Zoot Money, one of the UK’s best loved band leaders and performers has been an essential part of the music scene for more than forty years. A soulful singer and organist, he has a bubbling personality that energises his ‘live’ performances and recordings.
George Bruno Money was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire England July 17, 1942. He started his career-playing piano with local rock’n’roll bands before forming the legendary Big Roll Band in 1961. His nickname ‘Zoot’ was inspired by the American tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims. By 1963 his band included Andy Somers, Nick Newall and Colin Allen but he left them briefly to play with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated.
After leaving Alexis, Zoot stayed in London and invited his own band to join him. During a residency at the Flamingo Club, the Big Rollers added new members, Paul Williams and Clive Burrows. Managed by club owners they were signed to Columbia and their album ‘It Should’ve Been Me’ (1965) featured ‘covers’ of blues and R&B songs by such U.S. stars as James Brown. Zoot enjoyed a hit single with ‘‘Big Time Operator’ that got Number 25 in the UK in August 1966.
A superb Hammond organ player, Zoot rivalled contemporaries Brian Auger, Georgie Fame and Graham Bond and his next album ‘Zoot! (Live At Klook’s Kleek)’ proved very popular. After The Big Roll Band broke up, Andy and Zoot formed short lived psychedelic group Dantalion’s Chariot in 1967. Andy later became lead guitarist with the Police while Zoot worked with Eric Burdon. Zoot revived the Big Roll Band in later years and is still performing with all his old energy. A recent ‘Night At The Flamingo’ tour of the UK with fellow Sixties veterans proved a big success.