FELIX HANEMANN – BASS, KEYS, & MANDOLIN
Felix Hanemann was born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana .
He graduated from Warren Easton High School and attended the University of New Orleans and Loyola where Music was his Major and English was his Minor.
Felix fell in love with the idea of putting a band together after seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights in February 1964. Felix’s first band was called The Salt & Pepper Conspiracy when he was 14 yrs old and played at a popular teen club on Lafitte St called the Hullabaloo. In 1972 he put an all original band together called Shepherd’s Bush with Randy Jackson as the lead guitarist.
Unfortunately Shepherd’s Bush had only stayed together for about 12 to 18 months and then disbanded. Shepherd’s Bush was named after the town that The Who originated from. Felix and Randy stayed together and started a cover band called Maelstrom which was named after a poem by Edgar Allen Poe titled “Down through the Maelstrom”. Guy Gelso was the drummer in Maelstrom along with a keyboard player named Tim Thorton. Unfortunately Maelstrom also didn’t stay together very long. But they did play of few local clubs , some graduation gigs and some sorority parties.
However, Maelstrom is the basis for the nucleus of Randy , Felix and Guy to form Zebra ! The keyboard player eventually quit the band and Randy and Guy were putting a new group together and invited Felix to join. This was convenient since they originally started practicing in his apartment! They decided that they needed a bigger space, so the three of them set out to practice at a warehouse just on the edge of New Orleans’ Famous French Quarter on Decatur St. The three of them practiced Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top , The Moody Blues, David Bowie , Rush and a few originals that they were putting together. They practiced five and six times a week every night for six months! By this time they were ready to play some shows and had invited a couple of club owners to come to see them at their warehouse and got a couple of gigs! One problem . The club owners asked them “what’s the name of the band“? The band had no name ! So, they set out to name the band , and each of them came together at a club in New Orleans in The Garden District called The Boot. They each had a list of names that they wanted to call the band , but none of them could agree on a name . However , there was a poster of a lady riding a zebra on the cover of a Vogue magazine from January 1926. One of them looked up and saw the poster and said then let’s call it Zebra. They all agreed! So, Zebra got it’s start in February of 1975. They moved up to Long Island NY for New Years eve 1976 and played their first show with a band named Rat Race Choir. They were voted the #1 band on Long Island in Good Times Magazine and their unsigned originals were being played on WBAB, a popular rock station on Long Island. Zebra was signed to Atlantic Records and released their debut self titled album in March 1983 and the record went Gold! Zebra has released three other studio recordings and one live recording. Zebra released a documentary style DVD in 2007 and have been inducted into The Louisiana Hall of Fame and The Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Zebra continues to perform several shows a year and is celebrating their 37th year together .