz-based semi-professional quintet.


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