Obscure Music Magazine of the Day: Zoo World


February 12, 2013 by admin



Not that obscure, really. I know my brother had a copy or two, and Richard Meltzer mentioned it (somewhat mockingly) in my interview with him. But it’s more or less forgotten, and I’ve no idea if it was any good or not. (My guess is that, like a lot of ‘zines from the period, it had some decent contributers but a limited budget and/or no clear aesthetic differentiation from the big kids on the block — Creem, Rolling Stone, Circus, and Crawdaddy. But who am I to say?)

9 thoughts on “Obscure Music Magazine of the Day: Zoo World

  1. Richard Riegel says:

    Zoo World was published in Florida, Miami I believe. It had a Rolling Stone-like tabloid format, while its editorial personality was probably closer to the post-Paul Williams Crawdaddy, as I recall.

    I do have one weird Zoo World experience in my own resume. In the summer of 1973, when I was intent on getting published in CREEM, I wrote a completely fictional profile of some dire country-rock band I’d made up, with lots of satire of that scene, and sent it off to Lester Bangs. He returned it to me with a note that he found it funny, but too “obvious” a parody to run in CREEM. So I shipped the ms. off to new player Zoo World, and before long got a request from an editor there, wanting to know more about the band I’d profiled, as they sounded interesting and might be worthy of a full feature in Zoo World(!) I still recall sneaking out of my welfare job to a phone booth (q.v.) on 6th St. in downtown Cincy and calling said editor down in Miami, to break it to him gently that the band existed only in my head.

    Zoo World and I avoided each other after that incident, but I was sure to let Lester know what had happened and that “obvious” was definitely in the eye of the beholder!

  2. s woods says:

    Too bad, in a way, they didn’t print it first! Though probably better for you. I’m assuming ZW stuck it out for a year or two?

  3. Steven Ward says:

    I think a guy named Arthur Levy was the editor. I remember him doing liner notes to the Workshop of the Telescopes BOC compilation.

  4. Al bianculli says:

    Zoo world was published for three years out of ft. Lauderdale jan 72 to dec 74. Regular writers included nick touches and melter, Cameron Crowe, Eric van lustbader,toby mamis and many others during the 75 issue run. And yes, Arthur levy eas the guy. Many on the staff went on to successful careers in the music biz. It was rolling stone without the politics.

  5. Don Allred says:

    Oh yeah, Arthur Levy—read an account of some occasion (maybe have been the first and last Rock Writers Convention), where Meltzer asked Levy what was his favorite Jewish holiday. Patti Smith was sitting on Meltz’s lap at the time. She was even quoted as saying, “Rock ‘n’ Roll is whatever he does,” presumably referring to Meltzer.

  6. Leslie J. Feldman says:

    Les Feldman:
    At least Zoo World never ran a bogus story (Richard Reigel) reporting a gang rape at a college, that never happened, like Rolling Stone…..,
    Rolling Stone “decided” to go more political in the early 70’s because Zoo World was kicking their collective asses all over the Rock and Roll industry.
    The Magazine distributor, the biggest distributor in the world, at that time…for Rolling Stone dumped them and took on Zoo World for all American distribution and that is a FACT.

  7. Holly Hunt says:

    Yes Leslie! Bulls-eye. There was nothing like Zoo World. Rolling Stone never could take the place of it. The writing was beyond hip in Zoo World; it was insightful & hypnotic and the articles were fascinating. It was the wilder, ironic chunk of meteorite that landed still sizzling, while Rolling Stone was and is a manufactured high grade metal alloy. They were both magnetic, But after tuning in with Zoo World, I could never feel attached to Rolling Stone. Me and my cousins in rural Arkansas were bummed out for several years because there was no more Zoo World. Maybe Rolling Stone was good enough for some, but it was not the same.

  8. Sherry Locke Gidding says:

    Way to go Leslie J! Zoo World was a great paper with an excellent staff. Thankfully I am intelligent enough to not listen to misinformation from uninformed people. You really should have been there! Zoo World opened doors for many. Thank you Jack Hunt! You are loved and missed.

  9. Wayne Robins says:

    Zoo World was an excellent rock mag out of Fort Lauderdale, edited by the music scholar/historian Arthur Levy. There was also an influential rock radio station out of Lauderdale, WSHE, so there was a lively scene there, though Zoo World’s ambitions were national. I spent a lot of time in South Florida visiting family, so one day just called Arthur and asked about writing for them. He said, “sure,” and it offered a lot of freedom to an ambitious young rock journalist.

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