Dorian Zero — aka Kenneth J. Passante (Jan. 16, 1948 — Jan. 7, 1994) — was an American art-rock musician and songwriter from Manhattan who released a self-titled album in 1977 on Amerama Records.


Passante started with Sweet Dirt, an unrecorded rock band active circa 1973 on the NYC circuit. After a brief stint in London, he returned to New York and launched a series of groups under the Zero nameplate: Dorian & Zero, the Dorian Zero Revue, etc. On April 5, 1975, he headlined a bill with Television at Hotel Diplomat.

The Album

Dorian appeared in 1977 on NYC small-press Amerama. It features six originals, including “Men’s Room,” “Dreams of Mr. Pitiful,” “Face,” and the nine-minute epic “Silver Stringed Marionette.”

Dorian himself plays the bulk of instruments with uncredited support by Shelly Lieder (guitar), Timothy A. Jackson (drums), and Jeff Beck, who plays guitar on “Destination Nowhere” and “Inside Looking Out.”

Dorian was co-produced by Ralph Lew (Roy Roman, Johnny Zamot, Orquesta Power). Dorian wrote everything apart from a co-write on “Men’s Room,” which appeared on a 7″ with “Destination Nowhere.

Dorian’s album received kind words from Billboard magazine. He was also the subject of a harsh interview in issue #14 of PUNK magazine. He disappeared from the music scene and died in 1994 at age 45.


  • Dorian (1977)


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