A Very Special Behind The Music: Zack Attack!

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Zack Attack keyboardist Samuel "Screech" Powers before his cutting days.
Everyone remembers Zack Attack. A lighthearted, tween-oriented pop group from California, they shot to the top of the charts in November 1990 with their No. 1 hit, "Friends Forever."

Teenagers and close friends themselves, they displayed an easy chemistry the likes of which few manufactured pop groups of the time (or since) could duplicate. Lead singer and songwriter Zack Morris credited this bond between them as the driving force behind their success, and the reason for their later disastrous failure.

Morris and drummer Albert Clifford "A.C." Slater had been rivals for the affection of bandmate and lead keytar player Kelly Kapowski since early on in their friendship, a rivalry which caused much tension on the road in support of their massively successful debut album, Friends Forever.

1991's Friends Forever Tour was equally successful, playing 40 cities and five festivals over the course of six grueling months, an especially trying experience for kids barely old enough to drive. By the time the tour wound down, the band found themselves exhausted, embittered and burnt out on overexposure to each other.

Only Morris and Kapowski continued to see each other during the band's brief down time; a short-lived tryst between Slater and rhythm guitarist Jessie Spano on the road ceased immediately upon the group's return home, with Spano reportedly heartbroken. Things weren't going much better for Morris and Kapowski, who were rumored to constantly be fighting, breaking up and reuniting during this time period.

Meanwhile, millions of dollars were rolling into the young stars' bank accounts, which would seem like a great boon, were it not for the fact that most of their parents had heavy ties to the upper echelons of the infamous Los Angeles law firm Carosi & Alonzo. The parents of Morris, Slater, Kapowski and keyboardist Samuel "Screech" Powers all embezzled and subsequently lost the lion's share of their children' early fortunes.

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Zack Attack's fans were especially devoted to the band.
This wouldn't be discovered until much later, however, and for a time, it seemed like Zack Attack could do no wrong.

They appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, and several other talk and variety shows. The only clue anyone had as to the growing discord within the band was when Jessie Spano slapped an intern on the set of Regis and Kathie Lee, calling her a "slack-jawed cunt-casket" for bringing Spano decaffeinated coffee.

To make matters worse, Powers' obsession with bassist Lisa Turtle took a turn from charming to threatening. Although Powers had made his feelings for Turtle known the first time they'd met, Turtle merely considered him a harmless oaf and tolerated his presence. This air of comfortability ceased immediately when Turtle awoke one morning to find the word "WHORE" written in feces on the windshield of her car.

After some rudimentary DNA testing, the feces was determined to belong to Powers. He was arrested, but the charges were dropped on the stipulation that Powers receive treatment for his obssessive behavior. He attended two of an ordered 24 behavioral therapy classes.

Though no one knows for sure, it is rumored that several Bayside city officials took several thousand dollars in bribe money to look the other way while Powers ignored his therapy and allowed his fixation on Turtle to worsen.

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Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

Probably a good thing that most people don't have enough money to be crazy in public.  

Cory Sinclair
Cory Sinclair


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