Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Epic Scam that Created an Iconic Rock Band - Cracked Responds (The Zombies, English Rock)

Difficulty: 0

- 1964 - Okay.

- There's a band the Zombies in England,

they have a modest hit with She's Not There.

You've heard of it.

- Yeah.

- A couple years go by they make another album,

not a huge hit.

Their label in a last ditch effort sends the single

from their album to America.

The song is Time of the Season, and it blew up.

You know the song, it's like

What's your name

Who's your daddy

- Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay.

- So, it blows up in America, they loved it,

number three on the Billboard.

1969 a stateside Zombie tour starts under

the management company Delta Promotions.

The tour is so successful that Delta Promotions

launches a second Zombies tour.

So, for a couple of months in 1969 you could see

two different Zombies bands touring around America.

You're in Dallas and like, "I'm going to see

"the Zombies show."

I don't know how correspondence worked back then

so you write a postcard to your friend in Michigan

and they're like, "I'm also seeing a Zombies show right now.

"They're saying they're the Zombies."

- Scandal.

- Which one was the Zombies? - Yeah?

- Neither.

Th original Zombies broke up in 1969,

had no idea that the song was doing well in America

or that there were two competing Zombies bands

going across the country pretending to be the Zombies.

This is the 60s, so no one really knew what

bands looked like.

They're not gonna email or tweet, like you can't Google

what did the Zombies look like.

It'd be just some guy who's like, "These are the Zombies."

What are your names?

Hugh, I think, I'm Mike Zombie, that's fine, nobody knows.

The Texas Zombies, there's a guy in it named Frank,

a guy in it named Dusty.

They were in an older band and then Delta came to them

and was like, "We have the rights to the Zombies music.

"We're an above board operation.

"You're gonna play Zombies music 'cause you're good.

"You're gonna tour and be the Zombies."

And, a few people were like, "What happened

"to your keyboard player?

"The Zombies are a five piece band.

"You're only four, where's the keyboard player?"

And they said, "He is in jail in Dallas."

- Was anyone actually in jail?

- No.

- They were just like, "We don't have a fifth person so"--

- Right, you used to have a keyboardist,

"Yeah, he got busted in Dallas, so he's stuck in jail.

"'Cause like we're cool."

- Cause that's a cool story. - Cool Zombie's Band.

- Yeah, we're Frank and Dusty, we're cool.

- So, then they made the Michigan Zombies,

which were actually much better.

The Michigan Zombies were very, very good.

The guy at the head of all this was Bill Kehoe.

He is the head of Delta Promotions who convinced

everyone that he was above board, that they did own

the rights to the Zombies' music and that's it okay

to go around calling yourself the Zombies.

- That can't be true.

- Well that's what Bill Kehoe told everyone.

- Sounds like Bill Kehoe was lying.

- Rolling Stone reached out to him and they're like,

"Why are you doing this?

He said the original lead singer was killed

to Rolling Stone, and that is not true.

This is just Bill Kehoe is a crazy person.

- Did he get into how he died?

- No.

- How do we do this scheme?

- Well, we can't do it now, that's the bummer.

We'll never be able to pull off quite a scheme

like that, but it was like the perfect,

there's a certain breed of person who existed

in the 60s that I think would just, if you were completely

morally unscrupulous you would do things like that.

You're just like, "Look at all these people obeying

"the laws because someone told them to.

"I'm gonna go the other way on that."

- All these like facts and misrepresenting people

and not much has changed.

Like, it's a little harder to lie to people,

but we're still in a time where like

misinformation is rampant.

- It's pretty easy.

- Pizza Rat, that viral thing, that was a scheme.

That was a woman who knows how to train rats

and she arranged for someone to film this rat

carrying a pizza.

Those are the kinds of real world schemes we can do now.

- I feel like Banksy's gonna have these schemes,

one of us could be Banksy.

- Oh, I'm Banksy.

- Oh, what happened to the real,

like did they get any money off of that?

- No, no absolutely not.

The lead singer of the Zombies Chris White

he found out this was going on and he didn't

have a band anymore but he was still like,

"Look, if people go to a Zombies show

"and they hate it they're not gonna buy

"our merch, they're not gonna buy our CDs.

"This is really bad for us."

So, they would call disc jockeys in America

where they hear the Zombies were coming to town

and was like, "Look, that's not the Zombies.

"I'm the Zombies and there's not any Zombies anymore.

"Stop saying the Zombies are coming."

And the DJs were like, "Look, we've heard a lot of

"(bleep) from a lot of people, we don't know,

"maybe you're fake Zombies."

And, that prompted Chris White to be like,

"All right," and he got his band back together to

record more albums to prove to everyone

that they were alive and they were the only real Zombies.

- That's why they got back together?

- Uh-huh, things started to unravel because

Bill Kehoe thought, "I've got two successful

"Zombies tours going on and there's not

"a single keyboardist among them

"and I'm gonna do this again."

So, he made a new, the Animals band.

You know the Animals.

- Yeah.

- He made one of them tour America for a while

until-- - All fake.

- Yeah, all fake.

And then, they stopped because the actual

lead singer Eric Burdon and quote, "A bunch of bikers"

chased them and threatened them.

Like went to one of their shows like,

"You're not the Animals, I'm the Animals

"and these are my bikers."

Then, they chased the Animals away,

fake Animals were like, "We're not

"the fake Animals anymore."

And they just like moved on with their lives.

- Rock and roll (bleep).

- That's some 60s rock and roll.

- It's so 60s rock and roll that everyone

in the fake Animals tells that story.

But, when they reached out to Eric, his wife actually

was like, "Yeah, I asked him about it.

"He doesn't totally remember doing that."

- Amazing.

- But, it's reasonable to assume that he did that (bleep).

- Yeah, yeah.

- Isn't this story wacky enough already?

- What? - Is there more?

- Just slightly wackier.

So, these guys Frank and Dusty from before.

- Mm, yeah. - Right.

- They got really good playing together for a while.

"We cannot be the Zombies anymore.

"It turned out that obvious scheme was a scheme,

"what do we do?"

So, they grew their beards very long

and became ZZ Top.

- No way.

- Yeah, I was going to ask that.

- It had to be ZZ Top or the Allman Brothers.

That was my-- - Frank Beard and Dusty.

- Uh-huh. - Frank Beard

and Dusty from the Zombies, but not.

Wait, so is ZZ Top named after Zombies, Zombies Top?


- Good for them, I think?

- Then, Dusty was frequently asked in his interview

that I read about this story, this situation

and he doesn't deny it.

And, the thing that he said most frequently was,

"It was the 60s."

- Ranking in order the winners and losers of this story.

- Yeah, do it.

- So, I think ZZ Top--

- They win. - Is the ultimate winner.

- Yeah.

- Losers are obviously the real Zombies.

- But, they did get back together.

- They got back together.

- Yeah, but didn't have a success.

- Yeah, you're right they lost.

- And like, I'm sure this Delta Promotions guy

still made a ton of money.

- Michigan Zombies are probably losers because

they were fake Zombies and they didn't even get

to be like real ZZ Top.

- Oh, yeah, yeah so they're right above.

- You were only one of the three Zombies bands.

- Right.

- I feel like we should do with ZZ Top, though.

- ZZ Top kind of needs their comeuppance.

- 'Cause we can pretend to be ZZ Top

we can hide ourselves with all the beards,

do that and when their lawyers are like,

"Hey, what are you doing you're not ZZ Top."

Be like, "Excuse me? Pot calling the kettle black much?"

And then, just keep doing it they'll be fine with it.


The Description of The Epic Scam that Created an Iconic Rock Band - Cracked Responds (The Zombies, English Rock)