Zen Road Pilots / Blog

Bam Magazine Article

The Zen Road Pilots When my old friend Herbie Herbert called me and booked time for a photo session with Zen Road Pilots, it triggered something in everyone involved. I had photographed most of the members of Capitol Records rock band Billy Satellite numerous times in the '80s. We all became friends, and after Billy Satellite fell apart, I worked with most of them in other projects over the years. Now, more than 25 years after we first met, three-quarters of the original band are together again. The vibe was electric in the photo studio last week as we listened to the master of Zen Road Pilots' upcoming self-titled CD. With lead vocalist/guitarist Monty Byrom, bass player/vocalist Ira Walker, and drummer Tom "Fee" Falletti, Zen Road Pilots is the classic three-piece power trio. With hints of Cream and Bad Company, and blues-based riffs with both Monty and Ira singing lead, it's the kind of music that makes you stop and go "yeah." Herbie has pulled together some of his old creative team, with graphic artist Jim Welch (Journey, Steve Miller), producer Tom Size (Aerosmith, Joe Satriani), manager Paul Kalman, and me as photographer. After the breakup of Billy Satellite in the mid-'80s, these guys stayed busy. Monty fronted two primo bands, Polydor's New Frontiers and MCA Records' Big House; he has written for and produced numerous artists, including Eddie Money, David Lee Roth, and Barbra Streisand. Ira played with Sy Klopps Blues Band, Santana, and Brian May, to name a few, and was recently nominated for a Grammy as a producer. Fee played with Gregg Allman & Friends; and his own band, Barking at Flies. Their new CD, starting with the amazing artwork by Jim Welch, is incredible. The first song, "I Don't Need Nobody," sets the tone with Bad Company-like vocals and ripping guitar licks. Their versatility shines through with the haunting "We're together Again" and "God's Face," and the touching dedication to the late Marty Cohn, "Hey Marty," with its Hendrix-esque guitar intro. Marty Cohn discovered Billy Satellite and brought them here for their photos, and was a force behind their early success. It's nice to realize that these guys don't forget. Their record release show is at The New Parish in Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 21, with the amazing Harvey Mandel & the Snake Crew. This show sounds like rockin' good time! Zen Road Pilots fills a void in the guitar-driven, songwriter music that has been lacking in the over-produced corporate music forced down our throats for years. Go see them, and buy their CD. You won't be disappointed. Pat


First leg just started, gear is on its way! Thanks Crew & Monty for seeing it through! "Be safe Lads". Thanks Beth Hart, Steve Williams, 3rd & Lindsley for making it happen for us! Behind every good band made great, there is mind thrust, good JuJu, .....it's Medicine. Thanks PK