Note by the editor: Albee Tellone (former member of Dr.Zoom) wrote us and said that he has doubt, that the name
Dr.Zoom was created this way. He recalls that Carl "Tinker" West came up with the name.
The Sonic Boom (and Dr.Zoom)
After a month or so the store was garnering a lot of interest from the high school
kids in Toms River and surrounding areas. At times, there was a constant flow of
the after school crowd, both the regulars and the irregulars,one might say. Some
of them I knew, some I didn't. The little store also drew a sampling of thecurious older
tier. And, although I don't remember seeing Bruce in the store,
I'm told he was there at least once that year.
Moving on, it would appear l97l was the year of the Cicada hatch for the North Eastern
part of the country. If your unfamiliar with the cicada hatch' It's a phenomenon
that occurs only every 17 years in any one part of the country at a time. These
giant beetle-like bugs (1&1/2" or more long) with their bulging eyes, crispy
shells and compound wings make for an intimidating creature! They live in the
ground and burrow their way up and out, crawling up the sides of trees attaching
themselves to the bark. This is where they mate and reproduce. So, I found the biggest
dead one I could and brought the spent fellow into the store for a bit of show and
tell. That's when I and an inspirational friend decided the creature "had potential"!
We decided to mount the thing on top of an inverted paper cup which stood on the store
checkout counter. Once glued atop the cup where he belonged (so that no one would borrow him),
we installed a tiny speaker system under his cup. The speaker was hooked to a small recording
device which was hidden under the counter. The customers were encouraged to ask
the bug simple questions which the bug answered in simple answers which were prerecorded
in an old world Eastern European accent. Needless to say the bug was a hit!
In 1972 I left New Jersey to live in California. The store closed shortly thereafter.
When I opened the store in 1971, I named the place The Sonic Boom! The big bug we called
Dr. Zoom. Hence, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the voice of Dr. Zoom? > Philip Wexler.
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