GREG TORTELL, JOE RAMSEY, Paul
Maselli and Carl Haasis.
Greg Tortell graduated from AHS in 1979 and Joe Ramsey in 1974.
Together with Carl Haasis (AHS Class of 75) Paul Maselli (AHS
Class of?) Gary Putnam, Bryant Fernandez and , they formed one of the most unique rock acts ever
seen; Dread Zeppelin. All adapted stage names to go with the
band’s one-of-a-kind act. Greg is Tortelvis, the lead
singer and 300-pound Elvis impersonator and Joe is Jah Paul
Jo, a take off on Led Zeppelin’s bass player, John Paul
Jones. They perform Led Zeppelin songs with a reggae beat and
Presley-like vocal. They have, on occasion combined Led Zeppelin
and Elvis songs into one tune, such as “Heartbreaker (At
The End of Lonely Street).”
first performance came on January 8, 1989, the 54th anniversary
of the King’s birth. Soon afterward, growing local buzz
earned Dread Zeppelin a deal with IRS Records and in 1990, they
released their first effort entitled “Un-led-Ed”.
The album showed surprisingly strong sales, peaking at #116
on the Billboard album charts, and resulted in high praise from
Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant for their rendition of “Your
Time Is Gonna Come”. Plant even admitted that he preferred
their version to the original.
Their second album, “5,000,000” was released in
1991, but the novelty of their act had worn somewhat thin and
sales were very disappointing. In 1992, Greg (Tortelvis), Bryant
Fernandez (Ed Zeppelin) and Paul Maselli (Fresh Cheese) left
the band. Gary Putnam (Butt Boy) assumes the persona of Gary
B.I.B.B. and assumed the lead vocals. Their follow up album,
“It’s Not Unusual” was a disco record and
alienated the group’s core fans as well as their record
label, who dropped the group. In 1993, Greg and Bryant returned
to the lineup for the release of 1993’s “Hot and
Spicy Beanburger” issued on Joe’s own Birdcage label.
This marked a return to their original past glories and led
to an appearance in “National Lampoon’s Last Resort”
in 1994. After other lineup changes, Joe left the group in 1996.
Their subsequent recordings included “The Song Remains
Insane”, “Ruins” and the late 2000 release,
“Deja Voodoo”. Dread Zeppelin continues to tour
throughout America and California in particular. They performed at Super
Bowl weekend in San Diego in January 2003.