The Loading Zone

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Cosmic R&B combo the Loading Zone was formed in Oakland, CA, in 1967 by singer/keyboardist Paul Fauerso following the dissolution of his jazz unit, the Tom Paul Trio. After recruiting guitarists Pete…
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Cosmic R&B combo the Loading Zone was formed in Oakland, CA, in 1967 by singer/keyboardist Paul Fauerso following the dissolution of his jazz unit, the Tom Paul Trio. After recruiting guitarists Pete Shapiro and Steve Dowler -- both late of the Berkeley psych-rock band the Marbles -- Fauerso enlisted bassist Bob Kridle and drummer George Newcom to round out the Loading Zone's original lineup; though rooted in R&B, the group also detoured into psychedelia, jazz, and electric blues, fittingly enough opening for both Cream and Big Brother & the Holding Company at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore. In 1968 Fauerso placed an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle seeking a new lead vocalist, with Linda Tillery joining the Loading Zone prior to the band's signing with RCA; their eponymous debut LP failed to capture the excitement of their live sets, however, and was savaged by critics for its excessive production and ham-fisted Motown covers. The Loading Zone then split, although in 1970 Fauerso and Tillery re-formed the group with guitarist Steve Busfield, bassist Mike Eggleston, and drummer George Marsh, recording One for All for the Umbrella label. Fauerso and Tillery disbanded the unit once and for all in 1971; the former later produced the Beach Boys' First Love LP and created a handful of new age records, while the latter resurfaced with the jazz fusion group Cesar 830 and later pursued a solo career.