The Lewis and Clarke Expedition

Ken Bloom, John London, Johnny Raines, Michael Martin Murphey, Owen Castleman

Not since the Monkees has such an outasite group appeared on the horizon!

They rode in from Texas, picking up members of their expedition on the way. They were ready to conquer the wilderness all over again and wilderness, to them, was any place they hadn’t yet explored.

Lewis and Clarke joined up in Dallas, Texas, their home town. They journeyed to San Antonio where they found John London and the three of them started the expedition West. Across the huge prairies of Texas they went, lingering awhile in all the places they came to.

Into New Mexico the expedition traveled, slowly working across the state until they came to the great Indian reservations. They stopped in the lands of the Hopi and the Navajo to learn the ways of the people. Johnny Raines, part Cherokee, joined the group. Across Arizona and into California they went, until they reached the Pacific. Here they found Ken Bloom. They were five, the Lewis and Clarke Expedition.

Wherever they played people joined the group. Soon a record company joined the expedition, too. Lewis and Clarke and the Expedition set out again, this time East. Their record traveled before them and the expedition grew and grew as people in all the fifty states became part of it.

Travis Lewis is blond-haired and blue-eyed and has the sort of smile that makes your heart start vibrating. He’s so interested in you when you talk it’s easy to believe that, as far as he’s concerned, you’re the only girl in the whole world. He looks for you from the stage and when his eyes meet yours they crinkle-up with happiness.

Boomer Clarke’s blue-green eyes are so deep you almost fall into them. They dance constantly with a quiet humor that bubbles up time after time in a gentle laugh. When he’s playing he has so much fun you feel as if you are up there on stage with him and when he smiles you know that he’s the grooviest-dream walking.

Johnny Raines, part Cherokee, has rugged good looks set off by dark straight hair and brilliant white teeth. He’s the kind of handsome that makes you want to turn around on the street and follow him home.

John London, dressed in his Australian rancher’s hat, is the only Texan besides Lewis and Clarke in the original expedition. He’s the tallest in the group and the most obviously Texan—when you’re with him you almost hear the guns of the Alamo in the background.

Ken Bloom is quiet and intensely musical. He plays over forty musical instruments and keeps making more because he gets “tired of always playing the same thing!” He speaks very softly and when he talks his face glows. Of all the original Expedition, he’s the shyest.

On stage the group rocks with excitement and happiness. Johnny Raines’ black hair dances in the air to the rhythm of his drums, Ken Bloom smiles a shy half-smile of total contentment, John London’s feet move across the stage in time to the beat and, in front, Travis and Boomer smile at the audience and at each other as they move up and down, backwards and forwards, making the audience part of the act.

You feel the pounding vibrations from the floor as they carry up into your body and when you go home that night you dream of happy eyes and flashing smiles and leather shirts and Indian beads. And, when you wake up in the morning, you know that you, too, have joined the Lewis and Clarke Expedition.

Magazine: Tiger Beat
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 3
Issue: 2
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.