The Lost formed at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT, its members — Willie Alexander (vocals, keyboard, percussion), Ted Myers (guitar, vocals), Kyle Garrahan (lead guitar, vocals), Walter Powers III (bass, organ, vocals) and Lee Mason (drums, percussion) — dropping out out to play professionally in Boston after their first semester playing together. They became one of the top local bands in Boston during 1965 and 1966, playing most of the clubs, like the Rathskeller, Where It’s At and, as their final gig in Boston, inaugurating The Boston Tea Party in early 1967. They also opened for many major artists, including James Brown, Sonny & Cher, the Supremes, the Shirelles and Jr. Walker & The All Stars. They toured the East Coast with the Beach Boys in the spring of 1966. The Lost were signed by Capitol Records in late 1965 and released three singles: “Maybe More Than You”/”Backdoor Blues,” which charted locally and received substantial airplay in New England and upstate New York, and two versions of “Violet Gown,” with two different B-sides. The first release was backed with “Mean Motorcycle” and was recalled by Capitol. The band then re-recorded it with producer Jerry Keller and the second version was released, backed with an instrumental version of “No Reason Why,” about a month later. By this time the momentum created by their first single and the Beach Boys tour had died, and “Violet Gown” received little-to-no airplay. Capitol dropped the band and they broke up in 1967. Myers and Alexander wrote the original songs and these were augmented at club gigs with covers of Rolling Stones songs and R&B staples. Alexander and Powers played in the short-lived post-Lou Reed version of The Velvet Underground fronted by Doug Yule (with whom they had played in the Boston-based band the Grass Menagerie), releasing 1973’s Squeeze. Alexander went on to become a rock legend in Boston, fronting numerous bands, including the famous Willie Loco & the Boom Boom Band on MCA Records in the ‘70s. After Willie’s Boom Boom days, he did a brief tour of France as Willie Alexander and the Confessions, with Walter back on bass. Myers went on to front Chamaeleon Church (with Garrahan and a young Chevy Chase on drums) and the third permutation of Ultimate Spinach (with Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on lead guitar), with both bands cutting late ’60s albums for M-G-M.
Published on December 28, 2012