Fronted by a 17-year-old Steve Runolfsson (vocals/organ/piano/harmonica), this L.A. 5-piece existed from 1965-1967. All of them shared writing duties, but few fans disagree with the idea that Runolfsson was the most talented of the group in that respect (he penned all of the below). The combination of Steve's mature and downright menacing vocal style and Lynn Rominger's rumbling lead guitar breaks laid the foundation for success in a town that would soon embrace the likes of the Doors. But it was not to be. Minimal AM airplay of their debut single ('Sweetgina' b/w 'Speak of the Devil'), even more minimal record sales and zero interest from West Coast labels gave them some early kicks in the ribs. A few instances of bad luck -- and, it could be speculated, one incredibly bad decision -- spelled their demise. In the spring of 1967, Lynn Rominger was drafted and sent off to boot camp (which is presumably when the above group photo was taken). That summer a fairly well-known Hollywood manager caught a performance of theirs and liked what he saw. An audition was scheduled for the next week. Following this subsequent performance, the manager offered to take them on . . . as soon as they fired their singer, whom he felt wasn't 'right for the group.' The remaining three met without Runolfsson and, not wanting to miss out on their chance at success, voted to get rid of him. Naturally, he was devastated.
After deciding that bassist Bryan Garofalo would take over on vocals, the four-piece forged on. True to his word, their new manager negotiated a contract for them with Warner Bros. They released two singles on said label in 1968, neither of which charted. When WB heard (and was unimpressed by) demos for a possible LP, the band was quickly dropped.
Steve Runolfsson went on to form a campy, satirical group with his sister in the early 1970's called Da Yuckettes -- oddly, this band opened for Capt. Beefheart and Little Richard. On January 10, 1977 at the age of 27, Steve overdosed on a mixture of liquor & pills -- it is thought to have been a suicide.
Some sinister songs: