The Lost Souls formed in the 'classic' style of 1964 - see/hear the Beatles, start your own band. So five students at St. Joe's High School in Euclid got together and one of Cleveland's biggest and best mid-60s combos was formed. The band members took music lessons and practiced for months before their first public performance. The original lineup included Ed Gazoski on guitar. Denny Marek, who was the guitarist for the greaser styled band the R-Dee's, heard them and offered to join. Eventually Gazoski left and the 'classic' Lost Souls lineup of Denny Marek (lead guitar), Denny Carleton (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Larry Tomczak (drums), Chuck McKinley (bass and lead vocals), and Rich Schouenaur (sax and flute) was established.
The band quickly gained a huge local following that took them from the CYO dances to headliner on the Hullabaloo circuit, Cleveland's top tier of band popularity. They were one of the very few local bands to play Cleveland Stadium, and placed second (to the Penny Arcade) in the 1967 citywide Battle of the Bands.
The Lost Souls never released a record during their existence - but several live recordings exist and 11 songs were recorded at Cleveland Recording, Audio Recording, and home (using Denny Marek's tape recorder). Guitarist Denny Carleton released the studio recordings in the mid 1980s, on cassette, taken from his rough acetates. Some of the studio tapes were 'found' in the 1990s, resting safely in the Cleveland Recording Company vaults - they had been filed under Miniver Cheevey, a new name the band (wisely, in my opinion!) decided not to use. Guitarist Denny Marek released two of the songs on a 45. The Lost Souls were a great band, with plenty of talent and dedication. Their body of unissued recordings ranks with any band in the US, and will hopefully get the hearing they deserve. Among the recordings is the original take of "If These Are Men", the Denny Carleton composition he re-recorded while in the Choir. Drummer Larry Tomczak became a born-again Christian (actually, most all the band members did) and a circuit preacher, writing a couple books that portray a somewhat twisted view of Lost Souls history. Denny Carleton has a long and accomplished career in Cleveland music and maintains his own Web site at www.dennycarleton.com