Mr. Show bassist Richard "Zorro" Zelinski is still getting used to having his secret identity revealed. But it's certainly made his day job as head clerk of the Vermilion Post Office more interesting. "I'm kinda famous there, because working behind that counter is just like being on a stage," he says. "But most of them who know me by my real name are now finding out that I'm Zorro."
The veteran musician has floated in and out of at least 15 area bands since the mid-'60s. At 58, Zelinski still keeps tabs on new music. Besides originals and classic rock standards, one-third of Mr. Show's sets feature 21st-century Top 40 songs (by the likes of Maroon 5). "I like the new stuff, because it's just the old classic rock [with] a different beat here and different chord groups there," he says. "For the most part, bands today are just copying what classic rock used to be."
Zelinski formed his first group when he was a junior at Elyria Catholic High School in 1964. Since then, he's been a member of Relix, the Black River Blues Band, and Square Orange ("The James Gang used to open for us," he says).
A couple of years ago, Zelinski was introduced to Mr. Show guitarist Dave Priebe and drummer Jim Zima at a boat show at the I-X Center. "They said, We're looking for a bass player. And I said, "Well, I know a bass player,'" he recalls. "They like me because I call myself a power-bass player. I can double-pick and play multiple notes, while the guitar takes the lead. The guitar player once said, We don't need a rhythm guitar. We've got Zorro.'"
Fri., June 16, 10 p.m.