The Lost and Found came out of Houston, and originally called themselves the Misfits. Members were Peter Black guitar and vocals, Jimmy Frost lead guitar and James Harrell on bass. John Kearney of the Spades played with them for a short while after the Spades had split up in 1965, and they went through a succession of drummers, first Norman Blythe, then Mickey Bishop, and finally Steve Webb.
The Misfits played shows at Love Street and La Maison, where, according to Jimmy Frost, they met the 13th Floor Elevators for the first time. The Elevators would have a huge influence on their sound, and their friendship with Roky Erickson and Stacy Sutherland would eventually lead to an introduction to the International Artists label. At the start of a six month residency at Scott Holtzman’s Living Eye in Houston, they became the first Texas group busted for LSD. Jimmy Frost remembers Peter, James and Mickey facing charges, and that one of the reasons the band signed with International Artists was because its owners, Bill Dillard and Noble Ginther, were lawyers who could help them with the bust. Supposedly the charges were dismissed because the drug was not yet illegal! However, the notoriety of the bust led to the name change to the Lost and Found, appropriate in any case for the increasingly psychedelic direction of their music.
George Banks, a friend of the band who took over management of the Misfits, remembers this time differently:
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.
Their first 45, “Everybody’s Here” / “Forever Lasting Plastic Words” shows the lighter side of their repertoire, and the band complained that IA toned down their sound. The engineer was Frank Davis who worked with other IA bands, like the Elevators and the Golden Dawn. Though at times sounding like the Elevators, their LP has many good songs such as “I Realize” and “There Would Be No Doubt”. George Banks did the cover art for their LP as well as the covers of the Elevators’ Easter Everywhere and Golden Dawn’s Power Plant.
By the time they recorded their second and last 45 in ’68, their sound was totally original and psychedelic. “Professor Black” is supposed to be about Pete Black, it was written by Black, James Harrell and George Banks. “When Will You Come Through” is just as good, with searing guitar work. This 45 was produced by Fred Carroll, an interesting figure in Texas garage history. Fred Carroll (real name Fred Courtney, Jr) founded International Artists in October of ’65, but sold it soon after, then returned as a producer after Lelan Rogers left. He also started the Solar label and managed the Coastliners. He passed away in late June, 2007.
There were other songs recorded around this time for a second LP, but before that could come to pass, International Artists booked them on a tour of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama with the Music Machine.
Jimmy Frost: “When we got back International Artists said we owed them money and that just finished the band off, we didn’t see any money from the tour, and we were all so broke that the band just split up.”
A demo tape of two songs exists. “25 MPH” showed up on Epitaph for a Legend, the other, “Girl with a One Track Mind” I haven’t heard. Still under contract from IA, Pete Black and James Harrell reluctantly played about a dozen dates with Stacy Sutherland and Danny Thomas in a ersatz version of the 13th Floor Elevators after the release of the fake “Live” album in July of ’68. This lineup of the Elevators may have included Steve Webb, who I’ve read was able to mimic Roky’s wailing vocals.
Pete Black joined Endle St. Cloud. I’ve read Steve Webb played drums with Potter St. Cloud and Euphoria, but that conflicts with David Potter’s account (and Potter certainly was the drummer on Potter St. Cloud’s album). Steve Webb passed away a few years ago.
George Banks continues on the connections between the Lost and Found, Endle St. Cloud and Euphoria:
Alan Mellinger (Endle St. Cloud) .. some how.. after we’d left LA.. wound up in LA playin’ around with Euphoria.. in fact they released an album – [A Gift From] Euphoria. James Harrell, after the bust here in Houston, returned to LA (he did studio work for a couple of years) and may have been on that album also (?). Euphoria later did an extensive tour with Blue Cheer. I visited Alan in Morrison, CO some many years ago where he and his wife and two children were doing quite well, as Alan was a partner in a Clinical Drug and Alcohol Re-Hab Practice in Denver. While there we called David Potter, who at the time was living in I believe, Wisconsin or Minnesota, working construction as a masonry contractor. A couple of years later I heard that Alan died of a heart attack.. and so ends my immediate and intimate association with the ‘Music World’ of the 60’s. As a footnote I think that Frank Davis, besides being one of Texas’s true hidden jewels as a performer, did all he could with the available equipment of the times.
Sources include: Interview with Jimmy Frost in Not Fade Away #4, Paul Drummond’s Eye Mind, and my correspondence with George Banks. Photos by their manager, Gary Iwers. Misfits business card from the collection of Andrew Brown. La Maison photo courtesy of Nancy Kuehl.