The Count Bishops

The Story - Part 6

Zen's death

The end of 1978 and early 1979 is very quiet. No BISHOPS record is planned. Despite most of the next album is ready, nothing is released yet.

During the early hours of the morning of March 10th, 1979 Zen had been seriously injured in a car accident. It was after a BISHOPS concert at The Nashville in West London. Zen had been in intensive care at West Middlesex hospital in Brentford.

Though he was off the critical list mid week, "he had been conscious and coherent to the point of demanding to see proofs of the artwork for the upcoming BISHOPS third album (recording of which had been completed only a few days before his accident) and insisting that the band carry on with a temporary replacement until he was fit enough to rejoin them" had reported Charles SHAAR MURRAY in the NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS dated March 22nd, 1979.

"However he'd been experiencing trouble breathing and what was expected to be a fairly routine operation was planned. Unfortunately there were unforeseen complications. Zen died on operation table"

It was March 18th, 1979. He was 27. Everyone describe Zen as a talented musician and a fine man. He was known for his energy, his humour, his human qualities.

As wished by Zen, the band carried on. 

Next step was the "Mr. Jones" single which is released on April 4th, 1979. It's a John D. LOUDERMILK composition with a good time boogie rendition and splendid vocals and guitars. The B-side features 2 tracks:  "Route 66" (Live at The Roundhouse) and "Human Bean". The last one is available only on this B-side. 

This single was scheduled for release in April or May 1978, but was delayed, then cancelled. "Human Bean" is "The BISHOPS' nod to something they had helped to start, despite themselves" said Roger ARMSTRONG.

By this time, Andy EASTWOOD (best known as BLITZKRIEG) from BLAST FURNACE, joined the band as a fill in for Zen.
"Human Bean" is a Dave and Johnny composition. It's a very fast track played a la punk. It's a "send up" track that holds punk music and musicians up to ridicule.
One month after the single, the third album called "Cross Cuts" is at last released on May 11th, 1979. 

From the 14 tracks, 6 are composed by the band. There's one track written by Zen alone, "Rolling Man". Zen also co-wrote "Your Daddy Don't Mind", "No Lies" and "Hands On The Wheel" with Dave

From the 8 covers, there are tracks by FLEETWOOD MAC ("Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight"), Sonny Boy WILLIAMSON ("Don't Start Me Talking"), Otis REDDING ("These Arms Of Mine") and also VANDA & YOUNG ("Good Times").

But 1979 is not a lucky year for The BISHOPS. In June, on the return to England from a festival in Barcelona (Spain), the British Immigration Department officers have stopped Paul BALBI

His work permit was out of date and he was given the choice of being deported to where he came from Barcelona (Spain) or to return voluntarily to Australia. Paul chose to return to Australia.



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Last up-date

April 30, 2005



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Herve Colombet, 2003 - 2005