.

Zapp Brothers Found Dead

Zapp Brothers Found Dead

April 28, 1999 12:00 AM ET

Friends and colleagues are searching for a motive in the apparent murder-suicide that claimed the lives of Roger and Larry Troutman, two of the siblings that comprised the seminal funk outfit Zapp.| No one has stepped forward as a witness to the incident, which unfolded early Sunday morning at a Dayton recording studio operated by Roger Troutman, Zapp's leader, and a solo star in his own right.

Paramedics summoned by neighbors who heard gunshots arrived to find Roger bleeding from several gunshot wounds. While he was clinging to life when found, the forty-seven-year-old singer (dubbed "the master of the vocorder" within the music industry) died in surgery hours later. His fifty-four-year-old brother was found in his car, several blocks away, felled by a single gunshot wound -- which police describe as "apparently self-inflicted" -- to the head.

Business associates of the brothers, who had not worked together professionally in more than a decade, aren't commenting on the matter, although a source close to the elder Troutman (who was active in real estate management in the Dayton area) indicated that relations between the pair were strained in recent times.

Zapp -- which initially included brothers Lester and Terry Troutman as well -- emerged from a fertile Ohio funk scene in 1978, stringing together such hits as "More Bounce to the Ounce" and "Dance Floor," which actually topped the charts at the tail end of the disco era. Roger, as the acknowledged leader of the act, tested the solo waters beginning in the early Eighties, racking up solo hits with songs like "I Want to be Your Man" and a reworking of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."

Although acknowledged as an inspiration by artists as varied as the former Prince and East Coast hardcore rap group EPMD, commercial success eluded Roger and Zapp for much of the past decade -- until Tupac Shakur called on his talents for "California Love" in 1996. More recently, Troutman also turned in appearances on recordings by Kool Keith and Gerald Levert.

A Dayton police spokesman says that an investigation is ongoing, with ballistics and toxicology reports due later in the week.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Fantasy”

Mariah Carey | 1995

Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com