The Misty Wizards

An Introduction

As written in the 1970's

 

Pop music, long regarded as a dumping ground of meaningless and insincere music for profit has undergone a startling change in the past few years. More and more creative young musicians are entering its ranks and treating it as a serious idiom of musical expression as intricate and experimental as jazz, and as profound and subtle as classical music.

The mass acceptance of the new pop music by the listening public has provided the new breed of musician with the wherewithal to live on more than just the subsistence level thereby freeing him to explore the farthest reaches of his talent enabling hint to simultaneously satisfy his creative desires and fill the listening public's need for meaningful, intelligent, and beautiful music. So it follows that the emergence of an avant gard or underground was inevitable. The Misty Wizards consider themselves part of that avant gard.

The two popular young Detroit musicians who comprise this unique duo write, arrange, produce, record and perform their own material. Their approach to music and records is serious, analytical and emotional as any artist confronting his medium of expression.

Richard Keelan and Ted Lucas met many years ago at the old Retort Club, where as solo performers they were booked on the same bill. They were immediately drawn to each other by their common interest in East Indian music forms, called raga, and the application of these intricate musical forms to the guitar. Their friendship grew firmer as they found many common goals and ideas relating to the utilization of pop, folk, jazz and classical techniques within their own musical instruments.

They grew to know each other over the next half year then they parted company for nine months when Ted and his wife Annette migrated to California. It was the spring of 1965. Six months in San Francisco Ted renewed his ties with the as yet unheralded underground that was to explode to national prominence a year later. This was his second trip there. Then he moved to Los Angeles where he began the study of the sitar under the guidance of Sri Harihar Rao who at that time, before his return to India, was working out of the department of ethnomusicology at UCLA, training many young jazz and folk musicians in the ancient music of his country.

During that period Richard remained in Detroit becoming active in it's underground, working radio, TV, club and concert dates and polishing his prolific pen and began to seek outlets for his songs. They kept in close contact by phone and letter.

The scene was changing; musicians everywhere began to see it. With the remarkable success of the Beatles and Dylan a new feeling came into the air. The pop market, after years of crap, garbage, and lies was

 

 

slowly but evidently becoming an outlet for quality material. People were digging, grooving with new ideas. The turned-on generation, the real world, was happening.

Upon Ted's return to Detroit, he and Dick, along with three other local musicians helped form that city's first and indeed one of America's first psychedelic-folk-rock-rage-blues groups, the Spike-Drivers on Labor day of 1965.

The group's repertoire consisted largely of original material written by Dick, Ted, and Joel Myerson (a well-known folk guitarist composer from Boston.) After spending a year with the group making records learning the subtleties and nuances of electric music, the use of amplifiers and recording studio techniques and the general ins and outs of the business. Richard and Ted Decided to get out on their own, and they began to formulate a new conception of their involvement within the pop industry.

To quote a recent interview in the Detroit Free Press, "We're not in any particular bag. We dig records as a specific type of medium, not necessarily related to what can be done live. We're building a group around this concept. We intend to have a different thing going for us live and maybe a similar or different thing on the record. Recording opens up a multitude of potential in the way of sound and what you can do with sound. The Beatles are the best and most original users of this medium. The San Francisco scene, in contrast, is hung up on producing on record what they do live. The Beatles don't even perform live anymore. We hope to strike a balance between the two."

The Wizards studied the sitar under Ravi Shankar when they recently visited Los Angeles, "for the freedom of expression it allows."

Their newest record just released on the Reprise label has been called by Lorraine Alterman of the Free Press, "an exciting, creative single that should be listened to."

The Wizards' single, "Its Love" written by Ted is described by them as an experiment in time distortion, a cross between raga concepts and rhythm and blues.

Returning to Detroit for the arrival of Ted's first child, The Wizards are working clubs, concerts, and t.v. shows promoting their newest record. They are actively working within the burgeoning Detroit folk/folk-rock scene producing demos and local underground records as well as studying the classical guitar for the mastery and command it gives them over the instrument. They will remain there for the next few months preparing to move themselves and their families to San Francisco, America's cultural center.