The Zu Zu Men: the individual histories collected (a Zu History)

The genesis of The Zu Zu Men is a story much debated among Zu-ologists and Zu-historians alike. Indeed, if you ask each individual Zu Zu Man you will hear a different answer. Here then are the accounts gathered from various sources known to have worked in or around The Zu Zu Men:


Oliver (AKA Our Glorious Leader) wandered the hills of Greater Bristol for many a year before eventually forming The Zu Zu Men. Many would talk of 'the Old Man of the Mountains,' 'the Winter's Shoe' or 'Old Cyril the Chavsbane.' It was amongst the simple folk of Hotwells that he first placed his roots. The townspeople spoke then of Zu Zu Manor rising from the earth to greet him. It is said that Oliver knew at this point what his life had been leading to, something wondrous, something magical and until that day came he would probably do a band... and so it came to pass that The Zu Zu Men was born!

 


Not much is known of either Matt’s (AKA Rainstick) first days with the Zu Zu Men or indeed the true nature of his relationship with Oliver. It is widely believed that he was discovered in the musical fighting pits of Nepal, scraping a living winning musical honour duels for a few rupees and holding his mighty banjo aloft like Excalibur, shirt undone, hair wild, the red mist still hanging around his sweating physique. Some say he followed Oliver back to Zu Zu Manor after coming to a complete stalemate in a musical duel that lasted the best part of two and a half months. Some say they fell in love that day; others, that he still owes Oliver £36, lost on a bet that Babylon Zoo would be bigger than the Beatles (something he still believes). Whatever the reason, beside Oliver standeth he, banjo at the ready!


Prior to joining The Zu Zu Men, Stu McLoughlin (AKA The Boardwalker) forged a career for himself as a world-class yodeller and a purveyor of fine chords. He carved for himself a rich living with a string of Swedish No. 1s and his best-selling novella ‘McLoughlin on McLoughlin’ (confusingly written by Sting). Best known for inventing the chord of A, he seemed to have it all. It is unclear if he came to Oliver or Oliver found him, but a friendship was formed when he began working with him on other chords such as G and the controversial D Minor (which they discovered accidentally when working on F). When Oliver spoke of his plans to create a band so wonderful that the world would sit up and take notice, using all of the chords – even the hard ones – Stu packed and jumped aboard his private jet, on a course set for Zu Zu Manor.


Until recently no one was even sure if Riddy Piddy (AKA Notorious P.I.D., Piddy Smalls) existed. He was a whisper in the wind, a legend, and one that Oliver was determined to explore. After obtaining a meagre grant from some local merchants of one hundred pound sterling, Oliver jumped into the Zu Zu Balloon and headed east. The tribespeople spoke of a drummer who lived deep in the forest, a rhythm-smith who had discovered the secrets hidden within his skins. He was fabled as a man who could slow the very passage of time with his toms, who could conjure spirits with his sticks. They came across Riddy in a clearing to the east of the forest, sporting a pair of chinos and smiling to himself like the cat that got the cream. “Ahhh,” he sighed, “you’ve arrived,” and with that he brandished his sticks. Oliver, in turn, drew out his guitar, Matt his banjo and Stu his uke (little guitar), and with a glint in their eyes...

...They Began!

Some say when the moon is clear...

When the breeze gently lifts the discarded chip-papers and makes them dance through the streets of Bristol (normally once a month around pay-day)...

You can still hear them play.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

THE ZU ZU MEN.