The New Strawberry Zots--Back in school, when this burgeoningly menstrual girl got in my grill for not burning a Nirvana face onto my arm with a BIC lighter (the height of teen fashion at the time), I was at a total loss. Of course, I was familiar with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana and heroin-chic "alternative" music of the day. But the only radio I ever cared to listen to was AM and the Edge on Sunday nights, when the competent DJs could still get away with a few hours of local programming. So I shot back with all the reigning local bands I could think of. "So what? Ever hear of Apricot Jam? Word Salad? The Strawberry Zots?" She looked at me like I was diseased. "What's with the fruit, man?" she spat.
I went home and listened to Cars, Flowers, Telephones. The Strawberry Zots were sweet like candy, or psychedelic bubblegum pop. A little fruity, too, and unabashedly so. All in all, their college rock career has spanned nearly 20 years in Albuquerque, countless lineup alterations and one major label victory (Cars, Flowers, Telephones was released first on their own Acid Test label in 1989, then got picked up by RCA in 1990). But they stopped performing in the second half of the '90s and pretty much dropped off the radar after that. I just assumed they broke up. I wasn't alone.
But that isn't the case at all, according to the band's MySpace page. "The Zots simply decided one day that the project was no fun anymore and made a decision to quit performing live--though not to break up--leaving the door open for future performances."
They're making good on their pact. The Zots have actually regrouped as The New Strawberry Zots. After a false start back in October (their comeback show at a Heights Moose Lounge was canceled due to illness in the family), the Zots will have their first live performance in a decade this Saturday, Jan. 20, at Ralli's Fourth Street Pub and Grill. The show is a part of this weekend's Musicians Against Violence showcase (see Marisa Demarco’s piece on the following pages for the full story on that). "The New Strawberry Zots come into being where the old Zots left off," the Zots say. Show up around 7 p.m. to catch the Zots performing as one of their alter egos, The Fabulous Weasels. Or stay at home and flip on the idiot box this Wednesday, Jan. 24, around 9 p.m., when the New Zots are slated to make an appearance on Community Cable Access Channel 27 "Talk Show This--Live." Tune in to see if they make good on their second promise: "It’s time to move into the next phase. It’s time to have some fun again. It’s time to dance."