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". 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."
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. 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 dramatization of Stephen King's The Mist, recording in binaural sound.
|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.|
|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|
|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|
|Madonna in a Green Velvet Chair||2018||Jack Flanders|
|Ruby 10: The Black Star of Summa Nulla||2018||Ruby|
- 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.’.
- J Michael Straczynski (1 July 2002). The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. Writer's Digest Books. pp. 261–. ISBN 1-58297-158-7.
- 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.
- Hi-fi News & Record Review. Link House Publications. 1986. p. 17.
It was a knock-out.
- Jesse Willis (25 October 2012). "News: The Mist". SFFaudio.com. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
…how astoundingly great an audio drama it really is.
- "HA! FAT CHANCE". ZBS Media. Retrieved 18 November 2018.