Zoot Money

George Bruno "Zoot" Money (born 17 July 1942, Bournemouth, Dorset) is a singer, pianist, organist, bandleader and actor.


Both his parents were Italian immigrants, although his father's family (really called Money) were originally English.

At school Money played the French horn and sang in the choir, but it was not long before he switched to rock and roll, inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, and soon became a leading light on Bournemouth's vibrant music scene. He named himself Zoot after the jazz saxophonist, Zoot Sims.

In 1961 Money formed the first incarnation of the Big Roll band; over the next two years the line-up settled into Andy Summers (later of The Police) on guitar, Nick Newall on saxophone and Colin Allen on drums, with Money on piano and Hammond organ. This line-up continued for a few years with various interruptions. The first was when Money, spotted by "British Blues Godfather" Alexis Korner's then manager, was invited to play with Korner's Blues Incorporated for a temporary spell. Money decided to stay in London, and the other Big Rollers soon joined him.

Before long The Big Roll Band, taking over a residency previously held by Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames and then The Animals, were playing regularly at the Flamingo, a Soho club renowned for its wild all-nighters. They played a cooking mixture of soul, jazz and R&B, peppered with the flamboyant antics of frontman Money. Nurturing a passion for Ray Charles, the Hammond organ, and the odd alcoholic beverage, Money was a popular live attraction with the UK's "in-crowd" as the blues and R&B movement of the early part of the decade progressed into the "Swinging Sixties".

In 1967 The Big Roll Band became Dantalian's Chariot, and in spite of a singular lack of chart success, due in part to a thirty year delay in releasing their album, the band found themselves at the heart of the new counterculture, sharing bills with bands such as Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

A brief stint in America with Eric Burdon's New Animals followed, and Money decided to stay there for a while. At this point he began picking up acting roles, starting a parallel career which has continued ever since, with character appearances in many high profile film and TV dramas.

On the musical side during the 1970s Money featured with (amongst others) poetry and rock music band Grimms, Ellis, Centipede, Kevin Coyne and Kevin Ayers before signing up in 1980 to Paul McCartney's label, MPL, to record the Jim Diamond produced, Mr. Money.

Over the years Money has also worked with, Alexis Korner (independently of Blues Inc), Rocket 88 , Spencer Davis, Geno Washington, various incarnations of The Animals and Alan Price, with whom he continues to perform.

In early 2006 The British Blues Quintet was formed when Money and his long-time collaborator, drummer Colin Allen, teamed up with Allen's former bandmate from Stone The Crows, vocalist Maggie Bell, bassist Colin Hodgkinson (Alexis Korner, Whitesnake, Jan Hammer and Spencer Davis) and guitarist Miller Anderson (Savoy Brown, T.Rex, Chicken Shack and Spencer Davis). Alongside the most recent incarnation of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, which includes longtime Van Morrison guitarist Ronnie Johnson and former Womble Paul McCallum on bass, Money maintains a busy touring schedule around the UK and Europe.

Other work

In addition to live music and acting performances, Money has penned songs for other artists - "It Never Rains But It Pours" was recorded by Jimmy Witherspoon, and Money has also written for Lulu, Maggie Bell and Long John Baldry.

In the 1970s Money provided musical support for a touring troupe of musicians and poets called Grimms playing the UK college circuit. The fluid line up also featured Adrian Henri, Roger McGough, Neil Innes, Mike McGear, John Gorman and Brian Patten.

Money's extensive musical knowledge is also called on from time to time as a radio programming consultant, a skill which led to a spell in the 1990s as Musical Director for London's Melody Radio.

He has produced two albums: Ruby Turner's Call Me By My Name - Indigo Records, 1999, and Woodstock Taylor's Road Movie, independently released on Cuppa Records.

As an actor Money appeared (playing a promotions man) in the film Breaking Glass with Hazel O'Connor, he also played one of Leonard Rossiters' fellow commuters dicing for first place across the Thames in The Waterloo Bridge Handicap, a UK short film. Sometimes credited as G.B. Money or G.B. "Zoot" Money, he has appeared in a number of small roles in British television programmes such as Bergerac, The Professionals, The Bill and Coronation Street.


  • Zoot Money's Big Roll Band: It Should've Been Me (Columbia 33SX 1734) 1965
  • Zoot Money's Big Roll Band: Zoot! Live at Klook's Kleek (live rec. May 31, 1966) (Columbia S(C)X 6075) 1966
  • Zoot Money's Big Roll Band: Were You There? Live 1966 (Indigo Records IGOXCD 518) 1999
  • Zoot Money's Big Roll Band: Fully Clothed and Naked (Indigo Records IGOXCD 529) released 2000, recorded mid 1960s
  • Dantalian's Chariot: Chariot Rising (Wooden Hill Records WHCD005) released 1997, recorded 1967
  • Zoot Money's Big Roll Band: Transition (Direction/Columbia 8-63231) 1968
  • Zoot Money : Welcome to My Head (Capitol ST318 [USA]) 1969
  • Alexis Korner and Friends: The Party Album (1978)
  • Mr Money (1980)
  • Super Jam (1990) - live album recording of German TV series Villa Fantastica - featuring singers Zoot Money and Maria Muldaur, Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor, Roy Williams on trombone, and Harvey Weston on bass.


External links

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