Drummer Nick Zeigler is known as a member of three popular Los Angeles based rock bands Mary’s Danish, The Leonards, and The Forty Nineteens. As the drummer of those bands Nick toured the U.S playing CBGC’s, Raji's in Hollywood, the Steamboat in Austin, the Electric Banana in Pittsburgh, Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans, L.A.’s Palomino and many other showcase clubs performing on shows with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Goo Goo Dolls, Weezer, Dream Syndicate, The Gun Club , The Rave Ups and more. He recorded with Mary’s Danish on their 1989 Chameleon/Elektra Records release ‘There Goes the Wondertruck” with the single 'Don't Crash the Car Tonight' that was aired in rotation MTV's 120 Minutes and was heard on commercial and college radio across the country. Nick appeared on the Leonards’ 1993 Red Label Planet release "Blister” that included the single “Move” that aired nationwide on college radio. Music from the Leonards 2006 release Garage Sales was featured on the Ugly Beaty T.V. show. Nick joined with his Leonards’ bandmate John Pozza to form the Forty Nineteens. In April of 2012 the Forty Nineteens released their debut album “No Expiration Date" on Heyday Records that was produced by David Newton of the Mighty Lemon Drops. Zeigler has also recorded with Bonfire (wrote 'Born to be Wild') on a compilation and recorded with the band 33 1/3 Revolutions in1994.
Nick Zeigler is also a film industry set lightning technician who has worked on the major movie productions of Thor, Tron, J. Edgar, Bad Teacher, Flags of Our Fathers, Single with Parents, and Balls of Fury. He has also worked in television on the shows NCIS, Criminal Minds, Franklin & Bash, Ugly Betty, Nip/Tuck, Dollhouse Major & Minors, Heist, and The Inside.
Back in Monaca
Nick Zeigler was born in Rochester, Pa and grew up across the Beaver River in the steel town of Monaca. At age 14 Nick taught himself the drums by practicing in his basement for 3 hours seven days a week. His parents were very supportive as he played along with Charlie Watts to the Rolling Stones’ album “Get Yer Ya Ya's Out” and the music of the Who, Hendrix, Skynyrd, Yes, and later the Clash and the Sex Pistols. He also jammed with other learning musicians. Around age 14 in 1977 Nick became immersed in the early Pittsburgh punk scene when visited his sister Kathy who was a photography student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Kathy took him frequently to the Blatant Image art gallery in Oakland which was next door the Krishna House where many of Pittsburgh’s fledgling punk rockers practiced and hung out. He went to hear them play at loft parties and at free shows at CMU. When the Electric Banana began booking punk shows in 1980, Nick went there to see his friends from the Krishna house perform including The Five, Carsickness, Cardboards, Grapes of Wrath, and Hector in Paris. Also a fan a Beaver County’s rockers G Force, Donny Iris, and BE Taylor Nick and his friends saw those bands at Morry’s Speakeasy in Rochester and at clubs in Ohio or WVA. After graduating from Monaca High school Nick worked in a hospital laundry and later at the downtown Pittsburgh photography service center called the Dark Room. Several members of the early Pittsburgh punk bands such as The Five worked at the Darkroom. Seeking a career in music Nick moved to Los Angeles in 1986 at the age of 22.
Nick Zeigler landed his with first paying gigs in Los Angeles in 1986 playing in a band with guitarist Tony Russek, another Pittsburgh area native who had played in the Pittsburgh based band “The Back Doors”. Nick credits Tony with teaching him a lot about music and performing in a very short time. In 1987 the popular L.A band Mary’s Danish asked Nick to join them. Nick’s quickly found success in the music business as the drummer of Mary’s Danish. College friends Gretchen Seager and Julie Ritter formed Mary’s Danish in Los Angeles in late 1985. The group was an early alternative band blending rock, punk, funk, soul, and country. Drawing hundreds to their L.A area club shows they received critical praise from two LA Times writers Robert Hilburn and Steve Hochman who called them the best live act of 1989. Jodie Foster, George Wendt, Perry Ferrell, Flea and Anthony and other Hollywood stars became regulars at Mary’s Danish shows. The readers of the LA Times voted Mary’s Danish one of “LA’s best up and coming bands". The Hollywood Reporter said the band had "spirited anarchy and rock solid musicianship." Rolling Stone magazine listed Mary’s Danish as one of their "Top Five New Faces". The group signed with Chameleon Records in 1989 to release their debut album “There Goes the Wondertruck” that was distributed nationally by Elektra Records. Nick played on three tracks including the alternative/college radio hits "Don't Crash the Car Tonight" and “She Said Goodbye.' He also recorded on the follow-up live EP “Experience” on the Live + Foxy Lady label.
“In 1989, the distinctive, risk-taking L.A. band wasn't considered mainstream at all. Drawing on influences ranging from punk to funk to rockabilly, the X-influenced unit is unapologetically freewheeling when digging into aggressive, raw treasures like "Blue Stockings," "Shanty Pig" and "Don't Crash the Car Tonight." Mary's Danish was a band that wasn't afraid to seize the moment, and its reckless nature proves to be quite an asset on this album." –All Music Guide.
Mary's Danish was featured on a compilation CD with another L.A. band the Leonards. To promote the CD the two bands did a show together. Zeigler became friends with the Leonards at that show and left Mary’s Danish to become their drummer in late 1989.
The Leonards were formed in Los Angeles in 1987 by four friends from Central Michigan University. The founding members were John Pozza on vocals, Lenny Grassa on guitar, Tom Payne on bass, and Tom Million on drums. Million left the band in 1989 and was replaced by Zeigler.. The band performed together for the first time in 1987 at jam nights at the Los Angeles venue Sound Check. Playing straight forward rock and roll they recorded a demo which aired on KROQ on the “Rodney on the Rock’ show. With airplay on L.A’s biggest rock station the band was able to book gigs playing with bands like Thelonious Monster, NOFX, The Beat Farmers and others. They release their first recording “The Leonards” on the Rock Ranch label in 1988.
Trouser press wrote about the release” The Leonards contains nothing but searing, sneering garage rock'n'roll — '60s in construction, '80s in energy. The band has no pose to sell, just good tunes executed with verve and skill.” The July 1989 issue of music magazine Alternative Press described the band as: “Solid as a rock, the Leonards are like a ‘62 convertible Cadillac plowing into an ‘88 Integra, sporting a musical know-how that covers three decades.”
Airplay on college radio and coverage in the international press led to several national tours on the club circuit the including shows at CBGB’s, Pittsburgh’s Electric Banana, and Morry’s Speakeasy in Beaver County. Zeigler performed with the Leonards at his teenage hangout the Electric Banana in late 1989 but the Pittsburgh Police shut down the show saying they played too loudly. Nick Zeigler said in an interview “I think we were the only band ever to be shut down at the Banana. The Leonards also played a gig with Phil Harris at the Pittsburgh’s Upstage Lounge in 89. During their tours the Leonards appeared with the Rave Ups, Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, Rosie Flores, The Muffs, Goo Goo Dolls, The Gun Club, Tommy Stinson, Billy Bremner, Peter Case, Peter Holsapple among others.
The Leonards released the album "Blister in Sept of 1993 on the Red Planet Label with Zeigler on drums. Their single "Move" was aired on KROQ, KXLU, KCRW, Joe Benson, and heard nationally on college and commercial radio. The Leonards also release Green Bottle Thursday” on the Vapor label in 1996.
After the Leonards broke up in 1994 Nick formed the funky soul revue band CC & The Jackpot Prize They played shows with Fishbone and Bud E Luv. The Leonards reformed in 2006 to record the CD “Garage Sales”. One of the singles from “Garage Sales”, the Leonards’ recording of the Vertebrats classic "Left In the Dark", was on aired on episode of the Ugly Betty television show on Oct 26, 2007. The cover of the “Garage Sale” album also adorned Betty Suarez's avocado-green fridge. Currently Nick Zeigler plays in both the Leonards and The Forty Nineteens.
Nick Zeigler along with his Leonards’ band mate bassist/vocalist John Pozza formed the Forty Nineteen with guitarists Chuck Gorian and Chris Whelton. The band took its name from the California legal code, “4019” which standard for time off for good behavior. The motto of the Forty Ninenteens is ‘Everyone needs time off for ‘good behavior’. Their debut release on Heyday Records "No Expiration Date" was produced by David Newton of the Mighty Lemon Drops and the Thee Mighty Angels. It is a modern take on The Leonards powerful sound with Dave Newton’s warm harmony arrangements featuring Stevie Wonder sideman Kevin McCourt's playing keyboards on 5 tracks including “Trucker’s Song” and “Magnolia”. “No Expiration Date garnering attention from radio stations across the nation (including WMNF in Tampa). CMJ reported that it was the 17th most added record during it its first week of release.
The Forty Nineteens perform in California for their loyal following that ranges from LA to Temecula's wine country. They've recently opened for garage rock icons The Fleshtones at Pappy and Harriet's as well as Gene Loves Jezebel and Gilby Clark. They play regularly at Miramonte Winery, Longshadow Ranch Winery, and Europa Village.
Day Lighting in the Entertainment Industry
In addition to his night time drumming gigs with Mary’s Danish, the Leonards, and other bands Nick Zeigler worked day light hours in the entertainment business. From the mid 90’s until 2002 Nick worked a day job a record label. After a brief stint working at the Screen Actors Guild Nick got involved in set lighting. As a youngster he obtained a working knowledge of electricity from his father who was an electrician at the Aliquippa J&L plant. Nick began in lighting helping friends who were making films and found it to be fun and creative. Since 2005 he has been working as a Set Lighting Technician in movies, television show and music shows. He has an IMDB listing is extensive film credits.