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

Passante hailed from an unrecorded rock group called Sweet Dirt, which was active in NYC circa 1973. He was briefly in London trying to form a new band but returned to New York to launch a series of groupings 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 was issued on NY small-press Amerama in 1977. It features six originals, including “Men’s Room,” “Dreams of Mr. Pitiful,” “Face,” and the 9:25 epic “Silver Stringed Marionette.” Dorian himself plays most of the instruments, barring the un-credited appearances of Shelly Lieder (guitar), Timothy A. Jackson (drums), and Jeff Beck, who plays guitar on “Destination Nowhere” and “Inside Looking Out.” The album was co-produced by Ralph Lew (Roy Roman, Johnny Zamot, Orquesta Power). Dorian wrote all the tracks save for a co-write on “Men’s Room,” which was paired on a 7″ with “Destination Nowhere.

Dorian’s album was kindly received by 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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