documenting the optical sounds of '60s pop, Acid Punk & Psychedelia

Loos Foos & the Fiberglass Cornflake: An interview with Rick Sousa

Loos Foos & the Fiberglass Cornflake – “I Think I’ve Got You” / “Bless Me Father” (Ace Record Co ARS-135) September 1969

They don’t come much more obscure than Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake. The band were not mentioned in Vernon Joynson’s guide ’Fuzz Acid And Flowers’ and the soybomb comp database lists their origin and release date of their one and only venture onto vinyl with incorrect information.

Rick Sousa who played a Fender rhythm guitar and sang in the group exchanged emails with me recently and I asked Rick about his days in the band. He was kind enough to furnish me with lots of cool information about Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake.

They were together as a band for approx 7 years, starting out as a young teen combo in 1962 but only got to cut one 45 in 1969. This was down to lack of money and the Vietnam War call up. Sadly only one photograph of the band remains (a house fire destroyed the rest) but hopefully I’ll be able to post this picture if/when I have it emailed to me in the future.

The line-up of the band was:

Ed Foos (bass)
Gene Lapoint (organ)
Don Fournier (drums)
Steve Matthews (lead guitar)
Rick Sousa (rhythm guitar & vocals) 

01. Where did Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake hail from?

We all come from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, about 10 miles from Providence.

02. How old were you all when you got together as a band?

We were all around 15 and 16 years old.

03. How did you all meet? Were you friends from school?

All but drummer Don Fournier lived within a couple blocks of each other We all went to the same school. We all loved The Beatles and they were the reason we started off the band.

04. The name of the band is pretty ’wacked out’. Who came up with the name? What was the reasoning behind it?

It started as The Loos Foos Four and we played 3 years with this name. Unfortunately I was drafted during the Vietnam War but luckily the other guys were all denied.

I got home in April of 69 shortly thereafter we decided to change the name of the band so I had a list of names and we chose from a list that included The Ruptured Banana Peels, The Flying Tomato Seeds and The Ugly Dead Lizards.

05. How long did the band rehearse before playing your first gig?

We were lucky because my parents let us practice at my house most weekends. We also used Ed Foos parents garage. We would open the garage doors and people from blocks around would come and listen. It was like a block dance. So from the start we got good practice and it was kinda like playing a gig from a garage. This was good experience for the band and it made us better and ready fast. In all I think we rehearsed and nailed our sound in two months. Our first gig was a ’Battle Of The Bands’ which we won!

06. Can you name any other of your original songs the band played live but never recorded?

A song we almost recorded was ’Revolutions Of Our Love’. Other song titles included ’Cinderella’s on L.S.D’, ’My Friend’, ’Mad House’, Just Like Superman’, ’Cast A Spell’, ’Babe’, ’If This Is Love, Then Give Me Loneliness’ and many others. We even performed a few instrumentals I wrote.

07. Where did Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake play?

When I got back from Vietnam in ’69 that’s when we played somewhere every week such as Jonnie Allens Barn, The Pirates Den , The Canopy Club, The Pines, and The Edge.

We played college parties on tennis courts at Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Park before a game. We were on T.V. three times after our record came out. We promoted it twice on Dialing for Dollars Show with George Allen and appeared on the Andy Jackson Show.

08. What was a typical Loos Foos songlist for gigs? Did you play any cover versions?

We would play top 40 songs and mix in my originals. We used to cover songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Three Dog Night, The Rascals and Cream. We usually covered whoever was in the charts. If you didn’t play British Invasion sounds you didn’t have a chance. The band loved hard driving songs and we all sang lead. There was no so called lead singer.

09. How did the record deal with Ace Records come about?

We would save the money earned from gigs and put it in a pot. When we had enough money to finance a record we contacted ACE Recording Studios. It was a dream for us to cut a record. We didn’t expect anything.

10. How did the recording go?

The ACE Recording Studio producer was Herb Yakas. We only had 4 hours to cut two songs. We got ’I Think I Got You’ in three takes. ’Bless Me Father’ took seven takes. It was funny because we’d start playing ’Bless Me Father’ but three times in a row Herb stopped us. Finally he says ’somebody’s taking’- We all laughed and told him that’s how the song starts.

11. Was the band happy with the final results of the session?

Yes, I was delighted. I remember sitting in the studio listening to the playback. It was one of the proudest days of my life.

12. How many records were pressed?

1,000 copies for $700. The cost included studio time, producer costs and the manufacture of the 45s. Every record sold. I wish I had one!!! Saving that took time because it was a lot of money back then.

13. You mentioned that the band operated for about 7 years. Any reasons why no more records came out by the band?

I wish I knew, no money I guess. I wrote hundreds of songs and we had all the material in the world. I think we just laid on our laurels waiting for something to happen.

14. Can you remember the names of any bands you played with?

My memories are not good here but I do remember sharing the stage with The Cheese Flavored Popcorn and The Wailing Banchees (not sure about exact spelling). The most famous person from our location was our friend Cale Raye. He sang a beautiful song called ’Lovely Eyes’.

’I Think I’ve Got You’ doesn’t sound like a typical rock sound for the late 60s. It’s obviously a soulful love song. Who were your influences at the time? The direction of the band was always top 40. That particular song was about a girl I thought I couldn’t be with and wasn’t but guess what? 16 years later I married that girl.

15. ’Bless Me Father’ is my favourite side of the 45. It has been compiled on ’A Fistful Of Fuzz’. What was your idea behind this song?

When I get into writing mode I try to think of different subjects to write about. With this song I thought about being in a confession booth confessing my sins in a rock style. The guys didn’t want me to talk those opening lines but I told them that’s what makes the confession real like starting and ending prayer and penance.

Rick Sousa from Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake recently sent me these photos of his band. These pics are exclusive to my blog and have not been posted anywhere else before. Sadly most of Rick’s band pics were destroyed in a house fire so I’m obviously delighted these rare images survived.

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