Jeff Zimmitti, an American drummer, born in Middletown, Connecticut on June 28, 1968, began playing drums at an early age. Starting with marching band in elementary school he eventually taught himself a full drum kit by age 12. Taking some local lessons and applying his marching band rudiments he eventually found himself forming rock bands. In 1983 he moved to Old Saybrook and met up with Meesto Erato and Drew Mortali. They founded the band YMI and recorded several demos. By the next year they had hatched a plan to head out west to California. Landing in Hollywood in August 1985 the band re-grouped and later Greg Erato (older brother of Meesto) came out to join. As a four-piece they recorded demos under the name Apes. They played shows on the Sunset Strip throughout 1987. The band splintered when Drew decided to leave Los Angeles. Don Raul came out from Connecticut replace Drew on bass. They played as Erato for a short time before disbanding.
Zimmitti met up with his then neighbor Timm Mulhern, an aspiring singer. By later 1988 they were recording demos with guitarist Shane as Mirror Mirror. For a period, David Gould of Mother Tongue joined on bass. In the beginning of 1989 Zimmitti met Mark Lane (Hoodwinks), Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age) and Kenoy Williams. They were looking for a drummer for their new project. The band recorded demos as The Strawberry Fields (later Sixty8) at the Ethical Pool space in Silverlake, California. They played shows during 1989-1990. Part of this configuration morphed into The Hoodwinks and got signed to a major label.
By 1990 Zimmitti was starting to become influenced by the punk and glam scene. That year a friend, Bruce Duff, knew of a guitarist, Brian Butler, looking for a drummer and introduced the two. This pairing would later produce the band The Ultras. The band was fleshed out with Alistair Liddell (Dirt Merchants) on vocals and Angie on bass. In 1991 the band was signed to Triple X Records in Los Angeles. They released their debut EP that year “The Complete Handbook of Songwriting.” The album was met with modest critical acclaim. The band was popular locally, and played live with artists like Celebrity Skin, Rozz Williams, Pigmy Love Circus, and Motorcycle Boy. After a year of recording and playing shows the band fizzled.
By late 1992 Zimmitti was ready for more music. Triple X Recording artist Jeff Dahl was looking to put together an all-new touring band to support his latest album. Zimmitti auditioned and got the gig along with off-and-on Dahl bassist Bruce Duff and they added Gilbert Avondet from Motorcycle Boy on guitar. The band toured Europe and Japan for the majority of 1993. Several bootlegs were later released around Europe. Some highlights were opening for the Buzzcocks in Bordeaux, France, and John Spencer Blues Explosion picking up the German support leg of the tour.
In late-1993 Zimmitti hooked up with the band Idaho, who were comprised of Jeff Martin, John Berry and Doug Smith. They had just released their debut album on Caroline Records and asked Zimmitti to join. Together they toured for a good part of 1994. But by the end of the year the band was splintering and Martin began recording the next Idaho album “This Way Out” with various musicians. Zimmitti played on the albums’ most haunting track, “Forever.” Later, in 2000, the band released a live album titled “People Like Us Should be Stopped” from this line-ups’ touring days.
After a brief stint by forming E.Coli with John Napier (formerly of Ethyl Meatplow), in 1995 Zimmitti navigated into The Mooks, which included Doug Smith (from Idaho), Richard Dessert and James Brenner (Scenic). They were commissioned to record a soundtrack for the film “One Slim Dime.” The band recorded “Hollywood Nocturnes” later in 1996 but when funding for the film was pulled, the album was shelved. In 1997 Doug Smith resurrected the masters and The Mooks put together the final tracks. There was no interest stateside in the album but Zimmitti found the album a home on a Korean label Samsung and it was released that year. The Mooks played a couple live shows before disbanding. Hollywood Nocturnes was re-released on all formats in October of 2020. The Spotify link is here: Hollywood Nocturnes
In 1998 an old friend of Zimmitti’s, Dino Paredes, re-united the Spock Pistols and they needed a drummer for a show at the Garage in Silverlake. That was the last live show Zimmitti played. The Spock Pistols were a Sex Pistols cover band with Art Shoji (the lead singer) dressed as Spock.
Several years went by, when, after opening his own wine shop in 2006, Zimmitti met Producer and Engineer Brad Cobb. ODark30 Studios moved into its new space in 2014 and Zimmitti offered to set up his drums to get room sounds for recording. That lead to his vintage Ludwigs becoming the house drum set and has since been used on several dozen recordings.
In December 2019, Zimmitti completed drum tracks for a song with guitar player and songwriter Brian Butler. The original pair worked together in the Ultras. The track is called “My Girl.” Pending release.
In May and June of 2020, Zimmitti worked with singer/songwriter John Pawlak to record “Never Forget You.” The song was released in January 2021.
YMI – 1983-1985
Apes – 1986
Erato – 1986-1987
Mirror Mirror – 1988
Strawberry Fields (Sixty8) – 1989-1990
The Ultras – 1991-1992
Jeff Dahl Band – 1993
Idaho – 1993-1994
E.Coli – 1995
The Mooks – 1995-1997
Spock Pistols – 1998
Played with Michael Aston (Gene Loves Jezebel), David Gould (Mother Tongue), Olivier de la Celle (Baron Jive), Paul Wallfisch (Swans), Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), and Kelly Wheeler (Psi Com)
Ludwig Classic custom drums (1983)
6-ply maple, black lacquer finish
26” x 16” bass drum
13″ x 9″ tom
15” x 10” tom
18” x 18” floor tom
14” x 6.5” Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum (1994)
14″ x 6.5″ Ludwig Bronze Supraphonic snare drum (2020)
14″ x 5″ Ludwig Acrolite snare drum (1972)
13″ x 6″ Pork Pie Little Squealer snare drum (2015)
14″ New Beat Hi-Hats A Series
15″ New Beat Hi-Hats A Series
16″ Medium Thin Crash A Series
18″ Medium Thin Crash A Series
18″ Rock Crash A Series
19″ Medium Crash A Series
19″ Rock Crash A Series (cracked)
21″ Sweet Ride A Series
22″ Ping Ride A Series
22″ Crash Ride A Series (Hunt Sales)
22″ Medium Ride A Series with rivets
Vic Firth American Classic Rock (wood tip)
The Ultras Complete Handbook of Songwriting
Idaho People Like Us Should Be Stopped
Jeff Dahl Band Live VPRO
The Mooks Hollywood Nocturnes
01 Glendale And Temple
04 Small Rain
06 Samadhi I
07 Big Bossa Man
08 Hollywood Nocturne
09 Samadhi II
10 L.A. Blues
11 Samadhi III
13 Snow Job
14 Flight Of The Raven
15 Angels Nocturne