Christopher Gaylord: Vocals | Dan Garcia: Bass guitar | Mike Allen: Guitar (electric)

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Magic Mushroom, the California Sons, Five Pound Grin, the Crawdaddys, Glory, Framework, the Other Four, Christopher Gaylord, Raymond Clearwater

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Influences: The Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks


North county garage rockers the Lyrics are best known for their 1965 single “So What!” which appeared in the Pebbles garage band compilation series. The song is mainly about the hate and rage songwriter Christopher Gaylord (who grew up in Cardiff) felt toward a rich girl who once rejected him.

According to Gaylord (later known as Raymond Clearwater), “As for why I was so angry in my songs – I really don’t know. I wrote both of those songs to (or at) a girl I was going with at the time. Her family had a very nice home and two refrigerators and all kinds of things that I had never seen and I was dirt poor and came from a very low income environment. Raised by my grandmother on a small ranch in Cardiff, CA. I was pretty much of a punk. I certainly had my share of trouble in High School, was in Juvenile Hall for a bit, and I guess you might say I had somewhat of a BAD ATTITUDE – at any rate, if you add that up with the fact that I was attempting to be a Rolling Stone kind of guy, in conjunction with a Bob Dylan kind of guy, you get anger and resentment.”

The band went through numerous lineup changes. Bassist Dan Garcia recalls “We would go on the local TV show called TV8 Dance Time in San Diego and promote our records. I remember being on with groups like the Buffalo Springfield, the Association, Neal Diamond, Glen Campbell, the Box Tops, the Byrds, and opening for groups like the Young Rascals, the Doors, Howlin' Wolf , a great group from Canada called the Collectors. We also went on a talk show called the Woody Woodbury show in L.A. - we were on with Betty White and singer Vic Dana.”

A 1967 video posted on YouTube shows the band playing the Oceanside Community Center with the Survivors and the Band from U.N.C.L.E., filmed for the Dance Time show.

Chris Gaylord later fronted Magic Mushroom, which featured fellow former Lyric Mike Allen alongside two members of the California Sons, John Buell and Gary Williams (from their original incarnation, not the latterday California SUNS spinoff). Gaylord also recorded solo tracks like 1967's folky "Don't Talk to Strangers," which appeared in 2000 on the Best of Broadside 1962-1988 box set.

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