Randy Jackson is the leader of prog metal masters Zebra. Jackson grew up in New Orleans listening to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
As a teen, he joined a local band called Shepherd's Bush. Jackson soon took frontman Felix Hanneman and formed another group with Californian drummer Guy Gelso. A year later, in 1975, the trio saw a Vogue cover with a woman on a zebra and took the moniker. With Jackson's penetrating Plant falsetto, acoustic and electric guitar dexterity, and rock-solid portfolio of songs, he was obviously the driver of the Zebra vehicle. The trio played constantly in New Orleans and gravitated toward Long Island, where Twisted Sister, Rat Race Choir, and other heavy types thrived. Soon, all three members moved there and began shopping around a pair of demos. Both New York and New Orleans played bits of these early demos on the radio, especially "Who's Behind the Door," even before Zebra finally inked with Atlantic Records in 1982. The eponymous inaugural dropped a year later and became the fastest-selling debut in Atlantic history. Zebra had already opened for major headliners Aerosmith, Kiss, and Molly Hatchet before signing. At concerts, acolytes such as Queensrÿche and Dream Theater primed national audiences for Zebra. Legendary Long Island producer Jack Douglas helped on Zebra's second record, No Telling Lies, as well as the first. But Zebra's 1984 sophomore effort died in the shadow of the debut. Two years later, 3.V appeared amidst limited fanfare and Atlantic axed the trio. As Led Zeppelin clones clogged the airwaves, Zebra sheared this weighty influence on 3.V and emerged with wholly unique and positive '80s pomp/AOR. Alas, label-less, the band returned to its clubland reign of Long Island and New Orleans, releasing a naturally strong live document in 1990. Jackson also formed China Rain for the enjoyable hair ball Bed of Nails. He helped on Henneman's first solo, Rock Candy, in 2000. Later the same year, the recording Signs of Life appeared from the bizarre assemblage Sign. Jackson wrote and sang much Sign material, along with Mark Mangold and Billy Greer. ~ Doug Stone, Rovi