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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lost and Found Vulcan Gas Company Handbill

lost and found

lost and found

Check out this Lost and Found Vulcan Gas Company handbill. Again, we are visiting Tut's Tomb - Dallas. Lost and Found & Shiva's Headband, yow! Jerry Lightfoot once told me that the Lost and Found were the second greatest Texas Psych band after the 13th Floor Elevators. He said that the Drummer, Steve Webb, could scream like Roky and even played some gigs with the 'Elevators filling in for Roky.

Coming out of the same late sixties Houston, Texas music scene as label mates Thursday’s Children and The Red Crayola, the Lost and Found originally called themselves the Misfits and played many of the same clubs as the 13th Floor Elevators; who had an enormous influence on their sound. In fact, their friendship with Stacy Sutherland and Roky would lead to them being signed by IA. The Misfits have the notoriety of being the first Texas band busted for LSD. The charges were dismissed because the drug was not yet illegal.

The Misfits changed their name to the Lost and Found after an extended trip to the West Coast and just prior to undertaking a 6 month residency at Houston's Living Eye Club – one of the centers of the area’s thriving psychedelic scene. It seemed like that time spent by the group on the West Coast had not been entirely wasted, as the emphasis on melody and memorable hooks so common to the LA California Rock clearly seeped into the boys’ song writing, with elements of The Byrds and Love being most evident.

George Banks, former Manager of the Misfits, remembers this time:

I spoke with James Harrell, just to confirm what I am about to list. First, the MISFITS was a name Micky Bishop came up with, as it was a group he played with in the Navy. He was the first drummer, and to James' recollection, Kearney never played in the group. After Micky, his younger brother Steve also played drums in the band and as I recall then Webb. There may have been the other fella you mention [Norman Blythe], but I do not know him. We all met the Elevators in Austin, before they played the infamous Jade Room gig, and all remain friends to this day.

I was maybe a try-to-be manager with the original Misfits, after leaving the military; and then later the Lost and Found,but I also assisted (I'll describe it that way) Euphoria, which you rarely see any info about.

Euphoria did come into Houston about high times for the Elevators and others of the IA time frame. They were a sizzlin' three piece group. Wesley Watt, David Potter, drums and Pat.. I forget his last name.. on bass (early on, in CA, Pat was with a surf group, pre-Beach Boys, and they were very successful in their locale.)

Euphoria and the guys from the Misfits got along quite well and ... through some differences .. all together left for LA, minus Frost, who having married early on and was with their first child, did not travel to CA with everyone else.

We played around out there got a recording contract. I brought the first release [Hungry Woman / No Me Tomorrow 45 on the Mainstream label] back to Houston and presented it to Larry Kane. It didn't really take off, Euphoria hadn't stuck around town long enough to really develop any notoriety, or following.

The band in LA went through a lot of emotional changes in part due to the fact that Wesley and David were married (and drugs). The times got tough, to even feed ourselves. James, Pete and I headed back to Houston, the rest kind of picks up with the bust after we had been back a month or two.

Micky was not included in the bust in '66, it was his younger brother Steve and another fella, a writer, Roger Hamilton (deceased) aka William West, and James. Their arrests were dismissed, we each served 10 year probation sentences.

I don't believe that the signing with International Artists had anything to do with there being attorneys in the head office. If I am mistaken, well, I don't know every minute detail of all these guys lives, but we did live and recreate together often.

It was not the notoriety that changed the bands name (I don't think). But having returned from CA and playing with/as Euphoria the group was rejoined with Jimmy Frost. So I felt the absence from and the reunion, as it were, with the whole band, it was .. well .. Lost and Found.

In 8/67, Lost and Found decamped to Andrus Studios in Houston to record their one and only album, collaborating with producer Lelan Rogers and engineer Frank Davis. Comprised of mostly original material, except for a cover of the Elevators' 'Don't Fall Down' from that group's Psychedelic Sounds album, it's a strong debut, melding the influences picked up on their LA jaunt with more esoteric elements picked up from the Elevators, and their mystical quest for pure sanity.

The LP was released in late '67 as IALP #3 and was the first International Artists album to be released in stereo only, housed in a suitably psychedelic George Banks - designed sleeve. The album had been preceded by a 45 release of two of its titles, 'Forever Lasting Plastic Words' backed with 'Everybody's Here'. The largely anonymous sleeve - no full band names or photos, just shadowy images - contributed to lA's aura of mystique, which was actually borne out of their complete paranoia over the contents of their catalog.

International Artists had earlier booked Lost and Found on a tour of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama with garage legends The Music Machine. When they returned, IA told the group that they owed the label money; they had made nothing from the tour, nothing was happening with the album, so they finally split up in the summer of'68.

While still under contract from IA, James Harrell and Steve Webb played about a dozen dates with Stacy Sutherland and Danny Thomas in one of the final versions of The 13th Floor Elevators, ostensibly to promote the release of the fake Elevators Live album in July of  1968. Webb was out from behind the drums and doing his Roky imitation. Jerry Lightfoot told me that this incarnation of the band was actually quite good.

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