Former Lovin' Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky died of a heart attack Friday at his farm home outside Kingston, Ontario. He was 57. After busking in Toronto during his teens, Yanovsky's first break cam
Former Lovin' Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky died of a heart attack Friday at his farm home outside Kingston, Ontario. He was 57. After busking in Toronto during his teens, Yanovsky's first break came in 1961 when future Mamas and the Papas principal Denny Doherty asked him to join the Halifax Three, which became the Halifax Three Plus One.
Yanovsky moved to New York and in 1965 hooked up with John Sebastian to create the Lovin' Spoonful. The group notched seven top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in less than two years, including the chart-topper "Summer in the City" and the No. 2 entries "Daydream" and "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?"
In 1966, Yanovsky and Spoonful member Steve Boone were arrested in San Francisco for marijuana possession, and although charges were dropped after the pair turned in their dealer, the incident proved the beginning of the end for the band. Yanovsky left the group in mid-1967 and Sebastian quit months later.
After his 1968 solo album "Alive and Well and Living in Argentina" flopped, Yanovsky spent some time performing with Kris Kristofferson in 1970. He later moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he opened the restaurant Chez Piggy with his wife. In 1996, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Yanovsky is survived by his wife, Rose Richardson, and his daughter, Zoe. A private service will be held today (Dec. 16) in Kingston.