Bob Zielinski

Bob Zielinski, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top (guitar)

It is only natural that Bobby Z would be an entertainer. Bobby’s parents were both professional singers, and both his brothers are professional singers and musicians. Bobby’s journey into guitar playing began when his Dad brought home a Banjo-Ukulele for him to mess around with. With his “George Gobel Ukulele Instruction” book at hand, Bobby practiced constantly , learned all the chords and could play “Buffalo Gal Wont You Come Out Tonight” for hours on end.

After his cousin Nick got a 1965 Gibson SG Jr for Christmas , Bobby saved up his nickels, and the money made from mowing lawns and finally bought a NORMA Solid Body Electric Guitar and Amp. Learned a bunch of Beatles, Monkees Stones and Surf tunes and was on his way. He formed a band with his brothers , “The Sloppy Joes” and played his first show in front of a crowd in South Haven Michigan @ “Sunny Brook Farm” family Resort talent night, in the summer of 1966.

Shortly after that, Bobby discovered the electric blues of Jimi, Clapton, Bloomfield, Muddy, the 3 Kings, and a host of others. A couple more Grade school bands followed, then High School, and in the summer of 1973, that same cousin with the 65 Gibson SG played a new LP he had just got with a tune called “Brown Sugar”. However, it wasn’t the Rolling Stones, it was some band called ZZ-TOP. Cousin Nick said, “Bobby, you gotta hear this guy Billy Gibbons!”. One listen, and Bobby became a lifelong disciple of the Reverend Willy G!

Fast forward to the Fall of 1992, and a chance listening to a Saturday afternoon call in radio show in Chicago, Bobby heard a caller looking for guitarists to audition for this new ZZ Top “Tribute” Band, ELIMINATOR.

25 years later, Bobby has been hailed by many as having the finest tone and guitar style, most accurately replicating ALL of the era’s of Billy’s playing. Bobby’s ( and his band mates ) dedication to “Tone ,Taste and Tenacity” have been the driving force of the ELIMINATOR band for over 25 years.

Jerry Matula

Jerry Matula, Frank Beard of ZZ Top (drums)

Born in Des Plaines Il. in the mid 60’s to teenage parents I was raised on all types of great music but it was mostly the electric blues that was always cranking around the house. I wanted to play guitar at a young age so my dad borrowed a guitar from an uncle and i sighed up for lessons. after a few weeks of being taught “Michael rowed the boat ashore” when all i wanted to play was “purple haze” I lost interest pretty quickly. the one thing Ive always felt is that primal thing in us all that is the drum.

My neighbor buddy, who’s family had money, got a brand new drum set with lessons. He would come home and teach me what he learned. I wound up collecting mismatched drums from wherever I could fine and put a kit together. I stripped them all down and covered them in contact paper so they would match and you couldn’t tell I picked them from the garbage!

I wound up playing along with the chorus for 8th grade graduation, then was the summer I honed my skills. I was a “husky” boy, as my mom would say, So I put on 4 layers of clothes, locked myself in my room and played drums 8 hours a day–That made for a good way to start high school! We played mostly parties and local events (even unknowingly auditioning Ron’s son at one point) But at 19 I put down the sticks, started a career and a family. Fast forward about 15 years, and it was time for a hobby. Since I’m a really bad golfer, I figured, why not pick up the sticks again? I saw an ad in the local paper “band looking for a drummer” When I found out it was Eliminator (these guys are already local legends) I didn’t even bother calling–too intimidated!

I put together a smokin’ hot band called Betty Floored and we played around a few years. in 2009 my son joined a band with Bobby Z’s daughter. I was arranging a breast cancer fundraiser and asked if Eliminator would do a set. I asked to sit in and play a set…they agreed. We came out rollin’ like a stick o’ dynamite and the animal it has become hasn’t stopped growing since.

Ron Schneider

Ron Schneider, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top (guitar and vocals)

At the age of 5, I wanted to BE A Secret Agent Man! By the time I was 13yrs old I just wanted to PLAY the “Secret Agent Man” theme on guitar! So for my 13th birthday, my Mom and Dad bought me a Harmony acoustic guitar from Monkey Wards. My friend Ricky Hensley taught me how to play my first song, ” Louie, Louie”. I quickly mastered that riff and Ricky offered to let me sit in with his band. Week after week, my childhood buddy taught me everything he knew and eventually sold me his 6 string Sears Silvertone guitar. Back then, no kids in my neighborhood had an actual bass, so we’d have to plunk out bass lines on our guitars. I wanted to be the first kid to own a real bass, so I bought myself a Harmony Semi-Hollow Body— Not exactly my first choice but it was all I could afford with the money I earned cleaning fish tanks at the local pet store 3 days a week! I’ve been hooked on bass ever since.

Later, when I was a freshman at Taft High School, I joined the school’s band program playing upright bass. I spent most of my time teaching other kids how to play popular rock songs on their instruments; much to the dismay of our band teacher, Mr. Freidman, who already disliked me because of my long hair. Screw band class, I wanted to rock! As a teenager, I continued to play in rock bands that covered Top 40 tunes. I ended up starting a band inspired by Early Frank Zappa music called Dr. Bizzaro and the Disgustos, which played nearly exclusively on the Custom Van Truck-In circuit. We gained quite a following and received national press in several Custom Van Magazines, Hot Rod magazine, and a sweet mention in Rolling Stone. After eight years or so of playing with Dr. Bizzaro, I joined General Patton’s band, where I learned to hone my skills as a vocalist.

A few years— and bands— later I was fronting a trio called Triple Threat. A major portion of our set included early ZZ Top tunes that the three of us loved. I spoke to a top booking agent of the day who told me that he would kill to find a good, reliable ZZ Top cover band. At the time there was only one other ZZ tribute in the Chicagoland area. Those guys were the epitome of a bad ZZ Top tribute act; Horrible, fake, glued on beards, bad costumes, poor musicianship, and no stage presence. I knew immediately that we could do better, so I quit trimming my beard and in October of 1992, with the help of Bobby Z, Eliminator was formed. We played our first gig on December 4th, 1992 and haven’t stopped since!

Blair Holmes

Blair Holmes, background vocals

Blair Holmes (drummer, vocals) is well know in many worlds from Professional Photographer, to Film Director/Editor, to Lead Singer, Drummer and Composer. His great drumming and beautiful vocals are matched only by his ability to make you laugh… His previous bands Venus Envy and Punch! made excellent name’s for themselves as original Pop groups. He currently plays drums in The Katie Todd Band and now he’s also having fun playing the music of his favorite Fab Four band.

Howie Martino

Howie Martino, bass, vocals

Howie Martino (bass, vocals) is not only classically trained but is also a virtuoso in a plethora of musical styles. Whether he’s playing with his old bandmates in Rollover of doing a gig with the North Suburban Symphony he bring knowledge and precision to every performance.

Derrick “Suede” Stout

 

Derrick "Suede" Stout, guitar, keys, vocals

Derrick “Suede” Stout (guitar, keys, vocals) has been performing all over the globe for decades. A true multi instrumentalist, he’s put out Piano records, Jazz, records, Pop, Live, and acoustic CDs. As a producer his prolific work of over 100 CDs spans classical, jazz, country, rock, pop, a cappella Metal, grunge and nearly anything else you can dream of…His role in this line up can only be described as a dream come true.

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