Zack and Geebah: Then to Now

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(From right) Zack and Geebah on the cover of their album, "Just For You"

“Reunion collaboration” in the works? 

Zack Roberts, from the defunct band Zack and Geebah, has denied long-held public thought that they split due to issues concerning money and girlfriends.

Zack, who is speaking out for the first time since the band split decades ago, explained that such rumors are far from the truth but intended to hang a dark cloud over their career.

“Although we were not rich, money was not our problem neither girls. We made money from our music and things were good. We never quarrelled over money neither over girls. These things were not our problem, so I don’t know such speculations came about that we split due to issues concerning money and girls.

“I know I have been silent on this split, something which may have pushed this theory, but now I’m speaking up to set the record straight. Geebah was a very cool guy and not problematic,” Zack Said. “The band split because of me. It was not because of money or girls. It was because I wanted to go solo and open my own record studio. The dream was too big, so i need to go on my own to keep the focus.”

The defunct all-male musical band was one of the best in the 1980s, selling a little over 200,000 CD copies of their hit singles “Just for You”, “For the Love of Money’ and “Sweet Liberia”. Each copy of the album was sold for L$1.00. Of that amount, L$0.50 went to the band each album sold.

Cover of the album, “The Love of Money”

However, although the band is no longer in existence, the band is still regarded as one of Liberia’s best bands ever. Their songs ‘Keep on Trying and ‘Sweet Liberia’ still remain popular as to date, making it an alternative national anthem. The band style of music combines Western and African instruments, Latin American dance rhythms, and traditional West African melodies and lyrics to create a unique new sound that helped popularize Liberia music.

The split which happened in 1989, four years after the release of the smash hit Sweet Liberia and while in the prime, never want down well with Geebah who wanted to keep the band together. Although he tried, things did not work out and when the war came, Geebah left for the USA.

“Geebah never wanted a split. He wanted the team together but split like this is common in the music industry. When the split occurred, I opened a studio and was about to go solo before the war came. I was on the verge of received bank loan to fully support my new dream but the war destroyed everything,” Zack who is now a minister of the gospel said.

How the band was formed

The two veteran singers came know each other when businessman Tonia Williams founded the defunct band ‘Liberia Dreams, a five-member band, which recorded the singles, “OAU Welcome to Liberia” and “Like it Like That.”
After the singles, the band traveled to Ivory Coast for an opportunity in the music industry; however, away from home, the 1980 coup d’état that overthrew President Tolbert occurred. In a matter of days, the band split up.

Zack Roberts says he split with Geebah Swaray because he wanted to go solo.

“After the split, I and Geebah decided to stick together to search for a better opportunity elsewhere since we were close. While in Nigeria, we started to work as session musicians and later got the opportunity to record our own songs, which give birth to our first album, ‘For the Love of Money’, which contain the hit single, “No peace No Love.”

“However, the name Zack and Geebah did not come from us. It was given to us by the manager of the studio we recorded the first album in. The name is the combination of our first two names. So we gladly accepted and started to record under the name, since it was unique and catchy. We built our career from the dust with the help of God. We actually had a fine career, although it was short.

A new beginning

26-years after that painful split, the band members were able to meet in 2015 in New Jersey, USA and harmonize their differences for the first time, leaving room for future collaborations.

“I was waiting for this opportunity and when it came, I apologized to Geebah and that’s how we moved on. I had to apologize because I knew I hurt him and had to make this right. Now that we are cool, I think reunion collaboration is possible in the long run. The door remains open and anything can happen. And I’m actually hoping for that,” Zack said.

Meanwhile, during their career, the band Zack and Geebah released 14-songs, six on “Just for You,” and six on “For the Love of Money”, While two on the “Sweet Liberia” singles.

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