EP 15 | NEIL ZLOZOWER Legendary rock photographer of Van Halen, The Stones and many more!

The FAR OUT! Podcast / March 16, 2020

EP 15 | NEIL ZLOZOWER Legendary rock photographer of Van Halen, The Stones and many more!

ON THIS EPISODE OF THE FAR OUT! PODCAST

Frank interviews legendary photographer Neil Zlozower. Neal has photographed the most iconic rockers in history including Van Halen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Guns ‘N’ Roses, The Rolling Stones, U2, ZZ Top and so many more!

But first, Frank is joined by rocker J.T. Loux to discuss some of his favorite new guitarists and bands making an impact on the scene like Dirty Honey, Marcus King, and Jared James Nichols.

GUESTS & SHOW NOTES

NEIL ZLOZOWER
Featured Guest
Neil Zlozower

Neil Zlozower has been one of the leading rock photographer’s since 1968. Neil has four books available worldwide, “Van Halen-A Visual History: 1978-1984”, “Motley Crue-A Visual History: 1983-2005”, “Six String Heroes”, “Fuck You: Rock and Roll Portraits”.

/ zloz.com
/ neilzlozower

J.T. Loux, Musician
Rock Reporter
J.T. Loux

Singer / guitarist J.T. Loux is on the front line of what the current music trends are and which artists to keep an eye on. J.T. is the official rock reporter for The FAR OUT! Podcast. He’ll keep you informed of what is hot and artists you should know about.

/ jt-loux
/ jtloux

Checkout some of Neil’s iconic photos
Alice Cooper
David Bowie
Bon Jovi
Black Sabbath
Elton John
Aerosmith
Order prints from Neil at www.zloz.com/prints

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Neil Zlozower with Frank Hannon

“Hey fellow rockers, this is Neil Zlozower and you’re listening to The FAR OUT! Podcast with my good buddy Frank Hannon.”

Frank: This is a The FAR OUT! Podcast. I’m your host Frank Hannon and today my special guest is legendary photographer Neil Zlozower. Hey everybody, what’s going on? It is Monday, March 16th. That’s a little excerpt from Van Halen II Beautiful Girls and the reason I’m playing that is because Neil Zlozower is my special guest and he is a photographer who shot all the album cover photos on that album and many more. We’ve got some great stories coming up on this podcast. I had a lot of fun interviewing him in my cabin on the Monsters of Rock Cruise

Speaking of the Monsters of Rock Cruise it was a great time, but that’s when we first heard of this Coronavirus thing being a threat. When we boarded the ship they were asking us if anybody had been to China or Asia and we didn’t know what was coming up and what is happening now with the quarantines,  and the shutdowns, and all the cancellations, and everything that’s going on with the music industry.

And you know, the poor people that are getting sick and dying especially over in Italy. My heart goes out to Italy right now. But even here in the States, there’s so much fear and craziness going on. I was at the Safeway grocery store last night and you know of course the toilet paper and paper towels are out of stock. But what was more concerning to me was just the look of paranoia on everybody’s faces standing in line, and just the general vibe and spirit of everyone right now is one of fear and paranoia. So, that being said, I feel it’s my purpose to create some entertainment for y’all and help you get your mind off of this stuff that’s going on and create some podcasts here. Of course we want to encourage everyone to be safe and stay inside, not get yourself in any vulnerable positions or exposure to this virus.

What I’ve been learning about this virus is, it’s called COVID-19, coronavirus, actually, it’s mislabeled. The coronavirus has been around for ages, that is actually the common cold, but what’s happened is it’s turned into this new strain of COVID which is much more severe, and much more fatal, and much more contagious. I do understand why they are shutting down large gatherings because they don’t want this to get out of control like a wildfire burning, and not being able to contain it. So I do understand it. 

So, for the next month or two, we’re gonna be hibernating and I will personally be here in the studio creating, and I do have a ton of interviews still waiting to be put together from this Monsters of Rock Cruise. So, over the next couple weeks I hope The FAR OUT! Podcast will take your mind away from all this stuff that’s going on and give you something to look forward to.

Right now, check out this brand-new riff from my good friend and guitarist Jared James Nichols. This is called Threw Me To The Wolves it’s brand new music on The FAR OUT! Podcast. 

Frank:  Here to talk about new music with me right now is my good friend J.T. Loux. What’s happening man?

J.T. Loux:  Hey man, it’s going good, how are you doing?

Frank:  Doing all right, we’re hibernating ain’t we? 

J.T. :  Yeah it’s been a very crazy last few weeks.

Frank:  So that’s Jared James Nichols man, one of our favorite guitar players. You got to meet Jared at the NAMM show.

J.T.:  Yeah, he’s super nice, he’s super down-to-earth, and I got to talk to him a little bit about gear and about his new Epiphone model because I’ve been playing something similar to that. It’s like a ‘55 reissue, and it’s got that thicker neck on it, and he’s just super nice, and he gave me a lot of good advice.

Frank:  Jared’s really cool man, and I think Rock-n-Roll is in a good state. Man it seems like the guitar has really made a comeback in Rock-n-Roll with this younger generation.

J.T.:  Yeah, definitely, for the last five years or so. It’s coming back into the mainstream, you know, indie rock scene, and I’m loving it because that’s the type of music that I love.

Frank: Well, you’re a young guy and a lot of these young bands that are coming out are definitely featuring a lot more guitars, and Jared James Nichols is at the forefront of that right now.

J.T.: Yeah, and he’s been doing a lot of those instagram videos and getting all that stuff out there. And I think that’s been a different, a new wave of musicians is that Instagram model of guitar playing.

Frank:  Right, so let’s talk about another guitar player I’m not too familiar with this guy but you were talking about him. Let’s talk about Marcus King. What do you know about him?

J.T.:  Marcus King, he’s 23 years old and he’s got a new album out called El Dorado it came out like I think in January and he’s a great blues guitar player. I believe he was discovered by Warren Haynes. Warren Haynes played with the Allman Brothers and whatnot and Marcus King’s just got that soul in his voice too. And he’s got this new song that I’ve been loving listening to Wildflowers and Wine.

Frank: Is that the one to check out by Marcus King?

J.T.: That’s definitely my first choice. That one and The Well

Frank: Alright, check out Jared James Nichols and Marcus King as far as like guitar players go. But last week when you were on the show we talked about a band called “Dirty Honey” and when I was going to the grocery store yesterday I heard them on the radio and they kick ass man. 

J.T.: Yeah they’re a great band. They’re bringing back that gritty sound that a lot of people are missing. I think a lot of this new generation that missed growing up in the 70’s and the 80’s and whatnot are really wanting to hear that type of music comeback and I’ve really recognized that that’s coming to the forefront a lot lately.

Frank: Crunchy, good old-fashioned, Rock-n-Roll, guitar-driven music. Old-school style but with the younger generation. So we’re gonna play a little bit of dirty honey coming up here in a minute. The song I heard on the radio yesterday was a song called When I’m Gone.

J.T.:  Yeah, When I’m Gone is one of their most popular songs. That one and Rolling 7s has been definitely one that’s been going on my playlist back and over and over again. 

Frank: So, tell me, where is “Dirty Honey” from? 

J.T.: They’re from LA and they originated there back in 2017 and they kind of made their rounds around and paid their dues for a while and in 2019 they went on tour with Slash.

Frank: Well speaking of LA, right now I’m holding in my hands, right there, Van Halen II – bro this is a vinyl copy of Van Halen II – you come from this new age of everything being on the iPhone. But I want you to check this out man, look at this.

J.T.: For sure, let me check it out.

Frank: That is Van Halen II on vinyl.

J.T.: I love vinyl and I know there’s a big market nowadays for people my age that are getting into vinyl again you know. Cuz it’s physical, it’s something you can hold in your hands and you can open it up and see the cover inside. And you can read all the information about the band and whatnot.

Frank: What do you think of those photos man?

J.T.: They’re badass man. This is a Neil right?

Frank: Neil Zlozower took those photos. And you know when I was a young guy playing music that’s all we had to do was look at photos, we didn’t have YouTube or anything. Neil Zlozower’s photos played a big part in the experience of listening to Rock-n-Roll albums.

J.T.: Oh he definitely captured the magic here. I mean I’m looking right at David Lee Roth jumping in the air. That’s so funny [laughs] man that’s such an iconic photo.

Frank: All right bro, J.T. it’s great to have you on the show. We’re gonna fast forward now and get Neil Zlozower’s interview going. Thanks for sharing your info man.

J.T.: Thanks for having me on Frank.

Frank: Here’s a piece of that brand new “Dirty” Honey song, this is called “When I’m Gone”

Frank: All right, you are listening to The FAR OUT! Podcast and we’re recording this on the Monsters of Rock Cruise. We’re in my cabin right now and I am joined by an old friend, the legendary Neil Zlozower.  What’s up Zloz?

Neil Zlozower (Zloz): Not too much, just enjoying the Monsters of Rock Cruise like everybody else.

Frank: No kidding man, that’s what I love about you because you’re a fan. I mean I see you in the audience more without your camera than with it.

Zloz: Well I’m sort of retired, so I’m an old fuck you know so the thing is the last 50 years I’ve been watching bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin and David Bowie and TESLA and every other band. But I’ve been working and shooting photos and being a music lover. I could still enjoy myself but I don’t want to carry that shit around my neck all the time, you know. I sort of walk with, you know, a hunched over back because, back in the day all the cameras I used to use were gears and mechanical and the stuff weighed a ton so I’m like an old hunchback Jewish guy now, you know, 

Frank: [laughs] Well, no kidding man, so you know I wrote down some stuff and now that you mentioned that old school is right. I mean you were probably carrying around like medium format cameras and all kinds of crazy shit. 

Zloz: Well you know, for live shows I used to use 35 millimeters. You can’t use medium format at a concert because it’s too slow, it’s too bulky and it only carries so much film. So you’d have to reload after 10 shots but those are those Nikon F2’s with motor drives in a 180 millimeter lens that shit after a while got to be pretty heavy.

Frank: Tell me the first show you ever shot.

Zloz:   The first show I consider was my starting point was the Rolling Stones, November 1969, at The Forum and back then tickets were for $4.50, $5.50 and $6.50 I don’t mean 450 like $450 and $550 like they are now. There was a $2 difference between the top-of-the-line seats and the cheapos, so I was a 13 year old kid, I could only afford the cheapos. So once I was with my friends I’m like “fuck this shit, I’m in the nosebleed section, I’m gonna go walk up to the front of the stage and hang with Mick and Keith” because back then you can do that. If you went to the forum there was only in the forum ushers. There was no big goony bouncers like there are today you know with the muscles and everything like that. So I just walked up, stood in the front row the whole night and shot photos of Mick and Keith and Mick Taylor and Charlie and Bill Wyman and I was like gaga-googoo like any other 13, 14 year old kid would be. So it was great and then after that I went on to shoot Led Zeppelin and the WHO and Candi and Derek and the Dominos and you name it. It was a different time back then.

Frank:  Wow man, that is fascinating. Did you actually sneak your camera in, were you able to get credentials?

Zloz: Well back then I was just a glorified fan. But back then you could just bring your camera and they didn’t care. There wasn’t like “can’t bring a camera in with a detachable lens”  like there is now. I mean, now everybody shoots photos with their phone anyway and the quality is so good that everybody on the Monsters of Rock Cruise is a photographer. But I didn’t even bring a camera on this ship like I said I’m trying to make up for my last 50 years that I was workin’-n-jerkin’. Now I want to have some fun, I’m hanging with my girlfriend Kyoko and you know enjoying all the bands that are on the ship and it’s great 

Frank: [Laughs] You were right front and center last night man. I have to tell you it made me feel great to have you out there. 

Zloz: Did you see me out there?

Frank: I did! I saw ya!

Zloz: Yeah that was your fourth row center. Well honestly, and I’m not jerking you because I’m gonna do that once you put the tape recorder away after I get some lube, but honestly, you guys every year just put on a great show. I mean the musicianship’s amazing. I’ve worked with 80% of the bands on this ship but now they’re old guys like me and you know they’re using the shoe polish in the hair and shit like that, but TESLA just puts on an amazing show! I mean I’m standing on my feet and you know the library of  fantastic songs that TESLA has. Everybody knows them from “Love Song” – “Comin’ Atcha Live” – whatever. But you guys did not do “Edison’s Medicine” which I really wanted to hear. Hang Tough” is great. That’s off the 1st album if I’m not mistaken.

Frank: Well, it’s on the 2nd one, but we wrote it actually before, when we were doing the 1st album.

Zloz: I thought it was on the 1st album but you know better than me [laughs]. You did “Lil’ Suzie” last night, all the great songs.

Frank: Rick Allen got up on stage with us. It was awesome to see you in the crowd, and one of the things I wanted to mention. You know we’ve done studio shots with you and I want to talk about some of the iconic studio shots you’ve done.

Zloz: Okay

Frank: And one of the things I’ve always loved, I’m getting chills right now cuz you’re a bro, is you always have the artist feeling really comfortable and that’s important to me man.

Zloz: Yeah, well, you know the photographer’s in this day and age they just shoot. There’s no film and processing so they can shoot thousands of photos on a 60 gigabyte memory card but you know I got a big mouth as you guys can tell so I’m like “come on Frankie, give me some attitude man, you’re a fuckin’ rock star, stick your chin out. You know with your record just went double-platinum you’re playing to two sold-out shows, give me some fuckin’ rock star attitude!.” But the people in this day and age they don’t. There’s no interaction between the artists. So if you look at the photos it just looks like five retarded moron’s standing there like “are we doing what you want us to do?

Frank: Right, you would be like part of the band and would coach it out of us. I always loved that.

Zloz: Yeah, I pull everything out. I’d go home after my photo shoots and I’d be tired. I’d be drained. I have to drink some Mickey’s big mouth, which I usually did during the shoots anyway and whatever else I did back then in my hey-day. I’m an old guy now, so I’m in my golden years, but I’m still probably more wild than most of the other people that are 20 and 30.

Frank: We had some great times coming into your studio and so I want to talk about when I was a kid, Van Halen II, that album and that album cover. I read your name on the credits there and I was wondering “who is that guy?” So, is it true that David Lee Roth actually broke his foot during that session?

Zloz: Well, this is the story, and I don’t know how much time if you’re gonna edit this but what happened was Van Halen I came out and that album, I thought the photos were incredible, and I forgot the photographer’s name but the funny thing is the band hated those photos. I thought they were epic on Van Halen I. But the guys told me they never liked them.

Frank: Because they were dark or something?

Zloz: No, they just, I don’t know why they don’t like them. I mean to me those photos were trend-setting. I mean just like Van Halen’s music when Van Halen I came out, because up to that point it was discos. Village People, Donna Summers, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Saturday Night Fever and where you go “I’m a Rock-n-Roller”. So the first time I heard Van Halen, I’m like “oh, this fuckin’ band’s gonna be huge”.

Frank: It freaks me out.

Zloz: Yeah, they were amazing. I heard “Running with the Devil” and then it broke into “Eruption” with “You Really Got Me” and no one sang like Dave and no one definitely played guitar like Eddie. So when you’re a photographer you got to get the bands in the beginning before they break big, because once you break big, all the other parasite, maggots, sponge-leach photographers want to work with those bands cause they’re big. So you got to get in on the ground floor and one of my abilities was to always be able to call what bands we’re gonna be big, like Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, RATT, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Poison, Quiet Riot and you get them on the ground level and you become family with them so when they make it big, you’re big.

Frank: Yeah

Zloz: Van Halen for the 2nd record, hired the same photographer that shot the first photos and he rented this big huge soundstage in Los Angeles and he probably had 20 assistants and probably $30,000 with the rental gear it was this big production. And I was there, the guys are like “hey, Zloz, we’re gonna do our album cover. You want to come hang with us?” because we were all buds back then, you know, we’re one big family, we had the same likes. We like partying, we like boning chicks.

Frank: [laughs]

Zloz: We all had the same interests. We were the same age, so they invited me down. So first went Al. And the guy did the shots of Al with his drum kit and I think he had the sticks on fire. So Al’s done. Next thing he did Dave. And he made Dave jump off the riser about 10 times and the very last time Dave broke his ankle. And all of a sudden Dave just said “okay, we’re done”. So you know, sessions over so they still had to do Michael and they had to do Ed. But Dave was, you know, pissed off he’s got a broken ankle! So a couple days later they called the photographer and they said “Dude, we want to see the photos you did of Al and Dave.” So he brought in the photos, and the photos were basically, I hate to say it cuz I have some of those photos, which honestly, I’m not supposed to have, but they ended up in my possession by accident, and they’re awful. They’re like amateur photos.

Frank: [laughs]

Zloz: So they fired the guy on the spot and the next thing you know, Pete Angeles, was like to me the 5th member of Van Halen and a genius in my mind. He calls me, “Hey Neil, it’s Pete Angeles, look the guys love you! We fired the original photographer and we need you to finish doing the photo shoot. We need to do Ed and we need to do Michael. And you need to look at what the first guy did and sort of copy the lighting and everything else.” So they showed it to me. I did Ed, I did Al and then I found the nurses that were used on the album because they were all friends of mine, I like hanging with hot chicks who doesn’t?

Frank: [laughs]

David Lee Roth ChairZloz: And then we did Dave sitting on the stool with the broken ankle and that was Van Halen II – which was maybe one of the first trend-setting albums that really broke them and took them to the next level. 

Frank: Oh I freaking loved it man! It changed my life as a young guitar player.

Zloz: Yeah, mine too I mean, if you said to me “Neil, you have to give up photography, which I already did anyway, or you have to give up ever listening to music again.” well that’s a no-brainer, give up photography, cuz I can’t live without music. I start listening to music the second I wake up when I’m brushing my teeth, taking a shower, in the “library” in the morning if you know what I mean, reading a motorcycle magazine and so on.

Frank: [laughs] What was magic about that era is that was the visuals we had. Was headphones and looking at those album covers and studying every detail of those photos which you took the majority of those classic photos. You know, we didn’t have YouTube back then I mean the way I learned to play guitar was taking that needle off of Van Halen albums and going back and forth back and forth you know.

Zloz: Over and over again, I mean, you know, nowadays you could go on YouTube and learn how to play “Smoke on the Water” or learn how to play almost any song you want. I mean you could almost learn to do anything you want. Whether it’s rebuilding a carburetor, or painting a house, or whatever you need to do, on YouTube which is a great thing. But to me when MTV came into existence, that to me was a downer because that wrecked music. I mean music is meant to be listened to and here you got some director the bands would hire and they would turn the music into some type of concept, “okay, we’re gonna have this pretty girl, and in the middle of the scene she’s gonna be driving down the highway and get killed and then, and then the band’s gonna have tears.” It’s stupid. I don’t want to see music put to videos. I want to hear Rock-n-Roll, is what I want to hear.

Frank: Yeah, and it had a mystery to it, man. I feel like when I heard “Light up the Sky”, I’m like “what the hell’s he’s talkin’ about?” you know?

Zloz: Yeah, that’s a great song to, the early Van Halen stuff was great.

Frank: So another inspiring photo for this young guitar player from a small town up in Northern California was the Guitar World interview with Randy Rhoads.

Zloz: Okay

Frank: That photo really tripped me out. First of all his hair cut was killer.

Zloz: I did that for a Japanese magazine and the funny thing is, I knew Randy from the Quiet Riot days. And when I saw Randy playing from the Quiet Riot days everybody was talking about him and stuff and I wasn’t saw him and was like “this band is sort of bad, they aren’t very good at all.” Randy’s guitar playing he didn’t develop and have any type of style back then. And then I had to go to some Ozzy rehearsals, I think it was ‘82 maybe ‘83 with Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge and they were in a rehearsal hall and I saw Randy play again, I’m like “Oh my God, what the fuck happened to this guy? Did he lock himself in a room for 4 years, 24/7 and just play the guitar?” And Randy just developed a style to an incredible playing style. I mean there was no one else like him, he didn’t sound like Ed.

Frank: No.

Zloz: And you know there was no one really else like Randy back then. But yeah, so the funny thing is, that show was done, I think on December 31st at the Sports Arena in downtown Los Angeles, and I went to the soundcheck and shot those photos and then Randy was like “Hey Zloz, you coming back tonight to shoot the show?” I’m like “Dude, I don’t wanna spend my New Year’s Eve at an Ozzy Osbourne show“, cuz honestly, I was never a Black Sabbath fan or anything, I mean Ozzy’s Ozzy, he’s a character. Randy’s great, Rudy’s great, Tommy Aldridge I worked with since the Black Oak Arkansas days.

Frank: Wow!

Zloz: Yeah, I knew Rudy when he used to work at this a vegetarian restaurant on Sunset Strip across from Tower Records and he had the long hair but he had to put a little cap on his hair, because they wouldn’t let him with the long hair, work there. So I’ve known Rudy forever. Great guy.

Frank: So going back to the old school days. We used to have to wait like a week to get the negatives processed and then we’d have to get that little eyeball thing and stare at the contact sheets.

Zloz: You mean being an artist waiting for the photographer to do their thing, and most photographers are flaky idiots anyway. You know you got to be a good business man to be a great photographer that’s more important than the quality of the photos, but a lot of photographers they lose the film or you know you get the film process from some shitty lab or whatever.

Frank: There was so much more chance for error back then, you know so that’s why you’d get so involved in working with the bands in the studio.

Zloz: Right, exactly.

Frank: Did you have a darkroom?

In Your FaceZloz: Well if any of you people out there ever saw my documentary [“In Your Face“], when I was a little kid 5 years old, my parents came up to me and my sister and said “hey kids, do you want a swimming pool or do you want a fallout shelter?” And we looked at each other, me and my sister, said “what the fuck’s a fallout shelter?” We were like, “Hey Mom and Dad, we want a fucking swimming pool.” Well, two weeks later they started putting the fallout shelter in which for 5 years, 10 years was absolutely worthless until I got the bug up my ass that I wanted to be a photographer. So that became my darkroom. The fallout shelter. Because it was 13 feet underground and you can walk down these stairs and I eventually ran phone lines down there from my bedroom and I ran speaker lines down there from my Marantz 2270 amplifier. And I’d go down there 24/7 whether it was 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning it was pitch black and so you could develop film, and make prints down there. And then once I acknowledge the world of smoking pot and boning girls I did a lot of that down there too.

Frank: [laughs]

Zloz: It was a good experience at the fallout shelter, it’s a good thing to keep my folks in.

Frank: [laughs] That’s amazing, the fallout shelter.

Zloz: Oh yeah, it was good!

Frank: Yeah, with the darkroom, with the red light.

Zloz: Oh yeah, the red light..red light mama!

Frank: I remember the magic of seeing those pictures come to life. An old friend of mine in Sacramento had one his name’s Greg Savlin, and he was an undiscovered photographer. Have you ever heard of Greg Savlin before?

Zloz: No.

Frank: In our hometown he’s like a legendary guy who took some killer photos of bands and never really you know got a break.

Zloz: Right.

Frank: But I hung out with him and he was really cool and he would take me in the darkroom and bring all these pictures to life.

Zloz: Did you guys smoke pot down there?

Frank: Oh yeah!

Zloz: How did i guess? [laughs]

Frank: Yeah, tell me about the books man. How many books you got out now?

Zloz: Well, I got 5 books out now, but that’s all old stuff. I think you’re in the “Fuck You” book.

Frank: Yeah, yeah, that’s right! You had me do the middle finger and give a quote.

Fuck You!Zloz: But I didn’t have you do the middle finger. It’s probably because I shot you and you flip me off cuz 99% of the photos in the “Fuck You” book were just people like, I’m like, “come on guys give me some attitude …Zlozow, FUCK YOU!

Frank: [laughs]

Zloz: So there’s Steven Tyler on stage flipping me the finger for 18,000 people. There’s Nikki Sixx and David Lee Roth and everybody you know just because you know they can’t handle me.

Frank: So all these magazines have kind of come and gone man, Hit Parader, Cream, Circus, but Guitar World the cover Eddie Van Halen that picture was one that really inspired me, you know coming from.

Zloz: Was it Guitar World or Guitar Player?

Young Guitar Player CoverFrank: Well I thought it was Guitar World, but it’s the one where Eddie had all his guitars set up and he’s got the pick.

Zloz: Oh yeah, yeah I did that one in 1980. Brought all his guitars down and yeah he’s got the ax or pick or whatever it is over his shoulder on the gray backdrop yeah that’s one of mine. But I don’t remember that one on the cover ever.

Frank: Well you know, I don’t remember much either man, only got one brain cell left bro [laughs].

Zloz: Well I’m probably half of that, you’re younger than me. I’ve been doing more damage for a longer amount of time.

Frank: Oh man, but you’re a great friend bro. I remember calling you a couple years ago because my son was gonna possibly move to LA and your kid and what’s your kid up to?

Zloz: Smoking pot. He’s okay, I gotta keep him in line. His girlfriend lives with us and it’s like, he’s okay, he actually did a good thing because he registered all my photos with the United States Library of Congress, in other words the Copyright Office. So considering I’m retired now, the way I make 90% of my income is going after the infringers who illegally use my photos without my authorization and I make 50 times more money going after them than I do licensing photos. Like I said, I don’t really shoot anymore, but I have a photo agency and I license photos for books and magazines and documentaries and blah blah blah.

Frank: Well rightfully so man, cuz your photos are iconic, legendary. I’m talking to Neil Zlowzower, the one and only. Man, thank you for being on The FAR OUT! Podcast bro.

Zloz: Always a pleasure. I was getting bored upstairs so I needed a change of climate here.

Frank: Hey, well speaking of far out the original concept of The FAR OUT! Podcast was talking to artists and musicians and photographers or anybody who does other things outside of what they’ve done for their career so is it true you’re into motorcycles man?

Zloz: Yeah, you know, like I said, that’s really what makes me happy. Now motorcycles and cars, and I have a few vintage cars but I have a lot more vintage motorcycles so that’s basically.. go to my studio do some photography.. work, but yeah that’s what makes me the happiest in my old age is working on bikes riding I’m so on so forth.

Frank: So if I remember correctly, did you have a Norton?

Zloz: Well I got to Norton’s. I got about everything you can imagine that doesn’t cost you know hundreds of thousands of dollars like Vincent, Black Shadows and Brough Superior and things like that. But I have a few Norton’s and I got Benelli’s and Lavertus and BSA Triumph, Royal Enfield. I can’t even remember, Moto Guzzi, Aermacchi, you know. I like the weird shit, just like me, I’m weird. I like the weird stuff.

Frank: Haha…that’s awesome man and do you get out and ride much too?

Zloz: I basically try to ride every Sunday. I mean I basically go the same route every Sunday and I don’t write at night and I don’t write on freeways and I don’t really with my bikes you could put a hundred 150 miles on and then you go back to where you started because my bikes were all vintage bikes it’s not like a modern super bike where you could drive from my house to Las Vegas 400 miles and then drive back 400 miles.

Frank: You’re ass would be hurtin’.

Zloz: A lot of my stuff’s English. So the English aren’t known for the most reliable machinery in the world.

Frank: Right, there ain’t no bike shops on the highway between LA and Vegas.

Zloz: I do all my own maintenance anyway, so my bikes are pretty reliable, but you know if one nut falls off and a part falls off because the nut falls off, you’re fucked!

Frank: Yeah, well I’m kind of between bikes right now. I had an old sportster piece of shit AMF sportster that never.

Zloz: 70’s

Frank: Yeah, but it had straight pipes on it so it was loud as fuck, I loved that.

Zloz: Those are actually coming into their own and starting to be worth some money the AMF ones because they’re known for making bowling balls.

Frank: Yeah, it’s kind of like the Norland era Gibson guitars they they have the bad reputation but now people are starting to like them.

Zloz: You know if you live long enough and things get old enough they’re gonna be collectibles even if there were pieces of shit.

Frank: [laughs] Yeah that frickin’ bike man, it would never stay in second gear so I’d be getting cruising and all sudden pow..it would pop out a second gear. I could never get that freaking finger thing fixed.

Zloz: Yeah, that’s setting up the clutch in the gearbox it sounds like some of the internals real off.

Frank: It had a bent finger or something, I don’t know.

Zloz: What did you do? You sold it?

Frank: Yeah, I sold it, but I had a lot of fun on that bike and then I had a soft tail for a while.

Zloz: So you’re a Harley guy, right?

Frank: Yeah, I like Harley’s but if I got back into bikes again I would probably I’d like to get into a Norton or a Triumph or something old-school that’s fun.

Zloz: They make new Triumphs, they tried to revive Norton a few times it just hasn’t worked and they were ridiculously expensive. But you can get a vintage Norton or Triumph for a reasonable amount money you just can’t ride it across the United States unless you’re a moron.

Frank: I just want to ride around the neighborhood get my mind in a zone that’s outside of music, business.

Zloz: And the good thing with bikes, you’re out in the open, you got no passenger talking to you. you can just sort of be free, and it’s a great feeling. That’s why I like motorcycles. I mean I have a lot of vintage cars and some of them are two-seater, some are 4 but it’s just… in my old age I like the motorcycles better than the cars. Maybe when I get older and I can’t kickstart my bikes anymore maybe then I’ll come back to the cars but right now I like the bikes.

Frank: Yeah, there’s freedom in it man.

Zloz: Yeah freedom is a good thing. I was married once, no more, I got a lot of freedom now. That’s a good thing.

Frank: You know if I was gonna get a car I’d probably get like a Cobra Jet or something like that.

Zloz: Cobra Jet 1968 428 Cobra Jet, those are good.

Frank: Yeah.

Zloz: If you could afford the gasoline because you’re probably talking 10 to 12 miles a gallon. But yeah the Cobra Jet’s go for big money you know.

Frank: Well right now, you know I’m not into the bikes right now. The escape that I’m getting into the zone is with horses.

Zloz: Those are expensive to though!

Frank: Yeah, they’re very expensive and especially the horses that my wife and I are into they’re called cutting horses have you ever heard of that before.

Zloz: No, as long as you aren’t cutting them up and eating them then no.

Frank: [laughs] No, no no no, the word “cutting” comes from, it’s a cowboy sport, and when the cowboys would be herding cows across Texas or whatever, if they would see a cow out there that needed to be cut out of the herd, maybe for some medicine or some special treatment, the horse that they would be on was super smart and it would walk in really slow and calm and then it would cut that cow from the herd. Then that cow would go crazy trying to get back to it’s buddies.

Zloz: But the horse wouldn’t let it?

Frank: No, the horse wouldn’t let it.

Zloz: It sounds like they’re pretty mellow horses though.

Frank: Yeah, they stop, they don’t run to. See they’re the opposite of like barrel horses or something. They’re their whole thing is stopping and backing up and when you’re riding them you have to relax man.

Zloz: How many do you have?

Frank: We have 8 of them things right now [laughs].

Zloz: Just curious, how many guitars do you have?

Frank: You know, I quit countin’ guitars bro.

Zloz: You’re like me and motorcycles. I quit counting. But you like those SG’s I see.

Frank: I do love the SG’s.

Zloz: I think every guitar you played last night was an SG.

Frank: That’s true. I do it because they’re simple and I don’t really rely on a whole bunch of outboard gear anything to me it just comes from the notes you’re playing.

Zloz: Right, I agree.

Frank: It’s great to have you on the podcast man it’s always great to hang out. Thank you so much.

Zloz: I see you once a year these days on the Monsters of Rock Cruise but you’re probably the only band I try to catch every set that your band plays because they’re great, as a matter of fact, when’s your next set, tonight?

Frank: It’s tomorrow night, Tuesday night same place same time six o’clock.

Zloz: Theater?

Frank: Yep, same theater and we’re gonna change our set.

Zloz: It was a good set, play “Edison.”

Frank: All right we will! I’ll talk to the guys.

Zloz: All right you got it Frankie.

Frank: Thank you Zloz, it was fun man!

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You have been listening to The FAR OUT! Podcast brought to you by Gibson Guitars and Out of Bounds Brewing Company. Be sure to listen to the upcoming episodes that were recorded on the Monsters of Rock Cruise.

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