ZBS Foundation

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ZBS Foundation, a small non-profit audio production company, was founded by Thomas Lopez (aka "Meatball Fulton") in 1970 with a grant from Robert E. Durand as a working commune, located on a donated farm in Upstate New York. ZBS stands for "Zero Bull Shit".[1] The commune's purpose was to raise consciousness through media, specifically full-cast audio dramas. The foundation is "one of the most prolific producers of contemporary radio drama."[2]

The commune started with 18 people, and an island in the Hudson River was chosen as the location because it was between New York City and Montreal.[3] Eventually, the commune disintegrated, and the foundation moved to create an artists-in-residence program over the next decade. Allen Ginsberg recorded at ZBS in 1981, and Laurie Anderson visited in 1975. Philip Glass also worked on the opera Einstein on the Beach at ZBS. The residency program ended in the mid 1980s.

The foundation also became the outlet for audio dramas written by writer/producer Lopez. His dramatic programs, notably Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe, The Fourth Tower of Inverness and Travels with Jack Flanders, are noted for their meticulous production values and New Age mysticism. Lopez has won numerous awards including the Prix Italia, and his work enjoys a cult following.

ZBS did a 1984-85 radio series, The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz, later releasing some shows in the series on cassettes and CDs. These productions were recorded binaurally using a Neumann Ku81 Kunstkopf microphone. ZBS also produced a widely acclaimed[4][5] dramatization of Stephen King's The Mist, recording in binaural sound.


Title Released Series Notes
Ha! Fat Chance 1963 Meatball Fulton's first radio drama, produced at KPFA Pacifica Radio. This story predates the founding of ZBS, but was released on the ZBS site to streaming subscribers.[6]
The Fourth Tower of Inverness 1972 Jack Flanders
Moon Over Morocco 1973 Jack Flanders
Stars & Stuff 1977 Science Fiction includes The Ah-Ha Phenomenon, Tired of the Green Menace, The Adventures of Rocket Pierre, The Thing That Ate Aunt Sophie, Boogie Woogie to the Stars, and more
The Ah-Ha Phenomenon 1977 Jack Flanders Originally part of Stars & Stuff
Tired of the Green Menace 1977 Ruby The original Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe story, originally part of Stars and Stuff
The Incredible Adventures of Jack Flanders 1978 Jack Flanders
The Taj Express 1980 Drama Features stories written by contemporary Indian writers
Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe 1982 Ruby
The Android Sisters: Songs of Electronic Despair 1984 Android Sisters Spinoff of Ruby
The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz 1984-1985 Science Fiction, Drama, Horror Including The Mist, Mumbo Jumbo, Aura, Sticks, The Bleeding Man and Saturday Night at the White Woman Watching Hole, recorded in binaural sound
Ruby 2: The Further Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe 1985 Ruby
Starflight One 1986 Music Music by Tim Clark
Dreams of Rio 1987 Jack Flanders
Music from the Dreams of Rio 1987 Soundtrack Music featured in Dreams of Rio
Myth: The Music of Tim Clark 1987 Music Music by Tim Clark
A Night on the Rio Negro 1987 Soundtrack Background audio featured in Dreams of Rio
Saratoga Springs 1989 Humor Produced as a series for National Public Radio
Tales of the Sun People 1990 Music Music by Tim Clark
Ruby 3: The Underworld/The Invisible World 1990-1991 Ruby
Dishpan Fantasy: A Real Soap Opera 1991 Humor
The Music from Ruby 3 1991 Soundtrack Music featured in Ruby 3
Travels with Jack 1992-1993 Jack Flanders Includes Dreams of the Amazon, Dreams of India, Dreams of Bali and Dreams of Sumatra
Journey to Qayyum 1992 Soundtrack Music featured in Dreams of India
Dinotopia 1993 Dinotopia Adaptation of the book by James Gurney
The Maltese Goddess 1994 Mystery Recorded in binaural sound
Ruby 4 1994-1995 Ruby Includes The Moon Coins of Sonto Lore, The Turban of El Morya, Dark Night of the Reptoids, and Mad Moon for Rubina
rain 1995 Music Music by Tim Clark and Kevin Breheney
Dinotopia: The World Beneath 1996 Dinotopia
The Spell 1996 Music Music by Tim Clark and Kevin Breheny
O Boy O Boy O 1996 Science Fiction Recorded in binaural sound
The Mystery of Jaguar Reef 1996 Jack Flanders
The Land of Enchantment 1997 Mojo Sam Spinoff of Jack Flanders
Ol' Cactus Kapoor, and Other Prickly Tales 1997 Rodant Kapoor Spinoff of Ruby
The Insiders' Lounge 1998 Science Fiction
Midnight at the Casa Luna 1998-2000 Jack Flanders
Ruby 5: The Land of Zoots 1998 Ruby
Fat Cats 1999 Fat Cats Later reissued as Saratoga Fat Cats, recorded in binaural sound
Recipe for Murder 1999 Mystery
The Android Sisters: Greatest Hits 2000 Android Sisters Spinoff of Ruby
Return to Inverness 2000 Jack Flanders
Little Frieda's Life Lessons 2001 Little Frieda Spinoff of Jack Flanders
Mojo Plays Morocco 1977 Soundtrack Mojo Sam's music from Moon Over Morocco
Mojo's Concert at Inverness 2001 Soundtrack Mojo Sam's music from Return to Inverness
Ruby 6: The Illusionati 2001 Ruby
The Ultimate 3D Thunderstorm 2001 Soundtrack Binaural recording of a thunderstorm
Travelling Jack 2002-2003 Jack Flanders Includes Dreams of the Blue Morpho, Somewhere Next Door to Reality, Do That in Real Life?, and The Eye of Van Gogh
The Android Sisters: Pull No Punches 2003 Android Sisters Spinoff of Ruby
The Best of the Android Sisters 2004 Android Sisters Spinoff of Ruby, released in Japan
The Best of Saratoga Springs 2004 Humor Compilation of Saratoga Springs episodes
Fat Cats 2: All the Cat's Meow 2004 Fat Cats
Ruby 6.5: Far Flung Farouk 2004 Ruby
A Streetcar Named Le Petit Lafitte 2004 Little Louie Lafitte Spinoff of Jack Flanders' Do That in Real Life?
The Wee Weever: A Little Frieda Mystery 2004 Little Frieda, Mojo Sam Spinoff of Jack Flanders
The Case of the Disappearing Witch 2005 Little Frieda, Mojo Sam Spinoff of Jack Flanders
The Fantastic Voyages of Captain Jack Flanders 2005-2008 Jack Flanders Includes Orchids and Moonbeams, The Ghost Islands, Tropical Hot Dog Night and The White Castle
Ruby 7: Dream Weaver, Dream Deceiver 2006 Ruby
90 Second Cellphone Chillin' Theater 2008 Humor
Blue Bamboo 2008 Music Music by Tim Clark
Dinotopia Suite 2008 Soundtrack Music from Dinotopia
Two Minute Film Noir 2008 Film Noir
More! Two Minute Film Noir - "Joe & Moe" 2008 Film Noir
The Music from Ruby 4 2008 Soundtrack Music from Ruby 4
Ruby 7.5: The Tookah's Tales 2008 The Tookah Spinoff of Ruby
The World Beneath Suite 2008 Soundtrack Music from Dinotopia: The World Beneath
Even More! Two Minute Film Noir 2009 Film Noir
Four Minute Film Noir 2009 Film Noir
Fallen Angels That Bounce 2009 Film Noir
Mojo's Vest Pocket Voodoo Adventures 2009 Mojo Sam Spinoff of Jack Flanders
Ruby 8: The Good King Kapoor 2009 Ruby
World Sounds 2009 Soundtrack Audio used in Jack Flanders adventures
Steam Dreamers of Inverness 2010-2011 Jack Flanders Steampunk spinoff, 4 parts
Lady Windermere's Brass Fantabulous 2010 Lady Windermere
Lady Windermere's Brass Fantabulous, Part 2: You Can't Outrun the Flying Dead 2011 Lady Windermere
Ruby Refreshed 2011-2013 Ruby A reissue of the original Ruby: The Galactic Gumshoe, with new music and sound effects
Do Angels Really Have Wings? 2012 Jack Flanders
Ruby 9: Masque of the Red Moon 2012 Ruby
Dixon and Sparks: Excuse Me While I Disappear 2013 Dixon and Sparks
Dixon and Sparks: The Night Has Begun 2013 Dixon and Sparks
Dreams of Tiffany Blue 2013 Jack Flanders
The Music of Steam Dreamers of Inverness 2013 Soundtrack Music from Steam Dreamers of Inverness
The Music of the Tookah's Tales 2013 Soundtrack Music from Ruby 7.5: The Tookah's Tales
Saratoga Noir 2014 Mystery
The Secret of the Crystal Maidens 2014 Jack Flanders
Dixon and Sparks: Shadows in the Night 2015 Dixon and Sparks
The Green Velvet Chair 2015 Jack Flanders
Ruby 9.5: Who Knows How This Ends? 2015 Ruby
League of the Green Velvet Chairs 2016 Jack Flanders
Tiny Dreams 2017 Humor
Madonna in a Green Velvet Chair 2018 Jack Flanders
Ruby 10: The Black Star of Summa Nulla 2018 Ruby


  1. ^ Roger Gregg (20 July 2002). "Meet the Artists: Tom Lopez". natf.org. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2015. We don’t normally tell people that. We couldn’t really go to the National Endowment for the Arts representing ourselves from the ‘Zero Bull Shit Foundation’. So we just made it ‘ZBS.’.
  2. ^ J Michael Straczynski (1 July 2002). The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. Writer's Digest Books. pp. 261–. ISBN 1-58297-158-7.
  3. ^ Thomas Dimopoulos (1 February 2012). "Studio on the river: ZBS continues four decades of audio". Glens Falls Post-Star. Glens Falls, New York. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  4. ^ Hi-fi News & Record Review. Link House Publications. 1986. p. 17. It was a knock-out.
  5. ^ Jesse Willis (25 October 2012). "News: The Mist". SFFaudio.com. Retrieved 25 December 2015. …how astoundingly great an audio drama it really is.
  6. ^ "HA! FAT CHANCE". ZBS Media. Retrieved 18 November 2018.

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