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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Lemon Fog

The Lemon Fog were a Houston-based garage band signed by Ray McGinnis to the Orbit Records label (along with the Nomads). They were one of the first bands to emerge from the Houston Psychedelic Scene along with the Dadaistic Red Crayola and the mighty Nomads. The Lemon Fog's sound was initially typical garage band-dance material but soon advanced into a (sort of) lysergic folk rock sound, like the Byrds or Beau Brummels, with the complexity of Moby Grape.

The Lemon Fog were pioneers of a sound that merged punk and psychedelia into a newly integrated mind-blowing potpourri of music. Their lyrics reflected youth's alienation and search for something other than the American dream; a search beyond the normal dimensions of logic and time into the realm of the unknown.

A key ingredient to the change in the Lemon Fog's sound was (now) Game Show Host, Ted Eubanks, who was a composer on Houston's Mod Scene at the time. Eubanks saw a show at St. Regis College for the Arts and approached them. The band liked his ideas, and Eubanks began putting original songs into the group's sets. He also changed their image from clean-cut, matching suits to psychedelic, including beads. The Lemon Fog quickly became recognized as one of the more formidable bands in Houston.

Only three singles were ever issued on the group by Orbit, although they recorded many hours' worth of demos under Eubanks' direction; he handled most of the songwriting, alternating with Duncan. The best of these was "The Living Eye Theme," also known as "The Lemon Fog," which reached number eight on the regional and local charts in the Houston area. The group was a major draw there and in the Houston area, and made many television appearances promoting their singles.

Personality conflicts eventually doomed the band, despite some extraordinary music to their credit. The pictures at the top are master tapes, a Larry Kane letter and Ted Eubanks letter.

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